Retinol is an anti-ageing powerhouse, used in natural anti-ageing skin care for its potent and active properties. This wonder ingredient can actually help with combatting so many of our skin concerns as we start to get older, from wrinkles to pigmentation, and even dry skin too! For this reason, Retinol, also known as Vitamin A, from which retinol, and other powerful ingredients, are derived, makes an appearance in lots of natural night creams, serums and balms to help refresh and revitalise our skin while we sleep.
What is Retinol?
Vitamin A is naturally found in our food - dark leafy greens and yellow/orange fruit and veggies are great sources of beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A by the body. Retinol, which is a preformed source Vitamin A, can be derived from animal ingredients in some mainstream Retinol skin care - Retinoic Acid often comes from milk or egg enzymes. In natural skin care, it can come from plant-derived sources instead, called "carotenoids". Carrot Seed Oil is actually a great natural source of Vitamin A! Enzymes in plant oils such as Avocado and Sunflower can also help to "activate" the benefits of Vitamin A in natural Retinol skin care.1
Benefits of Retinol
Retinol is a great ingredient in natural anti-ageing skin care as our skin and bodies cannot produce it completely by themselves. A powerful anti-ageing ingredient, Retinol can help to stimulate cell turnover, meaning dry and dead skin cells are shed and new, fresh cells are left in their wake. As we age, the rate our cells turnover naturally declines, and introducing retinol products into your skin care routine provides benefits at a molecular level by normalising rates of cell production. This stimulation can also help to boost the skin's elasticity and natural production of Collagen, making Retinol great for targeting fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, pigmentation and sun spots with natural brightening power as it plumps, smooths and firms the skin while also evening out tone and texture.1
How to use Retinol
Natural retinol products are perfect for both mature skin types and those seeking preventative skin care. It is very important to remember that Retinol skin care products should only ever be used at night - this is because it can act as an exfoliant as it stimulates skin cell turnover, potentially leaving fresh skin cells sensitive and vulnerable to UV rays. Retinol can also break down when exposed to sunlight, making it far less effective. It is actually recommended to apply sunscreen each day after using Retinol products.1
If you're just getting started with Retinol, try it out a couple of times a week or on alternating evenings to allow your skin to get used to it. Retinol works as a gentle exfoliant, however if your skin is particularly sensitive or easily irritated then it is best to start out slowly. Also, though Vitamin A is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient, remember that it can take 10-12 weeks to see results, although for some of us it might only be a few weeks! Finally, it's not recommended to use Retinol skin care in conjunction with facial peels or deep exfoliation treatments to avoid over exfoliating, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should always check with a health care professional before using Retinol skin care as it is generally not recommended.1
Best natural Retinol skin care
100% Pure Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum
A great way to work Retinol into your overnight skin routine, the 100% Pure Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum packs SO many natural anti-ageing goodies into the one formula. Designed for night time use only, this powerful Retinol based serum combines 1% Retinol and 1% CoQ10 with 10% Vitamin C in the form of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (the highest-quality, most stable form of Vitamin C), another great ingredient for helping to fade age spots and brighten the complexion. It also contains 10% Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) & 10% Vitamin E to help hydrate the skin and protect it from signs of ageing. You can also use this serum in conjunction with the bestselling PM Treatment Moisturiser!
ECO. Face Vitamin A Serum
Another great natural Retinol serum is the ECO. Face Vitamin A Serum, which has been formulated with "microencapsulated Retinol", a technology which allows the Retinol to be released on the skin just as it is applied and when it is most active, so it sinks right in! This Australian made serum also contains soothing Aloe Vera, Calendula and Olive Oil to moisturise skin, correct pigmentation and discourage breakouts. To use, start by applying the serum just 1-2 nights per week, then build up to nightly use.
100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm
If you prefer a richer overnight Retinol cream, try the 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm. Its Retinol and Vitamin C content means it works to help increase cellular turnover, boost collagen production and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, while creamy Avocado Butter, Shea Butter and Olive Oil deliver intensely nourishing hydration to the skin so that you wake up with fresh, soft and supple skin the next morning! To use, warm a small amount in your hands to melt the balm, and apply all over the face.
100% Pure Retinol PM Eye Cream
The eye area needs special treatment, especially when it comes to anti-ageing. This is because the under-eye area tends to be a bit drier than the rest of the face, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear more noticeable. My favourite Retinol eye treatment is the 100% Pure Retinol PM Eye Cream which combines Retinol derived from Carrot Seeds with smoothing Chamomile Butter, Hyaluronic Acid and Rosehip as well as brightening Acai and Pomegranate to help lock in moisture, correct dark spots and plump up fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet around the eyes.
100% Pure Retinol Restorative Neck Cream
Did you know your neck can actually be one of the first places to show the visible signs of ageing? For this reason I like to use a separate natural neck cream with Retinol for targeted anti-ageing benefits. The 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Neck Cream is my personal favourite as it has been specially formulated for the neck, with concentrated hydrolysed Quinoa, Olive Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid to help increase elasticity and firmness, while Retinol, Niacinamide and Green Coffee Oil target sun spots and brighten the skin. Before bed, apply a small amount to the neck, massaging into the skin in upward motions.
Source: 1 100% Pure.