This is a question that we get asked more than any other here at Mend HQ.
And while it’s unlikely that using an anti-ageing product too early will have negative long-term consequences for your skin, there's no point in even thinking about Mend Retinol Cream (or any other derivative of Vitamin A), until you really have to.
But exactly when is it best to start using Retinol Cream?
Well, there are two main schools of thoughts here. The one that believes that taking preventative measures in your twenties is the way to go, while the other side of the debate suggests using them too soon has the potential to be detrimental.
Let’s look at the facts.
We start to lose collagen and elastin production in our mid-twenties, at a rate of around 1% per year. It is at this point that many dermatologists recommend that you start the road to prevention early.
By the time we are in our thirties, things really begin to speed up. In fact, we lose more collagen than we can ever hope to regain in this decade, even with the use of Retinol. And that’s the fundamental cause of why we start looking older.
By forty and onwards, our testosterone levels are taking a hit. This means that our skin is getting thinner, more fragile and prone to dehydration and dryness.
But what if you neglected your skin for years and now it's blighted with age spots, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles?
Well, it is possible to repair the skin barrier that protects you from environmental stressors. And Retinol is one of the only ingredients that has been proven reverse the signs of ageing by plumping wrinkles and calming inflammation.
It also goes without saying that if you have left it late, you’re going to see more in terms of results, simply because, well, there are more underlying issues to get to work on.
The Middle Ground
The most rational answer as to when the right time is to start using Retinol likely lies somewhere in the middle.
Diving headfirst into a highly concentrated prescription-only Retinol when you’re in your early twenties, as a preventative anti-ageing measure, is unnecessary for most people.
However, when you start seeing dynamic wrinkles (the lines you get when your muscles contract), applying a gentle Retinol Cream that is buffered with lots of allergy response botanicals can be a good first step.
At Mend, however old you are, we only advocate using Retinol Cream once a day, ideally at night, since any Retinol use can increase UV sensitivity to the skin.