Retinol isn’t something that I ever tried when my acne was at its worst, simply because I didn’t know about it at the time. I found retinol only after active acne breakouts had stopped and I was then on a journey of taking care of residual deep scarring and discoloration from those years of painful eruptions. The results for me with retinol were so immediate and positive, that I set out to create my dream formulation steeped with other supportive skin supplements like ceramides, rose, coq10 and more. I tinkered away in testing this formula for two years and the final result is so decadent and invigorating for skin and spirit!
Some of the most clinically effective allies for both acne and aging skin are vitamin A derivatives from retinol. This powerhouse nutrient has been shown to regenerate epidermal function quickly through cellular turnover, while simultaneously boosting collagen production and repairing photodamage.
In Retinol Rose Serum, we use stabilized Retinol, which is the safe vitamin A derivate for skin as it converts skin receptors to retinoic acid (some other forms of topical retinol do not make this conversion in the skin).
Once converted, retinoic acid stimulates quicker cellular turnover (a kind of inherent exfoliation) which leads to a massive uptake in collagen production and the lightening of discoloration. The lightening occurs due to older, pigmented skin cells being turned out and new cells replacing them. This same pathway of conversion works to fill and plump the scarring that manifests from acne. This exfoliation will also churn out the pathogenic bacteria that clog pores. Over time, retinol retextures and resurfaces the skin for a completely new experience in function and feel. When used in tandem with our Universal Face Elixir, the results are really nourishing!
I worked with the lab to suspend a 2.5% retinol ratio with many other highly nourishing and synergistic plant micronutrients to quench the skin and promote resiliency. I've outlined a few of them below! Together, these ingredients work for you to deeply nourish the skin’s barrier, increase adaptive functioning, even out tone, brighten, and soften texture continually over time.
I also highly recommend using Retinol Rose Serum in tandem daily with Vitamin C Skinfood (Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol in the evening) because of how Retinol and Vitamin C work in such synergistic ways. They are different ingredients, yet have an affinity for unparalleled protection, nourishment, and regeneration when used together.
It is also worth noting that the word “retinol” can sometimes come highly loaded, especially in the wellness space for those wanting only the best and cleanest of ingredients for their precious bodies (I identify with that).
So let’s touch on a few of those retinol myths…
First) There is a belief that Retinol is only necessary for “aging” skin, or for non-sensitive skin types. This could not be further from the truth! Rather, this belief is due to marketing that has woven the narrative around what retinol can do and targeted it at maturing skin. There has also been a damaging narrative woven around “aging” that I’m not on board with, but that’s another topic for another day. In reality, every skin type can benefit from the influences of retinol, with the exception of those who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
Second) Sometimes, there is an initial adjustment period when using retinol for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. This is called retinization. This adjustment may look like increased sensitivity to environmental elements and heat, slight redness or peeling. This is due to the cellular turnover that has been stimulated and so to avoid this, I recommend beginning your use with retinol every few nights, working up to every other night, and then working up to every night over the course of a few weeks, or months. This should bypass most adjustment symptoms. If you have a strong skin barrier you will experience smoothness, brightness and hydration immediately with retinol, however it may also take between six to eight weeks to see significant changes in skin texture and function. Patience is the virtue with all new skin ritual additions, and it sometimes takes a good month for the skin adjust to powerful ingredients such as retinol — remember that skin cells cycle in a 28 day pattern!
Third) There is a popular, prominent belief that retinol will make us more photosensitive. Au contraire — retinoids do not actually cause photosensitivity, but what they do is quickly turn over the top layer of the skin which may increase susceptibility to sunburn. This effect is preventable by using retinol only at night, and if out in the sun for long periods of time, or under a high UV index, use sun protection through natural zinc oxide sunscreen and wear a hat. Retinol also degrades when exposed to the sun, so to get the most bang for your buck, it should be used at night anyways.
Fourth) There is a belief that pure plant oils, such as Rosehip Seed, provide the same influence as retinol, but they are different retinoid compounds that interact with the skin in different ways (Rosehip Seed contains trans-retinoic acid, still wonderful, just different). This claim of similarity is made because of the fact that any vitamin A derivate can be associated with the term “retinol”, even though they all convert differently. Ultimately, a proper retinoic acid conversion influences cellular turnover in both the dermis and the epidermis the most effectively.
Some other beautiful ingredients in Retinol Rose Serum to take note of!
Ceramides — These are the mortar between the bricks (skin cells) holding the protective lipid layer of the skin intact. Ceramides help the stratum corneum (topmost layer of skin) do its job by keeping precious moisture in and pathogens that cause collaged comedos (pores) out. Acneic and aging skin need more lipid love than ever, and as we supplement these topically, we can greatly minimize scarring and wrinkles while brining in textural softness along the way.
Vitamin E — The ultra barrier booster. Vit E keeps skin lipids sealed, smooth, and protected. A protected epidermal barrier is crucial for healthy skin, as cracks (from dryness, to pimples, to environmental influence) cause damage and inflamed comedos. Vit E accelerates wound healing with fat-soluble antioxidant power.
Rosehip Seed Oil — High in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and K, delicious Rosehip Seed Oil benefits all skin types by regenerating cell turnover, brightening and evening out tone, boosting collagen production and maintaining elasticity. Its high concentration of linoleic acid (omega-6) makes it particularly wonderful for acneic skin. Not only that, but it is one of the most divine and uplifting aromas of all time.
Coq10 — As one of the most fundamental antioxidants, Coq10 is a kind of fat-soluble quinone compound found in every cell of the human body and is vital in energy production of cells. When applied topically, it is known to repair damage and fight free radicals caused by UV radiation at the cellular level. It evens out skin tone by blocking tyrosinase, which helps with the production of melanin.
How to use Retinol Rose Serum?
Massage 1-2 pumps of Retinol Rose Serum into face and neck in the evening only, after using Hyaluronic Acid Booster. Atone Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Allow it to penetrate for a minute, then apply Universal Face Elixir. For those who are presently pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, the alternative to Retinol at night is Vitamin C Skinfood.
If this is your first time using Retinol, or first time using it in a while, I suggest starting with using Retinol every few nights, working up to every other night, then every night over the course of a few weeks or months to bypass any adjustment symptoms.