You may have seen skincare addicts, makeup artists and probably even your friends slapping on retinol, and raving about it. Here we discuss the ingredient and reasons to add it to your skincare routine

A vitamin A derivative, retinol is converted into retinoic acid at a cellular level, which has potent skin-reparative and anti-ageing benefits. But, it can cause you to break out and has nasty side effects that often puts people off the product.

Retinol re-energises lazy fibroblasts – stimulating synthesis of skin-essential ‘scaffolding’ – the collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin that keep skin smooth and supple. In addition to this, it accelerates turnover by maintaining the natural regenerative process, although, has a slight peeling effect. Redness and flakiness are some of the downsides, however there’s a type of retinol out there for every skin type.

It’s also worth noting that retinol increases sun sensitivity, which is why most vitamin A products are positioned as overnight treatments. It’s also brilliant for blemish-prone and acneic complexions, as well as those with dulled, pigmented or pock-marked complexions, as it stimulates skin’s healing and reparative processes to ‘densify’ while fading scars and fortifying fragile tissue.

If you’re looking for a retinol that strengthens, plumps, elasticizes, brightens, unifies and gives your skin radiance, then don’t reach out for retinol. It’s more of a preventative measure, for that time-rewinding effect. So, which products to opt for?

DRUNK ELEPHANT A-Passioni Retinol Cream

A comforting, silicone-free formula with 1% retinol – gentle for use in the day time – with powerhouse plant extracts, peptides and fatty acids to guarantee maximum, youth-boosting benefit with zero side-effects.

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Pixi Retinol Tonic

If you suffer from acne, dull and uneven skin, pigmentation or just want to defy ageing?This derivative of vitamin A promotes skin renewal, brightens skin tone, reduces acne and boosts collagen production – making Pixi’s Retinol Tonic the perfect powerhouse treatment.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

If Sleeping beauty was 20 something, and could put on a retinol-rich treatment before her slumber, this would be it. Sunday Riley’s ‘Luna’ works to reduce signs of ageing as you get your shut eye. With an advanced retinol complex, Luna Sleeping Night Oil helps to lessen visibility of lines and wrinkles, while correcting signs of damage caused by sun, time and everyday exposure to pollutants. Just warm a few drops of the brilliant blue elixir between your fingertips, then press and massage into clean, dry skin before bed – the replenishing oil intensively hydrates and stimulates sluggish cells to encourage repair and renewal processes. Collagen synthesis is increased and elasticity enhanced, while cold-pressed extracts of avocado, chia and concord grape seed combine to promote skin’s strength, resilience and radiance.