Retinol, Retinyl, Retinoid....what's the deal?

I'm glad you asked. Both Retinol and Retinyl are forms of Vitamin A - which is critical in maintaining healthy vision, brain function and healthy skin among other things. Vitamin A is found in two main forms: active Vitamin A and beta carotene. Active Vitamin A comes from animal-derived foods and is called retinol. This “pre-formed” Vitamin A can be used directly by the body; it does not need to first convert the Vitamin. The other type of Vitamin A, which is obtained from colorful fruits and vegetables, is in the form of “pro Vitamin A” carotenoids, which are converted to retinol by the body after the food is ingested.

In a similar way, prescription skincare products containing Retinol are absorbed by the skin and then converted into Retinoic Acid which gets to work on boosting collagen and stimulating cell turnover. Retinyl Palmitate is a compound formed from Retinol and Palmitic Acid. When this is absorbed into the skin it is broken down into Retinol, then Retinaldehyde and finally Retinoic Acid. So as you can see - there is more of a process involved in converting Retinyl Palmitate into Retinoic Acid which means that it is a gentler form of treatment. 

Retinyl Palmitate is about 20 percent less potent than prescription Retinol, which also makes it perfect for sensitive skin. Our DREAMY SKIN night oil contains 0.4% Retinyl. 

Because Retinoids speed up collagen and cell turnover it is crucial to use an SPF Sunscreen to protect the shiny new skin cells from the damaging effects of UV rays. 

5 questions: DISCIPLE Founder Charlotte

Tell us a bit about yourself...

Okay, well I am a psychotherapist by trade - in private practice in London which is where I am from. I became interested in aromatherapy a few years ago to help with anxiety (for clients and myself) and that's when I learned all about how essential oils can effect change on a cellular level in the body - including hormone balance.  I had suffered from cystic acne for a couple of years from the age of 30 which was such a pain in the arse because nothing I tried got rid of it. That's when I trained in aromatherapy and natural skincare formulation.


I had literally tried everything for my acne - hundreds of different skincare brands, facials, laser, diets, contraceptive pills, anti-biotics and prescription stuff. While some worked - the side effects were just a nightmare so it wasn't a sustainable option for me - like the pill for example which made me cry on a daily basis. Plus I'm not really into using drugs if I can help it. So I began experimenting with essential oils and over the course of about 6 months my skin cleared up - it was because the high levels of adaptogens were working to balance hormones which were the cause of my acne. I just had to share this with other people suffering from bad skin. 

What's so special about DISCIPLE?

Because of my training as a psychotherapist I am particularly interested in evidence based, scientific results - this includes ingredients in skincare. A lot of natural skincare smells amazing and feels great but it isn't going to change your skin. After a lot of research I developed the key principles that run throughout the range: ADAPTOGENS, PREBIOTICS, LINOLEIC ACID, SMALL BATCH & CLEAN. Every ingredient has a purpose and we use the highest amounts of natural actives allowed in non-prescription skin care.

 Getting married in 2016

Getting married in 2016

What are your 5 favourite beauty items?

I am back in love with my Clarisonic now that my skin has cleared up. I used it while I had bad skin and it made it so much worse - but now I use it 3 times a week which works well. I really enjoy using our DREAMY SKIN night oil - it's helping clear up the pigmentation I have from squeezing my zits over the years. Eve Lom rescue mask is a cult product - it's fab and I use it once a week. A recent discovery is the Superdrug Glycolic overnight treatment - it's only about £5 but it's a great little product to use a couple of times a week to get rid of dry patches and dead skin. I guess my final favourite product would be a facial cleansing oil which I make myself. It has lovely things like kiwi seed oil and grapefruit oil which smell divine. I take it off with a muslin cloth - and this will probably be the next product we launch. 

And what do you do to feel well?

I love doing warm yoga at the flying yogi in Shepherds Bush. It's gentle but you really feel it the following day. I do vedic meditation twice a day for 20 mins. Sometimes it's difficult to remember/fit in but I really feel a difference and now I look forward to that peaceful time for myself. SLEEP! I know it sounds lame but seriously, 8-9 hours sleep a night and you'll feel invincible.

DISCIPLE March Playlist


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