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Les mythes sur le rétinol.

5 misconceptions about retinol.

A stable derivative of vitamin A, retinol is regarded as one of the most effective compounds for combating signs of ageing and skin sagging. Despite its popularity, it is often the subject of various misconceptions. We revisit with you 5 common misconceptions about it.

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Misconception No. 1: If a retinol treatment burns upon application, it means it's effective!

Yes and no.

Retinol is an active ingredient that potentially has asensitising effect, which can cause skin dryness, tingling, tightness, discomfort, peeling, redness.... That's why it isnot recommended for sensitive and reactive skin. Before using a retinol-based skincare product, perform a skin tolerance test. Apply a few drops of the product in question to the inside of your arm or on your wrist and wait a few seconds. If a significant skin reaction appears or if the burning sensation is too intense, do not apply the product to your face.

However, it is important to clarify thatretinol requires a period of skin adaptation ; if slight, bearable redness appears, it does not necessarily require discontinuation of its use but merely spacing out the applications to every other night, or even every third night. Furthermore, it is also possible to start with a low dose and then gradually increase the amount of retinol. As a reminder, the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) recommends a maximum percentage of 0.3% in a non-rinse cosmetic formula and 0.05% in a body lotion.

Reminder : Retinol is a photosensitising substance, therefore it is preferable to use it at night. Also remember to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day and avoid any sun exposure.

Misconception No. 2: Retinol is only for the skin!

No.

Many cosmetic actives initially intended for the skin can bring benefits when applied to hair, such as niacinamide or vitamin C. The same goes for retinol, which operates on two levels:

  • It purifies the scalp. Just like the skin on our face, the scalp requires good hydration. It is important to remove impurities that clog the pores to prevent the hair follicle from being suffocated by the sebaceous gland, inhibiting the growth of healthy hair. Thanks to its keratolytic action, retinol eliminates dead cells present on the scalp and promotes cellular renewal.

  • It promotes hair growth. Studies have indeed demonstrated the ability of retinol to stimulate hair growth. This action is furthermore amplified when retinol is combined with another active ingredient, minoxidil. Offering promising results, this duo could even present itself as a potential treatment against alopecia.

Misconception No. 3: Retinol is only for mature skin.

No.

Although it may not be immediately apparent, cellular degeneration begins around twenty years of age ; this marks the onset of skin ageing. Biological factors, such as the gradual decrease in the body's production of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin, account for this. However, environmental factors such as excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption, unprotected sun exposure, pollution, and even stress can further accelerate this process.

In light of this, it is advisable to take care of your skin even before the first wrinkles appear. Therefore, around the age of twenty-five, gradually incorporating retinol into your skincare routine can be beneficial. Opt for a product with a relatively low percentage, around 0.1%. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, retinol will help young skin combat the oxidative stress generated by free radicals to prevent the onset of wrinkles. For instance, at the end of your evening routine, you could apply a firming face cream containing 0.2% retinol, to gently start using this active ingredient.

Misconception No. 4: Retinol is dangerous during pregnancy.

Potentially, yes. As a precautionary measure, the use of retinoid-based cosmetic treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not recommended.

Misconception No.5: Retinol and sensitive skin are incompatible.

Yes and no.

The most common adverse effect following the use of a retinol-based skincare product is an irritated skin characterised by the onset of redness, itching, and even slight burning. This is why skincare products containing this active ingredient are most often not recommended for sensitive and/or atopic skin.

Nevertheless, cosmetic laboratories have been developing innovative formulas in recent years to make retinol suitable for all skin types. This active ingredient can thus be introduced in a low percentage or micro-encapsulated so that it diffuses more gradually into the skin. Another technique involves incorporating it into a treatment that also contains soothing active ingredients to mitigate its sensitising power. It is with this idea in mind that we have developed our firming toner lotion. This product contains 0.1% retinol and Damask rose extract with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It is applied after skin cleansing, to rebalance the skin's pH and delay the appearance of wrinkles. It is composed of 99% natural origin ingredients. This lotion is suitable for all skin types. It is particularly suitable for mature skin.

Sources:

  • WANG L. H. Simultaneous determination of retinal, retinol and retinoic acid (all-trans and 13-cis) in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals at electrodeposited metal electrodes. Analytica Chimica Acta (2000).

  • KAFI & al. Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin a (retinol). Archives of Dermatology (2007).

  • QUAN. T. & al. Molecular basis of retinol anti-aging properties in naturally aged human skin in vivo. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2016).

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