All About Retinol

You might have heard about the magic ingredient - retinol, and have wondered what it can do for your skin; or have already been using it in your skin care regime for some time, but isn't sure what it really is and why it is great for your skin. So we've put together a simple to understand Q&A for you to learn more about the wonders of retinol. 

What is retinol and what does it do for your skin?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A, it is a vitamin that is commonly found in food. It is the only scientifically proven ingredient that reduces the signs of aging.  It is a powerful ingredient that improves skin texture, pigmentation, and tone with even the smallest amount in your serum or cream. It also has the effects of clearing up acne, as it encourages the skin the purge our impurities.

What’s the difference between different retinoids?

There are a lot of different retinoid products on the market, so how do you choose the right one for you? To put it simply, there are retinol and retinoic acids. When applied to the skin, the skin cells convers retinol to retinoic acid, which then act at the skin cell level. Prescription formulas usually contain retinoic acid. It is strong and effective, but is synthetically made and can cause more irritation. Retinol is gentler than retinoic acid; they may take a little longer to see results, but biologically does exactly the same thing.

How does retinol work?

Retinol works at the skin cellular level by changing the skin’s aging gene expression. It makes skin cells act like it used to when it was younger, to produce more collagen, collect less pigmentation, and conserve moisture. The exfoliation effect is the result of this change. Younger skin cells turn over faster, which means it shed dead cells and regenerate new cells faster, so we don’t get a build up of dead skin cells on the surface of our skin collecting dirt, growing bacteria, and making these fine lines look deeper.

What is the retinol used in Arture Youth Preserve?

Arture Youth Preserve uses the gentler form of a natural retinol, but at a high concentration of 2.5%, compared to most cosmeceutical retinols that only use 0.1 and 0.5%. We are able to use such high concentration of retinol, because this natural retinol does not cause as much irritation as synthetic ones.

Who is retinol suitable for?

Retinol is suitable for all skin types, but different skin types will suit different strength of retinol. For more sensitive skin, it is best to start with natural forms of retinol. Most dermatologists will advise introducing retinol to skincare regime in your 20’s to slow down the skin's ageing process.

What to be cautious of when using retinol?

One of the side effects of using retinol is that it makes your skin more prone to sunburn, so make sure you use high, broad-spectrum sunscreen when using retinol products.

Retinol is also a product that needs time to see results, especially if it is in the form of the more gentle retinols. For people who have never used retinol products before, it’s always good to start with a non-prescription strength retinol and build up on the skin tolerance before moving to higher strength and concentration products. It is best to start using retinols once a week and slowly build it up to everyday use over a month’s time. Starting on retinol for the first time can cause irritation, such as redness, peeling, and dryness. But the best thing to do is to push through it, as it is all part of the process. After just two to three weeks of skin cell adaptation, you will begin to tolerate it and start to see obvious results.

If you are also using Benzoyl peroxide, AHA’s and BHA’s, avoid using retinol at the same time. This is because these acids can reduce the effectiveness of retinol, and are already irritating to the skin, using both can cause more irritation.

One thing to note is that excess amount of vitamin A during pregnancy has been associated with increase in birth defects. Even though the skin will absorb a tiny amount, it is best to avoid retinol products while pregnant. 


If you're intrigued about this retinol topic, here are some more great articles to read about this magical ingredient:

Vogue: A Beginner’s Guide to Retinol – Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Women’s Health Magazine: We Asked 9 Derms What They Use To Fight Wrinkles – And They All Said The Same Thing The One Thing Dermatologists Agree On (Other Than Sunscreen)