Retinol is a source of vitamin A and is often animal-derived in conventional products. Animal derived retinol is called a retinoid.  VEGAN Retinol is a plant form of Retinol. The Sea Fennel Extract found in Sleep On It – Vegan Retinol is a plant alternative Retinol – and I think of it as a Retinol Upgrade.

Retinol is used to reduce fine lines, get rid of age spots/skin discoloration, heal blemishes and increases skin cell turnover to transform and restore your skin to a healthier condition.

But not all retinol is created equal and that is why many experience a negative reaction to Retinol. Many brands do not contain a carrier system that allows Retinol to effectively penetrate to the lower levels of the skin where it can generate skin cell turnover. So, if you’ve used a Retinol in the past and didn’t get the results you desired, or had a negative reaction, this is likely the reason why. Encapsulation creates an effective carrier system.

Encapsulation protects the integrity of the retinol and improves its ability to penetrate deep into the skin instead of sit on top of skin and produce irritation. This encapsulated carrier system delivers the retinol precisely to where it is most needed in the skin cells.

Now let’s talk about when to use retinol. 

Retinol should only be used once a day at night. Night time is when our bodies undergo repair and regeneration and this is when NEW collagen is produced. Additionally, Retinol deteriorates under UV rays (sunshine) so night time application is important. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight so even though you’re applying it at night, you must wear a sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn.

When you follow these steps; buy an encapsulated formula, use once a day at night, and wear a sunscreen most can safely use Retinol.

What to Expect for Results 

This is a situation where more is not better. Overuse (applying too much in an application) can lead to redness, dryness and irritation. Simply apply a light covering and gently rub it in until absorbed.

Many OTCs are not very strong and those will take about 12 weeks of consistent use before you’ll see results. Stronger formulas (e.g. Sleep On It) will take about 4 weeks of consistent use.

In closing, retinol can be safely used (although not recommended for pregnant or breast feeding women) when you purchase a product with a carrier system via encapsulation. It should be used at night before you apply other products. You should expect to see healthier skin with 4 weeks of consistent use.

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