Retinol has received a great deal of attention in recent years and it’s one of the most researched skincare ingredients. It’s popular because it has so many benefits for your skin and is suitable for a wide range of people.

Put simply, Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A which boosts collagen production, reduces fine lines, speeds cell turnover to improve discolouration and smooth the skin. Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, which can connect with almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthier, younger cell. It can also improve pore functions and cause pores that have been stretched by sebum or sun damage to return to their normal size. Retinol is an antioxidant, so it can fight free radical damage which causes skin to look and act older, and it has been proven to improve acne and eczema.

The terms Retinol, vitamin A and retinoid are often used interchangeably but in fact they each have their own status and actions. Retinol is a cosmetic ingredients which can be used by any company and does not require a prescription, where as some forms of retinoids and vitamin A can only be obtained with a prescription as they may cause skin irritation. Retinol is effective because when it is applied topically it is absorbed by the skin and broken down into retinoic acid, which is a compound that can affect skin cells and their behaviour.

Although Retinol has a ‘superstar’ status among skincare ingredients it is important to remember that there is no single ingredient which can turn back time. Using products containing Retinol does not eliminate the need for a broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA/UVB filter, an exfoliator, a gentle cleanser and a serum or moisturiser packed with antioxidants or other potent cell-communicating ingredients.

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