Home » How To Use Retinol & Brands You Should Check Out

How To Use Retinol & Brands You Should Check Out

This year I started using Retinol products on my skin. I guess when you reach a certain age, your once easy skincare routine becomes more complicated, and you either keep up or the ageing process will catch you. Yes, getting older is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to keep it as minimal as possible.

And that’s where Retinol comes in. In a nutshell, Retinol is a form of vitamin A, that boosts the functions of your skin cells, especially the ones that start slowing down after we hit that 30 age mark.

In addition to speeding up cell turnover, Retinol products can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve collagen production in aging skin. Retinol is also great to help unclog pores and assist with skin discoloration as a result of aging.

Think of including Retinol products into your existing, well tailored skincare routine as the cherry on top – that little bit of added help if you will. Retinol is not a quick fix, and results typically show months later, so you need to be consistent.

In today’s post, I’ll share with you some fabulous Retinol products to try and give you some tips on how to introduce Retinol into your routine…


The Retinol Lineup – My Picks

The best way to introduce Retinol in your skincare routine is with an over-the-counter Retinol product. I would always suggest going with the skincare brand that you trust!

There are so many great ones out there, and below I’ve mentioned a few Retinol products which I’ve tried and think are worth checking out. I’m not going to go into too much detail on them, but I’ll give you a brief outline and you can see more by clicking the link on each one.

filorga-meso+-meso-plusFilorga Meso+

This night-time serum which includes Retinol, combines some of the French brands’ most successful anti-ageing ingredients. The result – to give you “global action” against wrinkles.

The encapsulated Retinol content in Filorga Meso + helps to resurface and stimulate cellular renewal and smooth out wrinkles. Also in this formula is Hyaluronic Acid and Filorga’s patented NCTF®, which is a mesotherapy complex used for promoting cutaneous redensification.

It’s not simply a Retinol only product, but a great overall serum to include in your anti-aging skincare routine, which also includes the benefits of Retinol in the content.

Find out more about Filorga Meso+ here

dermaceutic-active-retinol-0.5Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 0.5

This preventative product from Dermaceutic offers a medium-strength, highly concentrated formula, which combines active ingredients including Retinol Complex, pure Vitamins C & E and essential minerals.

These work together to support the natural cell regeneration process and reduce the appearance and signs of skin aging.

Find out more about Dermaceutic Activ Retinol 0.5 here

skinceuticals-retinol.0.3SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3

SkinCeuticals Retinol products contain an innovative delivery system, based on the skin’s lipid structure to ensure absorption.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 is their lower dosage formula with 0,3% of pure Retinol to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. If you’re just starting out on Retinol products, then definitely try this one out.

Find out more about SkinCeutcials Retinol 0.3 here

dermalogica-overnight-retinol-repair-and-buffer-creamDermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair & Buffer Cream

Dermalogica’s Overnight Retinol Repair cream is formulated with an active, microencapslated pure Retinol complex. It also includes powerful peptides, Vitamin C as well as a bioenergized Copper Amino Acid Complex, which helps to reduce visible wrinkles and improve skin firmness.

What I love about this one is that it comes with a Dermalogica Buffer Cream, which helps you introduce Retinol without it overwhelming your skin. It also lets you tailor how strong you want your Retinol to be by adjusting the amount of Buffer Cream used. I’ll go into more on that in my tips below.

Find out more about Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair here


Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate

Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate has a high Retinol content of 1%. While this is quite high, it has been developed with a microencapsulated form of Retinol, which means that it’s designed to gradually release Retinol to maximize the potency and ensure that your skin can still tolerate it.

In addition, Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate also has the brands’ patented NeoGlucosamine®, which has been clinically proven to enhance the volumizing and firming effects of Retinol.

Find out more about Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate here

Six Tips Before You Start Using Retinol

1. Start Slow

If you’ve never used Retinol products before, it’s best to start with products which have a lower Retinol content, and gradually build up to a stronger potency. Less is more and you need to always consider your skin’s tolerance before introducing anything with Vitamin A.

2. Blend and Buff

When starting with Retinol, you may find that the high concentrations need to be “watered down” so that it is not a shock to your skin. Using something like Obagi Blend Cream or Dermalogica’s Buffing Cream (which is sold together with their Overnight Retinol Repair) allows you to benefit from the Retinol application, but not so aggressively from the start.

Once your skin gets used to the Retinol mixed with buffing or blend cream, you can lower the amount of buffing/ blend cream and eventually skip this step and go straight on with the Retinol application. Start with three parts Buffing or Blend cream, and gradually reduce the amount little by little.

obagi-blendObagi Blend FX

Obagi Blend FX is a skin brightening cream formulated with arbutin and an exfoliant to clarify the skin. When used with Retinol or tretinoin cream it can help to further lighten uneven patches and correct skin at the cellular level.

Find out more about Obagi Blend here.
Even though my skin is OK with using Retinol on its own now, I still like to include my Obagi Blend FX cream because the two just work well together. The other great thing I love about Obagi, is that unlike other skincare creams which come in 30ml or 30gram container, Obagi come in 50g bottles – so you get a lot more than the norm.

3. Application is Key

When applying Retinol, don’t apply it like you would your moisturizer. By that I mean, don’t dot and smear it on your face.

Add a pea-sized amount to the palm of your hand and emulsify it in your palms. Then, working quickly, apply it to your face; going outwards from the centre of your cheeks, downwards across your chin and sideways across your forehead. This method just helps the Retinol to spread better without over loading certain areas with “too much product”.

4. Only use Retinol at night

Retinol products should only be applied once a day, and only at night time. Because Retinol, or Vitamin A increases your skin’s sensitivity, it is vital that you use a broad spectrum sunscreen – even though you should be using it anyway, and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

5. If Your Skin is Sensitive, Try this…

If you have sensitive skin, or skin that reacts quickly, instead of using Retinol every night, try to incorporate your Retinol every second night. So one night on/one night off. Otherwise try a routine of two nights on/ two nights off.

6. Be Smart

If you are getting irritations, or increased redness or sensitivity from using a Retinol product, look to your other skincare products and consider their content. Since Retinol works like an exfoliation on your skin, you don’t want to be using too many aggressive ingredients all at once.

And lastly, please bear in mind that I created this post to give you a rough guide into using Retinol based on my own personal findings. Always use your own discretion when introducing anything new to your skincare regime. Read the labels, and discuss any concerns with your doctor.

Are you using Retinol as part of your skincare routine? Would love to hear which products you gals recommend and your experiences on them.


Dimi Ingle
Dimi Ingle

Dimi is the founder, editor and creative force behind StyleScoop. She curates the very best of fashion, beauty, travel, decor and lifestyle, every day, right here!

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. July 27, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    I started using Retinol last year, and you only realise the difference it makes once you stop using it! As soon as I stopped it for a while, my pores were clogged, my skin looked dull… Don’t know what you got till it’s gone…

    • July 27, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      That’s just it. You don’t actually notice a difference when using it, but when you stop, it’s just like you said 🙂 The other thing with Retinol is a lot of people stop using it because they think it isn’t working and its quite pricey – but results usually show only after consistent use and often months after using it 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay in Style! Join the list

Join the StyleScoop Community and receive curated content in your inbox.