The benefits of retinol to delay the signs that the passage of time leaves on the face are known. But what is not so popular is the use of this active ingredient on the skin of the body. According to Francesca Cambuli, Doctor of Pharmacy and Head of Education and Applied Research at Paula's Choice, "retinol reduces wrinkles, smoothes rough texture, firms, improves skin tone and reduces breakouts or blemishes."
In general, caring for the body's skin is a pending issue for most, except when the good weather arrives. This is a mistake, because as Estefanía Marcos, engineer and founder of Lico Cosmetics, explains, "the skin of the body is equally exposed to the effects of the sun, pollution, gravity and the passage of time in general, appearing sagging, spots and lack of brightness".
For this reason, it is worth taking care of it all year round, with a cleaning product that does not damage the skin barrier, with sun protection and also with specific creams such as retinol. "The great power of retinol against flaccidity, wrinkles, blemishes and acne is more than proven, making it the antiaging active ingredient par excellence for facial care, and also the most complete ingredient for body care," adds Estefanía Marcos.
Cell renewal and anti-spot action. One of the benefits of retinol is cell renewal, a natural process that slows down with age, which is why experts advise including this active ingredient in both facial and body routines. "On the skin of the body, this effect is very interesting in the case of scars, keratosis, stretch marks, acne marks or sun spots," explains Mar Sieira, founder of the Sarah Becquer dermocosmetics brand.
Anti-aging. Although the signs of aging are more evident on the face, they also appear on the body and retinol is a good asset to combat them. According to Dr. Marta García-Legaz, dermatologist and medical communicator at IMR, “retinol stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. There are areas, such as the neckline or arms, that also suffer the effects of aging, in the form of wrinkles and spots.
Anti-cellulite. Cellulite is one of the most important body aesthetic concerns at all ages. And retinol helps improve it. Dr. Virginia Velasco Tamariz, dermatologist at Dr. Morales Raya's clinic, points out that “retinol is also used in firming body lotions and for the treatment of cellulite. As well as in products for dermatoporosis or skin fragility associated with aging.
In general, the guidelines are the same as on the face. Dr. Virginia Velasco Tamariz advises "applying retinol at night, since it is a photosensitive active ingredient, and should always be associated with photoprotection during the day."
It should not be forgotten that this active ingredient can cause irritation, so it is advisable to gradually introduce it into the routine. Dr. Marta García-Legaz recommends "starting with minimal applications (2-3 times a week) and increasing the number of times and the concentration according to tolerance".
On the other hand, Dr. Velasco Tamariz reminds that “as in the facial routine, we must be careful with sensitive skin, especially in people with certain diseases such as atopic dermatitis. However, by following correct usage guidelines and combining it with restorative products, virtually any skin can benefit from retinol use."
On the other hand, there are products that have been specifically formulated to have greater tolerance, such as Retinol Firming Serum from Lico Cosmetcs. Estefanía Marcos, founder of the firm, explains that they have opted for “microencapsulating the pure formula of retinol in a cellulose polymer. This has a patented effect, called 'realase on demand', which releases retinol slowly as the skin needs it, acting on the skin for 8 hours. This technology allows greater efficacy, greater stability and, best of all, greater tolerance of the active ingredient itself, significantly reducing irritation.
In any case, these products are not recommended for use in pregnant women.