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Another retinol post......

(49 Posts)
T1610 Mon 04-Nov-19 09:36:51

I've been using The Ordinary 1% (in squalene) for a couple of months now. I started off once a week and now up to twice a week. I had a bit of itching, tight, dry (slightly peeling) skin at first but am over that now.

I'm going to continue upping it very gradually.

My questions is...what should I be aiming for? How often should you use it once your skin is used to it? I can't find any info on how much is optimum once you are okay with it, it all seems to be about starting out.

If you've used it a long often do you use it now? Will you stick with that frequency? Has it helped with anti aging?

T1610 Thu 07-Nov-19 10:46:08


Any hardened retinol users out there to give advice?

lindyloo57 Thu 07-Nov-19 22:32:09

I would once you use it every night, go get some retirides which is the real deal, youhave to go slowly as you do with the ordinary, I get mine when I go to Spain, or ask a friends when they travel, it costs around 19 euro, I started useing the ordinary for two years, and now retin A, been useing it for just over a year. I started with 0.05 for one year, just got a new one and stepped up to .1 the strongest so going slowly with it.

T1610 Fri 08-Nov-19 17:16:45

Thanks Lindy

Is it much stronger than the Ordinary 1%?

Have you noticed a difference? My forehead seems to have aged twenty years in the last six months!!

I wish I'd started on retinol 20 years ago! (and stayed in the shade) sad

jenthelibrarian Fri 08-Nov-19 17:30:58

My daughter recently recommended I try The Ordinary retinols but she told me to get the one called 'Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion'

If you read their own site they say:
"This formulation combines two forms of next-generation retinoid actives.....[description of the 2 forms]....Both forms of retinoid used avoid the irritation associated with retinoids (including retinol) use while delivering better visible results against signs of aging."

Daughter and I have both been using this every night and neither of us have had any reaction to it. Of course sunscreen is recommended, too.
She thinks the stuff is magic, I've only just started on it and suspect I might be too old and past noticing an effect smile

T1610 Fri 08-Nov-19 18:09:31

Well according to some of the hype, it can actually reverse aging!

It's a bit of a minefield though. So many different terms...retonoids, retin A, retinol, retinoic acid retinyl palmeate, enough to give you wrinkles just trying to get your head around it all.

I just went with the 1% because I'd read it was the strongest you can but otc in the UK.

It would be interesting to see the skin of people who had used it for years and see if they looked younger than their actual age.

My son - doing A level Biology so clearly an expert ;) - said that once skin cells only regenerate a limited amount of times so encouraging new cells is as bad idea.

I don't know, I'm at a stage where I'm just going to make up for lost time and throw the strong stuff on and hope for the best.

ethelredonagoodday Fri 08-Nov-19 18:15:23

Following as started using the ordinary stuff, but never sure if I'm doing it right! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

Hefzi Fri 08-Nov-19 18:18:12

I use it every night, with the very odd exception. I am not convinced it does much, though (on second bottle) and have never experienced peeling or dryness, though maybe that's because I have used very active skincare for years already?

I get a slight tingle - and see a better impact on my skin--from the M Asam retinol dailies from QVC, though obviously they cost several times as much as the Ordinary, and don't last nearly as long.

I'm quite underwhelmed overall with retinol, though - I've also tried Rodial, Nip and Tuck, Sunday Riley, the Inkey Listand Kate Somerville's: the Alpha H sleep peel and the Asam are the only ones I see anything approaching an impact.

Haworthia Fri 08-Nov-19 18:32:00

This really helped me understand retinoids:

When it comes to The Ordinary, the granactive retinoid products are weaker than their retinol products. Why they seem to push those products over their retinols I don’t know (I guess it renders them pointless otherwise... and tbh I think they are wink).

All are pretty mild. I used the 0.5% retinol in squalane for a bit, but then my parents went on holiday to Spain so I’m stocked up on Retirides now. I’m using the 0.025% every night with virtually no irritation. Will move up to 0.05% when my tube is finished.

botemp Fri 08-Nov-19 18:37:29

It's not a hype, tretinoin is scientifically proven for decades to reverse ageing. It even helps stop the formation of certain forms of skin cancer. This is pretty specific to tretinoin, all other non prescription retinoids have limited evidence WRT anti ageing, retinol is the best researched that shows some potential as it has to do a two step conversion to become active (as tretinoin in much much lower concentrations than the prescription stuff). However, not everyone has the ability to convert retinol into tretinoin effectively, your skin going through the peeling stage or not is not necessarily evidence that you're a good or bad converter. My advice to anyone looking to actually tackle established ageing as opposed to some fine lines and isn't especially sensitive is to go the prescription route (with a dermatologist, look at Dermatica for an affordable option) because it's not an overnight miracle. And even tretinoin has its limits, eg. very deep wrinkles, especially those formed in expressive faces and substantial loss of collagen is really Botox and fillers territory.

Tretinoin requires six months before you can really evaluate any effect. It takes years to really see a reversal of actual ageing but in the meantime you will enjoy a quality of skin that just isn't achievable with regular skincare. Downsides are that it's not easy for everyone to get on with and you have to be extremely diligent with sunscreen. Year round SPF50 stand alone sunscreen (not makeup, moisturiser, etc.) and topping up every two hours (potentially sooner if very fair) with prolonged outdoor exposure.

