Retinol is having its moment in the spotlight. I recon serum and retinol are the biggest buzzwords in the beauty industry this year so keep on reading to find out if you too need to start using a retinol product. If you want to find out more about serums then check out my blog from last month. I have been researching retinol for a couple of weeks, spoken to brands, PRs and professionals and at times been scared by the concept but I am actually mostly really excited for the potential skin improvements. Retinol has been cited as being the best anti ageing product you will find. Keep on reading to see what all the fuss is about and what it can do for you.
(As a little side note regarding my photography…I’m sure you don’t care but I wasn’t happy with my pictures for this post but I really wanted to get all of my stored up information, research and thoughts out to you all.)


Retinol is basically all in all Vitamin A. There are many products which are derived from animals and some which are not so if this is an issue for you, make sure you check before you buy. Whether you buy it in a synthetic or natural version you can get very similar results. If you take only one thing from my post here, remember to use sun screen (channeling my inner Baz Luhrmann here 😉 ) when using Retinol as it is thought that you skin can get sun damaged very easily. Don’t let me scare you off though, Retinol is rather spectacular and can do wonders for your skin if you are over the age of about 30 (not particularly necessary before that, but prevention is obviously better than cure).


• Helps vision.
• Lightens acne scarring.
• Lessens rosacea.
• Reverses signs of ageing.
• Produces collegen in the skin.
• Regeneration of skin cells.
• Reduces fine lines.
• Exfoliates dead skin cells.

All of these promises within the list above sounds like quite a dreamy product, right!? Well I have found some of the best options for you in a minefield of beauty products promising to do exactly what it says above. The products are ranging from £20-£50 and are all pretty big so will last you a long time. Every single product suggests that you build up your “immunity” to retinol by using only every few days to start with. A lot of the brands even suggest that you only use the product at night and wear a sun protection during the day.


I have talked about the brand Super Facialist in the past and I do trust this brand and especially love their face scrub. I love the fact this product is an actual night cream because it is advised that you use retinols as part of your night time routine anyway. I also find that products which are especially for the night are a lot thicker and richer making them feel like they are really giving you an intensive treatment. This product is enriched with Retinyl Palmitate which isn’t actually the exact ingredient of Retinol but has the active component of retinoic acid which gets absorbed by the skin and works on the lower layers of the skin to help the elasticity, preventing the appearance of fine lines.

Medik8 have a range of different retinol products including thus advanced night serum. I personally like that it is a serum because it means that it isn’t diluted with a water as its base, its base is actually jojoba oil which I already use. Medik 8’s retinol serum comes in different strengths of 3 TR, 6 TR and 10 TR. I have here the 3 TR which is the weakest yet still very powerful so do start your usage off very sporadically. The serum is filled with Vitamin E which works amazingly at blocking free radicles which can cause ageing. Make sure you check out my recent post on products which prevent pollution on your skin. It was with this that I learnt a lot about how free radicals are damaging our skin.

Ren have created two Retinol-esque products in the form of an anti-ageing cream and an anti-wrinkle serum. These products deliver the same effective treatment as a retinol but without using the strong ingredients that can cause irritation. The same goes for their serum which is actually a retinoid analogue. Both Retinol and Retinoids are made from Vitamin A yet retinoids tend to be weaker and much easier for a wider range of people to use. I would highly recommend this collection of products as a great introduction into the sought Retinol/Retinoid world. Even the weaker products do the same job and will both reduce fine lines yet one may take a little bit longer in its process, but I would personally prefer this than going in full blown to possibly get sun burnt in the process.

Now we are onto the more pricey but still affordable products on my Retinol list. Institut Esthederm have created a few Retinol products including this cream and this serum. The Retinol cream works away at the surface of your skin to help it uses is Retinyl Palmitate which is a little bit more mild than Retinol. This actually means that your skin converts it to retinoic acid. It is suggested that you use the serum only at night and to mix with the cream if it is too strong for your skin.

What do you think about retinols? Too scary or just what you were looking for?


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