Retinol is one of the many, single active wonder-ingredients of the skincare world. OK, so sunscreen is undoubtedly the best anti-ager there is, but retinoids (the umbrella name for retinols, retinoic acid and all manner of others) comes a very close second.
“Retinol has always been a beauty must, simply because it’s the most well-studied topical treatment available,” explains Dr. Haena Kim, one of the Bay Area’s top plastic surgeons.
“Numerous unbiased studies have been performed on the effects of tretinoin (the most active form of retinol or vitamin A) and these have continually proven its ability to thicken the skin and re-organize collagen and elastic fibers, not to mention the help it provides for pigmentation issues.”
A phenomenal anti-aging ingredient, retinol enhances the skin in so many ways it should be at the top of everyone’s daily skincare regime. It improves firmness and texture, increases cell turnover, fades discoloration, heck it even has antioxidant benefits.
Like any effective skincare ingredient, however (yes vitamin C, here’s looking at you), not all retinols are created equally. Buy a retinol treatment in a glass, transparent jar for example, and it will deteriorate before you’ve even opened the bottle. Similarly, if you nip to your local drugstore and pick up the latest, bargain retinol cream yes, you might save a few bucks, but you’ll be walking away with a much weaker product than if you invested in a doctor-prescribed retinol.
We’ve become total, medical-grade retinol fiends here at HintMD and love it for its proven ability to work on wrinkles, acne, pores and pigmentation. Which is why we were pretty darn excited when PCA Skin reinvented three of its targeted retinol products because (in its own words):
“Everyone’s skin is unique. Your retinol solution should be too.”
Here’s the deal…
WHAT THEY ARE: While most retinol treatments are used on a one-product-suits-all basis, PCA Skin R-OH Retinol Solutions are a group of three, specialized solutions that target specific conditions. Each comes with a new, patented delivery system called Omnisome, which is able to carry a high concentration of stable retinol (0.5 percent) plus other key ingredients deeper into the skin for superior results. This Omnisome system also reduces the irritation so often experienced with retinol products, because it allows the active ingredients to slowly penetrate through the layers of the skin rather than forcing it to sit on the top for hours where it can cause sensitivity, redness and peeling. This time-release action continues over a period of 10 hours meaning your skin can reap the benefits of those skin-rejuvenating ingredients slowly and progressively rather than in one big, potentially irritating hit.
WHAT THEY DO: R-OH Retinol Solutions have been formulated to treat three specific skin concerns:
1. Intensive Brightening Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol Night
The Lowdown: Specifically formulated to target discoloration, key ingredients include niacinamide, which minimizes redness and yellowing; hexylresorcinol, a soothing antiseptic compound thought to have skin lightening abilities; and resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps promote an even skin tone.
2. Intensive Age Refining Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol Night
The Lowdown: Niacinamide is combined with hydrating ingredients like panthenol and sodium hyaluronate in this targeted, anti-aging retinol for dry, mature skin types.
3. Intensive Clarity Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol Night
The Lowdown: Packed with acne-clearing ingredients like salicylic acid, and lilac stem cell extract to reduce excess sebum and inflammation, call this your go-to for fighting breakouts and increasing cell turnover.
THE SCOOP: For want of a better phrase, we’re coining R-OH Retinol Solutions the ‘next level’ in retinol treatments. By combining this highly-effective, clinically-proven ingredient with targeted antioxidants, botanicals and extracts, PCA Skin has created a veritable dream team of retinols that maximizes its abilities and custom-treats your concerns. No mean feat.
PRICE: $106 each
Written by: Georgia Gould