How to start using retinol in your skincare routine with the Optimum by Superdrug range

In partnership with Superdrug

Looking to disguise the visible signs of ageing? Retinol is one of the few research-backed ingredients that is proven to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.

Part of a group known as retinoids, retinol is a form of vitamin A that kickstarts collagen production to smooth and firm the skin, clear blemishes and promote a glowing complexion. So it’s no surprise that it has soared in popularity in recent years!

But it also has a reputation for having the potential to cause some irritation and peeling in the skin, so it’s understandable if you’ve been a bit wary of using it until now. Don’t panic – it’s easy to get those glowing results without irritation, so we’ve compiled this handy guide to starting using retinol to put your mind at ease. 

The Optimum Retinol by Superdrug range is vegan and cruelty-free and contains retinyl palmitate – a retinol ester that’s a great introduction to using vitamin A, as it comes with a lower likelihood of irritation. Here’s how to factor it into your skincare routine to get results (although it’s not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women).

Start gradually

Optimum by Superdrug Retinol range

As with any powerful active, it’s always sensible to factor vitamin A into your routine gradually, so that your skin can adjust accordingly to get the best, non-irritating results. 

If you’re new to retinoids, start by applying the Optimum Retinol by Superdrug Serum (£14.99) two nights per week, increasing by one day each week. This also contains retinyl palmitate for those skin-renewing benefits, plus niacinamide, an antioxidant that also helps to boost radiance in the skin.  

“Really does its magic while you’re sleeping!” writes one five-star Superdrug reviewer. “Feels so light on my skin and so refreshing too. My face feels so soft and this really does suit my skin.”

When using a retinoid in your routine, it’s also sensible to alternate the evenings you use any alpha or beta hydroxy acids (things like glycolic or salicylic acid) so as not to overload your skin.  

Use: Twice weekly, after cleansing and toning in the evenings, avoiding the eye and lip area. Introduce it gradually to your routine, using it once every other night for the first two weeks, increasing to nightly usage if you experience no irritation.

Use a targeted eye treatment 

Optimum by Superdrug Retinol range

The eye area is incredibly delicate, so it may sound counter-intuitive to apply a potentially irritating ingredient here. However, use a treatment specifically formulated for this area and you’ll still reap the anti-ageing benefits of vitamin A.

The most popular product in this range, the Optimum Retinol by Superdrug Eye Cream (£13.99) targets crow’s feet and fine lines in this more fragile area. Its light gel texture sinks into the skin easily to smooth, brighten and de-puff the eye area. 

“I use this morning and night and I love it, it has made my bags/indents/black circles pretty much go away,” one happy Superdrug shopper says. “I don’t normally do reviews but wanted to let you all know how much this product works for me.”

Use: Twice weekly, after cleansing and toning and before serums, morning and evening (always using an SPF during the day)

Pair with an anti-ageing moisturiser 

Optimum by Superdrug Collagen Night Cream

As well as those great skin-renewing benefits from your retinoid, you’ll also need a moisturiser to plump up the skin and keep its hydration levels up overnight. Allow your retinol serum to sink in for 15 minutes, then layer a moisturiser over the top.

The Optimum by Superdrug Collagen Night Cream (£14.99) has been formulated specifically to deliver maximum hydration while you sleep, containing a cocktail of natural extracts and minerals to help support skin’s collagen production for a more youthful look. The result? A more hydrated and radiant-looking complexion in the mornings. 

One five-star reviewer says: “It’s been 3 nights since I’ve started using it and [it has] made a massive difference to my skin. My dry patches are gone, the fine lines under my eyes are barely visible and the redness calmed down by 50% already. Can’t wait to see how my skin will be in a month’s time!”

Use: After cleansing, toning and any serums, in the evenings

What are you waiting for? Right this way for smoother, glowing skin…

The Optimum by Superdrug range is available to shop in store and online now.

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