Vitamin A / Retinoids / Retinols


Retinoid is the family name for an ingredient compound derived from Vitamin A. They are the gold standard ingredient when focusing on ageing well and also when trying to prevent acne. They work by increasing cell turnover pushing fresh new skin to the surface from within. They also slow down the degeneration of collagen and stimulate fibroblasts in the dermis to increase collagen production. Due to rapid cellular turnover, the ingredient also shows significant efficacy for treatment of photo-damaged skin and pigmentation.

Different Forms:

There are a lot of different and often confusing forms of retinoids. However, with any retinoid product the compound needs to be transferred to retinoic acid before it can be a useful benefit to the skin.

The simple difference between retinoids & retinols is that Retinoids are prescription only and often already in the form of retinoic acid. Retinols are less concentrated, go through more steps to transfer the retinol to retinoic acid and are available over the counter.

Percentage in Skincare:

Minimum concentration = 0.01%

Maximum over the counter = 1%


Ensure slow introduction to any retinol/retinoid product so that the skin retinizes and can get used to it slowly avoiding too much dryness and irritation.

Unlike Vitamin C, where you will see an immediate effect on the skin, Retinols/oids take time to work and you won’t really see the benefits before three months of use.

Avoid during pregnancy and when suffering with eczema.