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Les mythes sur le rétinol.

5 misconceptions about retinol.

Retinol, a stable derivative of vitamin A, is regarded as one of the most effective compounds in combating signs of aging and skin sagging. Despite its popularity, it is often the subject of various misconceptions. We will address five common misconceptions about it with you.

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Misconception #1: If a retinol treatment burns upon application, it means it's effective!

Yes and no.

Retinol is an active ingredient that potentially has asensitizing effect, which can cause skin dryness, tingling, tightness, discomfort, peeling, redness.... That's why it isnot recommended for sensitive and reactive skin. Before using a retinol-based skincare product, perform a skin tolerance test. Apply a few drops of the product in question to the inside of your arm or on your wrist and wait a few seconds. If a significant skin reaction appears or if the burning sensation is too intense, do not apply the product to your face.

However, it is important to clarify that retinol requires a period of skin adaptation ; if slight, tolerable redness appears, it does not necessarily require discontinuation of its use but merely spacing out the applications to every other night, or even every third night. Moreover, it is also possible to start with a low dose and then gradually increase the amount of retinol. As a reminder, the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) recommends a maximum percentage of 0.3% in a non-rinse cosmetic formula and 0.05% in a body lotion.

Reminder : Retinol is a photosensitizing substance, so it is preferable to use it at night. Also remember to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day and avoid any sun exposure.

Misconception #2: Retinol is only for the skin!

No.

Many cosmetic actives initially intended for skin can provide benefits when applied to hair, such as niacinamide or vitamin C. The same goes for retinol, which operates on two levels:

  • It purifies the scalp. Just like the skin on the face, the scalp requires proper hydration. It is important to remove impurities that clog the pores to prevent the hair follicle from being suffocated by the sebaceous gland, inhibiting the growth of healthy hair. Thanks to its keratolytic action, retinol eliminates dead cells present on the scalp and promotes cellular renewal.

  • It promotes hair growth. Studies have indeed demonstrated the ability of retinol to stimulate hair growth. This action is furthermore amplified when retinol is combined with another active ingredient, minoxidil. Offering promising results, this duo could even present itself as a potential treatment against alopecia.

Misconception #3: Retinol is only for mature skin.

No.

Although it may not be visibly apparent, cellular degeneration begins around twenty years of age ; this marks the initiation of skin aging. Biological factors, such as the gradual decrease in the body's production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin, account for this. However, environmental factors such as excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption, unprotected sun exposure, pollution, and even stress further accelerate this process.

In light of this, it is advisable to take care of your skin even before the first wrinkles appear. Thus, around the age of twenty-five, gradually incorporating retinol into your skincare routine can be beneficial. Opt for a product with a relatively low percentage, around 0.1%. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, retinol will help young skin combat the oxidative stress generated by free radicals to prevent the onset of wrinkles. For instance, at the end of your evening routine, you can apply a firming face cream containing 0.2% retinol, to gently start using this active ingredient.

Misconception #4: Retinol is dangerous during pregnancy.

As a precautionary measure, the use of retinoid-based cosmetic products during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended.

Misconception #5: Retinol and sensitive skin are incompatible.

Yes and no.

The most common adverse effect following the use of a retinol-based skincare product is irritated skin characterized by the onset of redness, itching, and even slight burning. This is why products containing this active ingredient are most often not recommended for sensitive and/or atopic skin.

Nevertheless, cosmetic laboratories have been developing innovative formulas in recent years to make retinol suitable for all skin types. This active ingredient can be introduced in a low percentage or micro-encapsulated so that it diffuses more gradually into the skin. Another technique involves incorporating it into a skincare product that also contains soothing active ingredients to mitigate its sensitizing power. It is with this idea in mind that we developed our firming toner lotion. This product contains 0.1% retinol and Damask rose extract with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is applied after skin cleansing, to rebalance the skin's pH and delay the appearance of wrinkles. It is composed of 99% natural origin ingredients. This lotion is suitable for all skin types. It is particularly suitable for mature skin.

Sources:

  • WANG L. H. Simultaneous determination of retinal, retinol and retinoic acid (all-trans and 13-cis) in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals at electrodeposited metal electrodes. Analytica Chimica Acta (2000).

  • KAFI & al. Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin a (retinol). Archives of Dermatology (2007).

  • QUAN. T. & al. Molecular basis of retinol anti-aging properties in naturally aged human skin in vivo. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2016).

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