Ask any skincare aficionado their go-to ingredient for minimising dark spots, improving skin texture and reducing the look of lines and wrinkles and chances are they’ll utter three syllables: retinol.
Heralded as the gold standard for radiant skin, retinol has become a mainstay in many a beauty routine. As popular as it is, there’s something still a little bit mystifying about the magical ingredient.
Here, we unravel the mysteries behind the ingredient and arm you with the questions you should be asking yourself before you add your next retinol product to cart.
What Does Retinol Do?
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, one of the body’s key nutrients involved in boosting cell turnover. When used in topical skincare products, it helps promote skin renewal, boost collagen production, brighten skin tone and reduce acne.
As an antioxidant, retinol also works to fight free radicals, protecting the skin from damage that can lead to the visible signs of ageing. In short: Kris Jenner may work hard, but retinol works harder.
Think of retinol as a skincare superhero that speeds up the turnover of dead skin cells, unclogging pores and buffing away dull skin to make way for fresh, healthy cells to come to the surface.
When (And How) Should I Start Using Retinol?
While ageing is a natural—and beautiful—process, we usually start to notice our skin’s look and feel changing in our mid 20s, when the body’s natural production of collagen begins to slow.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so adding retinol into your routine sooner rather than later can help counteract the visible signs of ageing and stop damage before it occurs.
The key to integrating retinol into your skincare routine, however, is to start small, slowly and gently. That means choosing a product with a lower percentage of the active ingredient (more on that later) and using a small amount a few times a week to help build your skin’s tolerance.
The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Range is specifically designed and tailored for every stage of retinol user, from beginners just trying the ingredient for the first time to intermediate users and those who are more advanced.
With over 30 years of retinol expertise, more than 100 clinical studies and 20-plus patents, Neutrogena’s retinol is uniquely formulated to deliver powerful results with less irritation.
The range utilises pure retinol (aka the most refined form of vitamin A), which has a scientifically superior anti-ageing power when compared to other forms of vitamin A, with all formulas balanced with skin nourishing emollients for less irritation.
What Do The Percentages Mean?
In the simplest of terms, the higher the percentage, the higher the concentration of retinol (and the stronger it will be).
For the new retinol recruit, Neutrogena’s Retinol Serum contains 0.05 per cent pure retinol in a lightweight formulation to help smooth skin for a more radiant look.
For experience retinol users, the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Pro+ Range contains the highest concentration of pure retinol yet. The Pro+ .5% Power Serum helps to target and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and stubborn dark spots, with 95 per cent* of users agreeing their skin felt smoother after just four weeks of daily use.
There are also two new products joining the Pro+ range in 2023: the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Pro+ .3% Night Cream and the Pro+ Eye Cream for those seeking skin that feels hydrated and looks brighter and healthier.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Using Retinol?
As it aids with the skin renewal process, retinol can have side effects like dryness or mild irritation (which is why it’s best to choose a brand, like Neutrogena, that has specifically developed a skin nourishing formula for less irritation).
Incorporating retinol into your routine can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight, so be sure to include an SPF (preferably one with broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of at least 50) into your everyday routine.
It’s recommended to use retinol as part of your nightly skin routine, to allow the ingredient time to work its magic while you sleep.
Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol range is uniquely formulated for powerful retinol results with less irritation for all experience levels, from those just adding the ingredient into their routine, to more experienced users. Learn more about the range here.
Brought to you by Neutrogena.
* % of experienced retinol users agreed after 4 weeks of once daily usage