Retinol comes with a slew of anti-ageing benefits.

“Retinol stimulates collagen and (reduces) the appearance of fine lines, pigmentation and wrinkles. It inhibits MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases), one of the biochemical reactions that lead to skin ageing.”

It shouldn’t cause dryness or irritation.

“The strongest form of retinol is retinoic acid, which is only available through prescription and is the only active form of retinoid. This form may cause irritation because the retinoid receptors in our skin cells diminishes as we age. This inhibits the action of retinoic acid, leading to heightened skin irritation. But with proper use of the right type of retinoid and an acceptable percentage (of it), skin will naturally start to restore receptors in skin cells without (causing) any irritation.”

Folks with skin issues should be cautious.

“People with hypersensitive skin, active eczema or severe acne should focus on stabilising their skin first before using a retinol-based product. However, retinol has proven to be helpful in lightening acne scars within a short period of time.”

The revamped formula in Dermalogica’s Age Reversal Eye Complex ($150) uses micro-encapsulation technology to stabilise ingredients such as retinol and allow for a more controlled release deep into skin. It also has a firming complex that contains algae extract (to stimulate cell renewal) and hyaluronic acid (for hydration).

It’s safe to be used on the eye area.

“A face product with retinol might not be suitable for the eye area, so reading product instructions carefully is important. (The amount of retinol that’s safe for) the delicate eye area is 0.1 per cent. As long as the eye area is not hyper-sensitised, i.e. itchy, red or sore, you can start using retinol products (there).”

It’s best applied at night.

“Retinol-based products are mainly intended for night use as they are sensitive to daylight. You can also reduce the frequency of exfoliating skin weekly as retinol helps to improve cell renewal and turnover.”




Like this? Check out under-eye sheet masks that contain retinolwhy moringa is an It ingredient in beauty products and our favourite anti-ageing eye care