Ask A Dermatologist

For the first time ever, L’Oréal Paris has enlisted an international board of dermatologists whose role it is to validate the safety and efficacy of our formulas, and their test results.

Providing an important and additional level of impartiality and scientific rigor, this advisory panel of dermatologists has validated our powerful anti-ageing power duo: the Revitalift Filler Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and the New Revitalift Laser Pure Retinol Night Serum. Through comprehensive screening, they looked at efficacy, safety and tolerance, as well as undertaking a thorough review of final product performance tests, protocols and results.

In additional to our global dermatologist board, we have also partnered with local Sydney-based dermatologist, Dr. Burcu Kim. Dr Kim is a specialist dermatologist, qualified in all aspects of medical, surgical and cosmetic skincare management, and you will find all her answers to your most frequently asked skincare questions below!


FAQ With Our Dermatologist: Dr. Burcu Kim, Sydney Dermatologist


What are the benefits of Hyaluronic Acid? 

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in our bodies which depletes as we age. And the result is often dryness, wrinkles and a loss of volume or plumpness in the skin. That’s why dermatologists recommend to include Hyaluronic acid in your skincare, particularly to re-plump the skin and reduce signs of ageing. Due to its ability to retain up to 1000x its weight in water, Hyaluronic acid is able to deeply hydrate the surface layers of the skin, and actually re-plump fine lines and wrinkles from within.


How often should I be using Hyaluronic Acid?

There is really no limit to how often you can use Hyaluronic acid on the skin, but we recommend you use it both morning and night, depending on your skin needs and skincare routine. You can also layer multiple products with Hyaluronic acid in your regime, such as serums, day and night creams and treatments, making it a very versatile and easy-to-use ingredient.


How should I incorporate Hyaluronic Acid into my regime?

There are many products in skincare that contain Hyaluronic acid and it is a relatively easy ingredient to incorporate into the regime / doesn’t have many conflicts. A great way to start using this ingredient is with a serum and a day or night cream. These can be applied both day and night, under sunscreen and under makeup, and in conjunction with most other ingredients/products.


What is the best anti-ageing skincare routine for me?

This can really vary depending on your skin type and concerns. A consultation with a dermatologist is always the best way to determine this, but the top 3 things I personally look for in a good anti-ageing regime are the purity of the ingredient (always opt for “Pure” actives where possible), the concentration (generally the higher the better) and the formulation, so how the product absorbs into your skin for it to be most effective – try to opt for rapidly absorbing and lightweight formulations. Lastly in terms of ingredients to look for, both Hyaluronic acid and Retinol are very effective.

If you’re not able to get to a dermatologist, L’Oreal Paris also have an AI Skin Diagnosis tool called ‘Skin Genius’ which is a great alternative. The technology virtually diagnoses and ranks your skin across 5 key dimensions (lines & wrinkles, radiance, firmness, pore quality and tone) and provides you with a personalised diagnosis and regime as a result. This can be a great alternative.
You can access Skin Genius here.

What is the difference between Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in our bodies and gives skin its plumpness, volume and bounce due to its ability to hold up to to 1000x its weight in water. Sadly levels decline as we age, which is why incorporating it into skincare becomes so important to replenish hydration and plumpness. Retinol, on the other hand, is a powerful derivative of Vitamin A, a gold-standard anti-ageing active and arguably the most powerful anti-ageing ingredient there is. Retinol works on the skin by increasing the rate of cell turnover which helps to visibly renew the skin, even the texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


How often I should be using Retinol?

Given the power of Retinol, it is recommend to introduce it gradually into your regime, particularly for first-time users. That may be using only a couple of nights in your first week, to every other night in your second week, and then increasing to nightly use as tolerated. It’s also normal to experience some initial redness, tingling or dryness while using Retinol so if this happens you can reduce your frequency of use. Everyone’s skin is different. It’s also important that while using Retinol you’re using a broad spectrum SPF during the day as Retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to UV.


What can Pure Retinol can do for my skin?

