buying my first anti-aging product – an introduction to retinol

In the last six months, I’ve really started to notice some changes.

At first, I wondered what it was that was causing it – my skin was changing, as was my hair, my body and the way it responded to different things. Then I read something that said the most significant changes will take place between 28 and 30 (as opposed to the rest of your twenties, not the rest of you life) and suddenly it all fell into place. I’d noticed how my body was finally calling out for exercise, rather than relying on dieting to shift weight – in fact, over the last two years or so I was struggling to make the changes I wanted through my eating habits alone and it wasn’t until I joined the gym (more on that here), that I finally started to see changes to my body again. My hair has been a rollercoaster for some time, but in the last six months it’s become much less resilient. It’s got a lot drier, despite no changes to my usual products and routine, and no colouring for a year – it just needs that bit more TLC. But my skin has been the biggest change. I talked in this post about how my skin has gone from oily to combination, and how I am suffering with dehydrated skin and even patches of dryness. It was looking dull, it didn’t hold make up as well and I was starting to catch sight of some lines and ‘sunkeness’ under my eyes.

We all know the age-old ‘anyone over 25 should use anti-ageing products’ but I hadn’t read about anything that had captured my attention – for me, the science behind skincare sells it – and although I’m no scientist, I like to try and get my head around skincare ingredients and their properties to ensure I’m not wasting my money. I’d heard about retinol a few times, but I’d also heard people talk about needing to build up a tolerance to it and it seemed a bit beyond me – a bit too much faff. Then I saw this post from LBQ Blog, on Twitter, and saved it. One slow morning at work, I decided to give it a read. Hayley goes into the details much better than I ever could, but essentially retinol isn’t anything to be feared – it’s Vitamin A. It was originally used to treat acne but is now included in some of the most effective anti-ageing products on the market. Retinol tells your body to produce more collagen and new cells, to keep skin fresh, smooth and bouncy. It also tackles clogged pores (guilty) and promotes new cell generation. There are some concerns retinol thins the skin, which I’ll admit worries me, but when used correctly, they actually tackle the deeper layers of the skin where wrinkles start out.

There are a number of products on the market that include retinol these days, and after some research I decided to pick myself up a bottle of The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid (2%) – at £8 for 30ml it’s one of the cheaper options and a brand I’d been eyeing up for some time (that packaging!). The product contains two types of retinol that work together and are designed to avoid the irritation that some bring. It also has a 2% concentration in it, which I’ve read is a good starting point as you don’t want to jump in the deep end too soon with retinols. I’ve had this particular product nearly a week now and I’ve used it two or three times – just before bed, as advised on the various blogs I’ve read and product information. The product is a thin white liquid and two drops does my whole face. I’ve read retinol products take their time so I’m not expecting instant effects – I’ve heard it can take up to 12 weeks to see a difference so I’m hoping to persist! I’ve not noticed any irritation or discomfort so far and the product is scent free and comfortable on my skin before bed.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I get on with my new product and updating you here with any outcomes!

Have you tried a retinol product?


Shop some other picks from The Ordinary below!

Tell me more about Katherine-Louise

If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.