Thursday, 18 September 2014


Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and is considered to be one of the key ingredients in the fight against ageing.

Retinol is actually a weaker form of tretinoin (aka retinoic acid); the acid form of vitamin A. Tretinoin is highly effective at treating acne and acute promyelocytic leukaemia. It has also been used as a powerful treatment for skin aging. Tretinoin is so powerful that it is only available on prescription. However, its excellent skin benefits lead scientist to create retinol, a lighter, less aggressive form of tretinoin that can be used in over-the-counter beauty products.

Retinol has since become a highly sought-after beauty ingredient as it has been proven to stimulate cell renewal and cell turnover in the stratum corneum (top layer of skin), boost collagen production, unclog pores and help to reduce pigmentation.

Retinol, and of course tretinoin, works well because skin cells contain retinoid receptors that help regulate how the cells functions. Ageing causes these skin cells to behave more erratically and it is the continual use of retinol or tretinoin that helps to normalise them.

However, as fabulous as retinol is, it can cause side effects which include:

  • Dry skin
  • Redness
  • Flaky skin
  • Irritation
  • Skin peeling

It is important to note that these side effects, if they do occur, are often only temporary. However if you would rather not risk it, try using products that contain synthetic retinoids like the REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate. Synthetic retinoids, although do not derive from vitamin A, are able to mimic the same benefits as retionol without causing irritation.

  1. Murad Age-Balancing Night Cream 50ml (£75.00 / $75.00
  2. dr. brandt Glow Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream 15ml (£47.00 / $55.00
  3. La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] 30ml (£21.00 Boots / $56.99
  4. REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrate 30ml (£42.00 John Lewis / $60.00 Sephora)
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