RETINOL is the new buzzword in anti-ageing skincare.
Why? The best retinol creams and serums have been clinically proven to reduce ageing dark spots, wrinkles and improve uneven skin tone.
So what exactly is it? Retinol is a powerful derivative of Vitamin A. It's able to stop collagen from being broken down, as well as enhancing its production, which will lead to firmer skin and fewer wrinkles.
It smooths your complexion by speeding up cell renewal, and can stop the process that makes pigment in the skin, so helps to diminish sun spots. Can we get a hell yeah?
The sun can minimise its powers, so it's always a good idea to apply retinol products at night – it can work its magic while you snooze.
Whether you're looking for a serum, night cream or moisturiser, we've got the best retinol products below. Meet your new wrinkle-proof wonder products…
1. Best retinol cream
Give yourself a 'skinvigorating' night's sleep with Origins' new retinol night moisturiser.
Along with skin-renewing retinol, anti-ageing Alpine flower works on wrinkles while 'advanced hydrators' give a moisture surge to battle dryness.
Get your skin used to the retinol by only using it every other night for two weeks before upping the regime to every night.
After three weeks you'll notice a more even skin tone and a brighter complexion. Whoop.
- Origins Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer with Alpine Flower, £49 from Look Fantastic – buy here
2. Best retinol cream for beginners
If you're new to retinol, a high-percentage cream could cause some irritation. So it's best to get your skin used to it and kick off with a less potent product.
Enter La Roche-Posay's Redermic [R] Anti-Ageing Concentrate. With only 0.3% retinol, it's a more gentle yet effective solution. It'll target those fine lines, dark spots will fade and your overall complexion will get a brightening boost.
It's hypoallergenic and paraben-free, so it's also perfect for sensitive skin. Apply at night on its own or before your moisturiser. Wake up to less wrinkles? Yes, please.
- La Roche-Posay Redermic [R] Anti-Ageing Concentrate, £22.10 from Feel Unique – buy here
3. Best retinol eye cream
Brighten and tighten the thin skin around your eyes with a wrinkle-busting retinol eye cream.
We love Charlotte Tilbury's must-have makeup line, but did you know the brand also has a fab skincare range? The Magic Eye Rescue cream has time-release retinol molecules that work to increase collagen and rejuvenate skin cells hour-by-hour.
There's also skin-conditioning coconut oil and shea butter, youth-boosting vitamin C and E, skin-tightening winter Daphne, and soothing red algae. It's a 'wakeup call' in a pot.
- Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Cream, £40 from John Lewis – buy here
4. Best budget retinol cream
A lot of retinol creams can be quite pricey, but this gem is affordable as well as effective.
Give yourself a firmer future, and make wrinkles a thing of the past, with L'Oreal Revitalift, which is infused with Pro-Retinol A, renewing skin cells and boosting smoother skin.
Use every morning on your face and neck, and do remember it's a good idea to add an SPF if you're wearing a retinol cream in the daytime. Crow's feet, watch your back.
- L'Oréal Paris Dermo Expertise Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Day Cream, £6.49 from Look Fantastic – buy here
5. Best retinol serum
Paula's Choice has a fantastic range of retinol treatments, but this 1%-infused serum is a great place to start.
A youth-boost in a bottle, it’s a complexion-smoothing cocktail of good-for-you goodies like antioxidants that blend with the retinol to refine enlarged pores, beat back wrinkles and fine lines, and diminish brown spots.
Meanwhile, soothing liquorice and oat extracts minimise any irritation (dryness, redness) that some people may experience with retinol products.
Apply after cleansing but before your moisturiser three times a week at first while your skin acclimatises, before upping the application to every other day and, when ready, every evening.
Pssst. Don't want to fork out £45 without knowing if you love it? There's also a handy trial bottle for £11 so you can try it on for size first.
- Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, £45.05 from Look Fantastic – buy here
6. Best budget retinol serum
We get it. Life's expensive. And sometimes you just need a brilliant little pocket rocket that will work just as well as the big-name brands – without the price tag.
The Ordinary is just the thing. It offers excellent skincare products at affordable prices, and the retinol serum is a game-changer for your beauty routine.
The lightweight but potent solution improves your skin's texture and tone and reduces dark spots, plumping and firming as it goes.
Squalane, a key antioxidant, also helps prevent UV damage and new age spots from forming. So it's a powerful pairing and a little multitasking must-buy.
Meanwhile, if you’re blemish-prone, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion is a two-fold retinol serum that’s best for acne as well as beating the first signs of ageing. It’s got everything covered.
- The Ordinary Retinol Serum 1% in Squalane, £5.80 from Beauty Bay – buy here
Looking for a non comedogenic sun cream? Then head over to our roundup of the best non-comedogenic sunscreens.
Enjoyed our best retinol roundup? For more incredible beauty recommendations, head over to our dedicated Sun Selects Beauty page. Trust us – you won't regret it.
We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so be sure to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.
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