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The Retinol Rage, Your Skin & The E.U. Facts.

What retinol are you using? Are you even using retinol?

Face It ensures that all of its products adhere to the guidelines set by the European Union and with good reason. I receive regular updates on their activities in the cosmetics industry and according to the latest report, the European Commission is extensively reviewing the use of retinol specifically retinoids in cosmetics. If the new law is passed, and it sounds like it will, cosmetic brands will have about 18 months to reformulate their products. The concern over these ingredients stems from the potential overexposure to Vitamin A, which can lead to skin disorders, birth defects and weakened bones. The regulation will limit the concentration of retinol to 0.3 for skincare products and 0.05 for body lotions. Brands like Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary and Paula's Choice (just to name a few) will need to reformulate. Prescription-grade options will not be affected by this regulation. What does this mean? For the majority of the population – just 5%-- who may be at risk of overexposure to vitamin A. That means the majority of people do not need to worry about retinol toxicity but you should be choosy which product to use and here are the facts as to why.

Fact #1: Retinol supports healthy cell turnover.

Up until you reach your early-30s, your cells turn over every 28 days, revealing a fresh layer of untouched, pristine skin. However, after you hit your mid-30s, your cell regeneration begins to slow down, turning over every 50, 60, or 70 days. What? Yes, that slower cell regeneration is what causes your face to look dry, dull and wrinkled. When retinol is introduced, it sinks into your skin and speeds up the cell turnover process, causing your body to pump out fresher, smoother skin quicker. Bare in mind, you may not see results overnight - it’ll take about 2-3 months of consistent nightly application to see a reduction in photo damage, acne, and fine lines.

Fact #2: Not all retinol is created equal.

Derived from vitamin A, retinol is just one of many types of retinoids that are marketed. A drugstore formula, for example, could contain retinyl palmitate (the weaker of the retinoids), or it could contain retinol (stronger but tolerable), or retinaldehyde (even stronger but not very tolerable). Luxe Refreshing Retinol Cream is made only with Retinol so it’s tolerable for so many and at the optimal level of 0.3!  Alternatively, you could ask your dermatologist to prescribe you an even stronger retinoid like adapalene or tretinoin, which could work faster but also be extremely irritating. Note that these should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Which one should you choose? You should have a licensed pro walk you through the best option for your skin type. Regardless of which products you choose, though, know that most are effective in the long run but better when partnered with high grade ingredients. In fact, studies show that you’ll reap the same long-term age-management benefits over time with a mild-middle strength retinoid as you would with a moderate-stronger option, so don’t feel like “weak” retinol won’t do much.

Fact #3: Retinoids don’t have to be irritating.

Because retinoids cause skin to shed cells faster than normal, you may experience flaking, dryness, irritation, or maybe breakouts as your skin adjusts. Luckily, there are things you can do to mitigate the effects.

First, choose your formula and begin slowly - apply it just 1-3 nights for 1 week, 3 nights for week 2, then every other night for week 3 working up to every night indefinitely. Still, that doesn’t mean you should load up on the strongest retinol to speed up the process - you’ll only end up burning your face and being unhappy. Apply a thin layer over the entire face, allow to absorb for 10-20 minutes, and then apply your usual moisturizers and serums on top if desired.

Be sure your acne-fighting ingredients (like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide) are on the night you don’t use your retinoid. Using both simultaneously could result in further irritation. Also, always, always, ALWAYS use a good sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. Photo damage can occur so always wear sunscreen.

Fact #4: Retinoids don’t just help with fine lines and wrinkles.

Yes, retinoids are the gold standard in wrinkle-preventing and line-smoothing treatments, but they’re also excellent at plumping your skin, clearing, and shrinking pores, and fading dark spots and redness. Because retinoids work at the cellular level, they’re able to deeply resurface your skin, which can completely transform your complexion over time. But let's say the retinol cream you are using is partnered with ingredients that do other things for your skin, like Vitamin B5 which attracts and retains moisture! Our gold standard wonder includes Lemon Essential Oil, which can eliminate bacteria that may clog pores and lead to breakouts and additionally, Lemon Essential Oil provides an acidic boost to skin. Vanilla Essential Oil helps neutralize free radicals and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It is well-known in the cosmetic industry for its fragrance and anti-aging properties. When combined with our organic oil, raw vanilla essential oil gives your skin a delightful cupcake scent while also providing smoothing benefits. Our carrier oil, Sunflower Oil, safely delivers these nourishing ingredients and our retinol into the deeper layers of the skin. The sum is; stay updated, know what you using and how to use it, and use your resources to help you with everything skin related. Shed your skin ~ Genelle

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