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The Retinol Guide - By Skincare Expert Emielia

A lot of you ask us – How do I use Retinol, What are the benefits of Retinol, Can you use Retinol in your 20’s? I am here to answer everything you need and should know about Retinol, because it is nowhere near as scary as it sounds.. in fact it should be your best friend.

Retinol is a much loved powerhouse ingredient, with a reputation for being a “magic solution” to a wide variety of skin problems.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is an umbrella term for products containing some form of Vitamin A. In relation to skincare Vitamin A can be used to speed up healing, prevent breakouts, clear uneven texture, Hyperpigmentation and is one of the primary ingredients responsible for boosting cell turnover and increasing collagen production.

Whatever your skincare situation is, dermatologists agree that anyone can benefit from adding Retinol into their daily skincare routine.

When should I start using Retinol? Can you use Retinol in your 20’s

The number one reason why we use Retinol is to help with skin ageing, to minimise fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen is what keeps our skin from sagging, giving us that plump, youthful look. Our collagen production starts to slow down in our 20’s, which means you can start using Retinol to help boost the production of elastin and collagen. Helping you maintain a plump, youthful look.

Not only does Retinol play a role in preventative skincare, but Retinol also has a countless number of benefits including battling breakouts and normalising oil production – which is a common problem for those in their 20’s.

We understand there is a huge variety of Retinol products on the market, so to make it easier when it comes to finding the correct Retinol for you – identify your main skincare concern and select a product that has been specifically formulated to tackle it. (we have skincare experts on hand to help you make the correct decision). By identifying your main concern and finding the correct Retinol to tackle it, will help you use Retinol safely and effectively throughout the years (your main skincare concern in your 20’s will most likely be different when in your 40’s).

What are the benefits of Retinol?

As we slightly touched upon above, Retinol can be used to treat various skin concerns including fine lines and wrinkles, acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation and clogged pores. By speeding up the skins natural rejuvenation process, Retinol can improve the skins overall texture.

Retinol works in the outer layer (epidermis) and the inner layer (dermis) of the skin, increasing the thickness of both layers by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production.

How to use Retinol?

Retinol is a very strong ingredient and therefore proper application and usage is a MUST, to limit the risk of irritation.

The most important thing when using any Retinol product is to ALWAYS use an SPF (sun protection), which we should all be wearing everyday anyway. SPF doesn’t just protect your skin from those harmful UVA (ageing rays) and UVB (burning rays) rays but also prevents redness and maintains the Retinol's potency.

Fun Fact: Retinol actually breaks down when exposed to UV rays. This is why you mostly see Retinol packaged in darker or opaque bottles. It keeps the ingredient at its maximum potency.

When you first use Retinol, make sure you use a pea-sized amount to perform a patch test, on a small area of skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Secondly introduce it into your skincare routine by using it once or twice a week. If you find your skin gets irritated after use, you can try a buffer technique. This is where you would apply your moisturiser before the Retinol to reduce the side effects. Eventually you will want to work your way up to using it every night.

Will Retinol make my skin purge?

You’re picturing pristine, glowing, dewy skin and you’re just about to start your Retinol journey. You’re about one week in, and you start to notice a flurry of breakouts… this is what we call ‘experiencing a purge’.

Skin purging is when increased breakouts and blemishes pop up after using a resurfacing or acne product. If you are oily or have acne prone skin, congestion can sit under the skins surface. Resurfacing actives like Retinol help clear the skin by speeding up cell turnover which brings all of that congestion to the surface. It does happen quickly and all at once.

Not everyone experiences purging, but it is possible with any ingredient that accelerates skins renewal process or tackles acne. Purging typically lasts 4-6 weeks and is followed by significantly fewer and less frequent breakouts over time. Trust me, even though the purge isn’t fun, the end result will be so worth it. Stick with it and thank me later!

If you see severe dryness, redness, burning sensation, or new rashes, stop, put the product down, and back away. These are tell-tale signs that the formula you are using is not suitable for your skin type.

What is the perfect Retinol skincare routine?

  • At night, wash your face with a non-stripping cleanser, to remove makeup, dirt and any excess oils on the skin.
  • Wait until your face is dry before applying Retinol. If your face is damp, the Retinol can absorb too deep into your skin and may cause irritation.
  • Take a pea-sized amount of Retinol. Starting at your chin, apply onto your face in upwards and outwards motions.
  • Apply your moisturiser all over, followed by your eye cream.
  • In the morning, make sure your last step is your SPF.

For any more advice, or skincare tips from our experts here at John And Ginger, you can message on our live chat, email or call us. Alternatively they are available to reach via our social media pages.

Profile Photo of Emielia Echeverri author for John and Ginger
Emielia Echeverri
Friday, December 17, 2021

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum 30ml


You can reduce the look of fine line and wrinkles in just 2 weeks with this retinol serum to help minimise the signs of ageing that you can see, and the ones you cannot see yet.


Retinol 0.3 30ml


A night cream to stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

£80.00 £76.00

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This next-gen serum harnesses the power of retinal, a potent form of vitamin A, to deliver unparalleled results that leave your skin lifted, smoothed, and rejuvenated.