How to use retinol
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How to use retinol

Retinol -Our Doctors top tip 


Dr Anna,  industry expert and Skinora doctor gives her top tips on using retinol.

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and can be a real game changer when it comes to skincare; the key is using the right retinol formulation and concentration best suited to your  skin type.

There is a difference between OTC (over-the-counter) and cosmeceutical and medical grade retinol. Let’s take a more in depth look at this :

OTC skincare products  do not need a consult with a doctor or specialist prior to being  purchased; this is because they generally have a less active form of the ingredient/s. In fact, over-the-counter products can have a lot of preservatives in them and less of the main ingredient/s.

On the other hand, cosmeceutical and medical grade products are held to specific standards; the key being they have to be 99% pure in their ingredients. Pure ingredients, less preservatives.

You want a retinol in a form that is going to penetrate deep into the skin and really stimulate cell turnover, encouraging new, healthy skin cells to rise up to give a smoother, brighter complexion.

Why use retinol?

Retinol considered one of the most effective multitasking skincare potions in the industry that delivers visible changes to skin. Its key benefits include;

  • Stimulates cell turnover-In this way it smooths skin surface and improves texture.
  • Unclogs pores-Ideal for blemish prone and pigmentation prone skin types
  • Controls surface oil- Helps rebalance the skins oil /water  ratio
  • Gold standard for anti-aging – it’s a clinically proven collagen booster









Here we are referring to the cosmeceutical and medical grade versions; it’s the most effective if you’re looking for REAL results.



Retinol works best when applied to dry skin (face) , at night , never in the day, this is because retinol increases skin’s sensitivity to light. It is recommended that you wear a daily sunscreen to protect your skin because of this.

If you have dry skin, consider mixing your retinol with moisturiser and gradually reducing the amount you use over a few weeks until your skin builds up tolerance.

Oilier skin types tend to be able to tolerate retinol better. However, if you’re just starting out, I recommend  mixing a pea size amount of moisturiser with a pea sized amount of retinol and gradually reducing this over a few weeks, as skin adjusts.

You should be aiming for a finger tip’s length  size-wise to apply alternate days or daily. It may take a few weeks or longer to achieve this, take it slow and adjust dose slightly every 3-4 days.


The Retinols that deliver results;


Skinceuticals Retinol 0.3



This highly effective pure formulation  features 0.3% pure retinol enhanced with the latest stabilisation and delivery technologies to ensure a steady, even release.

It’s our best seller  because of its effectiveness; this clinically proven retinol promotes cellular turnover whilst improving the appearance of fine lines and blemishes.

Ideal for skin new to retinol use.





ZO Skin Health Wrinkle and Texture Repair 0.5%


This multifunctional medical grade retinol targets the underlying physiology of skin ageing and stimulates the restoration of collagen; it helps reduce lines and wrinkles in the skin whilst supporting a more even skin tone.
It helps skin renew itself thanks to the purity of retinol ( 0.5%) contained. As this is a stronger retinol formulation a consultation is required before ordering this product we can offer you the right advice on use with minimal irritation.







Obagi Retinol 1.0

This high concentration medical grade retinol is clinically proven fights the signs of premature aging caused by environmental aggressors to promote a more radiant and youthful-looking complexion.

With Vitamins C and E and Jojoba oil and shea butter, this retinol offer hydration alongside a pure retinol so reducing irritation. Obagi retinol fades the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.






Schedule a consultation with Dr. Anna for a more personalised skincare  routine !

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Last update: January 30th, 2022

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