All About Retinol - What Is It? Our Products and Where To Start

Most skincare users have heard of retinol, but few people understand what it actually does. Retinol is one of many members of the retinoid family. Retinoids (compounds derived from vitamin A) come in a variety of different forms. Good news: This practically guarantees that there is a perfect retinoid out there for you. Read on to find out more about the benefits of retinol.

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, but falls under a broader category of retinoids. When applied topically this product will convert into retinoic acid through specialized enzymes that are found within the skin. While retinoic acid can be applied topically it is harsher than retinol creams or serums, because it does not naturally convert over time.

Retinol was first approved in the 1970s to be used for acne patients. It helps promote cell turnover and prevent the clogging of pores. This will help defend against blemishes, as well as improve the way your skincare products penetrate your skin. In addition, it will promote your overall skincare routine and maximise results.

Retinol is found in many different beauty and skincare products that you can buy over the counter. You may also see a cosmetic doctor who may prescribe retinol to you. Retinol can make your skin look and feel softer, smoother, and have a radiant glow. It will help decrease fine lines and wrinkles while improving collagen production.

Retinol comes in a variety of strengths. I recommend starting on a 0.25 to 0.5 strength and use it 2 to 3 times a week. If your skin is not irritated then you can move up to using it 4 nights a week. Be sure to use a retinol product, not a Retin-A product, which is much stronger than retinol.


What is Retinoid?

Retinoid is a term that covers both over-the-counter retinol and prescription-strength retinoic acid. There are three different types of retinoids that you can get over the counter: Retinyl palmitate, Retinaldehyde, and Retinol. Prescription-strength retinoid includes Tretinoin (Retin-A) and Tazarotene. Tazarotene is the highest strength retinoid.


4 Main Benefits of Retinol

There are many benefits to retinol, but there are 5 main reasons why people buy and use retinol. Here we will discuss those reasons further.

#1 Retinol Can Clear Your Acne

Do you have treatment-resistant acne? Retinol may be just what you need. By unclogging pores, retinol clears skin and prevents further outbreaks from occurring. Naturally, less acne will result in fewer acne scars. Plus, retinoids can amplify the effects of other medicated creams and gels, allowing you to get the maximum benefits of whatever treatments you're using.

#2 Retinol Can Fight Signs Of Ageing

You can rest easy knowing that retinol is one of the most used and most well studied anti-aging ingredients on the market. Originally marketed as an anti-acne treatment in the 70s, tretinoin quickly proved to have considerable anti-aging effects.

#3 Retinol Can Help Even Skin Tone

One of the many noteworthy aspects of retinol is that it stimulates skin cell turnover, which is manifested as a sort of "exfoliating" effect. Dull and dry skin makes way for new, brighter, and more even-toned skin, armed with increased levels of collagen and elastin. The thicker skin is stronger and smoother and has fewer overall imperfections. Thus, even relatively "problem-free" skin can have radiating effects from retinol.

#4 Retinol Is Cost-Effective

Depending on your budget, spending on retinol may seem like an extravagance you cannot afford. However, spending on cheaper, short-term solutions may ultimately prove the pricier option in the end. Retinol is one of the only ingredients with scientifically-proven benefits, making it a reliable investment for your future. Here at Contouring Bodies you can find a range of retinol products starting at only $78 - a small price to pay for guaranteed, proven results!

Why people fear retinoids

Some believe their skin is too sensitive for retinoids, some have tried them and discontinued them due to a reaction, and others fear that retinoids are not natural and should be avoided.

The truth is that retinoids are the common denominator of skin care—although everyone’s skin is different, almost every skin can benefit from them. Of course, a crucial exception applies to those who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breast feeding.

A few symptoms common to the beginning stages of retinoid use might explain why many people either fear to try them or discontinue their use before they’ve had the opportunity to revel in the improvements. Retinoids initially can cause peeling and some redness or even some breakouts, a process called facial retinization. Users should be aware that this is normal and even to be expected — peeling and redness are side effects of retinoids working at a profound level to influence gene expression, resulting eventually in enhanced collagen production, skin smoothing and the evening out of pigmentation.

