Retinol can transform skin - but needs to be used properly

Retinol can transform skin - but needs to be used properlyIMAGE: Getty

Hailed as the holy grail of skincare, vitamin A – commonly referred to as retinol, although that is only one derivative – is a skincare pro favourite.

When applied topically it offers a host of benefits, working to brighten and improve skin tone, boosting cell turnover, tackling wrinkles and it can also help fight against antioxidant damage.

Prescription-grade products are available but there are lots of options on the beauty shelves. Vitamin A seems to be having a moment in fact, with quite a few new launches landing around about now.

If you’re new to the retinol game, it’s worth remembering that you need to start slowly. Retinol and other vitamin A derivatives can cause some side effects including peeling, sensitivity and dryness so build up. Use it on alternate nights, or a few times a week at first and up your hydration to compensate for any drying. Also do your research on strength and percentages and start off with milder options.

The other absolute non negotiable when using Vitamin As is to use SPF. Every day (which is advisable anyway but all the more important now). There's no point putting the work into improving your complexion if you let UV go at it during the day!

Retinol Ceramaide Capsules, from 50, Elizabeth Arden

Ideal Resource Youth Retinol Oil Concentrate, approx. €87, Darphin

Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturiser with Alpine Flower, RRP: €65, Origins (launches 1 March 2019)

Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream, €85, Murad

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream, approx. €72, Cult Beauty


Perfectionist Pro Rapid Renewal Retinol Treatment, €76, Estee Lauder (launches 4 March 2019)

R-Retinoate INTENSE, approx, 244, Medik8

The Treatment:  Retinoid Facial, RRP€99, Juliette Armand

An new in-salon treatment using a combination of peel, serums, and a mask. (Not suitable during pregnacy.) 

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