Pure Retinol works by stimulating skin cell turnover which helps to visibly renew skin and fight stubborn signs of ageing like deep wrinkles, age spots and uneven skin texture. You can expect to see initial results quite quickly with Retinol but it’s recommended to keep using consistently over a longer term to see the full anti ageing benefits with the visible reduction of deeper wrinkles.


What skincare ingredients work with Retinol?

This one is complex, as different ingredients don’t always work well together and can sometimes actually counteract each others’ effectiveness.
Retinol is recommended to keep to night usage only, in isolation, and you can incorporate other actives such as Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C into your morning routine. For anti-ageing and reducing wrinkles specifically, Retinol and Hyaluronic acid are a great combination as you get the dual benefits of renewing/re-surfacing in the night with Retinol, and plumping/re-hydrating with Hyaluronic acid in the day. Both are proven to visibly and effectively reduce the appearance of wrinkles
In terms of your Retinol night routine, it’s recommended to first cleanse and dry your skin, then use your Retinol serum/product, followed by a night moisturiser.


How much Retinol should I be using?

In terms of concentration in a cosmetic product, 0.2% Pure Retinol is optimal and has proven to be effective on the skin. Regarding how much to use, simply apply 3-4 drops to clean, dry skin before your usual night cream. Definitely ease into using the ingredient as well, as Retinol is powerful and often skin needs time to get used to it.

Always use a broad spectrum SPF during the day.


Where does Retinol Serum fit into my routine?

Skincare can get confusing once you start adding different product formats and ingredients into your regime. Knowing where your Retinol serum sits is something that many people struggle with. In terms of timing, Retinol should exclusively remain as part of your PM night routine. As for layering your skincare, Retinol serum should be applied to dry skin after your cleanser and before your moisturiser. Remember, using Retinol as part of your nightly regime affects your AM routine too! Remember to always use an SPF during the day to protect against UV rays.


Am I too young to start using Retinol?

Though it’s not the typical answer that you might think, there is no ‘benchmark’ age as for when you can and should start using retinol products. Many people start implementing Retinol gradually into their regime at various times throughout their life. For those 35+, Retinol is a useful ingredient when it comes to visibly reducing the signs of ageing and promoting skin renewal. For anyone 20+, a quality Retinol serum can help even skin texture, brighten skin and reduce the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles.


Is Retinol safe to use during pregnancy?

While retinol-based formulations present a low-risk, they are not recommended for use throughout the duration of your pregnancy and while breast-feeding. If you currently have a product containing retinol or a similar vitamin-A like compound, it is advised to discontinue use and consult your healthcare professional.


Are Retinol products are safe to use while breastfeeding?

Similar to retinol use during pregnancy, it is best to avoid Retinol and other synthetic Vitamin-A products (retinoids) while breast-feeding.


Should I be concerned about any Retinol side-effects?

Given the potency of Retinol as an ingredient, it’s completely normal to experience some initial redness, tingling or dryness when using it, especially for first-time users. It’s also well-known that retinol sensitises your skin to UV rays, due to it’s skin-renewing action. The good news is that you can minimise all effects by gradually introducing Retinol into your regime, and ensuring you always use a facial sunscreen or broad-spectrum SPF moisturiser during the day. If you do start to experience adverse affects or redness, you can also reduce your frequency of use. Of course if severe irritation develops, discontinue use and speak with your healthcare professional.


Why is SPF essential when using Retinol? 

Retinol works by accelerating the formulation of new skin cells, renewing old and damaged skin. Naturally, this renewed skin is much more sensitised to the sun, making you more prone to UV damage and sunburn. That’s why, regardless of your daily plans, it’s essential to pair your retinol usage with a broad-spectrum SPF.


Will Retinol help with my acne?

As a derivative of Vitamin A, Pure Retinol can have some benefits when it comes to acne. Retinol itself works to help regulate skin cell turnover, removing dead skin cells and excess sebum – known catalysts of acne. Though retinol could be beneficial for those with acne-prone skin, it’s main properties support those looking for anti-ageing benefits. As such, you should always consult a healthcare professional when exploring retinol use and options for acne.