What is a Retinol?

Retinol is a type of retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A; it’s an antioxidant. For retinol to actual work in the skin, it needs to go through two conversions to become the active form of retinoic acid. If the retinol is a retinol ester like Retinyl Palmitate, it will have to go through three steps to become active.

Retinol Side Effects

The side effects of retinol are that it can cause dryness, peeling, and irritation because they often sit on the surface of the skin, as many of these are not Pharmaceutical Grade. They also tend to be less effective as they lose potency through the conversion process. It can make your skin more sensitive to other products, procedures, and sunlight. Don’t use scrubs, AHA, BHA, benzyl peroxide, and vitamin C at the same time as a retinol; these do not mix well together. Do not use Retinols if you are pregnant or nursing!

What is Retinal?

Retinaldehyde or Retinal for short is proven to work 11 times faster that Retinol but with less irritation, this is because it only needs to go through one conversion to become active.  The tolerance profile of Retinal is ideal for sensitive skin and this powerful molecule resurfaces skin, enhances collagen production, reduces blemishes, fades fine lines and wrinkles and brightens the complexion in a gentle but effective way. Retinal acts in a similar manner as retinoic acid, but with minimal side effects. This formulation is often found in Pharmaceutical Grade products. BUT you want a Retinal that penetrates and does not sit on the skin surface!

Which Retinal do I recommend and why?

Now penetration is key when it comes to a serum, we need it to get into the epidermal layer and down to the DEJ, as this is where the support is needed. I recommend the Osmosis Beauty MD Retinals, the serums have the unique liposomal delivery system to ensure optimal results by coating the Retinaldehyde molecule in a liposome called phosphatidylcholine to increase penetration by 600%. This coating mimics the properties of the cells in your body, making it easily recognizable by the skin and body to enhance absorption and boost results. That means that you get the benefit of a Retinal, but the conversion and delivery happens under the skin, so it has no irritation on the skin’s surface. This formulation has been found to be safe for pregnant and while nursing.

The Skincare Correctives online store offers three options by Osmosis Beauty MD, I recommend starting at the lowest, Calm, then Correct, working your way up to Renew. Go slow and steady!