Review: PCA retinol serums
Why Retinol Rocks
Much like fashion, there is always some new sexy skincare ingredient that makes you stray from those true skincare staples. But retinol is just like a black pea coat – you always go back to it.
Retinol (commonly known as vitamin A) is one of the gold standard ingredients in topical anti-aging products, as it has been clinically proven in studies to work across various skin types and ages to unclog pores, decrease fine lines, mottled pigmentation, sallowness, and rough skin texture. It was originally prescribed in the 1970s to combat acne, but derms started to notice that, after treatment, patients developed not only clearer skin but also brighter and smoother complexions.
Retinol comes in several forms:
- Over-the-counter (Drugstore options include Roc Deep Wrinkle Night Cream, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer; and various formulations sold at medical spas, department stores or Sephora)
- Physician dispensed (Avene Retrinal Cream)
- Stronger prescription forms (Refissa, Renova, and Tazorac)
The main difference between OTC [less than 1%] and Rx [4%] retinols is the aggressive of the active ingredient. Those with sensitive skin types should use an OTC retinol to start, as retinols can be drying, which may only allow people to use them only a few times a week.
Quite simply, anyone over the age of 30 should be using topical retinol in their skincare regime. But as fantastic as it is, the downside to it is that it can be harsh on skin, causing excessive peeling and flaking on your face. PCA SKIN, a company known across North America for their in-clinic chemical peel treatments, released two new pure retinol serums for at-home use last spring. What does “pure” mean? According to Dr. Jennifer Linder, Chief Scientific Officer for PCA SKIN, “It’s important to understand the difference between a retinol complex versus pure retinol. A retinol complex is a blend of retinol and retinoid esters or other support ingredients designed to increase the retinol’s efficacy and stability. When percentages are listed for retinol complexes, the amount reflects the total amount of all ingredients in the complex, not only the retinol. On the other hand, a product that contains pure retinol truly provides the entire percentage of retinol stated. PCA SKIN’s newest serums, Intensive Age Refining Treatment (for anti-aging) and Intensive Clarity Treatment (for acne and hyperpigmentation) contain 0.5% pure retinol. Both retinol complexes and pure retinol have a place in the beauty industry since people have varying skin concerns. For example, those struggling with skin conditions such as visible aging, hyperpigmentation or acne will often benefit more from a potent pure retinol product. Retinol complexes are more appropriate for people looking to maintain a youthful appearance, reduce oil production, as well as anyone who cannot tolerate pure retinol (those with aggravated rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis).”
PCA Skin Intensive Age Refining Treatment for anti-aging
PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment for acne and hyperpigmentation
PCA SKIN products are available in 160 skin clinics across Canada and the United States. To locate a clinic near you, call their toll free number at 1-800-898-7455. You can purchase these serums here.
Our go-to Toronto clinic DLK on Avenue uses certain PCA SKIN products in their chemical peel treatments.