What is Retinol?

Retinol is a highly effective topical vitamin A treatment, promoting cellular turnover and epidermal renewal. It’s useful for treating a wide range of skin ageing, photo-ageing and pigmentation conditions. It’s essentially one of the best ingredients for anti-ageing and maintaining youthful skin.

Topical Retinol is an effective treatment for a wide range of skin ageing, photo-ageing and pigmentation conditions. Dosage tolerance can vary significantly depending on the person. However, for it to be topically effective, it must reach a concentration of at least 0.6% in the skin. ZO Skin Health and Medical product have been formulated to include an incredible 1.0% concentration. 

retinol infographic

How Does Retinol Benefit the Epidermis?

What is retinol’s effect on the inner layer of your skin?

  • It helps to restore the water, lipid and protein balance, restoring barrier function and reversing skin sensitivity.
  • Improves the skin’s protective barrier.
  • Improves a healthy skin cycle.
  • Promotes cell turnover and improves overall skin texture.
  • Leads to a softer and smoother outward appearance.
  • Breaks up existing pigmentation to improve skin tone and complexion.

How Does Retinol Benefit the Dermis?

What is retinol’s effect on the outer layer of your skin?

  • Stimulates fibroblasts, resulting in healthier collagen and elastin production.
  • Improves skin firmness and elasticity due to its ability to increase collagen and elastin.
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Improves natural hydration.
  • Stimulates the skin’s natural rebuilding and repairing process.
  • Delivers firmer skin with a more even texture.
  • Exfoliates and removes dead skin cells to allow for better penetration of other skin products, consequently maximising the delivery of nutrients.
  • Provides protection against future damage.

Precautions to Keep in Mind

Side effects, generally referred to as retinoid dermatitis, can include chronic skin peeling, flaking, stinging, burning and severe inflammation. In some severe cases, oedema (skin swelling) can occur.  Peeling is normal upon initial usage and will eventually subside although inflammation and/or stinging and burning may not, depending on the person. However, you should discontinue use if any of the effects and symptoms persist for a prolonged period of time. The frequency of use is determined by your comfort level and tolerability which is why consulting with a skin health professional is highly recommended prior to use.

Retinol when used for skin is also photosensitizing, and for this reason, broad-spectrum sun protection is essential. Sunscreen should be used all the time but is especially vital when retinol is part of a skincare regimen.

We also advise pregnant women or women who intend to become pregnant in the near future from using retinol products.