A Retinol Guide For Beginners

I must confess that I am addicted to Retinol. I love it. It keeps my skin looking taut and glowy – it’s the one step in my routine that I never miss, even in lockdown when the only people/person I’m seeing is myself in the mirror. I feel like it does all the heavy lifting in my regime: it tightens and plumps, evens out skin tone and smooths bumpiness.
For those of you who are new to Retinol, you’re in for a treat as we’ve just expanded upon our best-selling Essentials Pure Retinol 0.75% In Luxurious Botanical Oils product by creating three additional strengths; Pure Retinol 0.2%, Pure Retinol 0.5% and Pure Retinol 1%. With the purpose of making it easy to find the ideal potency for your specific skin needs.
Most of us (actually, all of us) at LA CLINICA have been pro-Retinol for a long time and below we’ll explain why we think you need it and which strength you should choose to avoid any concerns around reaction. Kickstart your new skin care obsession right now.


Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and put simply, it retrains your skin cells to turnover at a quicker rate. It can sometimes cause irritation and dryness. It’s one of the hardest working active ingredients and in this particular product our lab team have cushioned it in a blend of powerful natural plant oils to help nourish and soothe your complexion. Importantly, this range is manufactured and packaged by us, under nitrogen, into airless containers to ensure our ingredients aren’t compromised.
For those wondering when to start incorporating it into your routine, we suggest starting in your mid-twenties or early thirties as a preventative approach to anti-ageing. Please note, you should not use Retinol when pregnant or breastfeeding. That’s a big no-no. And it can make the skin more sensitive to damaging (and ageing) UV rays so please use only at night and avoid direct exposure to the sun and always, always wear sunscreen. Our SPF50+ Sunscreen Lotion is just the ticket at only $20.


There’s a lot of hype around this active and for good reason, it does everything: repairs damaged skin cells, plumps fine lines and wrinkles, boosts collagen production for firmer-looking skin, evens skin tone and texture and keeps acne at bay.
This formula is an oil texture which is quite unusual for Retinol-rich products. Our clever lab team has found that this particular combination of Jojoba Oil, Squalane, Grapeseed Oil along with HemiSqualane is super-compatible with our skin’s natural function and also works to stabilise the active ingredient. Which just means that the results are incredible. The actual oil itself has loads of benefits, too. First and foremost, when you glide it onto your skin it just feels luxurious, which I think is so important, and it also helps with tolerability, reduces oxidation and increases permeation deep into the skin. Personally, I like it because it leaves my skin feeling instantly hydrated without leaving a greasy residue, unlike many other oils that I’ve tried.
One customer, Kylie H, gave a seriously glowing review of the original Essentials Pure Retinol 0.75% In Luxurious Botanical Oils strength which just about sums it up: “I LOVE this product! I have been using for a while, no problems at all, no redness, nothing but amazing! I have tried many retinol products over the years, and this is my favourite. I look forward to using it every night.”


If you have a sensitive skin condition, then the lower Pure Retinol 0.2% has your name on it and it’ll take the stress out of testing something new. Patch test first and frequency should start at once per week and gradually increase to every second night as your skin acclimatises. Something to think about: sensitive skin types and new users of Retinol should use low active products for at least one week prior. We also suggest a routine that strengthens the skin’s barrier in preparation, such as the Sensitive Skin Cleanser, Essentials Hydrating Healing Serum and Essentials Deep Hydration Moisture Cream 50mL.
If you have normal-to-resilient complexions with a low risk of reaction, then we suggest starting with a mild-strength Pure Retinol 0.5% or Pure Retinol 0.75% If you’re familiar with Retinol and fan of the OG strength, then now’s the time to dial it up a notch with the super-strength Pure Retinol 1%.
Our experts say that Retinol should be added to your evening routine only and be applied over serums and under face creams — adding hydration steps is key to reducing dryness and irritation, particularly for first timers. Generally speaking, it’s best to layer on your products from lightest to heaviest texture. But you do you, and whatever feels good. As with any new product, use regularly for at least one month (and it may take a few months) before you will see any major improvements to skin texture, tone and tautness.
Keep reading: Which Retinol Percentage is Right For Me?
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