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How To Safely Introduce Retinol Into Your Skincare Routine For 2020

Image by: Algenist

Whether you’re looking to smooth out wrinkles, refine the texture of your skin, or prevent acne, retinol is the multi-purpose ingredient that you need to know about.

If you’re trying to ease your way into the world of skincare, welcome. We know it can be a hard place to navigate. From acids to lipids, to alpha, beta and ‘droxy’s’, it’s hard to educate yourself on the right way to do skincare without feeling like you’re retaking Chemistry GCSE. (Because no one wants to do that.) So, while it is a serious business, we know there is a way to make science and skincare fun - and slightly less like school. Starting with one of the most principal, and most talked about ingredients in skincare: retinol. This is a substance you’re likely to have heard of, but may not know what it actually entails. Either way, we’re here to help teach you - but don’t worry, there’s not an exam at the end. Just for doing research on skincare, you get an A* either way.

Retinol is known on the market as the miraculous ingredient for anti-aging. And that it is. But let’s get down to the basics. What is retinol? Retinol is really just another name for Vitamin A, a substance produced naturally in the liver. Through food, you can usually find it in meat products, especially oily fish, or dairy. When ingested through food it can help with improving vision, supporting the immune system, and keeping skin lining healthy. Applied topically, it transforms into a skincare superpower that exfoliates and encourages skin renewal by aiding the production of collagen and increasing cell turnover. Pretty fancy stuff, right?

So if you're ready to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine, look no further. Although there are retinol products for the eyes, hands and body we've honed in on looking at retinol based products that benefit the skin on the face. If you're starting out, we'd recommend using a retinol serum as an easy way to gently introduce the substance to your face, as it's a nonessential part of your routine, as opposed to a moisturiser. But, if you're ready to dive into the world of this anti-age, anti-rough and bumpy skin miracle, then consider using a moisturiser that combines two steps in one for more regular use down the line. These are the best retinols products we've searched and scanned for across hundreds brands, and tonnes of reviews - all put together as a special Octer edit. Have a scroll - and remember: happy skin, happy you!

The Best Retinol Serums

Is Retinol Safe For All Skin Types?

Given it’s fantastic anti-aging benefits it’s often used for smoothing out wrinkles and refining any textural irregularities, but it’s also been proven to be incredibly effective in treating acne as well as evening pigmentation, so it’s safe to say it is a multi-faceted magnate in the world of skincare. However, as with all things great and powerful, this substance comes with mild caution. An excess of usage to begin with on any skin type, but particularly on sensitive skin, can cause redness, dry skin and flaking, or used improperly, it can compromise the epidermal barrier. So it’s important to introduce retinol into your skin regime slowly by being careful in choosing the appropriate dosage for your skin type, and using it sparingly at first - once a week is advised - before building up a tolerance.

What Are The Side Effects Of Retinol?

Additionally, retinol has a tendency to make skin sensitive to light, so while you can use it during for day or night, if you're wearing in the day, dermatologists stress the importance of wearing SPF of at least 30, and recommend it better to use overnight to avoid being more susceptible to UV rays and sun damage.

The Best Retinol Moisturisers