110 S. Greeley Street, Stillwater MN 55082


The Esthetician Corner: All About Retinol

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Posted in Skin Care.

Our Esthetician Team Lead, Cassidy shares her knowledge on the skin care ingredient, Retinol. Is Retinol the right choice for your skin?

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a term often used for large group of ingredients derived from Vitamin A. When people are typically talking about “Retinol” they can mean anything from Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol itself, Retinaldehyde, or Retinoic Acid; the strongest of which being the latter.

The difference between something you can buy at a spa and something at a dermatologist’s office is purely strength. Many people have a misconception that the stronger the ingredient, the better. While this may be true for some ingredients, as we do more and more research we are finding that this is not the case for Retinol.

The Prescription Retinoid Cycle

Many people will see their Dermatologist for a prescription retinoid and experience moderate to extreme skin peeling after use. This peeling is a side effect of the Vitamin A and its ability to turnover surface layers of the skin. This can lead to a vicious cycle of using the product on and off to get desired results. Recent studies have shown that continued use of over- the-counter Retinol, as apposed to sporadic use of prescription strength retinoic acid, provide far better results.

Who is it good for?

Anyone looking to help fight the signs of aging.

Who is it not good for?

Pregnant women, some sensitive/inflammed skin types.

What to expect while using OTC retinol

Though a milder form of Vitamin A, you may experience some mild peeling or flaking. This subsides over time as your skin adjusts to the ingredients. Always follow the directions for best results.

How do I use it?

Use your Retinol products after cleansing and toning. Apply all other treatment products after the Retinol.


If you have not used Retinols in the past it is best to start applying on an every other night basis and work your way up to every night.

If you have reactive skin, make sure to apply your Retinol on completely dry skin as this will slow the absorption of the product. If you have normal skin you may apply as you normally would right after your toning step.


Don’t apply a large amount thinking this will give you faster results. Apply a pea size and spread. You’ll save money and your skin in the long run.

Don’t apply your Retinols during the day. This can actually breakdown the effectiveness of the Vitamin A.

Is there an alternative to Retinols?

Yes! If you happen to be sensitive to Vitamin A, using products with exfoliating ingredients (such as AHA’s) are an excellent option. Look for products that talk about “surface cell turnover” or “resurfacing ingredients”.

Just For Me Spa retail options

  1. Dermalogica Original Overnight Retinol Repair: Overnight Retinol Repair is a great starting product for people interested in Retinol. It contains a 0.5% pure form of Retinol. Retail price: $87.00
  2. Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1%: This 1% formula is a great step up from the original Overnight Retinol Repair. It contains a 1% pure form of Retinol. Retail price: $97.00
  3. Dermalogica Age Reversal Eye Complex: The Age Reversal Eye Complex is a intensive treatment for the eye area and contains micro-encapsulated Retinol. Retail price: $78.00

Alternative Options to Retinol at Just For Me Spa

  1. Aveda Oliation Oil & Dry Face Brush: Use this luxurious ritual duo to create a more radiant skin. Retail price: Oliation Oil: $49.00 & Dry Face Brush: $44.00
  2. Dermalogica Daily Resurfacer: These pads provide the perfect dose of daily exfoliation. Retail price: $70.00
  3. Aveda Tulasara Bright Concentrate: This serum provides great exfoliating benefits without being harsh on the skin. Retail price: $59.00

Are you interested in learning more about Retinol? Visit Just For Me Spa and talk to one of our talented Estheticians to learn more. 110 South Greeley Street, Stillwater Minnesota. 651.439.4662 www.justformespa.com

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