Retinol: the anti-aging superhero

Retinol is an anti-aging superhero, a powerful weapons in the ongoing battle to keep skin looking younger and fresher. 

Retinol is a vitamin, vitamin A1. It’s found naturally in foods including liver and other animal products and is often used, in the form of carotenoids extracted from vegetable sources, to fortify foods such as margarine, bread and cereals. Retinol has superb anti-oxidant properties and is known to have a role in maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. It comes in various forms including Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Beta-Hydroxy Acids. 

Retinol has found its way into high street beauty brands like Olay and Boots No.7, which contain low levels of the active ingredient. Higher concentrations are used in skin clinics and specialist product lines. These can generally only be purchased after a consultation because retinol can cause skin sensitivity. It’s best to start with a product that has a low dose of retinol so your skin becomes accustomed to it, then work up to a more powerful version which will improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage and dark spots. Results become apparent after about a month’s worth of use. 

Locally, there are several specialists who offer higher dose retinol skincare lines and treatments after consultation. Fit & Skin offer a retinol-based Vitamin A boost facial and carry the Alumier MD product line. NY Skin Clinic have Dr. Zein Obagi’s ZO skincare line which includes an excellent dual action scrub and a retinol skin brightener which contains 0.5% retinol. Alpha Clinic also carries the ZO line as well as the more powerful Obagi Medical line. They also offer their own range of skincare products Alpha Clinical, this includes a great soothing daily moisturiser and a broad spectrum SPF50 sunscreen that work well to provide protection when using retinol based treatments. 

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