Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

Why retinol is a skin­care su­per­star, plus DIY brow en­hancers.

Through­out his­tory, mois­turis­ers have tem­po­rar­ily plumped up com­plex­ions and acted as the cor­ner­stone of mod­ern skin­care. But the rise of chem­i­cal ac­tives in the ’80s gave way to clin­i­cal in­gre­di­ents that now af­fect skin at a DNA level.

The leader of the pack is retinol, a form of vi­ta­min A that reg­u­lates skin func­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Ta­nia Mcken­zie, clin­i­cal ed­u­ca­tor at Ad­vanced Skin Tech­nol­ogy, “It adapts bril­liantly [es­pe­cially] if skin is un­der­per­form­ing.” Retinol op­ti­mises ap­pear­ance by prompt­ing sur­face cells to turn over faster, thick­en­ing skin at the deep layer where wrin­kles are formed and boost­ing the for­ma­tion of mol­e­cules that bind wa­ter to skin.

Con­tem­po­rary serums, creams and pads av­er­age a dosage of 0.1 per cent, and the de­sir­able po­tency comes with some ground rules. “Use retinol prod­ucts at night to avoid ad­verse re­ac­tions in sun­light,” Mcken­zie ad­vises. If it’s a new ad­di­tion to your reg­i­men, she sug­gests “in­tro­duc­ing a pea-size amount ev­ery third night, then ev­ery sec­ond, be­fore nightly use so that skin can ad­just.”

(clock­wise from top left) PCA SKIN Retinol Re­newal With Restora­tive Com­plex, $150, 1800 648 851; SKINMEDICA Retinol Com­plex 1.0, $150, 1800 648 851; AS­PECT DR Ex­fol A Plus Serum, $129, 1800 648 851; PHI­LOS­O­PHY Ul­ti­mate Mir­a­cle Worker Night, $110, 1800 812 663; MEDIK8 Retinol 1 TR Vi­ta­min A Re­newal Cream, $75, 1800 242 011

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