While a few basic skincare ingredients have become household names, one is constantly part of the conversation: retinol. We have all heard of it, but we’re not all exactly sure what it is—or how it works.
An informative article by Byrdie’s Hallie Gould peels the layers off retinol. In short, retinol is an amazing ingredient for your skin! To find out more, read on.
In an effort to get educated , Hallie contacted both a top dermatologist and a celebrity aesthetician for the full rundown. Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group and celebrity facialist Renée Rouleau eagerly and thoroughly answered all of her burning questions, as well as the ones she crowd-sourced from co-workers and friends.
What is Retinol?
“Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that has been used for anti-aging and found in many skincare products,” Nazarian explains.
Rouleau adds, “It can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production. Retinol can be absorbed within the skin and, when combined with certain enzymes, it’s converted into tretinoin (the acid form of vitamin A, also known as retinoic acid). Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores. Its magic is in its ability to resurface the skin’s texture for a smoother, more even-toned look."
What’s the difference between retinol, Retin-A, and retinoid?
“Both Retin-A and retinol are considered types of retinoids (which is a class of medication),” says Nazarian. “Both can help with promoting faster skin cell turnover, and both are proven options for helping reverse signs of skin aging. But retinol over-the-counter—it requires conversion in the skin to the active form, while a Retin-A is a prescription product that is more potent and slightly more effective at diminishing wrinkles and fighting acne. You will need to speak to a dermatologist about getting a prescription.”
“Retin-A restores the organization of cells through cellular turnover in the epidermis, so they are less likely to fall into the pores and block them—resulting in fewer clogged pores and small breakouts,” says Rouleau. “It also improves the look of wrinkles by retexturing and smoothing the skin’s surface and reducing pore size.”
What are the pros?
“The pros of either are that you will see improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, and enhanced collagen production in the skin, with improvement in skin tone. Retin-A is just a stronger prescription version that works faster and more effectively not only for anti-aging but also for acne,” explains Nazarian.
Retin-A can be helpful for those with certain types of acne prone skin. “A prescription retinoid is very beneficial for anti-aging and works on some types of acne,” Rouleau explains, “specifically whiteheads, blackheads, closed comedones, and general clogged pores."
What are the cons?
“The cons of either,” says Nazarian, “are that over-usage can cause drying and irritation of skin. Some people with super-sensitive skin conditions like rosacea may not be able to tolerate either. Both topicals also make you more sensitive to sunlight, leading to quicker and easier sunburns. Both are also contraindicated in pregnancy,” says Nazarian.
She continues, “Retinoids can only be damaging to skin if you have a super-sensitive underlying skin condition like eczema or rosacea and can flare and enhance inflammation. Still, patients with sensitive conditions like rosacea may still be able to use a retinoid, but they need to gradually introduce it into their skincare regimen, perhaps only one time weekly, and prep their skin with a topical moisturizer before applying the retinoid.
“Lastly, I don’t recommend Retin-A or retinol it for anyone who doesn’t take sun safety seriously. Daily use of sunscreen is crucial to seeing successful results with a retinoid,” says Rouleau.
At what age should you start using retinol?
Nazarian recommends, “There are no true guidelines on how early you can start a retinoid, but if you’re old enough to be thinking about wrinkles, you should be doing something to prevent them! I find that most women benefit from starting a retinoid treatment in their late teens or early 20s.”
Similarly, Rouleau recommends retinol for those in their late 20s who have minimal to no breakout activity—as this is when cellular turnover starts to slow down. She continues, “Simply put, the best candidate is for those whose breakout years are behind them. If someone has sensitive, easily irritated skin, retinol is a good ingredient to prevent the look of aging whereas a prescription retinoid could be too irritating. With continued use, retinol works to fade hyper-pigmentation (brown spots and patches) and give the look of smoother skin in a gentler, non-drying way than a prescription form.”
What time of day should you apply?
“Most retinoids are not photo stable or sunlight stable, meaning they should be kept in an opaque well-sealed container and used only at night. Generally speaking, I suggest all of my patients begin using a pea-size amount once weekly over their moisturizer. They would gradually increase how often, but not how much, they are using based on how their skin response. If any redness or irritation is noted the next day, you should skip that night’s application.”
