Beauty · Skincare

So, what is retinol and why should you care?

With such an array of skincare products on the market it’s forgiveable to feel lost at times and unsure of which ingredients do what and which are best for you.


I’m guessing that you’ve heard of retinol and that it’s supposedly good for your skin? After all, it is widely quoted in many marketing campaigns for new skin care launches. But what is retinol and should you be actively seeking it out when purchasing your skincare products? Yes is the answer, if you want youthful skin for longer.

So, what is retinol? Retinol is a powerful form of vitamin A that has been used in anti-ageing products since the 1970s. May I just add here how wrong I find the word anti-ageing, I was discussing this at work  with a colleague the other day. It’s such a negative term but one we seem to accept. We really should embrace getting older; I prefer a term such as pro-youthfulness. Ok, not a great alternative but you get where I’m coming from.

Anyway, retinol works by cleverly sending signals to your body to produce new cells and collagen, which results in a firmer, smoother complexion. It also helps to reduce clogged pores and hyperpigmentation, a wonder ingredient some might say.

Products to contain retinol vary from creams to serums, peels to oils, and many more other forms. But because there’s lots of evidence to back up the claims, products containing retinol tend to be quite pricey so it’s worth speaking to skincare specialist or perusing reviews online before jumping in– I tend to turn to my favourite beauty bloggers before any big spend purchase.

I must insert a disclaimer here, I’m a lover of retinol but for some it can cause dry skin and irritation. However, more recent products also now contain extra moisturising ingredients and anti-inflammatories to counteract this. I would suggest sensibly, because it is super strong, to introduce products containing retinol to your routine a couple of times weekly before assessing whether to add as part of your daily routine.

I’m also told that these products are best stored in a dark cool place, out of the light so that light and heat cannot interfere with the retinol and prevent it from having the desire affect.

I hear that legendary beauty blogger, Caroline Hirons is a massive advocate for retinol What are your favourite retinol containing products?

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