Want performance skin care that does what it says it will? If fine lines are a concern and you aren’t ready to get under a knife or a needle, meet retinol.

You might have tried a few ‘anti-wrinkle’ creams and started to get a bit fed up. Surely, they should do what they say they do? If you’ve been getting frustrated, now might be the tie for you to try the super ingredient, Retinol. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, an ingredient that promotes skin renewal and enhances collagen production (which starts to decline in your 30s). As well as lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, retinol can also reverse some of the side effects of sun damage. Delivered in a serum, retinol is applied at night before your usual moisturiser, and is teamed with a high SPF in the day to protect your fresh new skin.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the experts in skin care rate this super ingredient.

The aesthetic skin therapist, Jasmina Vico, says, “retinol is a hero in terms of skincare. It increases collagen production in order to prevent wrinkles forming by improving elasticity of the skin. This is exactly what we want. In addition, retinol can also help to manage other skin conditions such as acne and eczema, as well as improving discolorations to the skin. And if you have sun damage, retinol can also help to reverse some of the side effects, too.”

Dr Marco Lens, founder of skincare brand Zelens, agrees. “Retinol promotes skin renewal. It increases skin thickness, improves skin texture and tone leading to smoother and firmer skin. It also evens out skin tone and helps with skin discolourations.”

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for in term of concentration, which is measured in percentages. 1% retinol is powerful! If you are looking for retinol, make sure to check the percentage. The good news is if you are a retinol novice, you can get away with a lower percentage and still see results.


Brands such as indeed labs and The Ordinary are available at Boots and online and offer good retinol serums for under £20. More high-end ranges such as Sunday Riley tip closer to the £100 mark, so the aforementioned brands are a great place to start!

When you see the results, you might be thrilled but this is a cream you mix into your routine rather than slap on daily. Because it’s potent, watch out for flaking and any irritation or redness – don’t try before a big event!

It’s also worth reiterating sun care is key with this ingredient and there is also some debate about the use of topical retinols during pregnancy, so please do further research before you commit!