Rouleau adds, “Apply your retinol serum to the entire face and neck. Wait three minutes and apply a small amount of moisturizer, if needed. Use the retinol serum for two nights on, one night off, alternating with an exfoliating acid serum and a nourishing treatment serum.”
Are there any all-natural ingredients that mimic the effects of retinol?
“There are many other topical antioxidants, peptides, and extracts that can have similar anti-aging benefits to retinoids. The benefit of retinoids are that they can be found over the counter and can be very affordable. Remember you’re going to be using this for many, many years! It has a well-established research record and is undoubtedly one of the best tools we have in our anti-aging battle.”
What about Wellaholic’s Retinol Range?
W+ Flawless Face Serum -- A skin rejuvenating serum with Retinyl Palmitate that helps to increase collagen production and hydration to gently reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, excess sebum and enlarged pores and signs of sun damage. Made in Singapore and registered with HSA. $79
W+ Rejuvenating Night Cream -- skin rejuvenating cream that assists in cellular regeneration and the prevention of collagen loss from UV photo-damage and ageing. With the goodness of Retinyl Palmitate, Hyaluronic Acid and Allantoin. $79
Here’s wishing you good skin!
When I was approached by Sudio to test their top-of-the-range Vasa Bla wireless earphones, I said, "why not?". Ever since I subscribed to Spotify Premium, I have been listening to music while doing my work in the office, working out at the gym, and also while driving. Hence a good pair of earphones always helps, especially if I am able to switch between them - I could charge one while using the other, hence use them alternately.
Over the last year I have also acquired several earphones, namely:
I decided to give myself a week or so to test the Vasa Bla, and here are my findings.
My first impressions of Sudio Vasa Bla was a very good one. The package arrived in a nice gift box, which made it ideal as a lovely birthday present. I chose the rose gold black version, and I was delighted to find that the rose gold trim on the earphones was actually metal (and not plastic that was made to look like metal, i.e. faux metal). Nice touch!
Also included was a leather case which was pretty useful to keeping the earphones, as well as a clip which is again godsend which means I can use this at the gym. I like the battery power of B&O's H5, but it kept dropping from my ears when I workout so that was a big problem for me.
The sound range for Vasa Bla was generally decent, and was ideal for casual listening. I did a comparison test with my other earphones, and while it did not offer any sound isolation or noise cancelling, it provided good mid-range. I would have hoped for more bass. Of course, it was not able to compete with Shure's SE215 which really blew the competition away by how well it could define the music/sound, but unless you want to select a wired option, then perhaps Vasa Bla could be more portable. I certainly couldn't use SE215 for my gym workouts since I move around at the gym a lot and prefer not to have my phone on my body.
Comfort and Convenience
I found the Vasa Bla earphones very comfortable. Perhaps it's my personal experience with it, but I like the cool touch/feel of the metal around the earphone which gives it a very premium feel. At no time did the earphone drop off my ear during my workouts (fortunately!) and this gives the Vasa Bla an edge over the H5, which over time got too tiresome to use... imagine doing bench presses halfway only to realise one side of your earphones has dropped out of the ear... it can be rather irritating!
I had some issues with pairing the Vasa Bla as well..... make sure you read the instructions (provided in the booklet) on how to pair it via Bluetooth! The battery life for these earphones is about 8 hours of playback, but for me it lasted around 4 hours to 5 hours, which was more than good enough for my usual daily usage.
In short, if you are looking for a premium wireless earphones with a really premium feel, or if you are looking to buy a nice gift for a friend who enjoys good music on the go, Vasa Bla could be a really good option.
If you are keen to find out more, please visit Sudio Sweden via this link: http://www.sudiosweden.com/sg/earphones-collection
Lastly, I will be doing a Vasa Bla giveaway on my Instagram, so if you keen to get a free one, please check it out!
A random collage of photos from the Kansai trip in May. The photos speak for the great trip, with great weather, great scenery, and the great company of course!
My name is Willie, and I like to muse about things. Things related to me are Wellaholic.