Retinol (and all other forms of Vitamin A) is one of my favourite skincare ingredients. It has actually been proven to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it stimulates collagen production, increases cell turnover, evens out the skintone and can be used to treat acne as well! Sadly it is also unstable and, overtime, it loses its efficacy. How?
Retinol oxidizes and becomes unstable when exposed to light and air. Future Derm tells of how researches at first believed retinol didn’t work because the retinol they had used for the tests had been exposed to too much light and thus had become ineffective. In addition, a 2004 study has shown that “retinol photodamage is amplified by oxygen.”
This means that, if you’re using a retinol product that comes in a jar (and unfortunately a lot of them do, and are also quite expensive!), the retinol will break down every single time you open it. That’s why it’s best to use it within one month. After that time, it just won’t be that effective anymore. The same is true for products packaged in see-through containers, especially if not stored away from light.
Instead, opt for products that come in opaque tubes and bottles with a pump dispenser as they dispense the product without exposing it to light and air. And make sure you store them in a dark place. This way, retinol won’t become ineffective before you have a chance to finish the product and both your skin and your wallet will thank you!
Do you use products with retinol? How are they packaged?