Known by the brand name Retin-A, this powerful ingredient boosts cell turnover and reduces fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin tone. It can also help to unblock pores and decrease blackheads (comedones). It’s recommended that you only use a small pea-sized amount of this cream, starting once or twice a week and building up to nightly use over time to minimise irritation.
La Roche Posay has a reputation for creating skincare that caters to sensitive skin types and this retinol product is the perfect entry point for anyone new to the active ingredient. This overnight treatment contains a low concentration of retinol and supports its performance with vitamin B3 (niacinamide) and glycerin to keep it gentle on the complexion. It’s also enriched with anti-inflammatory passionfruit, kale and cherry extracts to soothe and comfort the skin and a blend of antioxidants to improve radiance.
Drunk Elephant’s cult-favourite vegan and cruelty free formula is a great option for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. The sulphate-free formula is packed with nourishing natural oils – jojoba, shea and olive – as well as healing skin-loving peptides to help exfoliate, smooth and firm the complexion. It also contains a strong 1% concentration of retinol and doesn’t contain the ‘suspicious six’ ingredients of silicones, drying alcohols, fragrance, essential oils, chemical sunscreens and dyes.
This 4th generation retinoid by The Ordinary is one of the most affordable on this list and delivers excellent results against fine lines, dark spots and uneven skin texture. It’s formulated with granactive retinoid, a form of the fourth generation of retinoids that increases skin sensitivity and therefore works faster than the more common retinol, but it also harnesses our favourite skincare ingredient, niacinamide, to address hyperpigmentation, brighten the complexion and help reduce the appearance of pores. retin a uk