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Retinol: Everything You Need to Know

Retinol: Everything You Need to Know
SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert8 years ago
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If you've been keeping yourself clued up with the latest beauty news, you may well have heard about the amazing benefits of Retinol. It's much loved for it's wrinkle busting activity, but its efforts for clearing up acne and shrinking pores are just as good.

If you're wondering if Retinol is suitable for you, then read on. It's a winning ingredient, and we want you to know everything about it, from what it does to where you can find it...


Retinol: What is it?

  • In short, Retinol is another name for vitamin A.
  • It's an ingredient which acts as an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, with the ability to connect to almost any skin cell receptor and tell it to act like a healthy, younger skin cell.
  • This function alone lets Retinol step forward as a key driver for youthful looking skin, reversing the effects of ageing.
  • Retinol also functions as an antioxidant, interrupting the free-radical damage process that causes wrinkles and fine lines.


We may have lightly touched on a few key areas above, such as anti-ageing, pores and acne, but if you suffer one of these then you may want to understand in a little more depth. Here's the area's it can really improve, and how it does just that...


Retinol is mostly known for it's anti-ageing super powers, which is why you'll find it talked about a lot amongst women from their mid twenties onwards. Regular use of Retinol improves skin texture and reduces dark spots by speeding up skin cell turnover that slows down as we age. As mentioned above, the most powerful effects of retinol is what it does to our collagen, the building blocks of the skin.

The first step is to use a serum or a moisturizer packed with retinol after you cleanse:

This will start delivering the skin enhancing benefits of Retinol whilst your skin is more open to absorbing potent ingredients. Next, the Retinoids will help to stimulate the production of new collagen. Thus, the wrinkle-busting journey begins! This is what makes collagen such a powerful ingredient in our anti-ageing products. Ensure retinol treatments and masks are used on an ad-hoc basis to strengthen your retinol based skincare routine.


Along with Retinol's proven anti-aging benefits, it also assists with clearing up and preventing acne. Retinol breaks down into retinoic acid once it is absorbed into the skin, and some researchers say it functions identically to prescription versions of retinol, such as Retin-A. These prescription treatments are effective at banishing acne for good.

Non-prescription Retinol is delivered in skincare products in a way that is more tolerated by the skin, which leads to less irritation and side effects. When applied to the skin, retinol works straight away to unclog pores and prevent any build up of dead skin cells clogging up the pores. As Retinol acts as a messenger to cells, once absorbed, it kicks any lazy, sluggish cells into action, improving pore function. This is why a lot of people notice a reduction to the size of their pores when using Retinol.

Our most trusted, raved about acne busting products packed with retinol are featured below:

What if it's too harsh for me?

There is always a possibility that your skin may take a little bit of adjusting when you first introduce Retinol. Because it is highly active and starts to work right away, communicating to your cells, some people may experience slight redness at first. Here's some pointers to bear in mind before you start using it:

  • All skin types benefit from vitamin A, but especially non-sensitive, oily and acne prone skins benefit the most.
  • Start off small - just apply a little bit to begin with
  • Retinols do make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so make sure you up your SPF when using them.
  • There's a rumor you should stop using Retinol after a couple of months to let your skin have a break - but this is purely just a rumor. As long as your skin seems happy with Retinol, you can keep going with it.

Marine Retinol

However, if you do find you are one of those people who is finding Retinol is taking a little while to adapt to you skin, and you're experiencing a little redness, there is an alternative. Luxury skincare brand Phytomer have an effective range of products which perform results on par with that of Retinol, except the ingredients behind them slightly differ. Introducing 'Marine Retinol' - a revolutionary skincare formula which has been developed from the brands extensive use of new algae, plants and marine micro-organisms which have high skincare potential.

With 40+ years of spa industry experience in France and over 25 years in the United States, Phytomer is a high end, marine brand that has not only grown with the spa industry, but helped to form it

Phytomer develop their product ranges in their own laboratory in France, where a dedicated team of scientists, experts in skin biology and cell culture work on the next generation of active ingredients. At the heart of creation, the brand realized the need for high quality products which perform spa and salon treatment results, but can be used at home. So when you browse their premium collection, you'll spy all sorts of high end products such as their Pure Pore Heating Mask, Skin Refiners and Multi Exfoliants.


Below, Phytomer explain some key points below about their skin-loving range:

  • Answering the prayers of those who want a more natural, gentle alternative to retinol. Phytomer has developed Retinol of the Sea.
  • It's an exclusive concentrate of marine origin that offers similar regenerating properties as retinol-based ingredients to correct overall skin texture as well as  wrinkles.
  • Also known as Samphire Oil (extracted from the seaside plant) Samphire Oil mimics the skin renewing properties of retinol to speed up basal cell turnover for fewer wrinkles and lines.
  • Like retinol, Retinol of the Sea helps diminish wrinkles, fine lines and even out the complexion. But, unlike retinol, this natural marine oil does not produce any irritating, skin thinning or photo-sensitizing effects.
  • This star ingredient can be found in Phytomer’s INITIAL YOUTH Multi-Action Early Wrinkle Fluid/Cream, EXPERTISE ÂGE CONTOUR Intense Youth Eye Cream and YOUTH REVIVER Age Defense Mask to name a few.

Have you ever used Retinol infused products before? Considering introducing it  to your beauty regime? Either way, we hope this piece has provided a few answers to your queries, and don't forget that at SkinStore, we have many effective products packed with this key ingredient, so do have a look here.  

For more of Phytomer’s premium spa products, check out the entire collection over here

SkinStore Editors
Writer and expert
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Our team of beauty experts cover everything from skincare to makeup, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the SkinStore blog, and find all your essentials in one place.