Friday, 23 October 2015

ABC of Skincare & Retinol for Acne, Wrinkles & Pigmentation

If you're serious about skincare, you are familiar with retinol. It's a form of Vitamin A that is used in both prescription and over-the-counter skincare products to alleviate acne and also to refine and plump ageing skin. It is found in high concentration in Accutane, which I did two rounds of as a teenager with terrible acne. It is a powerful ingredient and skin is highly sensitive to sunlight, tends to dry out easier and the lips need constant balm application.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. It completely cleared my skin.

For the past few years I have used a prescription Retinol (try Retin-A) but, through my strict research (Elle, Harper's, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, etc) I kept coming across a few dermatologist-recommended skincare brands using high-grade, proven ingredients.
So I had to have what the Italian, French and UK fashionistas are having, of course.
SkinCeuticals does two speeds of Retinol. Because I have been using a prescription retinol for so long, my skin is primed for the more powerful 1.0% formula. If you are new to retinol use, start with the less intense option (0.5% formula). Retinol has been proven to reduce acne, diminish wrinkles, fine lines and pigmentation. It is magic for clearing up blackheads and promotes collagen production for a more dewy, plumped appearance to the skin. Applied overnight, I use it three times a week. In this weather, I avoid direct sunlight and always apply SPF. Also, it is essential to avoid retinol if you are pregnant. This is true of any Vitamin A formula.

My current issue is uneven skintone. I'm naturally pale and for me, it's highly noticeable around my chin and jaw. So in combination with retinol, I'm using the Metacell Renewal B3. It sounds super scientific and promises to "re-clarify skin, reduce wrinkles, re-tighten surface elasticity, and even skin tone". I apply it 15 minutes before makeup in the morning and it leaves my skin smooth and primed for concealer. I have also used Medik8 Hydr8 B5 serum and it is awesome. You only need a few drops at a time. Worth every penny!

Since we've done Vitamin A and B, it's only fair to bring in the final factor. Vitamin C, when delivered in a highly stable and concentrated solution, is a powerful antioxidant. It protects against environmental damage (pollution, excess heating and cooling, dirt and grime) as well as repairing damage from sun exposure and pigmentation. I am a convert to Medik8 CE-Tetra. Medical grade Vitamin C and you only need a few drops at a time so it will last you for ages. Think of cost per use!

I highly recommend that your first port of call, before you consider clinical lasers or other interventions, is to invest in retinol and skincare that is suited to your skin (both the tone and texture). This might be pharmaceutical grade, like SkinCeuticals and Medik8, or it may be all-natural and organic. Do your research and only be satisfied with results that work for your skin. Some of the cheaper, supermarket ready skincare makes big promises but the concentration of vitamin A, B and C is just too low to have any effect. Be warned.
Full range of Medik8 and Skinceuticals available at FacialCo.

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