Beginners Guide To Retinol

March 03 2021 – Cassandra Hilton

Beginners Guide To Retinol
Beginners Guide To Retinol

Do you really know why you’re supposed to use it, or why most dermatologists consider it pure magic? Do you even really know how to apply it?

We are here here to break down everything you’ve ever wanted to know about retinol, so you can reap all of its smoothing, brightening, firming, and acne-killing benefits fast, without hardcore irritating your skin. 

Retinol is one of the most highly hyped skincare ingredients, speeding up cell turnover, causing your body to churn out fresher, smoother skin like it did in your youth!

Fact #1 Not all retinol's are the same 

Retinyl palmitate (the weakest of the retinoids), retinol (the next strongest and most tolerable), retinaldehyde (even stronger), or adapalene (the strongest over-the-counter option) dermatologist prescribed even stronger retinoids, like tretinoin or tazarotene, which work faster and more effectively, but can also be extra irritating.

So which retinoid to choose? Cassandra (Ocinium Founder) suggests starting with the gentlest of retinoids, like retinyl palmitate (for sensitive or dry skin) or retinol (for all other skin types). After a year, you may want to move up to something higher strength.

Before you start using a retinol

DO use retinyl palmitate for sensitive and dry skin types (great news its what we formulate our retinol products with!)

DON'T use too much a pea size drop of serum once a week or every other night

DO alternate nights of use of acids, peels and exfoliators 

DON'T forget sunscreen 

Fact #2 Not all retinoids are irritating

No pain no gain? Right? Wrong! While skin takes times to adjust, irritation, flaking, redness and sensitivity is reduced with formulations of Vitamin A derivatives such as retinyl palmitate, thats why they're a perfect starting point for sensitive and dry skin. De-sensitising and anti-inflammatory ingredients used in formulations with retinols such as Aloe vera, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E and Squalane also help to reduce known sensitivity and of course so does the right pH. Remember you want to be using Vitamin A products most nights of the week to get benefits , otherwise your skin will go back to its baseline. 

To begin with retinol pick one of these! 

Luminsosity Vitamin C Serum with o.5% retinyl palmitate 

Elemental Vitamin A + C + E Serum with 1% retinyl palmitate

Fact 3# Not just for wrinkles

Retinoids are the single most important group of compounds used extensively to boost cell turnover, ramp up collagen, neutralise free radicals, diminish pigmentation, vanish acne and ward of skin cancer. 

Because retinoids work on a cellular level, (cellular communicating) not just a topical level like most skincare products do, they’re able to deeply resurface your skin, which can completely transform your complexion over time into a bright little marble! Retinols really are the key to perfect looking skin! 

Fact #4 retinol's require sustained commitment 

The use of retinol requires a sustained effort and commitment, with its full effects observed after six months, so either commit fully or don’t bother at all! Maybe after a year you can introduce a stronger retinol, yes a year!

Clinical studies indicate an 87% improvement in acne lesions after 12 weeks of continual use with a retinoid.  And if you are seeking to reduce wrinkles the yield takes six months, with further improvements at twelve months of continual use.

Are you ready for the retinol commitment, shop our favourite retinol product below!

Elemental A+C+E Serum

What about Vitamin A use and pregnancy? 

When it comes to retinol and pregnancy, choosing suitable skincare in pregnancy, pregnancy safe lotions and the use of retinol a cream in pregnancy, the topic still remains controversial. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, often found in many cosmetics. Retinol must be converted in the skin to retinoic acid, they are around ten times less potent than tretinoin and are considered low risk, however, despite this their use in pregnancy is one to proceed with caution. We always recommend reviewing your vitamin A exposure during pregnancy, and speaking with your doctor about your concerns.

Still need a little help where to begin? 

We offer complimentary skin consultations via telephone or Skype. Alternatively, you can contact us to ask us your question via Phone, Email or Facebook or Instagram Private Messaging. 

Customer Care 1300 624 648 Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. AEST or contact us on

Limited personalised skin consultation with our brands founder, are available in Sydney.