Overwhelmed by Lasers and Needles? Try a Retinol Product

By Sara Katan APRN, Ocoee

By Sara Katan APRN, Couture Med Spa Ocoee

Retinol can be an intimidating product if you are a newbie to skincare. I know it was for me when I started taking my skincare routine seriously!

Don’t worry! As a retinol-user and licensed professional at a med spa, I am here to tell you everything you need to know about one of the most important products for any regimen that is going to focus on anti-aging. 

What is retinol?

Retinol is essentially a code name for Vitamin A, which is a vitamin found in foods and dietary supplements. You can find retinol in many anti-aging and complexion-clearing products.

In the serum or cream form, retinol is known to smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well as lighten dark spots. Overall, retinol promotes skin-cell turnover making it great to find aging and sometimes even acne. 

If retinol is so amazing, why doesn’t everyone use it? 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about retinol. I’m going to break down the three most common ones below: 

  • Retinol causes too much skin irritation and dryness: Some of us with sensitive skin may experience some irritation while using high-quality retinol. However, a good moisturizer can alleviate any irritation. Couture Med Spa’s new Concentrated Retinol Serum comes infused with bakuchiol, a plant-derived version of Vitamin A which helps in calming the skin. It also has green tea polyphenols which help neutralize sensitive skin. 
  • Retinol is way too expensive: Although retinol can be expensive, most products that are highly-concentrated serums are extremely potent and only require a small amount at a time. These same products are most effective. Therefore, a product worth using will last you a long time. Plus, at Couture Med Spa, we offer discounts on our skincare products for both our Black Diamond and Platinum membership packages.  
  • Retinol does not produce results: Retinol requires a minimum of 90-day consistent use to see changes. Whether you are doing daily use or several times a week, consistency is key. I recommend my clients take a photo of themselves before starting any new skincare product. Sometimes it’s hard to see the effectiveness of a product because we see ourselves every day. 

What is the Difference between Retinoid and Retinol?

A retinoid is a pure form of retinoic acid, it is much stronger, and requires a prescription. It is directly absorbed into the skin and can help fight acne along with its anti-aging properties. In this form, it may be difficult for many people’s skin to tolerate. However, it produces results sooner, sometimes within several weeks. 

Retinol is a less concentrated form of a retinoid. It is found in many over the counter skin-care products and it is generally well-tolerated by most skin types. If a retinoid causes too many side-effects, then retinol may be a better option. Results are slower, but only take a couple of months. 

What Are Some Tips for Using Retinol?

There are certain steps and precautions you can take to help your retinol product be successful. Try to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Test the product first to see how your skin reacts.
  • Begin using the product a couple of nights a week.
  • Build up to daily use as your skin can tolerate.
  • It’s best used when applied at nighttime before bed.
  • If you have excessive dryness, use it in combination with a good moisturizing product. 

You should also not be afraid to ask your spa professional or esthetician any questions about using your new retinol product. That’s what we are here for!

What Should I Expect When First Taking Retinol?

When you first start using the product, your skin may feel dry or irritated. Some people experience peeling, redness, or itching. 

You can reduce these side effects with a slow start of the product. Remember you can build up to daily use once your skin adjusts.

Are Retinols Safe with the Laser Treatments?

Both retinol and lasers can temporarily irritate the skin and retinol can cause some light sensitivity. Therefore, you should avoid using the product on your laser-treated area several days before and after your laser treatment. You can continue using the product when enough time has elapsed after your laser treatment. 

Overall, retinol doesn’t have to be such a scary word! In fact, it may become the not-so-secret weapon in your skincare routine.