Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook Credits: Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook
Is the anti-aging ingredient retinol worth all the hype? You better believe it!
One of the most potent anti-agers on the market was discovered by accident. Twenty-five years ago, dermatologists noticed that retinol, an acne treatment, also reduced fine lines, refined large pores and reversed sun damage. But there was a catch: The vitamin-A derivative also irritated skin, causing dryness and redness. As a result, many women were reluctant to add it to their skin-care regimens.
Today, however, retinol comes in a variety of formulations and strengths, so you can get the benefits without the irritation, says Dr. Paul Cohen, a dermatologist at Rosedale Dermatology Centre in Toronto. "The industry has come a long way," he says. Here's how you can take advantage of modern retinol.
Retinoid: A vitamin-A derivative available only by prescription.
Retinol: An over-the-counter derivative of vitamin A, found in concentrations of up to one percent.
Microencapsulation: This delayed-release delivery can help prevent skin irritation.
"Skin has its own natural renewal process, but as we age, skin renews itself less often," explains Dr. Cohen. "This results in the early signs of aging," including fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Vitamin A, either in an over-the-counter retinol or a a prescription retinoid, works by "stimulating cell turnover to help skin repair itself," says Dr. Cohen. The result: diminished fine lines and wrinkles, a more even skin tone and a finer texture.
Finding your formulation
Retinol is available in cream, gel and serum form. Whichever you choose, consider the overall strength of the product. For over-the-counter retinol, one percent is the highest strength allowed by Health Canada, but stronger isn't always better. "You don't necessarily have to go to that one-percent level in order to reach the results you want," says Kirk Brierley of RoC Skincare. If you're concerned about sensitivity, consider a lower strength that will deliver retinol to the skin in a more gentle manner. You can also try microencapsulated retinol, which is gradually released into the skin.
The perfect application
The best time to apply retinol will depend on the product. Serums should be applied immediately after cleansing, and creams after serum. Dr. Cohen recommends using a pea-size amount of retinol every other night to start, and eventually upping application to every night. "If your face gets red and itchy, or if it peels or burns, skip retinol for a day or two," he says. You can also apply a layer of moisturizer before your retinol; it will act as a barrier, keeping skin hydrated and reducing the risk of irritation. Finally, despite what you may have heard, retinol won't sensitize your skin to sun exposure. UV rays do, however, destabilize retinol, rendering it ineffective. So as long as you wear sunscreen every day (which you should in any case), retinol is your anti-aging friend.
Retinol, along with peptides and civitamin C, helps promote tissue regeneration around the delicate eye area.
This rich cream smooths lines and wrinkles while providing serious moisture.
Time-released technology gradually delivers retinol to the skin, minimizing fine lines and discolouration with less irritation.
Formulated with fast-working sustained-action retinol and moisture-rich hyaluronic acid, this serum is quickly absorbed.
Containing vitamins C and E and slow-release microencapsulated retinol, this serum encourages skin renewal.
A combination of retinol and Nia-114 (a form of vitamin B3) strengthens the skin's moisture barrier while combating fine lines and brightening skin tone.
Winter is coming—and with it comes dry, cracked skin that needs an extra dose of hydration. Try one of these body lotions for a little relief.
We all know that moisturizing is key if you want to make sure your skin is hydrated all winter long. But not all body lotions are created equal. Here are six products that will keep your skin soft, smooth and flake-free as the weather gets cooler.
Rocky Mountain Soap Co.
For a portable option, look no further than Rocky Mountain Soap Co. This body butter is packaged like deodorant, making it easy to apply and even easier to travel with. It’s also 100% organic and made by a Canadian company.
Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Unscented Body Butter, $14.50, rockmountainsoap.com.
Lotus Aroma’s Velvet Body Lotion is great for sensitive skin. Essential oils and botanical extracts pair with shea butter, sea buckthorn oil and moringa for a non-greasy cream that maintains hydration.
Lotus Aroma Velvet Body Lotion, $18, yesswellness.com.
This moisturizer is thick and creamy—and though you have to work it into your skin a little bit, it’s well worth the effort. Coffee seed extract, pomegranate, green tea and shea and cocoa butters work hard to keep your skin smooth and hydrated. Bonus: When I used this product it even helped tone down redness.
Frank Body Cream, $22, frankbody.com.
The Ultra Rich Body Butter by Skinfix is specially formulated for those with chronic dry skin. If you have flaking, dry and rough skin you need a product that will help to heal the skin barrier. Shea butter and coconut oil form the deeply nourishing base that helps to lock in moisture—and offers you some sweet relief from dry skin.
Skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter, $18, skinfixinc.com.
You don’t have to spend a lot to keep your skin soft and smooth. Try Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Lotion to keep your skin moisturized.
Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion, $7, well.ca.
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps is a cult favourite. Rich, non-greasy and super hydrating, this lotion is formulated with cocoa butter and beta-carotene for a hefty dose of lubrication and vitamin A.
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps, $38, kiehls.ca.
Ryan Brook Credits: Ryan Brook