If you’re already using retinol as part of your skincare routine, then you probably know that it is the gold standard for preventing the signs of skin aging. Other than broad spectrum sunscreen there is no other product that is better at fending off fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Retinol is also used for acne-prone skin as it exfoliates the skin and increases cell turnover. Although this is one powerful tool in the fight against aging and acne, one can make plenty of mistakes when it comes to the proper use and storage of retinol. Improper practices can decrease efficacy and have a negative effect on skin–exactly the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
The new year is the perfect time for a fresh start! So why not take this opportunity to reassess how you handle retinol, and create some resolutions to maximize the benefits of retinol:
1.Always wear sunscreen in the daytime, especially after using retinol the night before
As mentioned, retinol deeply exfoliates the skin and increases cell turnover, revealing more youthful skin. This delicate new skin needs to be protected at all times. UV rays cause dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, sunburns and more. This new skin is even more susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects, so be sure to wear a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection with a sun protection factor of at least 30.
1.Only buy retinol products that come in the correct packaging
All forms of retinol will oxidize when exposed to air and sunlight. Avoid retinol that comes in jars or translucent packaging. Opaque pumps and tubes are your best option to protect the formula from exposure.
1.Look for the right formulations
Choose products with encapsulated retinol. Encapsulated formulations create a milder exfoliation so there is less flaking, redness and irritation. This means that the retinol is encased by a polymer or wax which creates a time release function in the skin and protects it from expiring while on the shelf.
1.Cleanse your face in the morning
If you’re already using retinol, you know that it should be used at night for two reasons: it makes the skin more photosensitive, and retinol is destroyed by exposure to UV light. Plus, a new study by the National Toxicology Program, a U.S. government research group, found that retinyl palmitate can speed up the development of skin tumours when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight. Bottom line: retinol is safe when used at night, but make sure you wash it off in the morning before you go about your day.
Looking for the perfect retinol? AlumierMD’s Retinol Resurfacing Serum is available in three strengths of encapsulated retinol. Its cutting-edge technology gradually releases retinol throughout the night to prevent redness, peeling and irritation. The formula also contains soothing and hydrating ingredients like niacinamide, aloe and sodium hyaluronate to keep the skin feeling comfortable and conditioned.
 NTP Technical Report on the Photocarcinogenesis Study of Retinoid Acid and Retinyl Palmitate in SKH-1 Mice (Simulated Solar Light and Topical Application Study). National Institute of Health, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services August 2012.