RETINOL! What is it? Why do I need it? How do I get it?

With so many products on the market that all promise the sun, moon and stars, it is difficult to decide on a good skincare product for your skin. I mean, if we are going to spend the money, we need to know what is in it and the science behind it (if any). We have heard the saying: “Not all skincare is created equally.” That is very true.  Some over the counter products are watered down to nothing but an obnoxious smell while other medical grade products have harmful ingredients in it. In fact, clients have asked me to bring in a certain medical grade product that works great and frankly, why wouldn’t we? Well, that ingredient that work so great, is hydroquinone. It is a bleaching agent to treat melasma and pigmentation. It is a great product in the hands of trained physicians that uses this as a prescription under controlled circumstances. In the hands of just any client, it can be dangerous.  This is not an ingredient that should be given to clients at a spa without close follow up with a specialist in the field. Knowing this and doing the research, made the decision easy to choose Environ skincare.

Dr. Des Fernandes is a renowned cardiac and plastic surgeon in South Africa. He was one of the Doctors leading the way when the first heart transplant was perform by Dr. Chris Barnard in South Africa. He did however return to his great love, skin health, after he lost two very young patients to melanoma. This loss left an emotional mark on Dr. Des and he has devoted his life to finding and researching the best ingredients in skincare. What he discovered was that Vitamin A was like “oxygen” to the skin. To have and maintain healthy skin, we need to feed it with Vitamin A, daily.  He discovered that most skin related conditions are caused by a deficiency in Vitamin A. He also found that a healthy skin, high in Vitamin A, is less likely to develop cancerous lesions than those with a Vitamin A deficient.Vitamin A is an amazing molecule that is essential for healthy-looking, beautiful skin.  Vitamin A however is not the only ingredient you need for healthy skin.  We need to have a combination of Vitamins, peptides, amino acids and antioxidants to build healthy skin cells.

Here are 5 Building blocks that all good skincare should have:

Vitamin A (Retinol)
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Peptides (multiple working together)

The beauty of Environ is that there are multiple peptides and antioxidants in each skincare product. Not just one. They are also produced from plants, roots and fruits from all over the world. Remember the hydroquinone we talked about earlier? Environ uses Sepiwhite derived from plants and berries. It is an amino acid and not a chemical. This amino acid does the same in treating melasma and any hyper pigmentation of the skin. You can use this product for an extended period of time with no side effects.

Vitamin A, however, is available in different forms. Our bodies have the ability to change the molecule to be easily absorbed into the skin cells where it heals the DNA.

Vitamin A or otherwise known as Retinol, delivers a host of benefits:
* More youthful-looking skin
* Skin hydration
* Anti-aging
* Normalizes skin cell turnover
* Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin
* Treats acne
* Treats hyper pigmentation

As you can see Vitamin A is the miracle ingredient in skincare and should be used by everyone. Our Vitamin A gets depleted from an early age and is contributing to many, if not all, skin concerns. To use Vitamin A/Retinol effectively, we have to make sure that it is delivered to the skin in a manner that can be absorbed. Many clients come in and complain that they are “allergic” to Retinol because the last time they used it, they became red, flaky and itchy. This happens when a too high dose of Retinol is introduced to the skin before the cells are ready to accept it. Think of it this way. A five year old boy is a person and will eventually learn to drive, but not at 5 years old. They need to grow and mature until they can reach the pedals and have the mental maturity to actually know how to drive a vehicle. The same goes for our skin. We cannot expect our skin to be able to absorb Retinol in its highest concentration from the first step. The skin is not ready yet. That is the beauty of Environ skincare. It is the first and only skincare line in the world that has a STEP-UP SYSTEM. That means you start at the lowest dose of Vitamin A  and work your way up to the highest concentration. Resulting in smooth,radiant, healthy skin instead of red, flaky and irritated skin. You are NOT allergic to Retinol. You are experiencing a retinoid reaction. It is like saying you are allergic to oxygen. You can’t be.

Why did we choose Environ then? It is a South African made brand and as you know, that was our home, but it was not the reason. The research shows that we need Vitamin A in our skin for healthy skin. It also shows that the sun, pollution, blue light and other free radicals breaks down the vitamin A on a cellular level which in turn cause problematic skin conditions. Vitamin A needs to be replenished every day. It is the only skin care line that met all our criteria.

Here are some of the reasons why we LOVE Environ:

1.It is a medical grade skin care product which means that it is backed by science.

2. Environ is one of the very few skin care lines that have their own state of the art manufacturing facility. Being a Vitamin based product, it is important to protect the integrity of the vitamins as it breaks down in sunlight. Environ is manufactured in a red light facility to protect light sensitive ingredients. Each batch of skincare is tested by international accredited independent laboratories to assure the content and sterility of the product.

3. State of the art packaging is used to protect the potency of the active ingredients. No preservatives are used witch means the packaging needs to protect the efficacy of the product. The air pump packaging ensures the highest quality and protection against air, light and bacteria.

4. Environ has been awarded the Swiss Vitamin Institute logo which verifies that the vitamins in the product is the correct strength. These test are done on an annual basis.

5. All Environ skin care products are tested ONLY on human volunteers over an 18 month period. Never tested on animals.

6.Environ skin care is EU certified. What does that mean? In the United states only 11 harmful chemicals is banned from use in products. In Canada that number is 600. In Europe (EU) they ban 1300 harmful chemicals. That is the standard that Environ is measured against.

7. Because Environ doesn’t use any preservatives, each product has a sell by/expiry date. You can be certain of the quality of ingredients you get.

In an industry with so much noise, make sure you do the research. It is out there if you take the time to look. For us, Environ fits the criteria of healthy, clinically proven skin health. We recommend a skin care consultation to asses the best plan for your skin and skincare needs. Don’t be fooled by big labels and unsupported claims. If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to skin health, give us a call. We can help with all your concerns because SKIN MATTERS.