(originally posted 21/10/2016)
There’s not a day going by without hearing about some new magical anti-aging wonder but there are ways of looking after your skin that prevail: cleanse properly, use SPF, cut down on sugar and booze, use acids (AHAs, BHAs) and the best of all: use retinol (Vitamin A products). Retinol is an antioxidant that restores the skin, it stimulates the production of new skin cells and helps to fade marks, scars, signs of photoaging. Retinol was originally used to help acne scarring but now it is basically the Holy Grail of anti-aging, a powerful beauty tool for the skincare savvy. Retinol products are powerful enough to reverse some of the signs of ageing of the skin, they brighten, tighten, even out the skin tone and reduce the look of fine lines. They come in all shapes and sizes: there are different strengths available and you can use it many different ways, in many different forms (creams, serums, boosters, treatments etc.).
I went for a trial size (5ml seems a small amount, but lasts well) Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment from Paula’s Choice. I haven’t changed anything else in my routine apart from being more particular about using SPF because you definitely would want to preserve the results and not cause further damage to your skin. I still kept my Alpha-H Liquid Gold (glycolic acid) in my routine – the effects of retinol may be boosted with AHAs and BHAs. I used the treatment twice a week after cleansing and toning followed by a serum, a cream or an oil, depending on the day.
Paula’s Choice has a wide range of retinol products with varying strengths, I suggest to have a good read on the website before you start. They are doing sample size too which is a clever idea, so you don’t have to commit to a full size before you even tried it.
Apart from a very small amount of skin peeling that I experienced after the first couple of uses, my skin loved it. The lightweight formula was very easy to handle, felt comfortable on my skin and I am already seeing results. This is a definite keeper. I admit, it is not the cheapest option out there, but Paula’s Choice products come with guaranteed high quality and it is a great investment.
When you start using retinol make sure everything you use on your skin is gentle and good quality (so please don’t cleanse with a wipe and then use a retinol product, there’s no point in doing that) and pay attention to give your skin nourishment too, not just retinol. Do your research before starting to use it, follow the instructions and stick to them. You can build up your tolerance to retinol slowly, but don’t overdo it, this might not be a product for every day unless your tolerance is high.
Paula’s Choice Retinol Treatment 1% is available for £53.00 (30ml) here.