• CAS number: 68-26-8 / 11103-57-4 – Vitamin A
  • Origin(s): Synthetic
  • INCI name: RETINOL


  • Also known as retinoids and vitamin A
  • Retinol is a form a vitamin A and can be found in a number of over the counter and prescription skincare products
  • Retinol is able to increase the skin cell turnover over making it a potent ingredient for combating signs of ageing and blemish concerns, such as acne
  • You must ensure you introduce retinol into your skincare routine slowly to avoid any skin irritation this ingredient is famous for creating
  • Exposure to UV light renders retinol useless meaning it is most effective when applied in your evening routine


Retinol is a highly potent ingredient that can cause irritation very easily if used incorrectly in your daily skincare routine. Many skin types can use it, however, should be avoided by those with sensitive skin that is prone to redness and other skin concerns such as eczema and rosacea.


Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is often added to skincare routine to promote rapid skin renewal. It is a powerhouse ingredient for combating signs of ageing, from fine lines to sagging skin and can also help manage blemish-prone skin types by reducing how frequently they experience breakouts and acne. Other concerns such as pigmentation, left behind from sun damage can also be treated with the topical application of retinol. Introducing retinol to your routine is not a quick task, but in fact requires you to start by applying it once a week to allow the skin to build its tolerance to the ingredient. By doing this slowly you will avoid any irritation, rashes, redness and tightness occurring. After roughly 4 weeks of committed application you will see a marked improvement in your overall complexion.


If used incorrectly retinol can cause a large amount of skin reactions, some are mild, such as tightness and dry areas on the face, whilst some are more severe leaving burns and rashes on the skin. It is highly important you introduce retinol to your routine slowly and correctly to avoid these side effects. If you have any concerns with using retinol it is advice to seek the help of a GP or dermatologist.


  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Mar 1, 2016, A comparative study of the effects of retinol and retinoic acid on histological, molecular, and clinical properties of human skin
  • Journal of Drugs in Dermatology : JDD [2015, 14(3):271-280], One-year topical stabilized retinol treatment improves photodamaged skin in a double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial.
  • Journal of drugs in dermatology : JDD., 2015 Jan;14(1):24-30., A randomized, double-blind, split-face study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of three retinol-based products vs. three tretinoin-based products in subjects with moderate to severe facial photodamage.
  • Levin, Jacquelyn, and Saira B. Momin. “How much do we really know about our favorite cosmeceutical ingredients?.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 3.2 (2010): 22.
  • Mukherjee, Siddharth, et al. “Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.” Clinical interventions in aging 1.4 (2006): 327.
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology, September 1997, Pages 301-305, Unoccluded Retinol Penetrates Human Skin In Vivo More Effectively Than Unoccluded Retinyl Palmitate or Retinoic Acid
  • Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Retinoids, Chapter 30 – pages 256-262



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