skin inflammation

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, retinol really is the Holy Grail of younger looking skin.
Time and time again, tests have proven vitamin A products, aka retinol, retinoid, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, to be the best anti-ageing ingredients available on the market.  So if you’re over the age of 25, you need to get on that bandwagon, STAT! I’m an enthusiastic but somewhat careful user of retinol, as skin inflammation is always a risk.

Whilst I’ve experienced some tingling and a little dryness using retinoids, I’ve generally been very lucky in that I’ve never had significant redness or irritation. However, I recently started using the Alpha H Beauty Sleep Power Peel with 0.5% Retinol which literally made my skin go haywire.

Alpha H Beauty Sleep Power Peel

This lightweight retinol night cream is blended with 14% glycolic acid, a relatively high concentration, to eliminate dead cells and smooth the surface of the skin. This is probably why my skin had such an adverse reaction and went into purging overdrive. It’s often recommended that sensitive skin types stay away from using retinoid and AHA combos to avoid inflammation.

Needless, to say in the first few days of using it, my skin was red, sore, dry, and flaky

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules

Super Skin Soother

To help soothe the irritation, I used Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules both morning and evening. They contain a ceramide lipid complex, as well as omega-rich botanical oils which enhance the skin’s barrier repair function, increasing hydration in the deeper layers of the dermis and softening the surface of the skin. Whilst they helped my sore face massively, I wouldn’t recommend them for oilier skin types as the texture is quite rich. Choose any soothing, vitamin E-rich face oil or a cream that contains barrier strengthening niacinamide after your retinol to similar effect.

I’m now a month in to using the Alpha H cream, and I’m happy to report that my skin has adjusted nicely. My complexion is smoother, more even, and my pigmentation isn’t as noticeable. So in conclusion, the secret to retinol success is patience.

If you’re a retinol newbie, brace yourself. Some initial irritation, mild flakiness and dryness may occur but are usually short-lived. So, it’s worth starting your new skincare journey at a time when your diary is free of special events.  Be persistent and push through as glowing, flawless skin is on the other side of the four week hurdle.

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