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WHAT THE F*CK IS RETINOL?

If you have ever even thought about skincare, you have probably heard about retinol. But what the f*ck is it?

I just want to start by saying that describing retinol as a ‘magical anti-aging ingredient’, dies here.

Yes, retinol is magic, and yes, a side effect of using retinol is reduced fine lines and wrinkles.

However, aging is a privilege, and birthdays are the best. So ‘anti-aging’ can go in the bin.

End rant.

In saying that, I am also very pro-glowy skin.


Which means retinol.




Retinol is a form of Vitamin A, of which there are several derivatives. They range in potency from retinyl palmitate (which is great for dry or sensitive skin) to hard core over-the-counter-your-doctor-needs-to-prescribe-this levels.

Retinol works by speeding up cell turnover in the skin. When we’re babies, we have super-fast, lightning cell turnover which is why our skin's natural glow is blinding. As we age (which we love) our cell turnover slows down and we can lose some of that glow (which we don’t always love). Retinol is here to restore that glow.




Now, before you go searching for the hard-core-over-the-counter stuff, it’s important to know that strongest doesn’t always mean best when it comes to retinol. Over-use of retinol can lead to an impaired skin barrier, skin sensitivity and redness. So, if you’re new to the retinol game, it’s important to start slow. Introduce retinol gradually into your routine and start off with a milder form (like retinyl palmitate or the plant based equivalent: Bakuchiol).

The week before your wedding is not the time to try retinol for the first time.

Try introducing retinol 6-9 months prior and watch your wedding makeup sit like an absolute dream.

Some of my retinol favourites include:

- Terra Tonics Clean Collagen

(code LAURIE10 for 10% discount. Not affiliate, just saving you some monies)

- Skinstitut Retinol Serum

- Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

- Sunday Riley Luna Oil




End note: if you’re using retinol, you MUST BE USING SPF EVERY SINGLE DAY.


(I used caps lock so that you know I am serious).

SPF is super important just generally, but retinol increases your skins photosensitivity, so SPF is a non-negotiable.

Skin cancer is not cute.