WRT frequency and concentration, retinoids are proven most effective when used consistently. The frequency has little differentiating effect, it doesn't matter whether you use it nightly, every other or a few times a week. Whatever you tolerate best works best. The same can be said for prescription strengths, when used for anti-ageing it's again consistent use that gets results rather than constantly pushing for higher concentrations. In non prescription retinoids, the percentages are essentially meaningless due to the conversion process and cosmetic companies get rather creative with their maths for marketing purposes.

roundturnandtwohalfhitches Fri 08-Nov-19 18:43:04

I used The Ordinary 1% in squalane and didn't really like it much. Changed to the 2% emulsion and I love it. No irritation and my shin looks fab. I love Deciem stuff. I am 50, my skin is good but it's my forehead that has aged over the last year. I don't want to use Botox so I started using Frownies at night and after 6 weeks it's looking way better. They look v stupid but they do work.

T1610 Fri 08-Nov-19 18:47:27

Wow Botemp! Thanks for that. You really know your stuff smile

The scary thing is that you could be spending all that money (and time) on retinol products and not actually be able to convert it??! Are there any early indicators that you aren't able to convert it?

I can't afford dermatologists but I'll persevere and be consistent.

Thanks for the link Haworthia...I'll watch it tonight on my laptop.

Ah, the joys of battling the signs of aging eh? First world problems and all that ;)

I'll look into the QVC ones Hefzi. Is it the Ordinary 1% you use every night?

T1610 Fri 08-Nov-19 18:49:53

I've heard about Frownies...I'd wear them but I'm sure my husband would take the piss. I frown a lot, especially when I'm reading or on the computer, oh and driving. I might buy some to use in the house when I'm alone!

botemp Fri 08-Nov-19 18:57:08

Dermatica is an online dermatologist service, it's £22 per month iirc and you get a tretinoin moisturiser for that every month you're signed up, you can easily stop and start. It's a relatively affordable option and at least you have guidance, I don't recommend going it alone with buying abroad, especially if unfamiliar with this all, because you can inadvertently end up harming your skin, in some cases irreparably. They slowly build up your tolerance and can add in other actives to tackle things like pigmentation too.

It's pretty difficult to tell whether you're converting effectively or not. Hence if you want absolute assurance and something proven to work for anti-ageing it pretty much leaves you with the choice of tretinoin and ehm tretinoin wink

T1610 Fri 08-Nov-19 19:09:48

Just had a look at the website Botemp and am about to start the consultation. £22 a month sounds affordable.

Sorry, one more question, when you say trenitoin, is the Dermatica trenetoin the proper stuff (as in stuff that's prescribed by a Doctor?)

Thanks so much smile

botemp Fri 08-Nov-19 19:18:28

Yes, they get you tretinoin but you do have to indicate that your main concern is ageing and you're interested in tretinoin. They also prescribe a different retinoid for acne, adapalene, but that has no evidence that it has anti ageing properties though it is theorised it does. But you basically get a custom made prescription with tretinoin in it, not a generic tube like you'd get in a pharmacy. Good luck, I can't use their service myself as I'm not in the UK but I have recommended it to others and they've all been very pleased with it. And remember to use SPF 50 daily smile

ChardonnaysDistantCousin Fri 08-Nov-19 19:21:40

Any type of retinoid gives me palpitations.

Really strange. Anyone else?

CTRL Fri 08-Nov-19 19:24:18

This sounds like a retinoid reaction.

Best thing you can do is stop using your retinol product for a few days until your skin starts to repair then when recovered you can slowly start using the product again. Maybe twice a week then gradually but slowly increase again so you skin can get used to it.

Im an aesthetician 😉

Magicautumnalhues Fri 08-Nov-19 19:37:08

Interesting, so this explains why my intermittent use of Sunday Riley overnight retinol hasn’t done anything!

Hefzi Fri 08-Nov-19 21:04:17

Hi, again, OP - yep, I've been using the Ordinary 1% with squalene nightly since the spring.

Interesting to read that skin reactions don't indicate conversion or otherwise. Money's tight for me til the new year, but I think I'll give Dermatica a go - cheers for the recommendation, botemp!

I wear 50 every day anyway, though I am rarely outside much: but for the last couple of years, I have also got into the habit of reapplying before I leave work also, instead of just using it in the morning. I find that living in a city has done more damage than anything - unless it's just age, of course, and that happens to coincide with city living... Until I was 40ish, people assumed I was in my early 20s. Now it's very clear I'm in my late 40s grin

T1610 Sat 09-Nov-19 13:02:27

I've submitted my consultation. Should hear back soon and find out if they've prescribed Tretinion (just realiased I had been spelling it wrong in previous posts).

Thanks again Botemp.

I will update.

T1610 Sat 09-Nov-19 13:08:25

Hefzi - I'm the same. I wear sunscreen pretty much everyday. But, I used to neglect my skin, smoke and drink a fair bit in my youth (and a bit beyond) so I've probably wrecked my skin with my past lifestyle. The follies of youth! (but I had fun so can't complain too much!)

Mamazita Sat 09-Nov-19 16:02:08

I’ve been using tretinoin from Dermatica for 6 months. I also had acne when I started it. My acne has cleared and my whole skin texture has changed. It’s a game changer. I would recommend using a niacinamide serum with your tretinoin as in clinical studies this has been shown to help with any irritation.

I recommend Dermatica to everyone and I actually started an instagram page to share my progress pics. The head of dermatology at Dermatica, Natalia is lovely and she’s on instagram under the name @nmkskin she always responds to any DM’s my progress pics are on her page

Mamazita Sat 09-Nov-19 16:03:44

Also, stop using acids and vitamin c for the first month. Your skin may be a little sensitive at first due to the tret

T1610 Sat 09-Nov-19 20:37:43


Wow! just checked out the page. Some of the before and after pics are amazing!

I won't ask which one is you unless you want to say but.....I cannot wait for my order!! smile

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