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Why is retinol so popular in skincare?

Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative that plays a fundamental role in helping cells regenerate. It is one of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients but many patients worry about the side effects and report issues with tolerance. It is useful for treating:

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Sun damage
  • Pigmentation
  • Acne
  • Textural changes

Your skin type, concerns and barrier function will determine the best way to incorporate this product into your regime. We generally recommend starting at the bottom of the potency ladder, using a low strength, less frequently and gradually building use over a period of weeks and months. It is important to observe how your skin responds as this will dictate whether you step up to the next level or back down for a while to avoid any untoward effects.

Another helpful technique for patients is a retinol sandwich. This essentially allows you to benefit from all the goodness of the anti-ageing powerhouse but minimises the side effects of redness, tightness, flaking and irritation. This method is highly recommended if you are introducing retinol into your regime or if you have previously used and found it too harsh.

We recommend a variety of science-backed skincare products to patients – don’t use just any product: do your due diligence first and see what evidence there is for the efficacy of products in your skincare regime.

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