Retinol 101 + Product Recommendations

I started using retinol in my skincare regime early last year, starting off by gradually incorporating a 0.1% strength serum and moving up over time to a full strength 1% retinol serum. When it is time to bring out the anti-ageing big guns, retinol is the perfect weapon of choice . Retinol is a dermatologist’s BFF because it basically tells your skin cells to act like healthy, younger cells. That’s probably the most unscientific and most basic way to put it, but it’s something we all understand. It can prevent wrinkles, increase collagen production, reduce pigmentation, fight free radical damage, reduce pore size in the case of enlarged pores that aren’t genetic, prevent blemishes and treat acne scars, the list goes on.


The How To’s…

Not everyone’s skin can tolerate retinol and it can lead to redness, dryness or flakiness. It is really important to start slowly according to what your skin can handle. Start with a low amount once or twice a week, then alternative days, or mix your retinol product with a regular moisturiser or serum. If your skin becomes red or irritated, then you need to cut back. Retinol doesn’t really get on with sun exposure, so it is best to use it at night. Since I started using retinol in my routine I have definitely had a reduction in fine lines and an improvement in the texture and tone of my skin.

Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Serum

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Serum

Which one to pick?

I started with Paula’s Choice Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum (R650) at 0.1%, but you can start with even lower levels than that. This has a texture similar to a light facial oil and is very hydrating – good for dry skin. When you’re ready to move up, Dermaceutic has has Activ Retinol 0.5 (R700) which I know Chantelle from Not Another Poppie is using if you want to ask her for specific feedback.  Although I haven’t tried it myself, Dermalogica MultiVitamin Power Serum  (R990) is also a really great retinol-based product which I’ve only heard good things about. I moved on to Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Serum (R845) because my skin was getting along famously with the old retinol. This has a nice airless pump dispenser and a light lotion texture. I also found it quite moisturising and emollient.  I received this as a birthday gift, but with the shipping cost factored in repurchasing would have stretched the budget slightly.

Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0

Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0

So I decided to investigate the Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0 (R770) next, and was very happy to receive a sample from Conquest to try. I have been so happy with it and thought it would be useful to include a review and comparison. Here is the breakdown of what it contains:

  • Anti-wrinkle active: Retinol
  • Anti-oxidant actives: Vitamins C and E
  • Energizers containing essential minerals (Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium)
  • Skin restoring ceramides and cholesterol
  • Hydrating actives: Panthenol and Allantoin

I found the texture of this serum quite different from my previous serum, in that it is much more fast-absorbing and leaves a more velvety matte finish. The serum is orange-tinted which actually helps you to see where you have applied it and makes avoiding the eye and lip area a bit easier. Obviously the colour disappears when the product has been applied. Even though it’s a pretty strong retinol serum my skin hasn’t had any negative reaction and has tolerated it very well. It has tended to slightly dry my skin, which I’ve compensated for by using a richer night cream. I don’t find it as moisturising as my previous serum, but the texture is one I think combination and oilier skin types would prefer. As I’ve been struggling with oilier skin than usual for the last few months I personally prefer this serum. If you have dry skin then you might prefer the Paula’s Choice serum in texture. Since changing to Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 1.0 I feel that my breakouts are more under control and my skin is more balanced and less oily. I’m really enjoying the good results and wouldn’t go without retinol in the future.

You can contact Conquest to find your nearest Dermaceutic stockist.

You can get more information on retinol here.


3 thoughts on “Retinol 101 + Product Recommendations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s