Ingredient Month: What is Retinol? It’s More than just Preventing Acne

1 Retinol featured image

To kick start myeppo’s Ingredient Month, we introduced Centella Asiatica last week. And we promised you that we would be exploring different beauty ingredients on a weekly basis. 

If you haven’t yet, you may find out all about our Ingredient Month here. For this week, let’s dig deeper into our second star ingredient: retinol.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a type of retinoid made from vitamin A. According to a 2019 review paper, it’s the first vitamin approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an anti-wrinkle agent that changes the appearance of the skin surface and has anti-ageing effects.

What’s In Retinol?

Vitamin A is in a group of the four fat-soluble vitamins, and it also belongs to the retinoids category.

Retinoids are natural, biologically active forms of vitamin A (retinol, retinal and retinoic acid) and synthetic analogues of retinol. Synthetic analogues mean that it’s made of any material from non-natural sources.

Based on the molecular structure and properties in the 2019 review paper, retinoids can be divided into three generations:

  • First-generation: Natural retinoids. Retinol (Vitamin A) and its metabolites such as retinal, tretinoin and isotretinoin.
  • Second generation: Monoaromatic retinoids. Synthetic analogues of vitamin A contain etretinate and acitretin.
  • Third generation: Polyaromatic retinoids. Contains such as arotinoid, adapalene, and tazarotene.

If it’s too scientific, you can check this table out on how retinoids are used in skincare. Or you can peruse this graphic from Claudia Christin, a PhD candidate in Dermatology at Seoul National University, below:

Retinol VS Retinoid

Based on Byrdie, Retinol is a type of retinoid used mainly in over-the-counter (OTC) products instead of prescription medications.

According to Melissa Levin, a dermatologist based in New York and the founder of Entière: “Retinoid is essentially a basic umbrella term for both over-the-counter retinol and prescription retinoids.”

The distinction between retinol and retinoid is the prescription strength. Added Levin: “Prescription retinoids have a much higher concentration of the active ingredient.”OTC retinol products contain less strength and work more gradually, and it’s in ester form. You can spot other names for retinol on the ingredient labels, such as: retinyl palmitate, retinyl linoleate, retinaldehyde, propionic acid, or retinyl acetate.

One of the products within reach is VERSO Super Facial Serum, available on myeppo shop.

VERSO Super Facial Serum
Photo by @vikaniska.

What Does Retinol do to the Face?

1. Improve fine wrinkles

In a 12-week clinical study, retinol application treatment significantly improved fine wrinkles. They examined the effect of a 0.1% retinol formulation on facial wrinkles of one female subject, aged 35-55 years.

The extent of facial wrinkles was analysed using the proprietary F.A.C.E.S. Software. After 12 weeks of treatment, wrinkles scores reduced by 63.74% on the cheeks and by 38.74% in the eye areas.

2. Increase Skin Turnover

According to Lara Devgan, a New York City-based plastic surgeon and the chief medical editor for RealSelf: “Retinol increases the rate of skin cell turnover and reduces sebum production, both of which have a beneficial effect on acne.”According to a 2017 study in Dermatology and Therapy, retinoids (including retinol) reduce the appearance of visible acne lesions.

When skin cell turnover is faster than average, the skin starts shedding dead skin cells, and it’s a normal process. Therefore, please take note that purging is one of the key characteristics of retinol. In the end, your aim is to get those new skin cells from deep beneath the epidermis and get clearer, younger-looking skin.

3. Texture Improvement

In the 2019 review paper, retinol is a molecule that improves skin texture, dyspigmentation, dryness and fine lines.  

The oxidised form of retinol, Retinal, is used in cosmetics, and it reduces wrinkles and improves skin texture. This type of retinol is less irritating to the skin.

Retinol clinical results
Close-up images around the eye and cheek areas at the baseline and four weeks. Photo by Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Do’s and Don’ts

Before you apply it to your skin, you need a few tips on choosing the right kind of retinol. Manish Shah, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Denver, explained about the concentration percentage: “The most common are 1, 0.5, 0.3, and 0.25 per cent.” 

If you’re new to retinol, choose a low concentration because that comes with a lower risk of harmful side effects such as skin purging.

It’s normal to experience skin purging, especially if you first use active ingredients such as retinol. 

Dr Deanne Mraz Robinson, a board-certified dermatologist, told Healthline: “(Purging) will occur in a more defined area where you frequently breakout” and that it will disappear faster than a regular pimple. So, take note that this is how you differentiate purging and a regular breakout. 

Even though retinol helps with turnover, there are also risks of irritation and making your skin dry. 

One of the methods to combat that problem is to use the sandwich method, where you apply moisturiser before and after applying the retinol. It’s a good application for first-timers and those who want to put on sensitive areas. 

You can also opt for VERSO Super Eye Cream, a light eye serum formulated with Retinol 8, which makes it extra effective.

Based on a 2011 research paper, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using topical retinoids. It’s always best to consult with your professional health care.Now that you have a basic idea about retinol, watch this video by Dr Ingky on how to incorporate it into your skincare routine.

Myeppo Recommends: Retinol products

We hope the above information is helpful as to how beneficial Retinol is to your skin.

And now, myeppo wants to introduce you to VERSO, a brand that implements Retinol 8 in many of its products. 

Retinol 8 is the VERSO exclusive Vitamin A complex and claims it is eight times more effective as traditional retinol yet half as irritative.

For Verso products, the percentage differs depending on the product type and what the product target is. 

 For all UOB Credit Cards holders, here’s good news! You will get 15% off and 20% for Lady’s Card members on myeppo shopping platform.

Here are three retinol product recommendations from VERSO Skincare:

1. VERSO Day & Night Bundle Set

Unlike most traditional retinol products, Retinol 8 is not limited to night-time treatment but can also be used in the day time.

The VERSO Day Cream is formulated with Niacinamide, Turmeric and a broad-spectrum SPF 30 to protect from harmful UVA, UVB and HEV (blue light high energy visible light) radiation. VERSO Night Cream contains antioxidants from oats that protect your skin from future damage. This soft retinol night cream will also boost the skin’s natural collagen products and nourishment.

VERSO Day n Night Bundle
VERSO Day n Night Bundle
BUY NOW at myeppo shop

2. VERSO Blemish Fix

The key ingredients in VERSO Blemish Fix are Niacinamide, Turmeric and Portulaca Extract. Portulaca is generally used in oriental medicine to soothe the skin with anti-allergy benefits. When you experience skin redness, this product is the key to solve your problem.

VERSO Blemish Fix
VERSO Blemish Fix
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3. VERSO Daily Facial Fluid

Niacinamide, Turmeric and Hyaluronic Acid are included in the VERSO Daily Facial Fluid. It contains the same active ingredients as the day cream. Still, it’s specifically developed and formulated with lighter oils and lipids to prevent pores and reduce an oily appearance while still providing full functionality.

VERSO Daily Facial Fluid
VERSO Daily Facial Fluid
BUY NOW at myeppo shop

Over at myeppo, we visualise you looking stunning after incorporating VERSO products into your skincare routine.

Here’s more great news: you will receive three sample sizes worth RM250 for every VERSO purchase! Enjoy this limited offer from now till August 31, 2021.