Retinoids, the umbrella term for
vitamin A-derived ingredients like retinol and retinoic acid, aren’t new but the formulas they reside in are getting increasingly more effective and
comfortable to use. “They stimulate the cells that build collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, break up pigmentation and speed up cell turnover, which is especially great for fine lines and acne,” says Pamela Marshall, a clinical aesthetician and Co-Founder of Mortar & Milk, who also points out that they can be notoriously difficult to use, with flaky skin and increased sun sensitivity being side effects. This is why now is a great time to get started – our seasonally cloudy skies mean a lower risk of UV damage (although SPF is always recommended after use); Marshall’s
advice is to take it slow and build up how often you apply, starting with twice a week. You should notice results anywhere from four to 12 weeks.