Looking to invest in a retinol? Whether you’re on a budget, have sensitive skin or haven’t tried it before these are the expert formulas we love.
A derivative of vitamin A, this wonder ingredient can significantly improve cell turnover and collagen production. Subsequently, it’s one of the most effective ways to both prevent and diminish the signs of skin ageing – particularly fine lines and discolouration.
However, retinol’s benefits stretch beyond just those things: in the short-term, it can also unclog pores, fight spots and help boost brightness levels.
Introducing it into your routine may seem intimidating at first, as it can cause flaking and sensitivity if overused, but there really is one to suit everyone. Just remember, start with a low percentage or build it into your regime slowly by using once or twice a week.
When it comes to choosing a product, not all are made equal – so if you’re looking for a reliable formula, you’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to see our favourites.
Best retinol to use during the day
The Rolls-Royce of retinol, this award-winning formulation has been eight years in the making. Containing the widely patented molecule retinyl retinoate, you can expect seriously impressive results.
Medik8 R-Retinoate Youth Activating Cream, £135
Best retinol for adult acne
Combining retinol with a cocktail of potent antioxidants, this lightweight lotion is ideal for simultaneously tackling blemishes and fine lines.
Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, £53
Best retinol for beginners
If you’re new to retinol it’s safest to start with a lower percentage and work up to a higher one as your skin adapts. A product with 0.3% retinol, like this one from Skinceuticals, is a great starting point.
Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3 Refining Night Treatment, £65
Best affordable retinol
Thanks to game-changing beauty brand The Ordinary, hardworking ingredients no longer cost the earth. This water and silicone-free formula features a highly stable retinol that will encourages cell turnover to reveal healthier and softer skin.
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane, £5.80
Best retinol eye cream
Specifically formulated to be used around the delicate eye area, this potent serum helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, while also working to treat dark circles and improving firmness.
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum, £65
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