Tretinoin is the gold standard in anti-ageing skincare – it’s been clinically proven to reverse skin aging, improve blemishes and limit discolouration. It’s a skincare hero that needs to be used correctly though to prevent irritability and maximise effectiveness.
These retinol creams are safe to use on your face and come in various strengths and price points to suit your needs.
- No7 Retinol Night Cream
A serum-meets-moisturiser, this formula contains 1% encapsulated retinol to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well as improve skin texture and fade dark spots. It’s also incredibly hydrating, which is key for anyone with sensitive skin.
You might think that a retinol night cream would be pretty heavy, but No7’s version is actually quite lightweight. It’s dermatologically tested and formulated to harness the power of pure retinol (plus No7’s famous Matrixyl 3000+) while minimising irritation.
The brand recommends applying it as a night cream at least twice a week. As with all retinol products, it can make the skin slightly more sensitive to the sun so apply sunscreen every morning when you’re using this. It can take a few weeks for the product to start working, so it’s worth sticking with it. You can also get prescription-strength retinol, like Tretinoin, from your GP or dermatologist if you’d prefer more significant results or want the ingredient to work faster.
- Skinceuticals Retinol Night Cream
If you’re looking for a multitasking night cream that can visibly reduce wrinkles, boost hydration and brighten your skin, look no further than this cruelty-free formula. The combination of retinol and LR2412 (a jasmonic acid derivative that promotes skin healing) work together to help smooth out fine lines, dark spots and sun damage while hyaluronic acid helps plump your skin. The non-comedogenic formula is free of fragrance and parabens and works well for all skin types.
This high-concentration retinol product is best for those who’ve tried more gentle retinol products and are ready to step up the strength. It’s formulated with pure, time-released retinol that’s been stabilized for consistent, controlled delivery and is also packed with nourishing ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Ingredients include: Aqua/Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Polysorbate 20, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Allyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Bisabolol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Citrate, Boswellia Serrata Gum, BHT, Sorbitan Oleate, Propyl Gallate.
- Drunk Elephant Crystal Retinal 1
Taking a less is more approach, Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinal 1 is the holy grail for those with sensitive skin, delivering a comprehensive skincare overhaul that improves texture, tone and clarity. It’s free from the brand’s ‘suspicious 6’ ingredients (essential oils, drying alcohols, chemical screens, fragrance and silicone) and is enriched with vegan retinol and superfoods, namely passionfruit, kale, apricot, cherry and oats, along with soothing botanical extracts to minimise irritation.
The latest formula contains time-released retinaldehyde, which is claimed to deliver results 11 times faster than classic forms of Vitamin A. It’s accompanied by glycerin to help lock in moisture and soothe the complexion, and is suitable for those who have tolerated other Vitamin A serums.
As the most advanced Vitamin A product in Medik8’s range, Crystal Retinal 20 should only be used by those who have comfortably completed two full tubes of Crystal Retinal 10. It’s formulated with 0.2% encapsulated retinaldehyde and is paired with peptides and antioxidants to boost collagen production and hydrate the complexion.
- Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1
A step down from the r-Retinoate range but still super effective, Medik8 Crystal Retinal 1 is perfect for those who aren’t ready to jump straight into the stronger stuff. Using advanced vitamin A technology, this serum resurfaces skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin tone and texture.
Suitable for sensitive skin, this product uses a lower % of retinal than most other retinol products on the market and features encapsulated retinaldehyde that’s easier for the skin to absorb. It also contains a blend of anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe skin and reduce redness.
Use it as your final step after cleansing and toning in the evenings, ideally before applying any other oil-based serums (the more gentle they are, the better). Remember to always wear sunscreen during the day in conjunction with any retinol-based products. With a simple philosophy of Beautiful Skin for Life, Medik8 seeks to deliver results-driven skincare that minimises fuss and excess.retin a cream uk