Retinol: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

Universally touted as the no.1 ingredient for anti-ageing

What is retinol?

Retinol is the animal form of Vitamin A, which is an important element needed to keep our immune system strong. This is because it has healing properties and an ability to fight against illness and infection, as well as benefiting eyesight and improving bone strength. Vitamin A is often cited as a member of the antioxidant vitamin family, which, according to Benefits and Liabilities of Vitamin A and Carotenoids, can protect against stress and chronic diseases. Vitamin A can be found in foods that are by-products of animals: eggs, cheese, oily fish, meat (especially liver), milk and yoghurt. You can get provitamin A from leafy green vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, tomato products and fruits.

What are the benefits of retinol on your skin?

As well as being an imperative ingredient to be consumed in any diet, Vitamin A (or retinol) has therapeutic agents that can be used topically to combat skin disorders. Beyond deficiency: New roles for vitamins states that vitamins are becoming more and more important in benefiting and array of skin conditions such as ageing, psoriasis, acne and damage from environmental elements such as the sun.

Vitamin A or retinol - which comes under the umbrella term of 'retinoids', which also includes retinal, retinoic acid and retinyl esters - is an agent accessible in certain skincare products. When used on the skin its main benefit is the ability to rewind the signs of ageing. It works to rejuvenate and resurface the skin by speeding up cell turnover, leaving the skin smoother, brighter and more youthful looking.

Retinol is the number one ingredient in skincare that is aimed explicitly at diminishing the signs of ageing and reducing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improving uneven skin tone and pigmentation.

Where can you get retinol?

You can buy skincare products that are enriched with Vitamin A or reintol, targeted at those who want an anti-ageing, skin revitalising product. You can buy it in moisturiser or oil form, but most commonly as a serum.

How do you use retinol?

Retinol can cause your skin to become more sensitive to UV rays, so remember to load up on SPF creams in the day. Most retinol products, especially ones that are more concentrated, are best used overnight as they are given time to absorb deep into the skin, and avoid sunlight, of course.

Shop the best retinol products in the gallery below


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