It’s fair to say that not everyone gets chance to access their own personal facialist, but yes, we’re pretty good to you here at RIH. Anti-ageing queries or acne concerns? Fine lines or under-eye circles? Each month, we give you the chance to put your questions to celebrity facialist and skincare expert Teresa Tarmey…
I keep hearing about retinol and honestly it seems like there’s so much confusion and conflicting advice that I don’t know where to start. I’m 29 and starting to have some fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes, so I think retinol sounds like it might be a good idea. What do you advise?
Retinol has to be one of my favourite skincare products on the market – if you’ve not heard of it before, it’s a topical Vitamin A-based product which can be bought over the counter. Retinol has many benefits for the skin, basically acting as an exfoliator on a very high speed – and when I say exfoliator I don’t mean the same effect that you would get from a peel or a glycolic acid-based product. Not everyone – but most people – will slightly peel from retinol which in this case is taking away the dead skin as the same time as all the other amazing benefits. Put simply, retinol increases the cell turnover, resulting in fresher, brighter and more evenly-toned skin. I would never advise anyone under the age of 18 to use retinol, as their skin might be too sensitive, but it has great benefits for anyone 18+ that suffers from acne, plus it has fantastic anti-ageing benefits for anyone aged 30+.
As retinol makes the skin more sensitive, I would recommend always using an SPF, or a moisturiser that has an SPF in it. Retinol is suitable for all skin types, but I would still advise you to start by testing a small area before applying it to your whole face.
Product-wise, I personally love Aestheticare as it’s a gentle retinol that over time gradually builds up the percentage. I would get advice on the best way to use it for your skin type and always make sure to ask about the potential of peeling and skin sensitivity. I recommend starting with a low percentage such as 0.3% – 0.5% 2-3 times per week and gradually increasing. Once the skin can tolerate retinol, you can use every night after cleansing. And once your skin gets used to the percentage, you can creep up to the next strength and so on. I would recommend using it in the evening – simply let the product soak into the skin first and then apply your usual products whether that’s a serum or a night cream.
Got a skincare question? Fill in our form with full details and you might have the chance to have Teresa Tarmey answer your question next month! For more information on Teresa, see her website.