If you are still not acquainted with the world of skin actives and all the miracles that they can do to your skincare, you are definitely living under one big rock. Skin actives are the new C-T-M regime (Cleansing-Toning-Moisturizing) for the skin. They are nothing but strong, concentrated ingredients that are targeted at treating one particular skin concern. Vitamins A, B, C, E, and AHA’s, BHA’s are known to be some effective active ingredients that can totally turn around the way your skin looks. Retinol Serums are particularly loaded with Vitamin A and as you read on, we would familiarize you more with this magical potion of skincare.
What is a Retinol Serum?
Retinol serum is a type of retinoid – a drug that majorly constitutes of Vitamin A in its purest and most concentrated form. Vitamin A is an elixir of sorts for the skin for its anti-ageing and skin tone-enhancing properties. Retinol does not necessarily have to be in a serum form. It can be a gel, moisturizer or even formulated as a cream. One may use it topically on the skin to reap its anti-ageing skin benefits. If you really thought that your skin sagging can really give out your age to the world, get out of that fear. By using a worthy retinol serum or any other retinol infused skincare product, you can stay looking young for as long as you want. At least your face would look much younger than your actual years.
How Does a Retinol Serum Work On The Skin?
Most of the retinol serums that our favourite skincare companies advertise contain 2% retinol actives. Higher concentration should only be used in the case of a dermatologist prescription. Retinol has the power to get into deeper layers of the skin and work on promoting cell turnover and cell regeneration. It also prevents the breakdown of skin protein, collagen, thereby helping to keep the skin looking younger and firmer for long.
What Are the Benefits of Retinol Serum?
Retinol is best known as your armor against fighting signs of ageing like sagging skin, open pores, wrinkles, fine lines, and overall skin dullness associated with ageing. Skin ageing is not just caused by the increasing age of a person but also other internal and external factors. Sun exposure, excessive skin dryness, lack of nutrition, and stress can cause our skin to lose its youthfulness and vitality much before we know. An effective retinol serum helps counter all these factors by penetrating the epidermis and dermis layers of our skin and works on restoring collagen.
Using Retinol regularly can also deal with hyperpigmentation and age spots and dark spots induced by prolonged exposure to the sun. What one achieves with including retinol into the daily skincare is a more brightened, luminous, and healthy skin. Pigmented spots on the skin are fairly reduced and faded, giving skin an even tone. For those using a 0.5% retinol on a regular basis for at least 8 weeks, confidently confirm a noticeable improvement in their skin texture and healthy glow.
These days a lot of companies have also started manufacturing retinol peels and facial masks. These are effective too, but we swear by the results of a retinol serum. Using an established retinol product regularly can also help combat skin redness, allergies, and acne to quite an extent. However, in any extreme skin situations, the recommendation of a dermatologist is always advised.
How Often Should One Use a Retinol Serum in a Day?
Given the never ending quantities of skincare products that one is advised to apply these days, getting the order of application can get quite confusing. For an easy understanding, adhere to the thinner-to-thicker-rule. Thee light weight and easy to absorb products come first and then the thick moisturizers and creams. The last step should always be the sunscreen to form a protective shield against the sunrays. For a retinol serum, apply it after you are done with cleansing and toning the skin. Though a toner works efficiently well on closing the pores, a retinol serum further diminishes their appearance so that the skin looks smooth and even. One may use a cotton pad to soak the serum into the skin or better still, take it in your hands and dab the product into the skin. This helps with better absorption of the product.
One should introduce retinols slowly into their skincare. Start with a low potency of 0.2%, 0.3%, or 0.5% and then gradually move up to higher concentrations. Our skin needs some time to adapt to new ingredients and we should be patient with new products and the results we expect from them. Even the best of skincare products need 4-6 weeks to show noticeable results.
Retinol serums are not too intense. Hence, they can be used twice a day, both in the am and the pm. Having said that, before incorporating any new product into the skincare regime, one should always patch test them for a couple of days. The same also holds true for trying out any new ingredient or changing the product brand.
Do Retinol Serums Have Any Side Effects?
Retinol is generally a very benign skin active, but some skin sensitivity may appear if the active is used for a prolonged period of time or the concentration of the product is too high for the skin to bear. The skin may show some adverse reactions in such a scenario. Redness, inflation and itching are some of the common symptoms. There might be some tingling sensations if the retinol serum is not aligning with the pH balance of the ski. Breakouts and acne can also happen. Also, ensure that the product you are using has not crossed its expiry date.
It is often noticed that after the skin is infused with active retinol (Vitamin A), it tends to flare up and become more susceptible to the damaging effects of sun rays. Remember to apply thick coats of sunscreen as the last step of the skincare after applying the retinol serum and moisturizer.
Which Are the Best Retinol Serums Available?
The market is buzzing with skincare products these days with each having their own set of proclamations for delivering desirable results. A lot of these products are actually good. But out team of researches has saved you some effort. We have picked some of the best Retinol serums for you that are sure to give you the youthful, bright skin that you have always wanted to have.
1. Minimalist 0.3% Retinol Anti -Ageing Face Serum (Size - 30 ml; Price – Rs. 569)
Minimalist as a brand is reckoned for their transparent ingredient listing. Their 0.3% retinol serum is also infused with antioxidant coenzyme Q10. The base formulation of this serum is squalane which is highly enriching for the skin and also prevents the retinol in the serum from oxidizing. With regular use, most women have found this serum to reduce wrinkles, with a smooth and firmer skin. If you are looking to buy a retinol serum for yourself, the minimalist serum is a must try.
2. Plum 1% Retinol Face Serum (Size - 30 ml; Price - 790)
This serum also contains the ingredient bakuchiol which helps to make the skin smoother and much lighter to touch. While the retinol in the serum works on reboosting collagen production and making the signs of ageing wear off, bakuchiol works on enhancing the smooth and firm appearance of the skin.
3. The Derma Co. 0.3% Retinol Face Serum (Size - 30ml; Price - 719)
The brand is known for providing dermatologically tested solutions for specific skin concerns. There 0.3% retinol serum is potent enough to provide gentle exfoliation to the skin while reducing the appearance of age spots, dark spot, and fine lines.
4. Olay Retinol Night Serum - Retinol & Niacinamide (Size - 30ml; Price - 1599)
Though a little expensive, this serum does deliver results. With regular use in the night time skin care routine, one would find their skin looking more even-toned and youthful with time. However, if you are looking for a reasonably priced retinol serum, others in the category deliver equally good results at a relatively lesser price point.
5. St. Botanica Retinol 2.5% + E & Hyaluronic Acid (Size - 20ml; Price - 1049)
The fact that this retinol serum also contains hyaluronic acid makes it a double whammy as the latter provides intense hydration to the skin. This retinol serum is quite effective in dealing with signs of ageing. It minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, improves skin tone and also helps closing open pores. Apart from hyaluronic acid, the serum also contains Vitamin E & C, again two very nourishing ingredients for the skin. If you have an inclination for vegan skincare, this product should definitely be in your buying cart.
These are times of using strong active ingredients for our skin that show noticeable results within days. If retinol serum was missing in your daily skincare regime, we say, it is the right time to have it on your bedside and make it a sacrosanct part of your PM skincare.