When people experience such symptoms they often make the mistake of stopping their treatment program, then waiting until the skin gets “better” before beginning again. Giving the top layer of skin time to rebuild can unfortunately initiate another round of redness and peeling which ultimately delays the anticipated therapeutic benefits.


6 Tips for Successful Use

While every skin has its own idiosyncrasies, almost every skin can benefit from retinoids. Here are some tips to make your retinoid journey successful, even if you’ve had trouble in the past.

1. Choose the right form.

Retinoids that are effective (retinol, retinaldehyde and retinoic acid) come in over-the-counter and prescription form. If you have sensitive skin or you have experienced problems with prescription retinoids, you might want to start with an over-the-counter retinol serum, which is less irritating than prescription retinoic acid. Since retinol must convert to retinoic acid, the trade-off is that visible improvements may be slower to emerge. Retinaldehyde is another over-the-counter retinoid that is very effective.

2. Set up a routine.

Begin by using your retinoid every other or every third night and work up to every night but be consistent.

3. Prepare your skin before you begin.

A study called Facilitating Facial Retinization Through Barrier Improvement showed the following: “The results show that improving stratum corneum barrier function before beginning topical tretinoin therapy and continuing use of a barrier-enhancing cosmetic moisturizer during therapy facilitates the early phase of facial retinization and augments the treatment response.” The barrier cream that the researchers used contained a mixture of vitamins niacinamide, panthenol, and tocopheryl acetate. They advised continuing with the barrier cream while using the retinoid. The Cosmedix products Shineless, Humidify or Micro is specifically designed to fulfill this function.

4. Retinoids during the day?

Contrary to popular belief, retinoids do not contribute to photosensitivity, but retinoic acid can thin the outer layers of the skin by about a third, making the skin more susceptible to sunburn. However, we suggest confining your usage to night time. Retinoids degrade in the light, so you’re not getting your money’s worth if you use them during the day, and heat from the sun can also contribute to erythema, or redness, so if you’re already experiencing redness on account of facial retinization, heat might exacerbate your discomfort. In short: use retinoids at night only, use sunscreen daily, and try to avoid excessive heat, from either the sun or sauna.

5. Be patient.

This is not an overnight process for anyone, and depending on the type of retinoid you use, the condition you are treating and the condition of your skin, it could take six to eight weeks before you start to see significant changes.

6. Order of application.

The answer is: nothing having to do with application decides how much of the retinol is converted into retinoic acid, the form of vitamin A that actually repairs skin. That's solely related to your skin's chemistry and retinoid receptors. So the order of application is not important—what matters is that you find the type of retinoid that best suits you, make it a part of your skin care routine, and be consistent in its use. You’ll be very happy you made the effort.


Serum 16 - Rapid Renewal Serum

Introduce Retinol Into Your Routine.

Serum 16 features hydrators coupled with retinol to target signs of ageing while protecting the skins moisture barrier function. This innovative formula helps reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone, smooths wrinkles and boost moisture without causing redness, dryness or irritation. Serum 16 offers the greatest potency, delivery and stability of LG-Retinex available today.

90% reported a brighter, more even skin tone. 88% reported noticeably firmer skin. 75% reported less apparent wrinkles. *Based on a six - week clinical study.

Transformative Ingredients:

Vitamin A - Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Helps to even skin tone by reducing the look of acne scars, dark spots and hyper-pigmentation.

Free radical-fighting antioxidants - defend skin from environmental stress that can cause inflammation and damage to collagen and elastin.

Salicylic Acid and AGP Complex - Acne is caused when oil, hair and dead skin cells clog pores. These ingridients help stimulate cell turnover to curb breakouts.

LG-Retinex – a microencapsulated retinol for drier, sensitive skin – encourages skin renewal to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and imperfections.


Clarity - Skin Clarifying Serum


Clarity is a Skin-Clarifying Serum that works to remove pore-clogging impurities and exfoliate the skin for a smoother, clearer-looking complexion that lasts.


