Retinol Myths and Facts
“Retinol is one of the most difficult skin care ingredients to formulate. So many things have to be right and so many things can go wrong.” – Dr. Frauke Neuser, Olay Principal Scientist
Myth #1: You need to burn before you glow
Fact: There’s a common (and totally incorrect) misconception floating around out there that the burning, itching, peeling side effects of retinol are not only good, but necessary. But the truth is, any ugly side effects are just that – side effects. Unlike traumatic beauty treatments like laser peels, which cause radiant skin by injuring and then healing, retinol should never injure your skin. If you’re experiencing retinol burn, then you might not be using the right retinol product for your skin.
Myth #2: You need elaborate packaging to prevent retinol breakdown
Fact: If your formula is stable, you don’t need to rely solely on packaging. Retinol breaks down in the presence of oxygen and UV light, so many companies compensate for this by housing their retinol in opaque, air-tight packaging. Here’s the problem: you have to get your product out, and every time you do that, you run the risk of exposing your light and air sensitive retinol to the elements. No one wants to spend money on a product that could be ruined just by opening it. Which brings us to the final myth.
Myth #3: Quality retinol is bright yellow retinol
Fact: Retinol itself is yellow, so yes, some retinol products could be yellow. But retinol breaks down in sunlight and on contact with air – turning it even more intensely yellow. So, if a retinol product is yellow, it could have lot of retinol, just not be stable, or contain added colorants / dyes. We’ve microencapsulated our retinol in our oil phase. This means that while our cream looks pure white, if you were to put it up to a microscope you would see teeny, tiny bubbles of yellow inside. This means you don’t need to worry about exposing your cream to the elements, the formula itself will protect your retinol from breakdown. Now that’s quality!