Why you should be using a Retinol

Because we all want beautiful skin don’t we…

Retinol facts

Retinol, also known as vitamin A₁-alcohol, is a vitamin in the vitamin A family found in food and used as a dietary supplement. As a supplement it is ingested to treat and prevent vitamin A deficiency, especially that which results in xerophthalmia.


Some of you may already be using retinol, 

and indeed are fully up to scratch with its benefits. However, there may be some of you that just aren’t.


Well, we are here to tell you what it is, and how it can benefit your skin in a way that no three-step cleanse tone and moisturise ever will.

So what is Retinol?

Well, it is described as a catchall for topical products containing Vitamin A. 

What does Vitamin A do?

Well not only does it help maintain good eyesight (remember the saying – eat your carrots and you will see in the dark) it also helps to speed up the healing process and skin rejuvenation, as well as supporting the skins immune system. And besides all of that, it helps to prevent breakouts and promotes natural hydration and moisture. Which ultimately gives you that healthy glow.

Having said that Retinol alone isn’t enough.

We all know that a good diet and hydration, as well as a regular sleep pattern, are vital to keeping the skin in tip-top condition.

vitamin a


So we have previously looked at diet in the post-Menopause Vitamins 5 of the best but what about Vitamin A. This of course is an essential micronutrient which the body cannot manufacture. Therefore it is imperative to include this Vitamin in our diet.

So what foods contain Vitamin A? 

Liver is the obvious choice, yet not always favoured by the majority of people. Also, pregnant women are told to be mindful of their intake of liver. 

Mackrell, Salmon and Tuna are also a great source of Vitamin A, as is Cheese. 

Vegetables are Sweet Potato, Turnips, Squash, Kale, Carrots, Red Peppers and Spinach.


So how does applying retinol help the skin

Retinol works by increasing the collagen, as well as the rate in which skin rejuvenates itself (turns over). It also helps those with acne, blackheads and clogged pores. Retinol reduces the stickiness of the cell that may be clogged allowing the skin to shed easier, thus helping the skin to breath.


Retinoids are considered the gold standard when it comes to anti-ageing

and you can see why. Because they increase the turnover of the skin. All of this aids to vast improvements in the texture of the skin, and over time reduces the appearance of fine lines and dull skin tones.

In turn, giving us plumper skin because of the reduction in dryness. Let’s just say that Retinol is the exfoliation without the harsh grit.

And of course, it will be one of those products that we wished we had used sooner.


So what Retinol should you use and when?


Well, retinol should be applied at night after you have cleansed and ensured all of your make up is off. It is advisable to use a gentle cleanser with a warm flannel. Please do not use face wipes. They are so bad for your skin and the environment.

However, those with sensitive skin…

particularly individuals suffering from dryness, skin allergies and rosacea should be particularly careful. In fact, they may well benefit from starting on a product such as adapalene which has a gentler effect on the skin and is approved for treating acne as well as anti-ageing. 

Adapalene is also a good product to use should you suffer from keratosis pilaris (when the skin becomes rough and bumpy and is covered in what looks like pimples)

It is suggested that you start at a low percentage.

This is extremely important. Around 0.05% is a good place to start. To begin with, apply once a week, then twice, three times etc until you feel ready to move up to the next strength.

For under the eye, use a separate serum, retinol which is specifically designed for that area. What with it being so fragile compared to the rest of the face, putting retinol under the eye could create an issue with the skin.

So what are the side effects?


Well, don’t worry you won’t wake up with your face on the pillow, however you may see some dryness, redness and peeling while the skin rejuvenates itself.

Also, be mindful of what other products you mix with the Retinol. Stay away from acids, and if you do suffer from acne then don’t mix benzol peroxide and retinoids as they can counterbalance one another and cause clogging of the skin.

Also, it is a good idea to ensure that you use a good Vitamin C Serum in the morning to ensure the skin is protected from free radicals caused by sun damage and pollution. And of course, always add an SPF 30+ if you are going outside.


When can I expect to see a difference?

Well like anything patience is the key. Don’t give up after a month because you will be right back to square one. In the first few weeks, you will begin to see a brightness in your skin as it rejuvenates

Then over six months as the new collagen grows the skin will feel more elastic and plumper. Wrinkles will look softer and dark pigmentation will become lighter.



L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Night Cream

A luxurious anti-wrinkle and firming cream containing nanosomes of Pro-Retinol and Dermo-Elastyl for the strengthening of the skin’s support tissues and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Anti-wrinkle + firming
Intensive action
Pro-retinol A + pro-firmly technology
Skin’s own 8 natural firmers: elastin, collagen I, III and IV, perlecan, integrins, fibrillin and chondroitin S
Tested under dermatological control


The Ordinary – Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

  • Targets anti-ageing and improves skin texture.
  • Aims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and general signs of ageing
  • Suitable for most skin types
  • The Ordinary skincare recommends that you start with a lower concentration of retinol to allow your skin to build a tolerance
  • Retinoids make the skin more sensitive to UV radiation, use SPF daily
  • Only use this product in the evening
  • Do not use with any other retinol products


Sunday Riley – A Favorite of ours

A next-generation retinol oil that boosts the look and feel of skin plumpness, while improving the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and pores for visibly younger-looking skin.

Luna works throughout the night to deliver visibly youthful, luminous, even-toned skin in the morning. Trans-retinoic acid ester complex reduces the appearance of pores and wrinkles, while visibly improving the signs of premature ageing: fine lines, uneven texture, age spots, dryness, and dullness. Balanced with blue tansy and German chamomile essential oils, both rich in soothing, blue azulene, visible redness and the signs of sensitivity are neutralised, for a calm, even-toned complexion.

Cruelty-Free, Sulfate-Free, Paraben-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Phthalate-Free, Fragrance-Free, Vegan.


 This lightweight lotion combines pure retinol with potent antioxidants to immediately enhance hydration, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and promote a more even-toned complexion. Liquorice, oat extract and other soothing ingredients to help calm redness.

The plant extract has potent antioxidant and skin-soothing properties. Can be effective in improving the look of an uneven skin tone.

A portion (s) of amino acids, some have a remarkable skin-soothing effect, others can improve the appearance of wrinkles, loss of firmness, and help to soften the look of expression lines.

Powerhouse ingredient that can improve a variety of skin concerns, most related to visible signs of ageing: Its skin-restoring,


Promote a more radiant and refined complexion with the La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% + Vitamin B3 Serum. This concentrated serum is infused with vitamin B3 to leave the skin feeling smoother, hydrated and renewed for a dewy and healthy-looking glow. Pure and gradual release Retinol helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. By combining these two powerhouse ingredients, the serum leaves the complexion looking brighter and more even.

Suitable for all skin types.

Free from fragrance.



Refresh your skin with CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, a gentle makeup remover suitable for oily and sensitive skin types. The luxurious gel transforms into a weightless foam which sweeps away dirt, excess oil and impurities whilst maintaining the strength of the natural barrier function.

A potent blend of three essential ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid works to replenish vital hydration, whilst Niacinamide soothes any irritation. Expect a calm, clear and revitalised complexion.

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