Everything you need to know about retinol

Retinol is the gold standard when it comes to skincare. Whether you’re looking for an acne fighting product or a formula to improve skin texture, retinol will help you through your skin woes. So, what is this multitasking ingredient? Derived from vitamin A, it rejuvenates skin by increasing cell turnover, decongesting pores and boosting collagen. While retinol suits all skin types, the general consensus is that sensitive or extremely dry skin will benefit from less concentrated formulas.  

Retinol skincare
Image: tenor

Less is more

With a potent ingredient like retinol, it’s recommended that you start easy (a pea-sized amount is enough). For best results, keepin mind the concentration and frequency of usage. Start off with a mild formula (0.1-0.3 per cent) once or twice a week and then level up dosage to every alternate day. For extra sensitive skin, mix it with your moisturiser to dilute it. Remember, it is important to be patient (at least six weeks) so stick with your routine for any results.

Retinol skincare
Image: giphy

Start in your 20s

Your mid to late 20s is the best time to start using retinol as the early signs of sun damage and fine lines start making an appearance. It also does a great job at minimises pores, ultimately leading to smoother skin. Full disclosure, retinol can cause dryness, redness and flakyness while your skin adjusts so it is best to consult your dermat once before you dive into it. 

Retinol skincare
Image: tenor

Slather on SPF

Contrary to the popular misconception, retinol can be used during the day. It breaks down in the sun but it doesn’t make skin photosensitive. That’s no excuse to skimp off on an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 and above).

With so many options in the market, it is overwhelming to pick just one. So, here’s a round-up of the best retinol-spiked products for newbies and seasoned users…


Photograph: Neha Chandrakant

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