retinol-101

Retinol 101: Why Our Founder & Skin Health Experts Love It
Retinol 101: Why Our Founder & Skin Health Experts Love It
April 27, 2022 by Kate Somerville

It’s a powerhouse anti-aging ingredient that also works wonders for acne-prone skin. Additionally, it’s a highly active ingredient that can cause irritation when overused. What’s the ingredient? Retinol. We’ve got your top retinol questions answered in this blog, including what is retinol, the benefits of retinol, and how we formulate our clinical products you can use at home to visibly firm, smooth and brighten skin overnight. 


Why Kate Loves Retinol

Our founder Kate loves retinol for many reasons, saying, “I have all my clients over the age of 30 use retinol two to three times a week. When it comes to visible age repair, it’s a total multitasker, helping to remove environmental damage, aid in wrinkle reduction, reduce scarring, minimize pore size, improve skin texture, remove brown spots… it does it all!” 


How Does Retinol Help With Anti-Aging?

When you apply retinol topically, it helps to combat the appearance of wrinkles by increasing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. As your skin becomes more hydrated, your face will appear fuller and the skin smoother. Retinol also helps soften age spots and even skin tone. Additionally, it’s a great exfoliator, unclogging pores and sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Exfoliating also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by buffing away the surface layers of skin, leaving fresher younger-looking skin exposed, which is great for visible age repair.


How Does Retinol Help With Acne?

Kate tells us, “When my teenage son started using retinol, we saw visible improvement of his skin and less frequent breakouts.”

So how does retinol work on acne-prone skin? Retinol’s exfoliating properties help prevent breakouts and clear existing breakouts from skin’s surface. Exposing these new layers of skin also aids in evening your complexion and minimizing the visibility of acne scarring. In addition to its exfoliating benefits for acne-prone skin, retinol is also helpful because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help clear breakouts.


How Can I Pair Retinol With Other Active Ingredients?

If you’re focusing your skincare routine on age repair, you may be wondering can I pair retinol with niacinamide? What other active ingredients help visibly firm skin? If you’re focused more on acne clearing skincare regimen, you may be wondering can I use retinol while using salicylic acid? 

While we answer those top questions in our other blogs about retinol, we think it’s important to also educate yourself on how the retinol products you add to your beauty cabinet are formulated.


How Does Kate Somerville Formulate With Retinol?

As we mentioned above, retinol is an active ingredient that has the potential to irritate the skin. As Skin Health Experts, we’ve got the science of ingredient formulations down to an art. We know what works and how to formulate highly active ingredients with soothing essentials to deliver visible results fast. Often, you’ll find our products contain several different ingredients that perform similar functions. By expertly combining them, you get the benefit of visible results without the downside of downtime. It may sound complicated, but in the hands of an expert, our goal is to make effective skincare effortless. 


How Do I Start Using Retinol?

If you’re new to using retinol in your skincare routine, we recommend starting with a product that’s expertly formulated with retinol and other ingredients that mimic the visible results of retinol without irritation. For example, our DermalQuench Liquid Lift™ + Retinol, Kate’s clinic-inspired Oxygen facial, is clinically formulated with both retinol and HPR (a retinoic acid ester) to deliver active ingredients into skin where they’re quickly absorbed, visibly minimizing the look of pores, smoothing lines & wrinkles and improving uneven skin tone without the irritation that often accompanies high concentrations of retinol.

This gentle formulation can be used on skin multiple times a week. Start with once or twice a week, see how skin responds, and increase frequency depending on your age. For example, Kate recommends using retinol three times a week in your 30s, four times a week in your 40s, and up to five times a week after the age of 50 and when your skin is acclimated.


What Retinol Products Deliver The Best Visible Results For Anti-Aging?

Another retinol product that delivers visible results fast is our KateCeuticals™ Resurfacing Overnight Peel, which is clinically formulated with a retinol complex that’s delivered in a controlled release system. By encapsulating our retinol within a ceramide, it remains on the skin’s surface, releasing retinol more quickly into skin’s lipids, visibly improving skin firmness and promoting cell turnover that helps smooth fine lines & wrinkles while enhancing radiance with minimal irritation.


How Does Kate Combine Retinol With Other Active Ingredients?

As Skin Health Experts, we pride ourselves on expertly formulating our retinol products to deliver visible results without the downtime. We also love when we can combine two powerhouse ingredients, like salicylic acid and retinol in our Eradikate® Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment. Lightweight and expertly formulated with 2% salicylic acid and retinol, these ingredients help clear breakouts while improving blackheads, pimples, and overall skin texture. We also have an effective eye cream with retinol, the Kate Somerville +Retinol Firming Eye Cream. It’s got a combination of retinol and bioretinol to deliver visible firming and smoothing of the eye area without irritation.


Or, if you’re looking for a powerhouse ingredient duo to target the visible signs of aging, consider Kate’s +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer and +Retinol Vita C Serum. While retinol and vitamin C are both highly active and considered difficult to pair together, Kate and her team of experts found a way. Pure Retinol and Ascorbic Acid (pure Vitamin C) join forces in a stabilized clinical formulation that firms, smooths & brightens skin overnight. Use once or twice a week – on alternating evenings – to see visible results fast.


Interested in adding retinol to your skincare routine? Shop our +Retinol collection. Ready for clinic-level results? Visit one of our Skin Health Expert Clinics.