If you’re suffering from a skin complaint, from acne scarring to ageing, using a retinol in your routine is highly beneficial. Retinols have been used in the skincare industry for decades as they are very effective. So, what exactly are retinols and how do you use them?

What is a retinol?

Retinols are essentially a subset of retinoids – a vitamin A that aids the reproduction of cells. When applied to the skin, retinols help to boost cell turnover so that old cells diminish quickly and new cells are formed. The collagen required to make these cells is also stimulated.

What are the effects of the skin?

Retinols have an incredible effect on the skin. They help to improve the texture of the skin, soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve sun damage and acne, as well as reducing the appearance of large pores. Unlike prescription only retinoids, the majority of retinols are available to purchase online and in store, making them an easy option for improving your overall complexion.

How to use retinols

When you first start to use a retinol in your skincare routine, it’s best to begin applying it in the evening, a few nights a week. This will allow your skin to get used to the new treatment. Retinols are available as serums, moisturisers and oils. When you use it in your skin care routine will depend on your selected product. For instance, if you are using a retinol serum, you will apply it after cleansing and toning and before moisturiser.

The side effects

Like any product, retinol can have side effects. However, these are normally minimal and include redness and dryness, especially if you have very sensitive skin. Retinols can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. It’s essential to use a sunscreen when exposed to the sun.

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