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What's the deal with Retinol?

Last year I gave my mum the ZO Radical Night Repair. I gave her full instructions, basically...... "slow and steady wins the race"

What she heard was "fast and furious gets the best results"

She used it the first night and when she woke up the next morning she didn't really notice a difference, so that night she slathered it on again. Next morning she thought her skin felt and looked great..... so that night she slathered it on AGAIN.

That next morning she felt quite tight and pink.

The next again morning she was tight, red and shiny.

The next again morning she was starting to flake, was SO tight that she could barely make facial expressions and by day 4 and 5 her face looked like a Danish Pastry.... and that was the end of her retinol journey. Even though I told her she used it incorrectly!

What IS Retinol?

Its a form of Vitamin A. It’s the strongest version of it........ which is available over the counter. Any stronger and a Dr needs to write you a prescription (you may have heard of Tretinion?)

Retinol has many benefits, but its known as the gold standard when it comes to anti aging.  It increases collagen production and improves skin elasticity, it exfoliates, unclogs pores and communicates with the cells and tells them to behave and act “normally”.  As boring as that sounds, in an ideal world you want your skin to act “normal”

The problem is, when you use a high quality potent retinol it takes time for your skin to tolerate it, you cant just slather it on constantly, as eventually you will wake up and your face will be on your pillow 😱

How do you use Retinol?

In general its best to use Retinol at night as UV light degrades it.  Your skin will be more sun sensitive during the day with it on and also night time is when your skin repairs and generates so it makes sense to use your active ingredients during this time

As retinol will make your skin more sun sensitive you must make sure your SPF is ALWAYS on, even on the darkest and coldest winters day.

Even if Retinol DIDN’T make your skin sun sensitive….. why would you go to all that effort in trying to turn back the clock, but not actively preventing future damage?  Its like running on a treadmill and drinking a can of Cola to keep you hydrated while you workout.

For the ZO retinols, its best to use them OVER your Daily Power Defence.  You CAN actually use the ZO Retinols during the day if you like as the retinol in them is stabalised ....... However I still recommend using them at night.

For the first week, apply your retinol just once.  See how your skin reacts in a few days. If its ok then apply it twice the following week. If this is ok, then start applying it on alternating nights. You may find that you get to a point that you can apply it every single night. Everyone is different.  It can take up to 2 months for skin to tolerate Retinol.

It’s a good idea to be exfoliating regularly whilst using retinol as your skin will be regenerating quicker than normal and you need to be sloughing away all this dead flaky skin.

If you are concerned with aging, uneven skin tone, breakouts/acne and dull skin then get Retinol into your skincare routine, it’s a must!

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