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Here’s what we know about Retinol: Beauty Editors love – and rave – about it. It’s an anti-ageing superstar. And sometimes, if you get a little too carried away it can make your face peel off.
But anything deeper than that often gets shoved into the “too hard and sciencey” basket, because it’s all just a little too complicated.
But it shouldn’t be, because not all vitamin As were created equal, and they’re definitely not all the same, so understanding a little more about it (science overload or not) will help you choose better when you’re faced with the 43294732 varieties in the cosmetics aisle.
We spoke to the experts to make the whole thing a lot clearer.
The first thing we need to get clear is all the terminology. While you may be familiar with retinol, the words retinal, retin-A and retinoids are all used liberally in the beauty world, and what they all have in common is that they’re all part of the Vitamin A family.
“Vitamin A is known as the ‘normalising’ Vitamin as it’s fantastic at supporting and normalising the skins functions creating a healthy skin,” says Emma Hobson Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica.
And the reason we hear so much about retinol more than other types is because “it’s considered to be one of the best performing vitamin A ingredients to effectively address the signs of premature ageing and photo damaged skin”, she says.