Retinol for the Body?
As someone who’s a big fan of retinols for their skin-glowing, pore-refining and fine line-diminishing qualities I’ve tried out quite a few over the years.
But beyond using this powerhouse ingredient on my neck and chest I’d never really thought of extending it over the rest of my body. That was until I saw one of my go-to brands for straightforward, effective skincare, Paula’s Choice, sells a product made specifically for the body.
Paula’s Choice Skin-Smoothing Retinol Body Treatment (£33 for 118 ml, Paula’s Choice)
Containing a mixture of 0.1 per cent retinol (a moderate percentage strength) and shea butter to smooth skin while moisturising, this unscented cream also boasts glycerin to soften, grape seed oil to nourish, and vitamins C and E for antioxidant protection.
I’ve included the full list of ingredients at the bottom of this post.
How to Use
Applied like a body cream on clean skin, this has a moisturiser-type texture which makes it easy to work into skin.
Because it contains retinol though (which makes skin more sensitive to the sun) it needs to be followed with an SPF of at least 30 every day.
On the Skin
A derivative of vitamin A, retinols are shown to speed up cell turnover, in turn helping to boost collagen levels (bye bye fine lines), improve pigmentation and reduce breakouts.
But along with the ingredient’s many plus points can unfortunately go dryness, irritation or redness when first using it- so I was interested to see how a retinol for the body would work.
Luckily, unlike using one on the face- where skin generally needs to build up tolerance by first using every other night- this formula is gentle enough that I could use this daily on my arms, legs and stomach from the beginning.
In fact, from first use I’ve found this pretty hydrating. And while I haven’t noticed the same dramatic results I might get from my face retinol I can honestly say the skin on my body seems slightly firmer and smoother. Even better, pigmentation and scars also seem improved.
As another plus, because this has a rich, moisturising formula I don’t need to use a lot to cover arms/legs etc, making the price slightly better value.
Overall I like this body treatment and I’m very happy with the subtle, healthy skin results it offers (I just wish it wasn’t so expensive). To get the best value out of it I think this also works well as a targeted treatment for particular problem areas like the backs of arms, chests or stretch marks.
Great for: Smoothing and perfecting skin on the body.
Not-so-great for: Budgets, as this is pretty expensive for a body cream- a little does go a long way though.
The full list of ingredients:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol (emollient/texture-enhancing), Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Cyclopentasiloxane (hydration), Dimethicone (hydration), Glycerin (hydration/skin replenishing), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Cetyl Palmitate (emollient/texture-enhancing), Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter/emollient/antioxidant), Glyceryl Stearate (emollient/texture-enhancing), PEG-100 Stearate (texture-enhancing), Oenothera Biennis Oil (evening primrose oil/non-fragrant oil/emollient/antioxidant), Vitis Vinifera Oil (grape seed oil/non-fragrant oil/antioxidant/emollient), Cetyl Alcohol (emollient/texture-enhancing), Retinol (vitamin A/skin-renewing), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (emollient/skin replenishing), Panthenol (hydration), Carnosine (skin-soothing/antioxidant), Dimethiconol (emollient/texture-enhancing), Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture-enhancing), Cera Alba (beeswax/texture-enhancing),Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (texture-enhancing), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Xanthan Gum (texture-enhancing), Dicaprylyl Carbonate (emollient), Decylene Glycol (hydration), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Chlorphenesin (preservative), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).