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July 30, 2023 2 min read

Retinol, better known as vitamin A, is great for your skin. It is recognised as the gold standard in anti ageing – backed by numerous scientific papers. 

Retinol is found in over-the-counter skincare products (for example in the form of retinyl palmitate) and in products you need a prescription to buy. Pure retinol is usually more effective than retinol derivatives. Products prescribed by a doctor that contain retinol (also called retinoids) contain more active properties and are therefore more effective. But they do increase the risk of skin irritation.

Why is retinol good for your skin?

Vitamin A is important for activating your skin cells’ recuperative abilities. When dermatologists or medical specialists talk about retinol, they mean vitamin A on prescription. All forms of retinol are effective against wrinkles, an uneven skin tone and acne.

Can I use a product containing retinol in combination with AHA or BHA?

It is ok  to use a retinol product in combination with AHA or BHA. AHA and BHA exfoliate the dead cells on the skin surface and improve skin damaged by the sun. Retinol is an ingredient that ‘tells’ your skin cells how to repair themselves by creating new, healthy cells. For the best and most beautiful results, when it comes to anti-ageing and anti-wrinkles, it is therefore ideal to use an exfoliant and a product with retinol. Build up both products and their combined use carefully and always keep an eye on how your skin reacts to the products (or combinations of products).

Address skin sensitivities before using retinol products.


How do you use retinol?

Use your cleanser, toner and exfoliant with AHA or BHA as you usually would.

Dry your skin, 

Apply some moisturiser . 

Then apply a pea sized amount of retinol all over.

If you use a brightening product, apply it after the retinoid.

Apply a serum and/or night cream.


More tips for using retinol or retinoid products:

Apply the prescribed retinoid product (which is more powerful) every other day to start with to allow your skin to get used to it. You also need to give your skin time to get accustomed to cosmetic products with a higher concentration of retinol.

Once your skin has got used to it and responds well, you can gradually increase the frequency, 3 to 4 days in the evening before going to bed.

If your skin becomes irritated (flaking, redness, sensitivity), then stop using retinol products moisturise regularly – then you can start to use your retinol again. 



Never miss a day of applying a cream with a SPF of 30 or higher! Even the most effective, scientifically proven products against ageing skin will not work if you do not protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Click here to view a selection of products, including SPF's.

For best results, use retinol products with other skincare products that contain antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients and various cell-communicating substances, such as those containing niacinamide. View SkinCeuticals Metacell B3

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