All about retinol

I have read and heard a lot of misunderstanding about retinoids. Retinoids are skincare ingredients from the vitamin A family. 

What is retinol and how does it work? 

Retinol is the scientific name for vitamin A. Our body and our skin use retinol to transport vitamin A. 

When the skin cells “decide” to use retinol, retinol is converted into retinal and then into retinoic acid, also known as tretinoin. Retinoic acid will then bind to specifics receptors and trigger a signaling response. 

To make it simple, when you apply retinol on your skin, your cells have a “choice” to convert it into retinoic acid opposed to pure retinoic acid that activates straight ahead the signaling pathway.   

I have made a video to explain the critical cellular component of this process. 

Does retinol work? 

Of course, retinoic acid is the holy grail of retinoids and leads to fantastic anti-aging and anti-acne treatments, but it leads to lots of irritation in the skin and is not well tolerated. The retinol is an excellent option to consider because it is much easier to tolerate. But is it that effective? The answer is yes. In this video, I discuss clinical data and experiments made on us, so you get the real tea. 

Anti-aging routine, my retinol recommendation

There are lots of retinoids products in the market but how to judge them? The most recent is the Hydroxypinacolone retinoate, known as granactive from The Ordinary. For now, I only recommend retinol because it is the only over the counter ingredient that has the most scientific data. Retinal would be my second choice. 

In my opinion, everyone should use retinol. If you are in your twenties and have no acne, use 0,2 to 0,5% retinol twice a week to maintain your skin in a healthy state. If you want to correct the sign of aging opt for 1%. You will likely experience irritation for 4 to 6 weeks. This normal, it takes time for your skin to tolerate it. So don’t give up. 

Thank you for your time. 

A bientôt, 


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