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Everything you need to know about Retinol

Everything you need to know about Retinol

By Merna Al Murady | Pharmacologist
It is not for nothing that Retinol has gained so much traction (and popularity) in the beauty industry and in particular in anti-aging skin care.

Retinol is one of the most popular ingredients in skin care, which both skin specialists and researchers swear by. Along with vitamin C, vitamin A is the most highlighted ingredient due to its scientifically proven and noticeable effect.

You are very likely to have come across ingredients in various anti-aging creams, serums and lotions. But what is retinol really good for? Here's everything you need to know about the wonder ingredient.


  • Contributes to cell renewal
  • Contributes to collagen production
  • Reduces age spots and pigment spots
  • Reduces wrinkles and clear lines
  • Increases the skin's collagen production
  • Gives firmer and softer skin
  • Beneficial effect on impure skin

What is retinol?

Retinol is a retinoid, a form of vitamin A and therefore part of the vitamin A family. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that all people need - regardless of age. It is found primarily in various animal and fatty products, and the so-called vitamin A carotenes are found in vegetarian products. As the vitamin is stored for a long time in our body, where it is deposited in both supply and fat tissue, it is not necessary to ensure daily intake of vitamin A.

Retinol - or vitamin A, is therefore an essential part of our diet, and important for us to maintain a healthy immune system and maintain beautiful skin. For this exact reason, a large number of cosmetics and skin care products also contain different forms of vitamin A, including retinol.

Retinol is one of the most tested and well-documented ingredients in skin care - and it's not popular without reason. Retinol possesses amazing anti-aging properties that help prevent/fight signs of aging, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture and tone. The abilities that retinol possesses are unmatched in a wide range of contexts.

Retinol improves skin health

Retinol is important for our body to function. If we do not get enough of this vitamin A, it can have fatal consequences and affect both our vision, growth, immune system, skin and not least our genes.

In fact, the NHS recommends that you get between 600 and 700 micrograms of retinol or up to 7 milligrams of beta-carotene per day. That may sound like a lot, but in reality it's just the equivalent of eating a large carrot a day!

Explore our full range of skincare products with Retinol here.

Retinol and vitamin A

Vitamin A is available in three different strengths with very different properties. A distinction is thus made between these types:

Retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate: These are among the mildest forms of vitamin A, as they are first converted to retinol and then to vitamin A.

Retinol: Retinol is a precursor to vitamin A acid, which is converted to vitamin A in the skin.

Vitamin A Acid: The acid version of vitamin A that is strong, prescription only.

How does retinol work?

Retinol is best known for its anti-aging results, but retinol can do much more than that. Retinol works by stimulating cell turnover and collagen production, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the skin.

Retinol works eminently to maintain the epidermis. This is primarily because retinol has a special ability to influence the way our skin cells behave and react. It is also scientifically proven that retinol has a positive effect on both impure skin, acne, sun damage, pigment changes and signs of aging, which is why retinol is also the preferred choice when it comes to anti-aging.

Suitable for...

  • Anti-aging
  • Acne skin
  • Impure skin
  • Pigment changes
  • Sun damage


Although there are a number of obvious benefits to using retinol, it's not just something you apply to your skin every night. First of all, your skin requires some getting used to using retinol - regardless of the strength.

Always pay extra attention to the percentage of retinol in your cream, lotion and serum before you start. Too much retinol can cause redness and skin irritation, and too little retinol - well, that won’t have any effect. As a starting point, it is said that there must be at least 1% retinol in a product for it to work. However, there are products with a higher content of the wonder substance - but these are only available on prescription and are primarily used to treat acne or to give an even skin tone. This is a rather harsh treatment, which must be carried out with professional guidance.

Always start by using retinol once a week, then every other day, and finally every day. That way, you best get your skin used to using retinol. Retinol creams and retinol serums are best used at night, as retinol products can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. It is therefore important to use sunscreen during the day to protect the skin from further damage.

How long does it take to see results?

2-4 months.

Good to know

When it comes to retinol in skin care, the packaging is super important. Retinol is extremely sensitive to air and light. The ingredient is destroyed and loses its effectiveness when stored in a jar or transparent packaging where it is susceptible to light. Therefore, retinol should ideally be stored in the fridge, as it preserves the effect to a greater extent.

Use of retinol in skin care

One of the biggest benefits of retinol is that it improves the skin's cell turnover and cell renewal. In addition, it is a great antioxidant. The substance is also increasingly used as a powerful anti-aging ingredient in various creams and other products, as retinol works to both smooth and tighten the skin on the face, as well as to give both softer skin and a more uniform skin tone. Research has also been able to demonstrate that retinol in creams, serums and oils has a measurable effect on reducing large pores in the skin, improving the skin's surface and ensuring a more even and uniform skin tone.

Retinol's amazing ability to repair and rebuild our skin also makes it suitable for a number of other purposes. Purposes that do not have a purely cosmetic aim. This is because it can also be used with advantage to treat both wounds, scars, burns and sun damage. But as with all skin care, retinol must be used correctly. And with consideration. But if you do, you are also guaranteed a noticeable effect by using retinol in your daily skin care. In other words, retinol is something of a life saver in skin care!

Retinol cream for the skin

Retinol is found both in capsules, in serums, oils, face masks and of course creams. Retinol creams are the most widespread and used in skin care. You will find both day creams, night creams and eye creams with retinol, so there is plenty of opportunity to achieve excellent results when you want to give your skin that smooth layer. No matter what type of skin care you prefer.

Retinol serum

Creams can sometimes seem a little too fat and greasy - especially in the summer, when many of us prefer lighter and airier products, especially in the face area. Fortunately, there are both facial oils and serums that contain retinol. What they all have in common is that they help just as well and effectively as retinol creams - but retinol serums are simply absorbed into the skin faster, as the consistency is thinner, which can be an advantage in the summer if you want to avoid the greasy feeling that creams can leave behind.

If you choose a retinol serum, you can advantageously combine it with a day cream or night cream. Use your retinol serum before using your regular day cream or night cream for best results.

Yes, it’s true