why retinol?

Retinol is an ingredient that gets a lot of buzz for its reputation of success with anti-aging.  This is true and generally has powerful effects on your skin from anti-aging (which is a broad term) to acne.  Oftentimes, the idea is the higher the percentage the better it is for your skin.  That can be true but it really depends on the level your skin can tolerate.  Dermatologist or prescription grade has the highest levels, not because there is a limit for over the counter, but the higher the percentage the more it requires an esthetician or dermatologist to recommend a treatment plan so that you don’t irritate or burn your skin.  The difference is this- prescription formulas contain retinoic acid, the magic ingredient that fights visible aging; non-prescription alternatives need to be converted into retinoic acid by the skin at the cellular level.  When you are examining the labels over the counter be sure you see retinol on the label because this is the only form of Vitamin A worth using.

However there are plenty of over the counter “non-dermotologist grade” products on the market that include a high enough percentage of retinol to improve your skin but will not damage or burn your complexion [and does not require a visit to the derm].  In fact, an encapsulated form of retinol which is what we have included in Serum 11 is much more stable, has a prolonged delivery, and has far less drying/ peeling/ and flaking effects on your skin.  The prolonged delivery of active ingredients means the steady active concentration will eliminate side effects due to higher percentages and frequent reapplication.  In other words, the dosage is able to be lower and deliver the same results without having to deal with negative side effects.

But what exactly does retinol do and why do we want it in our skincare? Retinol exfoliates, promotes collagen production, fights against free radicals, and combats acne. Promoting exfoliation it helps get rid of dead skin cells and encourages cell regeneration and cell turnover. This is effective in treating wrinkles and acne. As collagen is replenished and old skin cells are shed, hyperpigmentation disappears, fine lines recede and skin begins to reveal a brighter, smoother texture. Collagen production may slow down as a person ages, but retinol helps to ensure that new collagen continues to form, and has been shown to reduce wrinkles and increase skin texture. Lastly, retinol is an antioxidant; therefore, it helps fight against free radicals and environmental stressors that damage healthy skin cells causing you to age faster.  All of these factors make your skin look, brighter, smoother, and more youthful.  

Just a note, when people start using skincare products, there is often an expectation that they will see immediate results.  That can happen but not with retinol; unfortunately, it can take 3+ months to see a change in your skin but significant results usually happen over the course of a year. Pick up a bottle of Serum 11 today!  Code QUENCH15 for 15% off. 

Written by Allyson Welch
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