Retinol: Everything you need to know about the anti-aging acid from what it is and who should be using it?

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We often hear plenty of tending beauty buzzwords but is there any scientific evidence anti ageing acid Retinol actually works?

Growing old gracefully is a term often thrown around and whilst we all want to do exactly that, most of us want to rewind the clock and stay looking young for as long as possible.

A good skincare routine can easily make you look and feel better in just a few steps. However, the anti-aging acid Retinol may be the beauty secret you need to add to your night-time regime. 

There seems to be a plethora of skincare acids on the market from Hyaluronic (hydrating) and Niacinamide (good for acne and eczema) to Vitamin C (glowing skin) and AHAs and BHAs (liquid exfoliator). It can be hard to choose which one is right for your skin type and what exactly each of them do. 

As a woman that is nearing closer to 40 I have delved deep into the world of anti-aging skincare. After testing many different types of acids on my face, I want to share what I have learnt from the beauty experts and my own experience. 

What is Retinol? 

Retinol can be confusing as you may have seen it under a similar name such as Retinal, Retinoid, Retinyl and Retinol. The good news is that it is all Vitamin A and you will find it in many anti-aging products. 

Why is Retinol so popular? 

According to beauty expert Caroline Hirons, in her Skin Care book she states: “Retinol is the gold standard of skincare because it is scientifically proven not only to reverse the signs of ageing but also shown to prevent them.”

Why are people scared of using Retinol? 

Your skin needs to acclimate to Retinol and most people try it once and never again. When you first start using a Retinol, your skin will experience redness, dry patches and flaking. 

What are the benefits of using Retinol?

After slowly incorporating it into your night-time routine (from once a week to every other night), your skin will drastically improve. You can expect to see smoother glowy skin with visible fewer lines with better skin tone and elasticity. 

When should you start using Retinol? 

Adding Retinol to your skincare routine at any age will help but prevention is key so starting in your 20s is a good idea. Apply Retinol at night and never in the morning as you will damage your skin. 

A beauty therapist once told me the skincare brand Medik8 ‘rule’ was to apply “Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol at night” for the best anti-aging skincare regime.   

What is the best Retinol product to use? 

Surprisingly Retinol acids don't have to be expensive. I use the affordable The Ordinary Retinol Serum 1% in Squalane £8.50 twice a week. Along with the fan favourite No7 Pure Retinol, Vitamin C & SPF 30 Day Cream Duo £39.95 every morning. 

I have been using Retinol for a while now and my skin does feel amazing. I was also very happy when I recently turned 38 and when I revealed my age to someone they appeared to be genuinely shocked and thought I was much younger. ‘Maybe she's born with it’ maybe she has a decent skincare routine which includes Retinol.  

Natalie Dixon is NationalWorld’s Lifestyle reporter. If you liked this article and want to read more about soaps, celebrities and lifestyle you can follow Natalie Dixon on X here

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