Using a retinol product with your Simple Sugars Facial

Woman using retinol

Here's what you should know about retinol and how to use it with your Simple Sugars Facial.

Retinol is highly lauded and extremely popular as part of an anti-aging skincare regimen. It's also one of the most notoriously irritating ingredients you can put on your face. 

We're going to do a quick breakdown on retinol and how or if you should use it with your Simple Sugars Facial. 

So, what is retinol anyway and why is it so popular? Retinol (part of the class called retinoids) is a Vitamin A derivative. These compounds have been around since the 1970's when they were introduced in prescription strength to treat acne. Retinoids are the active ingredient in Accutane and Retin-A. Retinol is a milder form which is why it's available over the counter. Retinol is very popular because it works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Let me repeat, it works! 

So what effect does it have on the skin and how does it work? According to Dr, Divya Shokeen a cosmetic dermatologist, as quoted in the NYT today, "retinol increases skin cell turnover which causes exfoliation. This helps to clean out clogged pores which can treat acne and prevent future breakouts" 

According to New York City dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, “It also functions like an antioxidant to help address free radical damage, which leads to visible signs of aging.” 

Hmmm, that sounds very familiar! Interestingly, this is exactly how our facials work - they promote skin cell turnover by gently exfoliating and, if you read this newsletter with any regularity, you know we're all about the antioxidants and the benefits they provide. So it seems like Simple Sugars Facials and Retinol have some things in common. 

BUT there are 3 major differences: 

1) Retinol has been clinically studied. Big companies can afford to do that. We can't, so we rely on good ingredients and common sense. 

2) Retinol has a long list of side-effects ranging from mild irritation and sun sensitivity to intense flaking and burning. Simple Sugars products are completely side effect free.  

3) Retinol is not recommended for people with sensitive skin, eczema or rosacea. Simple Sugars Facials are specifically formulated for these people. 

As humans, we have a tendency to think that if some is good, then more must be better! So, it sounds like the combination of a Simple Sugars Facial and retinol could be the anti-aging Holy Grail! And who knows? Maybe it could be? But this is purely speculation. 

Here's what we know for sure:

Anything that you put on your face after your use one of our facials is going to have enhanced absorption because of the exfoliation that our products provide. That means if you've used retinol for years before using one of our facials and never had an issue with irritation and then suddenly have a reaction when using it with one of our facials - well, that makes sense, doesn't it. At this point, you have to choose. I guess you know where we stand on this topic, but hey, we're all entitled to make our own choices, so we leave that up to you. 

This doesn't mean you shouldn't use retinol with Simple Sugars IF you do not have sensitive skin. It just means you need to be careful and maybe use less or a lower concentration. You should always use retinol at night and you should regularly wear sunscreen during the day in case of increased sun sensitivity. 

If you have sensitive skin, eczema or rosacea, you should avoid retinol. You should use a Simple Sugars Facial with Emu Oil instead. Added bonus? You won't need to spend extra money on moisturizer.