“Gentle” and ” retinol” aren’t words that usually appear in the same sentence as the latter is often misconstrued as an ingredient that can irritate, dry, or burn one’s skin. Just so that never happens again, the technological breakthroughs in these retinol formulations ensure they remain kind to skin while treating it with retinol’s powerful rejuvenating properties. Whether they contain a synergistic blend of ingredients or come with time-release abilities that have a gradual, prolonged effect, here are the best retinol products to try for visible results – sans irritation.
● CLE DE PEAU BEAUTE WRINKLE CORRECTING CONCENTRATE ($230; 20ml)
Formulated to improve the depth and length of visible wrinkles, this targeted serum uses pure retinol to stimulate collagen synthesis and maintain elasticity. Used directly on areas such as around the eyes, the glabellar lines, and nasolabial folds to improve even deep wrinkles due to repetitive facial expressions, it is also fortiﬁed with the brand’s Illuminating Complex to boost hydration and radiance.
● DRUNK ELEPHANT A-PASSIONI RETINOL CREAM ($105; 30ml)
Thanks to a combination of retinol and a blend of peptides, botanical oils and antioxidants, the skin-replenishing beneﬁts of retinol are bolstered in the US brand’s new formula, which also minimises redness and irritation. Peptides restore resilience and improve clarity, and botanical oils repair the skin barrier for better moisture retention, while antioxidants fend off environmental hazards for a healthier-looking, smoother, plumper and more reﬁned complexion. What’s more, the cream comes with a deluxe-sized B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum to keep skin supple.
● PIXI RETINOL TONIC ($22; 100ml)
Following its bestselling Glow Tonic, which accelerates cellular turnover with glycolic acid, Retinol Tonic gently and gradually renews skin with continued use. Over time, the toner’s blend of retinol and jasmine ﬂower reinforces the moisture barrier, improves radiance and softens the appearance of wrinkles.
● PETER THOMAS ROTH RETINOL FUSION PM NIGHT SERUM ($115; 30ml)
Featuring encapsulated retinol and vitamins C as well as E, this gradually releases retinol into skin for a gentler effect. The vitamins provide antioxidants and brightening, moisture-retaining, as well as skin-ﬁrming beneﬁts for a healthier, younger-looking complexion.
● FIRST AID BEAUTY SKIN LAB RETINOL SERUM .25% PURE CONCENTRATE (SENSITIVE/ BEGINNER) ($95; 30ml)
Perfect for ﬁrst-timers or sensitive skin types, this contains the brand’s proprietary Skin Saver Complex to ensure maximum beneﬁts with minimum irritation. Furthermore, it is fortiﬁed with sensitive skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, colloidal oatmeal, allantoin and ceramides, which soothe, boost hydration and improve moisture retention. Plus, vitamins C and E condition, brighten and protect.
● SHISEIDO VITAL-PERFECTION WRINKLELIFT CREAM ($160; 15g)
Designed speciﬁcally for visible wrinkles, this uses Shiseido’s VP8 technology to deliver pure retinol deep into skin’s layers to speed up collagen production so ﬁne lines and wrinkles are smoothed. At the same time, it prevents moisture loss and improves radiance.
● SUNDAY RILEY LUNA SLEEPING NIGHT OIL ($148; 35ml)
Featuring a retinol ester complex, this overnighter reduces the appearance of ageing signs, like ﬁne lines, enlarged pores, rough skin, sun spots and dullness, for a revitalised complexion. Moreover, it is infused with blue tansy and German chamomile essential oils to help soothe and neutralise any signs of irritation, as well as nourishing botanical extracts for your bestbehaving skin yet.
● DERMALOGICA OVERNIGHT RETINOL REPAIR ($190; 30ml)
This contains 0.5 per cent of skin-renewing, microencapsulated pure retinol that’s slowly released into skin as you sleep, so it can work in tandem with your body’s self-renewal cycle. It also has vitamin C to minimise discoloration, bioenergised copper amino acid complex for ﬁrmness, and ceramides to strengthen skin’s barrier function. To use, mix one part of Overnight Retinol Repair with a maximum of three parts of the enclosed Buffer Cream before applying onto cleansed, dry skin. Avoid using other products when using this to reduce the risk of irritation.
● STRIVECTIN ADVANCED RETINOL INTENSIVE NIGHT MOISTURIZER ($170; 50ml)
As one of the authorities in retinol use for skincare, StriVectin has consistently improved the retinolbased formulas over the years. Thanks to its proprietary NIA-114 technology, this product optimises the efficacy of retinol while fortifying skin’s moisture barrier and keeping environmental hazards at bay. It also contains copper tripeptides to deliver the beneﬁts of retinol without any irritation for younger-looking skin.
● PESTLE & MORTAR SUPERSTAR RETINOL NIGHT OIL ($174; 30ml)
If you want something that serves the purpose of a retinol serum yet has the nourishing effect of a face oil, this is it. With a base of cold pressed grapeseed oil, it combines two nonirritating retinol derivatives, so your skin drinks it up to minimise pore size, boost elasticity and improve luminosity.
● TATA HARPER RETINOIC NUTRIENT FACE OIL ($171; 30ml)
Another choice pick for those who prefer an oil, this one blends rosehip seed oil, with retinoic acid to make dull, rough skin plump and bright again. Also on duty is the brand’s Estate Grown Beauty Complex with extracts of arnica, borage, alfalfa, elderberry, meadowsweet and calendula to replenish essential minerals, vitamins and fatty acids for a healthierlooking, more resilient complexion.
● DR. DENNIS GROSS FERULIC + RETINOL WRINKLE RECOVERY OVERNIGHT SERUM ($126; 30ml)
Taking a two-pronged approach to addressing the signs of ageing, this powerful serum uses a combination of the aforementioned ingredients to ﬁrm and reduce the appearance of wrinkles while you get your beauty sleep. Super antioxidant ferulic acid neutralises free radicals accumulated during the day while retinol stimulates collagen renewal for healthier, brighter and smoother skin. It is also supercharged with niacinamide, which optimises the performance of the other ingredients, minimises irritation and enhances one’s glow.
TEXT JOYCE CHEO MAIN PHOTO 123RF.COM PHOTOS CLE DE PEAU BEAUTE, DRUNK ELEPHANT, PIXI, PETER THOMAS ROTH, FIRST AID BEAUTY, SHISEIDO, SUNDAY RILEY, DERMALOGICA, STRIVECTIN, PESTLE & MORTAR, TATA HARPER, DR DENNIS GROSS