August 12, 2019 3 min read

What Is Retinol? Benefits, and possible Side Effects.

Retinol is lauded as the gold standard of antiageing skin care. For years, this miracle ingredient has been included in topical formulas to reduce and delay the visible signs of ageing; 


What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, an antioxidant that is essential for healthy eyes and skin. Because the body cannot produce this vitamin on its own, it needs to be supplied by diet and/or topical skincare. It is often added to anti-ageing products for its ability to promote skin cell turnover, build collagen, fight free radicals and erase fine lines and wrinkles.


How Does Retinol Work?

In order for the skin to benefit from retinol, enzymes in the body must convert it into retinoic acid (also known as tretinoin), the active form of Vitamin A. Retinoic acid works on a cellular level to optimize the following functions that improve skin’s health and vitality.


Speeds Up Skin Cell Turnover

Efficient skin cell turnover is necessary for skin growth and repair. When you are a child, your skin cells naturally turn over every two weeks; however, as early as your twenties, the turnover process starts to slow to every 28-35 days. By fifty, it takes as long as 45-90 days for dead skin to fully shed from your skin’s surface. As a result, skin becomes drier, thinner and more pigmented as you mature. Retinol prompts surface cells to turn over more quickly, enabling your skin to grow healthy cells and shed dead layers more efficiently.


Stimulates Collagen & Elastin Production

Over time, your skin’s stores of collagen and elastin begin to deplete. These proteins, which provide necessary support and elasticity, keep skin dense, plump and wrinkle-free. As their production declines, the skin begins to loosen, and sag and fine lines and wrinkles set in. Retinoic acid not only stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin, but it also prevents their breakdown, keeping your skin strong, firm and elastic.


Neutralises Free Radicals

Ninety percent of skin ageing is caused by environmental factors like pollution, blue light and UV rays. These expose skin to free radicals - highly reactive molecules that cause oxidative stress and damage healthy skin cells. Unchecked, this can degrade the skin’s structural integrity and lead to premature ageing. A Vitamin A derivative, retinol's antioxidant properties neutralise free radicals and reduce their reactivity, thereby improving your skin’s health and resilience.


Retinol Benefits & Side Effects

Through these actions, retinol provides the following benefits:

  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Clears congestion
  • Shrinks large pores
  • Smooths uneven skin texture
  • Minimises fine lines & wrinkles
  • Keeps skin firm and plump
  • Fades dark spots


However, regular use of synthetic retinol can cause the following side effects:

  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Irritation
  • UV sensitivity


If you suffer with rosacea, eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions, seek advice before trying retinol.

Apply Retinol in the evening after cleansing and toning, apply a pea-sized amount to the tips of the fingers. Using too much retinol can irritate the skin. Dab the product onto your face, avoiding the eye area and massage firmly until it has absorbed into skin. For optimal results, allow for absorption before applying other skincare products. Limit initial use to once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency to nightly as tolerated.

Due to the high concentration of pure retinol in SkinCeuticals products, use a retinol cream only at night to limit photosensitivity and irritation. Always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen during the day when using this product.

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 Natural Retinol Alternative


Natural Retinol Alternative to retinol in the form of Eminence Bamboo firming fluid which is a complex that mimics the effect of chemical retinol by appearing to lift and tighten the skin. It improves skin firmness and elasticity and minimises the visible signs of ageing caused by free radical damage. Unlike synthetic Vitamin A, this alternative is derived from chicory root and Tara tree extract, two natural compounds that provide the same results as conventional retinol - without the downtime.

Adding Natural Retinol to Your Skin Care Routine

Add natural retinol to your skincare routine with Eminence Organics  Bamboo Firming Fluid. This silky concentrate is formulated with Natural Retinol  ingredients Alternative to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and tighten skin. Bamboo and coconut tone and condition for a complexion that appears firm, smooth and youthful.


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