Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Review - Best Anti-ageing Treatment for Beginners

Monday 7 October 2013

Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Review - Best Anti-ageing Treatment for Beginners

Why retinol?

When you start worrying about ageing and think that you need something more than just a moisturiser for your skin, retinol cream should be your first choice. You can start with a retinol cream that is weak, then progress to a stronger version of it, then go to a dermatologist to get a prescription retin A cream and only then start doing something else.

What is retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A. Retinoic acid is the active ingredient, i.e., the ingredient that does all the goodness to your skin. Retinol is not the active ingredient but it converts into retinoic acid once applied onto the skin. Retinoic acid is the strongest form of vitamin A. It is very effective and, therefore, is only available by prescription. Only a small proportion of retinol is converted into retinoic acid, therefore, creams containing retinol are not considered to be pharmaceuticals and can be sold over the counter.

What does retinol do?

The ingredient increases cell turnover in the top layer of skin, so it makes skin look better. It also affects collagen production, but the effect is small. If you want a cream that works on deeper layers of skin, you need to go to a dermatologist and ask for a prescription treatment containing retin A.

Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 cream review - my experience

Skinceuticals Retinol Cream Review
Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 cream 
Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 cream is a good first choice in fighting ageing, but it is even better if you start with 0.5 or an even weaker version of the product. Starting with a weaker cream helps your skin adjust before using a stronger one.

Today I am on my fourth day after applying Retinol 1.0 cream, but I will start my review right from the beginning.

I am in my early thirties. I have never used anything strong or stronger than an ordinary moisturiser or a serum, so using Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 cream is my first serious attempt to fight my slowly ageing skin. I bought the cream on Amazon for around £54. Now, only a couple of weeks later, it is selling for £41! Well, never mind...

So, what happened to my skin after application of the cream? The product was applied before bed. My face looked absolutely normal in the morning. I applied sun block before going outside as retinol cream makes skin sensitive to UV light. In the evening my face felt a bit red and warm, so I wondered if it was due to sun or it was the cream having a delayed effect.

The second evening after application my skin was even more red and felt tingling and dry. It also had a burning sensation when I was applying vitamin C serum on my face. My husband noticed that I was doing something to my skin.

Review: peeling skin from retinol
Peeling skin on the third day after application of Retinol 1.0 cream
The third day my face started to peel, but it was peeling very gently. I could see very thin pieces of skin on the surface of my face.

Now I am in my fourth day and I cannot see much of a difference from the day before, except my skin does not feel tight anymore.

So, did it work? I don't know yet. I will write another article once I know if the cream was effective on my skin. I will keep using it maybe once a week to start with. Once the skin adjusted, I may start using it twice a week and eventually every day before bed.

Does Retinol 1.0 cream work?

The reviews of the product are very good with occasional person complaining about the redness or peeling of the face. Usually more extreme side effects occur to those not following the instructions, i.e., applying the cream on two or more consecutive nights or not wearing protection from the sun.

The result reported by most reviewers is positive, i.e. more even, clearer skin tone, smaller pores, fading lines, reduction in acne breakouts (which I have already witnessed too!). Some people claim that the long-term effect is noticeable after approximately a year.

The problem with this cream is that it leads to cosmetically enhanced appearance with only a tiny improvement in the deeper layers of the skin which is responsible for collagen and elastin formation.

On the other hand having our skin look smoother, with less or no blemishes, smaller pores and no acne is sometimes all that we need to make us happier. Once this is not enough then we will start looking for stronger ingredients.

Bear in mind that retinol creams should not be used by pregnant women as high concentration of vitamin A may lead to birth deficiencies.

Did the cream work for me? (This is an update to the article)

Today is the 20th of October, i.e. it has been almost 2 weeks since I applied Retinol 1.0 cream on my face for the first time. Since then it has been applied to my face three times in total.
Review of Skinceuticals product: red blotchy skin
Skin after the use of Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0. 
Red patches above the lip appeared after excessive amount
of cream was used. The skin peeled leaving redness
underneath. The area above the lip looked worse than
in this picture as the photo was not taken immediately after
the skin peeled.

Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 has made my skin a little bit smoother, but not a lot. It's possible that I will see cumulative effect once I have been using the stuff for a few months. So, it's still early days.

The major benefit for me is that I stopped having acne outbreaks. I do not have nasty acne, but I do get a few annoying spots several times a month.

One important thing to note: do use only a tiny bit of Skinceuticals Retinol cream, otherwise, you may peel a lot more than you expect: the third time a lot bigger lump of the cream was rubbed into my skin. The outer layer of my face peeled not once, but twice. The peeling skin left red patches underneath, thus, making them peel again. I had to use lots of foundation to hide the redness. The healing process was a lot longer than I had wanted. So, be wary! For those with darker skin, using too large amounts of retinol may leave their skin patchy.

This is a second update to the post

Today is the 11th of November. I have used the cream 5 times so far. The good news is that I started seeing the difference once my skin healed after the last application. The improvement is very mild, but visible. I have large pores on my cheeks; they appear to be slightly fading. Hopefully, this is not a placebo effect. I will keep on updating this post.

Another thing I would like to add: if you are like me, i.e. you have never used anything stronger than an ordinary moisturiser or equivalent, then go for a weaker version of this cosmetic preparation, don't use Skinceuticals Retinol 1, go for Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 or even weaker cream instead such as 0.25. Peeling skin is really annoying, you may simply give up before your outer layer of the face has adjusted to it. Once you are used to retinol, then go for a stronger version.

My review on YouTube

I prepared two videos for those who prefer watching instead of reading. You can also find the videos on YouTube. This is an old video and it is my first one. I look horrible there but please don't criticise me too much, I'll try to improve. :)

This is my second video, where I am talking more about my personal experience as opposed to generic retinol benefits.

Update to the article on 23 September 2014

I have been using Skinceuticals Retinol 1 cream for approximately one year now. However, I used it very very infrequently, on average, once a month. My skin did get used to the cream, but I still need to be careful with how much of it I apply on my face. If I feel that I applied too much I quickly put some serum on and a few minutes later I apply a face cream or a moisturiser, this way I avoid nasty looking and too badly peeling skin. I still get a tiny bit of desquamation, but what I get now is only very slight peeling, nothing as bad as in any of the pictures above.

If you are worried about the peeling skin, don't worry too much, your skin will eventually adjust to retinol. Also, you will slowly learn how to apply only a tiny dot of the cream.

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