• Helps exfoliate congested skin and clarifies clogged pores

• Soothes skin for a clearer-looking complexion

• Great for acne-prone skin

• Moisturizes and balances skin

The journey to a clear complexion is often marked with irritating products, harsh ingredients, flakey, dehydrated skin and pure frustration. That’s where Clarity comes in. Designed as a skin-clarifying super serum, Clarity is formulated with two powerhouse ingredients: retinol, a form of Vitamin A which helps exfoliate and helps reduce the appearance of oil to help skin appear firmer and healthy-looking, and salicylic acid, a gentle yet effective exfoliant. Together these ingredients help exfoliate congested skin and clarify clogged pores that can cause breakouts and blemishes—all without stripping the skin of much-needed moisture. Nourishing willow herb, tea tree oil and aloe vera help soothe and calm the appearance of an agitated complexion. Use daily as part of your skincare routine to target imperfections for a healthier, clearer-looking complexion.


Define - Age Defying Treatment with Hydroxy Acids and Retinol


Define Age-Defying Treatment is a multi-tasking Age-Defying Treatment with Hydroxy Acids & Retinol that gently exfoliates the skin to promote a smoother-looking texture by helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and an uneven skin tone.


• Delivers a rush of hydration to the skin

• Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and an uneven skin tone

• Gently exfoliates the skin to reveal a softer, smoother-looking skin texture

Upgrade your skincare routine with Define. This multi-tasking Age-Defying Treatment with Hydroxy Acids & Retinol gently exfoliates the skin to promote a smoother-looking texture by helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and an uneven complexion. Designed to be the first skincare product in your retinol journey, this face cream is formulated with 2% AGP Retinol Complex and Alpha Hydroxy Acids, making it gentle enough for all skin types. The lightweight, skin-loving formula helps reveal the next layer of skin while restoring hydration to the complexion for a more supple, even-looking skin tone.


AGP Retinol Complex | Encourages skin renewal to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth the look of imperfections

Chirally Correct L-lactic Acid, L-Malic Acid, L-Tartaric Acid | Triple hydroxy acid cocktail to gently exfoliate while revealing the look of a smoother, even-toned complexion


Refine - Refinishing Treatment

Refine is a medium-strength

retinol serum designed to

reduce blemishes and

enlarged pores while also

providing anti-aging benefits.

With AGP Retinol Complex that includes 0.5% Retinol and key amino acids, this Refinishing Treatment helps refine and visibly reduce the appearance of enlarged pores and blemishes by improving exfoliation.

Helps to even skin tone by reducing the look of acne scars, dark spots and hyper-pigmentation.

Free radical-fighting antioxidants defend skin from environmental stress that can cause inflammation and damage to collagen and elastin.

Acne is caused when oil, hair and dead skin cells clog pores. Ingredients such as Salicylic Acid and AGP Complex help stimulate cell turnover to curb breakouts.

Improved texture and proper product absorption is due to exfoliation. When the surface layer of the skin is removed, fresh skin is revealed and can absorb active ingredients easier.

AGP Complex – an AGP Retinol Complex for oily, congested and blemish-prone skin – encourages skin renewal to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and imperfections.


Bakuchiol - PlantBased Retinol Alternative Serum


Bakuchiol Complete is a deeply hydrating Plant Based Retinol Alternative Serum that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while leaving skin hydrated and healthier-looking—as seen in Alltrue’s exclusive, socially-conscious summer box!


• Deeply hydrates the complexion

• Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

• Helps brighten the look of skin for a more even skin tone and texture

Helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while leaving skin hydrated and healthier-looking with Bakuchiol Complete—a perfect addition to your daily skin care routine. Lightweight and nourishing, this Plant Based Retinol Alternative Serum is formulated with skin-loving ingredients like deeply hydrating Squalane and Bakuchiol, touted as the gentler, vegan botanical retinol alternative that helps brighten the skin’s appearance for a more radiant-looking complexion.


Bakuchiol | Botanical ingredient that helps brighten the skin’s appearance and visibly improve skin tone and clarity

Squalane | Deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin

Jojoba Seed and Moringa Seed Oil | Help restore balance to dry skin and nourish the complexion with radiance-boosting vitamins and fatty acids


If your unsure on what retinol product to start on or what would be best suited for your skin, book in for a FREE consultation with our expert Mary and we can go through a range of products and treatments to specifically suit you and come up with a FREE tailored skincare regime and treatment program. Click the link below to book in today!

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