Now, today’s topic is best cleansers to use with retinol. If that sounds good to you, give me a thumbs up. Let’s dive right in.
So first thing that you need to know, is really what retinol is and how does it work. Retinol, basically increases cell turnover. So it means that it’s faster for skin cells to come from the basal layer where they are manufactured, and come to the surface. Now, what that does, is that it means that there’s less time for pigment to go from the melena site to the skin cells around it, because that escalator of skin cells is coming to the surface faster. That’s one thing that happens.
The second thing that happens is, those skin cells are young, and juicy, and plump and delicious at the bottom. As they comes to the surface, they become scrawny, skinny, [inaudible 00:01:43] as they come to the surface. And as we age, and I’m now 37 years old, it takes about 40 days for those skin cells to come to the surface.
Can you imagine how many layers of dead skin cells that are thin and not delicious there are at the surface for me, versus my son, who is three, four years old now. Oh, gosh. I almost forget when his birthday is. Four years old now. He’s just turned four. And it takes for him, about four days for new skin cells to come to surface. And so guess what? His skin is plump, and delicious and [smoochachable 00:02:20]. And mine isn’t.
So basically, what I’m saying is, we really want to make it faster. We want to get those nice delicious cells to the skin surface faster. And that’s what vitamin A helps with. What it also does, is that by doing this, it’s improving fine lines. It also prevents degradation of collagen, which is also essential for anti-aging.
Now, the mistake that people make with retinol, is they think it’s an exfoliant. It is not an exfoliant. You may get some redness, you may get some sensitivity, you may get some flaking, but these things tend to happen at the beginning of retinal use and they tend to be a sign that you’re over doing it. And with skin of color, you really have to listen to your skin. Please do not avoid this little warning that your skin is telling you that you’re doing too much.
If that’s the case, you really need to pull back and stop for a week or so, let your skin recover. And titrate. Go in slowly. In fact, what I tend to opt for is short contact. And I tend to do the same thing with my dark circles kit. So dark circles kit for periorbital pigmentation, initially can be a little bit irritating. And so I often will say, “Okay, use your IMAX for one hour, wash it off, and then put your moisturizer on. Don’t keep it on all night.”
I would say the same thing with your retinol. Keep it on for an hour. Short contact. The maximum efficiency tends to take place at the beginning. And then after that, just keeping it on the skin for longer, can just continue to irritate your skin without much benefit. So you want to do a cost benefit analysis. And so if your skin is a little bit more sensitive, then I would opt for short contact, just put it on the skin for a short amount of time, an hour is enough, then wash it off, and put on anti inflammatories and your fatty moisturizer.
It’s also really important not to wear any other irritating ingredients with retinol. Retinol is already quite drying and it can be quite irritating to the skin, especially for skin of color. Just to avoid any PIH, Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, please don’t then combine it with an acid or something else that’s going to irritate your skin. I wouldn’t exfoliate, for example, at the same time as wearing retinal. You may alternate. Do it on different days. But I really would not recommend doing it one on top of the other.
If you want, I was thinking, “Should I do a series on retinol? What you should combine with it.” Meaning, maybe the best toner to use with retinol, the best moisturizer to use with retinol. “This is the best cleansing to use with retinal.” I just think that retinol is one of those ingredients that everyone seems to know about, everyone wants to start on. But just with us, we have to just be that bit more careful because there’s no point doing something to your skin that’s going to make it worse. Yeah, that’s basically that.
So the key things I would say to avoid, are harsh sulfate’s, avoid any acids or any alcohol toners. I would also sidestep from any fragrance or essential oils, because essential oils can sensitize the skin. Not all of them, and all to varying degrees, but they can. And putting that on with retinol, which is a known irritant, it’s just not a good idea.
Okay, so I’ve narrowed it down to three cleansers that I think the majority of you around the world can get your hands on. The first one is CeraVe Facial Cleanser. It’s got no alcohol, no fragrance, no irritants. It’s very gentle. And the second ingredient is glycerin, so it’s a humectant. But don’t forget that that’s a water magnet. So don’t forget that retinol can be quite drying to the skin, because that increasing of cell turnover can dehydrate the skin. So it’s a good idea to use humectant’s in your skincare. It doesn’t strip the skin. This particular facial cleanser is very gentle and I would recommend to use it with your retinol.
The next one I love is, Avene Xera Calm. So this is great for dry, itchy skin, especially if it’s sensitive. It’s oil based. And so that is quite soothing to dry skin. You apply it, you rinse it off and then you pat it dry, gently. I love it. It’s excellent. What I might say is, if you do have dry, itchy, irritated skin, it could be that you have a damaged skin barrier. In which case, I would not recommend that you wear retinol, so just bear that in mind.
The third product that I love is, Dove DermaSeries Face Wash. So the second ingredient here is petrolatum. It’s an occlusive. And that just means that it’s preventing any stripping of water or fats from the skin. So that’s another one that I love, and the majority of you around the world can get your hands on that.
If you want me to do a video on best moisturizers for retinol, can you just write that down below for me, as well? I would highly, highly recommend that you watch my beginner’s guide to retinol if this is the first time that you’re using it. There’s a lot of things that… I just don’t want you to make any mistakes because for us, when we make a mistake, it takes us months to recover. And a lot of us don’t have time for that. And you [inter visit 00:07:36] with you even having to wear makeup, et cetera, day-to-day life. So I just don’t want you to go down that route.
Please, please, please do watch my beginner’s guide to wearing and using retinol.