The Experts Explain

What’s The 411 On Retinol?

la-rocheFeatured in our specially designed December box, La Roche-Posay is a brand with massive notoriety. Known for their straight-forward ingredients and efficacious products, even for the most sensitive of skin, they’re always a fan favorite. We sat down with Anne-Marie Robertson, Director of Product Innovation, to answer all of your top questions about retinol. 

Recommended by more than 25,000 dermatologists worldwide, La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare developed with dermatologists for every skin type to complement and enhance their patients’ treatments and to promote good skincare practices at home every day. Started from Europe’s leading center of thermal dermatology, La Roche-Posay develops formulas with its exclusive Selenium-rich water, used at the center since 1905 to treat over 7,500 patients every year for skin disorders thanks to its antioxidant and soothing properties. The products are developed using a strict formulation charter with a minimal number of ingredients and are formulated with ingredients at optimal concentrations.

1. In layman’s terms, what is retinol?
Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and an effective dermatological ingredient that helps promote cell turnover, stimulate collagen production, and increase skin thickness.  It’s commonly used to help improve the appearance of wrinkles, skin firmness, discolorations and acne. It’s very important to know that retinol is different than a retinoid.  This ingredient [retinol] is often used in over the counter products, while a retinoid is prescription only.  Using Retinol provides anti-aging benefits with less irritation and sensitivity that usually comes with a retinoid.

2. At what age should women start using retinol? Also, how often?
Retinol is best suited for those women who have visible signs of aging.  It can be used by all age groups, including teenagers with acne prone skin.  It’s always best to consult with your physician or dermatologist before you start using any new regimen. Also, it’s recommended not to use retinol when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.

3. There are tons of different kinds of retinol, what kind does La Roche-Posay use and why?
Retinol is a key ingredient in La Roche-Posay’s Redermic R Anti-Aging Concentrate Intensive and Redermic R Eyes.  Our technology is unique because it combines pure retinol with retinyl linoleate.  Retinyl linoleate is a derivative of retinol in which retinol has been attached to linoleic acid.  This helps to stabilize retinol and the combination of these ingredients helps provide a controlled release of retinol into skin and improves tolerance, resulting in less dryness and irritation.  

4. How do you know what kind of retinol is right for your skin?
There are so many retinol products on the market today which makes it difficult to find the right one for your skin.  It’s important that your expectations are aligned with the product benefits and what it is designed to do.  Retinol is known to be unstable so either look for products with stabilized retinol or with appropriate packaging, such as an aluminum foil tube with an ophthalmic tip nozzle to preserve its effectiveness.

5. What should users know before introducing retinol to their regimen? 
If you are a first-time retinol user, it is always best to start using retinol in the spring or autumn as skin may be more prone to sensitivity during the summer and winter.  The ideal time to use retinol is in the evening as it’s the best time for repair.  Limit usage to 2 times a week and slowly increase usage to every other night, then to once each night as skin will tolerate.  First-time users might also notice some flaking which is normal as this is a sign your sign is exfoliating. If you use retinol in the morning, always follow with a daily sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.  In addition, retinol can make skin more susceptible to UVA/UVB rays so it’s always important to keep your skin protected.

6.With so many retinol products on the market, how does La Roche-Posay separate themselves from the masses? 
At La Roche-Posay our products are developed in partnership with dermatologists to enhance their patient’s treatments and to promote good skincare practices at home.  We are committed to developing formulas that are highly effective and suitable for sensitive skin.  We formulate with dermatological ingredients and our exclusive thermal Water which is naturally rich in antioxidant selenium.  We always follow a strict formulation charter for optimal safety and efficacy.

For additional information about La Roche-Posay, visit and follow La Roche-Posay USA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LaRochePosayUSA

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