HOW RETINOL BECAME MODERN SKINCARE’S BIGGEST SUPERSTAR
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