Retinol: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?


A cursory glance at the shelves of any pharmacy or beauty store will reveal a whole host of pseudo-scientific names and ingredients. They all promise miracles but how do you sort the real deal from the mumbo jumbo? Well, here at PretAirporter HQ, we’re inundated with beauty samples and press releases, so we’ve picked up a thing or two (i.e. spend wisely on skincare, and ditch the blue eyeshadow). Of course, we’re all about sharing so here’s your need-to-know about the biggest buzz in anti-ageing since SPF.

What is retinol?

Retinol is the animal form of Vitamin A, which is used for anti-ageing and found in many skincare products.

What are the benefits of retinol on your skin?

Retinol can be absorbed into the skin and, when combined with certain enzymes, it’s converted into tretinoin (the acid form of vitamin A, also known as retinoic acid). Retinoic acid works to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen and elastin production, decrease hyperpigmentation, and help skin stay hydrated and glowing. Using a high quality skincare product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores. The result? A smoother, more even-toned look.

How do you use retinol?

Be aware that retinol can cause your skin to become more sensitive to UV rays, so it’s vital to layer up on SPF creams in the day. You’ll find that most retinol products (especially the really concentrated ones) are best for overnight use.

See the best retinol products below

Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair & Buffer Cream available at World Duty Free stores
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Wrinkle Treatment at Boots airport stores
REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Ageing Cream available at airport stores
Tess Harold
written by: Tess Harold
Born in Hong Kong, Tess currently lives in London where she is Editor at PretAirporter. Over the course of her career, she has worked for the likes of Stylist, The Telegraph, Prestige Hong Kong, Asia Spa and Harper’s Bazaar UK.