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Marie Veronique

Gentle Retinol Serum Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I use Retin-A prescribed by my doctor. Isn’t that the same as retinol?

A: There are a number of retinoids or vitamin A derivatives. The two most commonly used are retinoic acid or tretinoin, available by prescription and found in products like Retin-A, and retinol, which can be found in many different products available for sale on the market.

Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A, and is formed in the body by the hydrolysis of retinyl esters and converted by enzymes into retinoic acid as the skin needs it.

Retin-A (and other prescription products like it) is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A derived from retinoic acid. Both slow signs of skin aging, but because retinol converts to retinoic acid the results are slower to manifest than with Retin-A. On the other hand, Retin-A’s strong effect on cell differentiation often produces side effects such as redness, peeling, dryness and flaking. Retinol has a much milder effect on the skin, so adverse reactions are rare. Bottom line: You achieve the same results with both, but retinol takes a bit longer.

Q: I just can’t use retinol, my skin gets red and irritated. I wish I could though, because I hear it’s good for your skin.

A: Retinoids are the one ingredient that all dermatologists agree you should use to correct photoaging damage, and there are numerous studies attesting to its effectiveness. But as with sunscreen, a product is only as good as one’s willingness to use it. Or, in the case of retinol, one’s ability to tolerate it. My challenge was to come up with a retinol product that even people with sensitive skin could use. My solution is Gentle Retinol Serum.

Q: What makes this retinol product different, and as you say, gentle?

A: So glad you asked! We use retinol, not retinoic acid, which most people—even those with sensitive skin—can tolerate.

We moderate potential irritation with sodium salicylate, a powerful anti-inflammatory, which allows us to use higher concentrations of retinol (7%) than you’ll find in other retinol products.

The retinol is encapsulated so it can exist in a low pH environment without degrading.

In addition to vitamin A, we use the other vitamins necessary for skin repair—L-ascorbic acid (stabilized) and vitamin E—to take advantage of the synergistic effect to be gained from using all three vitamin powerhouses together.

The end product is Gentle Retinol Serum. It delivers results like a Retin-A product—without the irritation.

Q: Who can use it?

A: Any adult interested in addressing problems associated with photoaging, like wrinkles, dryness and age spots. It also helps clear pores, control breakouts and lessen post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. People who should not use it include pregnant women, nursing mothers or people who still find it too irritating. As with any retinol product, use it only at night, and be sure and wear sunscreen during the day, every day.



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