Retinol Creams – believe the hype?

Anti-ageing Retinol

Retinol (and other similar forms such as Retinal and Retinyl palmitate) are one of the very few ingredients in anti-ageing creams that has been proven, by multiple studies, to have a positive and visible effect on skin ageing. Therefore it is no surprise that they have received mass media coverage and  retinol creams are the new darlings of the skin care world.

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, it is often confused with Retin A, to which it is related as Retinol can be converted by an enzyme into Retin A (tretinoin or Rhetinoic acid) .

Boots Protect and Perfect Beauty serum contains RetinolThe most heavily publicized product using a Retinyl palmitate as one of it’s active ingredients was of course the Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Serum. This serum hit the headlines after featuring in a Panorama documentary where it was proven to be effective in minimising wrinkles, refining pores and evening colour pigmentation.

Sales of course went through the roof but this is not the only product which contains a Retinol ingredient. Some companies are happy to tell you how much of this active ingredient they use but others are more hesitant.

Products containing Retinol (that are happy to share the amount of retinol added):

Tesco Skin Wisdom Restructuring Night cream £9.91 containing 2% Retinol

Emergin C Multiviamin Retinol Serum £60.40 www.skinstore.co.uk containing a generous 4% retinol

Avene Retrinal (prices starting at £20) Retinaldehyde

Low strength 0.025

Medium 0.05

High 0.1

Matis Caviar Retinol £158 10% Retinol

The following products have had positive customer reviews but finding out what percentage of active ingredients they contain is proving difficult:

L’Oreal Revitalift Doublelifting Eye £14.99

Trilogy Booster Capsules £23.95

Skin Doctors Retanew Control Released Retinol £39.95

ROC Retin OX Intense Anti wrinkle Moisturiser £24.95

So Retinyl palmitate retinol and Retinaldehyde, have been proven to work. So the question changed, What were the possibilities? Would increasing the amount of Retinyl palmitate in a product increase the benefits? Are there stronger, more pure forms of the ingredient that would provide really excellent results? So people began to search for more advanced products such as Retin A that would provide more noticeable and eye catching results. It is clear that retinols have become a big focus on websites such as http://www.skincaretalk.com.

Make sure you are protected from the sun

It is important to remember to use a high level sunscreen in addition to the sunscreen in your foundation or make-up as using a retinol based product can make your skin more open to sun damage. Lots of daytime moisturisers contain an spf of 15 or so, so it’s worth double checking that yours does.

In conclusion

So using a Retinol based product does have a visibly beneficial effect on the skin with minimal possible side effects especially when compared to Retin A with is know to cause quite extreme side effects in a large number of people. Some people with sensitive skin have reported that Retinol products have made their skin irritated but most people have used these products and only reaped their benefits.

Have you seen the benefits of using a Retinol based cream?