Image: The Ordinary Retinol

No Ordinary Skincare: How to Harness the Power of Retinol

Considered liquid gold by dermatologists and beauty gurus alike, there’s a high chance that you’ve heard of the popular anti-aging skincare ingredient, retinol. You’ve also probably heard of the popular high-quality skincare brand, The Ordinary, who specialise in must-have retinol serums that cost a fraction of what skincare lovers would usually pay for retinol serums.

What is retinol?

Promising to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, improve overall brightness in the skin as well as reduce the severity of acne, retinol has been positioned as a miracle product in the skincare industry. But to really harness the power of retinol, it’s vital that you know how to use it.

Derived from Vitamin A, retinol is a type of retinoid that works by penetrating below the epidermis layer of skin to boost the production of that all-important collagen and elastin. The result? Plump and youthful looking skin. When applied correctly, that is. 

How to use retinol

After reading the benefits of retinol, it’s only natural to want to smother your skin in the stuff. But, according to dermatologists, retinol isn’t necessarily for everyone, and can’t simply be applied at any time. 

Kaye Scott, Co-Director, at The Clinic in Sydney, told Marie Claire that “anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding, those on prescription medication and those who have allergies or sensitive skin should consult a doctor first”. 

A less is more approach is the best way to go with retinol, especially for those who have skin on the drier and more sensitive side. You should also take caution when applying retinol products in the morning; retinol and sunlight are a dangerous mix that can increase sun damage to the skin, so sunscreen and PM application are a must. 

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid

The original hero product, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2 per cent Emulsion, is perfect for beginners who have not yet incorporated a retinol product into their skincare routine. Offering a less-potent retinoid, this serum is gentler on the skin while still delivering those incredible skin benefits. As with all of their retinol products, The Ordinary recommends you apply a small amount to your face during the evening after water-based serums but before heavier creams.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinol in Squalane

Offering a more lightweight formula, The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2 per cent in Squalane is also suitable for beginners who are looking to benefit from youthful looking skin without the potential dryness and sensitivity that can come with stronger retinol serums. Like the 2 per cent Emulsion, this serum is categorised as ‘no irritation’ in The Ordinary’s portfolio of retinoid products. 

If you’ve already incorporated mild retinoid serums into your routine, the Granactive Retinoid 5 per cent in Squalane is your next purchase on your way to blemish-free, supple skin.

The Ordinary Retinol in Squalane

Falling in the ‘moderate irritation’ category of The Ordinary’s products, the 0.2 per cent Retinol in Squalane is for the more experienced retinol user who built a tolerance to the skin ingredient. Taking it up another notch is the 0.5 per cent Retinol in Squalane which should be used by more experienced retinol lovers in combination with adequate sun protection.

For those who swear by retinol, look no further than The Ordinary’s highest concentrated formula, the 1 per cent Retinol in Squalane. While this high-strength formula should be used carefully and sparingly, reviewers of this product have raved about the results, reporting fewer fine lines and overall better skin tone.

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