We asked Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, listed among HealthFinder.gov’s Super Doctors, to tell us all about Retinol.
MODERN SALON: Let’s start with the basics: What is retinol?
DR. MARNIE NUSSBAUM: The term “Retinol” is a litle complicated. Retinol is a member of the Retinoid family, which includes several variations of different concentrations. All are Vitamin A derivatives and also known as antioxidants. Retinol is the one product I always recommend to my patients, as it is the hardest-working ingredient out there to rejuvenate the skin.
MS: Who can retinol benefit?
MN: Retinol is for any of your clients looking to treat or prevent signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, uneven pigment, skin laxity, and dullness. No matter your skin type, tone or texture, and no matter your age, Retinol is one of the best options when it comes to skin rejuvenation. I always tell my patients that you are never too young to start incorporating Retinol into your daily routine. Depending on your skin and history of sun exposure, the first signs of aging can start as early as your 20s. The key to preventing redness, dryness and flakiness (retinization) when starting retinol is to begin with a low concentration and slowly incorporate it into your nightly routine. As your skin adjusts, you can gradually increase frequency of application. You should tell clients they should not use Retinol if they are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or nursing. When clients are planning a pregnancy, tell them it’s best to talk to their OB/GYN about when to stop using Retinol.
MS: What are your favorite retinol products?
MN: The one brand I really trust and recommend to my patients is Opulus Beauty Labs. Its novel chemistries create Retinol formulations that were previously impossible. Its Starter System, which offers the Retinol+ Ramp-Up Regimen and Opulus Activator, removes the guesswork when it comes to getting the Retinol right, which I find is a common challenge among my patients. I use Opulus myself, and I love it.
The Ramp-Up Regimen does the work for you, providing four weeks of single-dose nightly skin care applications, called Opoule Treatments, and alternates the treatments between Retinol and the RHR Overnight Mask, to soothe and restore skin between Retinol nights and minimize sensitivity. Each Opoule Treatment is thermally blended by the Opulus Activator to create a formula that is not possible in a traditional bottle, jar, or tube. The individual Opoule Treatment is separated into two formulations—the harder exterior Coat and the softer interior Core; each keeps its key ingredients isolated and protects stability. Using patent-pending, precision thermal blending at 107°F, the Activator unites the two, transforming them into a potent and fresh application. Heat-amplified and warmed up in the Activator’s bowl, a rich, luxurious treatment is created at the perfect temperature to facilitate absorption. Plus, the Ramp-Up Regimens provide an easy-to-follow cadence that increases the frequency of nightly retinol usage. These regimens are available at three different concentrations of Retinol—0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%—so that you can easily increase your percentage of Retinol month after month. Your clients don’t even have to think about it, because each Opoule Treatment is everything they need nightly. It’s one and done.
Also, you know exactly what you are getting. In some traditional products, you never know the true percentage of Retinol because it can be impacted by packaging, oxidation, delivery, and exposure to sunlight, along with other ingredients that are combined within the formula that may degrade the Retinol molecule. This makes it difficult to compare one product against another, but with the innovative Opulus chemestries, I have confidence that .1% is in fact .1%. The Retinol Opoule Treatments are anhydrous (waterless) and use a unique, patent-pending formulation that optimizes concentration and prevents loss of potency, which can occur when these ingredients are traditionally combined and stored together.
I like it because it makes my evening routine a little more luxurious and a lot less cumbersome. The product is warm and soothing going onto the skin, and it’s something I found myself looking forward to each night. Plus, each treatment provides enough product to address your face, neck, chest, and hands, and I no longer need to layer on 10 products. As someone who likes to spend time with my kids and watch TV at the end of the day, I love being able to use just one product and have more time for myself.
MS: How can guests use retinol between appointments with their skin care expert?
MN: Retinol is critical to maintaining the investment that your guests have made in their skin. It will not only keep the skin rejuvenated by increasing new collagen and elastin production, but it also continues to improve overall tone and texture. Retinol works over time to increase cell turnover and encourage new collagen production, and it needs to be used diligently and consistently to see results. When used correctly, it is the perfect option to rejuvenate the skin between treatments.
When I begin a patient on any retinoid, I start them on a milder concentration to gauge their tolerance, and build it up from there. You also should alternate the guest’s retinol treatment with something that is hydrating and restorative, so that the skin can acclimate as the concentration increases. Clients could use the Opulus RHR Overnight Mask, which has hydrating, renewing, and restorative ingredients such as allantoin (at an optimized 2% when activated and applied), hyaluronic acid, and peptides.
MS: What are common retinol myths?
MN: Myth 1: Retinol cannot be used in the summer. Retinol can absolutely be used during the summer months. It does not increase photosensitivity. However, skin that is not protected with SPF may become inflamed, and Retinol will irritate it further. Myth 2: All Retinols are the same. This is not the case. Retinols vary in their bioavailability due to differences in vehicle, delivery, exposure to air, and light. Opulus Beauty Labs makes sure you are always getting the precise amount of Retinol intended due to the Opoule Treatment’s unique formula. Unlike most products, the Opoule Treatment’s liquid Core of Retinol is anhydrous, which may increase stability and longevity. This is further protected by an outer Coat that reduces exposure to air and a loss of potency.
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