After age 20, human skin begins to lose about 1% of collagen each year (1). This process can be also sped up by factors such as chronic stress, poor diet, and smoking.
Women appear to be at greater risk of developing wrinkles with age in comparison to men due to hypo-estrogenism. Throughout a comprehensive study (2) data indicated that the risk of facial wrinkling increases significantly with each full-term pregnancy.
Additionally, estrogen deficiency during post menopause, is associated with decreases in skin collagen, and eventually, wrinkling (3).
With a growing obsession to stay youthful and with still no certified way of freezing age, many of us turn to makeup and skincare for answers and among the anti-aging products and ingredients available, a key player is Retinol.
Why Retinol? What does it do to your skin?
Often, retinol is associated with its functionality in the treatment of acne and wrinkles. Similar to Oxygen Ozone, when applied to the face as a topical treatment, retinol acts as an exfoliant and peels off outer skin layers making way for new skin.
Within our skin, there are structures called retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and retinoid X receptors (RXR). When prescription retinol in the form of retin-A or retinoic acid is applied, retinol binds to the receptors to speed up skin cell production. This causes old cells to die faster and speed up the growth of new cells. Retinol also encourages collagen production so, essentially, it triggers your skin to act younger (2). It also decreases oil gland production, making it a tool to fight acne.
Functionally, retinol helps contribute to epidermal thickness and even out skin complexion, specifically in those suffering from photodamaged skin, large pores, and hyperpigmentation (2). Retinol can be found in products such as our Revitalising Anti-Ageing Gel Treatment, Overnight Cellular Recovery Cream, Anti-Ageing Cellular Renewal Cream & Cellular Repairing Cream for Men.
Keep in mind that it is a potent skincare ingredient. It will take time for your skin to adapt when you first start using retinol. It can initially be drying for your skin and cause redness or flakiness. Always wear sunscreen if you are using retinol because it makes your skin more sensitive to photodamage, so it is ultra-important to protect your skin with SPF when using it.
Can I use Retinol when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
Unfortunately, retinol is considered unsafe to use during pregnancy because it can potentially harm your unborn child. Dermatologists practice an abundance of caution when it comes to topical retinol because of the potentially serious side effects.
Ingredients applied to the skin have the potential to be absorbed into the bloodstream and passed to the baby through the placenta. Research confirms that retinol can be transferred from parent to baby through the placenta, and up to 60 times more while breastfeeding.
Systemic retinoids (those taken by mouth) can cause birth defects. Even though there is a difference between ingesting a retinoid and putting retinol on your skin, the risks are so great that experts think it is better to be safe and avoid both all together.
It’s unfortunate because skin changes are most likely going happen during pregnancy such as dry skin, darkening skin, and acne breakouts. But you must consider switching to products that do not contain retinol or its derivatives (retinyl retinoate, retinaldehyde, or hydroxypinacolone retinoate).
Alternatives to Retinol
Retinol is a great ingredient yes, but there are other fantastic alternatives. Topical antioxidants such as Oxygen Ozone, Glycolic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C can safely enhance and boost your skin’s vitality, encourage cellular renewal, and build collagen.
Oxygen Ozone is a fantastic retinol alternative because it oxygenates the skin and improves the vitality of the cell (University of Pisa, 2017). Our Oxygen Concentrate Gel has the highest amount of Oxygen ions in our entire collection, with no other main ingredients, preservatives, or additives.
When applied to the skin, Oxygen Ozone acts similarly to retinol by speeding up the cellular renewal process. Additionally, it is very fast acting and also provides the following benefits:
- Detoxifies the skin
- Treats uneven skin tone
- Speeds up cell turnover
- Stimulates elastin and collagen production
- Mitigates acne
- Infuses moisture and hydration
- Enhances its natural glow