When Should I Start Using Retinol?

by Thursday, September 28, 2017

When I tell people that I use retinol products at 24, I am often greeted with a gasp of “but you’re too young”. I’ve actually used varying forms of vitamin A from the age of 21 and am a huge advocate of the active.

It’s more than an anti-ager.

Hailed as one of the very best actives in anti-ageing skincare, people often think of retinol as reserved for mature, wrinkled skins. What they don’t often realise is that retinol is also fantastic for blemish-prone skins as well. Vitamin A is effectively a cell communicator, meaning that it normalizes skin functions and enhances cell turnover (bascially preventing dead skin cells hanging around on the skin surface and clogging the pores). I tried countless products but vitamin A worked really well for my skin and is one of the few ingredients that I know will help maintain a clear complexion. Plus, the anti-ageing benefits are an addition that I won’t argue with!

It’s never too soon to start.

Kind of. When it comes to acne-related issues, young skins should avoid as it will most likely be too strong for their delicate complexion while older teens may use but should always follow the advice of a skincare practitioner.

When it comes to anti-ageing, prevention is always better (and far easier) than the cure. The rate at which our skin naturally slows down the processes that keeps it firm and plump can vary, but for many it is the mid-twenties. In fact, many experts class a ‘mature’ skin as 25+!

If your goal is to keep the wrinkles at bay for as long as possible, your mid-twenties is a good place to start putting some age prevention steps in your regime. A retinoid, an antioxidant and daily use of SPF is a good place to start.

On the other hand, it’s also never too late to start.

Retinol is one of the few ingredients clinically proven to reverse signs of ageing. Sun damage? Fine lines and wrinkles? Uneven skin tone? Irregular skin texture? Make retinol your new best friend immediately.

How do I begin?

Many people, especially those in their twenties, are scared of retinoids due to the impression that they cause redness and flakiness. Gradually introducing a well-formulated product at the correct level to your skin will ensure this doesn’t happen. As with any ingredient, there will be those who simply cannot use it, but the majority of people incorporate retinol into their regime without any side effects whatsoever, myself included.

Always save your retinol for nighttime use. Begin by using one evening a week and build up slowly to every other night. There’s no need to use a retinol more frequently than every second day.

You should always opt for the lowest concentration level – don’t be fooled into thinking the higher the level the better the results, no matter how resilient your skin may be. Try a 0.2 or 0.3% first and use a good few bottles before moving to a 0.5%, and again before moving to a 1%. With retinol, it’s the classic tale of slow and steady wins the race.

You should always apply a broad spectrum SPF the morning after using a retinol product, but we all wear our sun protection 365 days a year anyway, don’t we ladies and gents?

To start your retinol journey, call our advisors on 0113 282 3181 and let us find the best product for you.

Written for you by: Ellie, Face the Future