The Best Retin-A Creams and Serums For Anti-Ageing Skin

Retin-A is the gold standard when it comes to anti-ageing skincare. It’s the only ingredient that has been scientifically proven to reverse the signs of ageing, so if you’re looking for ways to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade hyperpigmentation, improve skin texture or clear acne, retin-a is definitely worth considering. However, there’s a risk of irritation when using Retin-A and it should be introduced gradually to your routine. It can cause red, itchy, flaky and dry skin initially, especially if you use too much or too soon, so it’s important to start with the lowest concentration available and slowly ramp up your usage. It can also be used as a pretreatment before a moderate or deep chemical peel, laser treatment or dermabrasion to speed up healing and prevent scarring or dyspigmentation.

Retinol can be found in a range of skincare products including creams, gels and serums. If you’re new to the game and want a gentle introduction, look for Retin-A creams that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. These include La Roche Posay’s bestselling serum, which has a low 0.3 per cent concentration of the star ingredient alongside hydrating glycerin and niacinamide to support its efficacy without irritating even the most delicate complexions. This lightweight cream is designed for night-time use, and our testers love it because it smells pleasant, goes on smooth and sinks in well. It’s best for normal to dry skin, but if you have oily or combination skin, follow with a hydrating night cream for maximum benefits.

For a stronger retinol formula that’s perfect for more mature skin, try British brand Medik8’s Crystal Retinal 1. This highly concentrated 1% overnight treatment delivers visible results for all skin types, from reducing fine lines and wrinkles to brightening dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It’s free from the’suspicious 6′ ingredients (SLS, silicones, fragrance, colourants, drying alcohols and chemical sunscreens), so it’s ideal for blemish-prone skins.

If you’re looking for a more dramatic effect, there are prescription-strength Retin-A creams available, but these require a doctor’s appointment to obtain a prescription and will be a lot more expensive. A less-expensive option is The Ordinary’s serum, which contains granactive retinoid (a 4th generation retinol) to reduce hyperpigmentation, fine lines and improve skin texture, along with other key skincare favourites like niacinamide and licorice root extract. retin-a cream uk


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