Why use retinol - but with caution

It's a Vitamin A boost for your skin that can reduce the signs of ageing, combat acne, reduce sun damage, reduce the appearance of dark circles and pigmentation and improve skin texture. 

Retinol should be used at night when your skin is most relaxed, waiting 20 minutes after washing your face to apply it to dry skin. Then wait another 30 minutes before using your usual moisturiser. You can use it under your eyes but not on your eyelids. 

Now this stuff can cause irritation but it's usually short term. If in doubt, or if the irritation continues chat to your GP or dermatologist. Don't use it if pregnant or breast feeding.

Retinol comes in different strengths from 0.5% to 2%. The idea is to start on the low dose, not using it everyday at first, but building up. You only need a really small amount - think pea sized for your whole face.

There is some talk it can make your skin more susceptible to the sun so just in case, put on sunscreen (which we do anyway right?) or use it at night.

It's a pretty big leap to use this product so make sure you have weighed up all the pros and cons. It'll take about 12 weeks before you notice any difference and using retinol should improve your skin for about 12 months.

After that you might need something a little stronger. This is definitely when you should definitely chat to a skin specialist.

Main pic: Balanced babe

Pic: Pevonia

Pic: Pevonia