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All About Retinol and its Benefits

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Retinol has long been recommended by dermatologists as an anti-ageing product. But just what is retinol? And why is it so good for reversing the signs of ageing?

What is Retinol?

There are different forms of retinol that are commonly used in anti-ageing treatments - retinol itself is the whole vitamin A molecule - and it’s important to know the difference.

Retinoids are used in prescription medicines, and is the acid form of Retinol. Its strong nature means it can be irritating to sensitive skin.

Pro-retinol (or Retinyl Acetate) is less active than retinoids, but milder and more stable on the skin. Its gentle nature means - unlike retinoids - it can be better tolerated by sensitive skin.

How Does Retinol Work?


Perhaps the most well known benefits of using pro-retinol are its anti-ageing affects - increasing skin cell renewal. But pro-retinol also works at a deeper level: preventing collagen from breaking down by pairing elastin and collagen (the substances that allow your skin to plump and stretch).

This encourages collagen production, leading to plump skin, as well as a lessening of fine lines and wrinkles.


Using retinol over an extended period of time takes commitment - but it's well worth it. Continued use of retinol helps fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation (e.g. sun spots) through its encouraging of cell regeneration; resurfacing and rejuvenating the skin for a clearer overall complexion.

Products such as the NeoStrata Enlighten Pigment Controller helps control the appearance of hyperpigmentation, as well as brightening and illuminating skin, with its retinol and Vitamin C ingredients


Pro-retinol can also be used to treat acne. By promoting dead cell turnover it unclogs the skin, working to dislodge blackheads, unblock pores and decrease the levels of acne causing bacteria.

When Should I Use Retinol?

Contrary to common beliefs, retinol can be used day and night. Products such as the NeoStrata Skin Active Matrix Support SPF 15 allows for aging repair to occur concurrently with sun protection, allowing for day use.

At night, you can use a more intensive version, such as NeoStrata Renewal Cream - 12% PHA & Pro-Retinol. This dual defence anti-aging cream - although not for sensitive skin - works well for normal skin, prone to acne.

And remember: start with milder products. This will lessen the chances of irritation, allowing you a chance to see how your skin reacts and determine what amount is right for you.

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