There are 2 types of what is commonly called Retinol. True Retinol is actually called Retinoic Acid or Tretinoin (marketing as Retin A) and is an extremely potent acne and anti wrinkle treatment. It is prescription only as it's so strong that it can cause extreme peeling and redness if applied without following carefully prescribed plans.
The retinol that we can buy over the counter is a derivative which converts to retinoid acid when in contact with enzymes in your skin. These derivatives can also cause severe irritation and don't suit everyone, you usually have to build up your use of them so that you don't look like you have just gotten badly sunburnt. These commercial versions come in many forms such as; Retinol Palmitate, Retinol Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Linoleate and Hydroxypinacolone Retinol.
Reasons to Love Retinol
- Increased collagen production - which makes skin more plump and tight
- Decreased Pore Size - makes skin look more flawless and stops as many nasties creeping into your pores and clogging them
- Reduced Wrinkles - not just the appearance of wrinkles, the actual wrinkles themselves.
- Prevents Future damage by upping the levels of protective substances in your skin
- Improved Skin Tone - evened out dark patches
- Decreased Oil Production - Yeah! for me, but if you have dry skin you will need a good moisturiser.
Words of Caution
You must wear a sunscreen when using retinol otherwise it negates all the good effects. I always apply it at night so it doesn't get any access to UV. You must also keep it in it's original packaging as the ingredients degrade if exposed to light or air, so no small pots for travel. Retinol is also not suitable for those with Rosacea or Eczema.
How Does it Work?
As we age or get sun damage, or skin cells stop functioning correctly which creates wrinkles or acne. Retinol works by "telling" your cells to behave in the correct way. Retinols aren't chemical exfoliators even though they may cause peeling, they change the entire way the skin functions. It usually takes about 12 weeks to see any noticeable differences in your skin.
Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Review
My usual potion of choice is ROC Retinol Correxion, but I dislike the price, it usually comes in about the £25 mark. However the Indeed Labs version is currently on offer at Boots and costs just £13.33. This is actually annoying for me as I bought mine a few weeks ago and it cost £20.
My first impression is that I really like the packing, it is a pump on a tube so it's nice and compact. It is really important that any retinol cream is shielded and air cannot get too it or it looses it's potency, so no clear bottles or jars. The pump dispenses what I consider to be the right amount in each press.
The Retinol Reface claims to have 3 sorts of Retinol, yet only lists 2 and then another "retinol like" ingredient. Looking through the ingredients I can find these two - Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate and good old Retinol. These derivative versions convert to Retinoic Acid on the skin and then they can start work.
The texture is creamy, as it is silicone based (which I know will not suit everyone.) It is fragrance free, so no unnecessary ingredients added and does not feel too thick on. The cream sinks in quickly and leaves a matte finish, though I wear this at night so this is not essential
So far I am presently surprised as to the results, I will have to wait about 20 years to really know if it's working, but it keeps my fine lines at bay for now and hasn't caused any breakouts.
I have tried all the following creams and my favourites are the first two.
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle - great but only available in US, can be bought on eBay though
- ROC Retinol Correxion Night Cream - great but expensive
- ROC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream - too mild
- Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Serum - too mild
Does anyone else use retinol creams, and have an suggestions for well priced ones?