If retinoids aren’t part of your skincare routine yet, they should be- especially now that there are some really great over-the-counter options, offering excellent results with less irritation.If you’re in your late twenties plus, you should definitely be thinking about upping the ante with your skincare regimen. Retinols, retinoids and other vitamin A derivatives are some of the most powerful and highly effective anti-ageing ingredients available on the market today, but choosing the right one can be very confusing.

Prescription-grade products usually contain retinoic acid whilst store-bought options use retinol as the active ingredient. So what’s the difference? Basically retinol is gentler than retinoic acid, but biochemically it does exactly the same thing; it just take longer to see and feel results. So whilst you can happily buy your product from the drug store (ROC Retinol Correxion and No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced are both excellent) you need to be patient and consistent- that means using it regularly for at least two months.

Retinoids work on a cellular level, causing enhanced collagen production, smoothing the skin’s surface, and evening out hyperpigmentation. Whilst it may seem like it’s “exfoliating” the skin, the peeling and redness that can occur is actually just a side effect of the irritation, and it’s actually the main reason why most people give up on them. But if you plough through this stage, your skin should start to settle down after about two to three weeks.

Surprisingly, it’s in fact a myth that retinols increase sensitivity to the sun. They’ve even been proven to prevent the rise of collagenase—the enzyme that breaks down collagen—after UV exposure. So long as you use your SPF 30 to 50 (as usual, I hope), you should be absolutely fine.

Glow by Dr Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Cream

Glow by Dr. Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum

I started using Glow by Dr Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Cream, just over two months ago and I’ve already started noticing the results. My skin is smoother and the little acne scars on my cheeks have faded. But what’s surprised me the most is that this is the first product that has had a visible effect on my humungous pores. They look tighter and the larger ones on my cheeks have virtually disappeared. What’s more is that I barely felt any irritation at all, even in the first couple of weeks of use.

If you want to start using a retinol product, here’s what you need to know:

  • You need to introduce your retinol slowly in to your routine to minimise irritation. Start by applying your product every third night, gradually building up to a nightly application. In all cases it’s best to follow the instructions on your product.
  • Retinols are applied after cleansing and toning
  • You can apply other products after your retinol
  • If you have sensitive skin, apply it dry skin as it slows the absorption rate, thereby reducing the risk of inflammation
  •  Apply only a small amount, or in the case of an oil, a few drops. Applying a lot won’t make it work faster so save your money and your time.

Glow by Dr Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Cream is 310 AED, I bought mine from www.thebeautyfloor.com

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