What is Retinol Used For In Skincare?

Retinol is an ingredient found in skincare that comes in a number of different forms, such as serums and creams to help the skin appear radiant.

It is derived from vitamin A and stimulates new cell growth to rejuvenate the face by banishing the old, dry skin cells. Most often purchased in a serum form, it stimulates the production of collagen to make your face appear more plumped and youthful. After a fair bit of research I’ve concluded that it is a definite must-have in your skincare routine.

What is retinol used for in skincare?

Turns out retinol can be used for a lot of different reasons in your skincare routine, making it a product that you should definitely be slotting into your regime if you want radiant looking skin. While retinol is used mainly for smoothing fine lines and improving skins elasticity to make skin appear younger, this isn’t its only benefit.

Its main benefits are often associated with antiaging properties, but retinol can also help to clear up acne and dull the appearance of scarring and dark spots.

It’s often suggested that you should begin introducing retinol into your skincare routine in your 20’s to prevent your skin from the effects of aging rather than trying to reverse them by using retinol later on down the line. Of course, if you didn’t start your skin care in your twenties then using retinol will still offer significant benefits to your skin, meaning if you’re a little late to the retinol party you can still reap the rewards of this wonder ingredient!

Retinol v Retinoids

To put it simply, retinol is a type of retinoid. Both are a part if the vitamin A family with the difference between them being down to the intensity of the product. Retinols are a weaker form of retinoids, hence the similar name and are typically pretty easy to acquire online or in a beauty store. Whereas stronger retinoid formulas may be prescribed and often help with treating more severe cases of acne.

How to use Retinol

Retinol can be amongst the stronger of skincare ingredients, when first introducing it into your skincare routine it’s best to start slow and steady, as those with less sensitive skin may find it can cause a reaction.

Always begin with a patch test of the retinol product you are using by applying a small blob onto your arm and cover with a plaster. Wear overnight and watch out for any adverse reactions. If nothing of any concern occurs (such as marks or rashes appearing on your skin) then you should be safe to proceed with using it on the ultra-sensitive skin on your face.

Retinol can be used anywhere from 3 days a week up to daily, depending on how robust your skin is. Those with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema should be caution when adding retinol into their skincare routine as it can cause irritation.

Apply retinol after cleansing and toning your skin and before any heavy moisturisers. Unlike many other skincare ingredients that are designed to be used both morning and night, retinol is only suitable to apply at night. This is because retinoids can increase skins sensitivity to UV rays, meaning you’re more likely to suffer with sun damage if you’re wearing it outside during the day. To stay extra cautions ensure you’re always applying SPF when you venture outside whether its rain or shine.

The best retinol products

As previously mentioned, retinol can come in multiple different forms, so whether you’re after a concentrated serum to really target your fine lines, a night cream to moisturise and revive or even an eye rejuvenator, the perfect form of retinol is available for you somewhere within most manufacturer’s line-ups.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum

If you’re looking for a highly concentrated retinol serum that is going to create noticeable results, then the Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum may be a winner for you. It’s not for the faint hearted and shouldn’t be used by retinol serum novices or anyone with a more sensitive skin type. But if you’re wanting to see more powerful results and up your retinol percentage (up to 5% to be exact) then it’s a good one to give ago.

The downside? Well it does come in at a pretty substantial £70, making it one of the more expensive retinols to purchase, but who can put a price on perfect skin? Apparently, Sunday Riley can.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion

On the opposite end of the price spectrum we have The Ordinary which is perhaps my favourite affordable skincare brand. Their retinoid serum has a markedly lower percentage in comparison to the Sunday Riley product, offering 2% retinoid. That being said, it also has a much lower price point, retailing at only £9.00. If you’re just starting out using retinol, are wary of irritating your skin or you just fancy an absolute bargain, then pop this product on your to-buy list.

La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Night Moisturiser

La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol Night Moisturiser is a night cream that targets anti-aging. Want to diminish the look of wrinkles and dark spots? Then here is your product! Apply before bed to and wake up with smooth moisturised skin and, in time, a more youthful appearance.

At £32 this product sits somewhere in the middle for affordability, but with a sea of positive reviews it’s a definite must try.

Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic and Retinol Eye Cream

For those of you wanting to focus their anti-aging products around their eyes then the Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic and Retinol Eye Cream comes up trumps. It’s delivers instant results that only get better and better with pro-longed use and transform tired under eyes to hydrated and plumped.

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