Retinol is an anti-ageing superstar that speeds up surface renewal, boosts collagen and brightens ageing complexions. Normally only available with a prescription, this powerful skincare ingredient works by encouraging the growth of new skin cells, reducing redness and balancing pigmentation.
It is also known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and limit discolouration from sun damage. However, it is unable to reverse permanent changes such as deep lines and wrinkles or sun damage. For this reason, retinol is most effective when used as part of an ongoing skincare routine alongside brightening vitamin C products, which should be applied in the morning.
As with all skincare, everyone’s reaction to a retinol product will be different. If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to choose a gentle product that’s been specifically formulated with your needs in mind.
Drunk Elephant’s newest launch ticks all the boxes, combining their ‘holy grail of all-time skincare ingredients’ – passionfruit, kale and apricot – with a low-concentration retinol to create this overnight treatment. The formula is free from the ‘suspicious six’ (SLS, fragrance, essential oils, chemical screens and drying alcohols) which can cause irritation, while the 1% retinol helps to improve fine lines and texture as well as boosting skin brightness.
This best-selling product has earned itself a cult following thanks to its ability to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while balancing moisture levels. It contains a low concentration of retinol, alongside niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to support the star ingredient’s effectiveness, and it’s suitable for all skin types.
Beauty Pie is another brand that’s built a strong reputation for effective, hardworking products without breaking the bank. This retinol serum is no exception, and it harnesses the power of granactive retinol, which is four times more potent than standard retinol and works to smooth skin and fade signs of hyperpigmentation.
As with any retinoid, it’s important to use a pea-sized amount and avoid over-applying. Ideally, it should be used twice a week in the beginning, before gradually building up to nightly use.
This luxury option from Skinceuticals is the perfect choice if you’re looking to up your game. The 1% retinol is suspended in an antioxidant-rich formula, which is enriched with soothing frankincense and rose oil to prevent dryness or irritation. The formula is also packed with peptides, which help to plump and firm the skin. The result is a powerful product that’s clinically proven to improve dark spots and fine lines, as well as improve roughness and texture in just eight weeks of regular use. retin a cream uk