Ingredient Spotlight : Retinol

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a type of vitamin A that naturally occurs in the skin, regarded the powerhouse of skincare ingredients. Retinol and retina are very different, but are both classed at retinoids; retinol is an over the counter vitamin A, retina is a prescription only retinoid used to treat more severe acne, arguably 2 of the most popular retina products are Tretinoin and Adapalene. Over the counter retinol products range from 0.1% to 1% retinol, although not all products disclose their concentration sometimes making it difficult to tell the potency.

Once retinol is absorbed and converted to retinoic acid, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels increase; these perform as antioxidants, neutralising free radicals and preventing ageing inflammation.

Retinol is photosensitive, meaning that it breaks down when exposed to UV rays, making it less effective. Due to this is it best to choose retinol products that come in opaque packaging, and apply retinol before bed, with application of SPF the next morning.

What are the benefits?

  • Encourages cell turnover

  • Smooths skin texture by sloughing off dead skin cells and promoting the production of new ones

  • Reduces dark spots and pigmentation

  • Reduces fine lines

  • Calms spot prone skin due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties

  • Increases the natural production of hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin

How does it work?

When retinol is absorbed into the skin, enzymes work to convert it to retinoic acid, which overtime stimulates the production of new skin cells, fading away skin imperfections such as sun damage, hyperpigmentation and fine lines. Once absorbed and converted to retinoic acid, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels increase; these perform as antioxidants, neutralising free radicals and prevent ageing inflammation.

Which 5 Squirrels products contain Lactic Acid?

R+ – 1% Liposomal Retinol Serum

1% Liposomal Retinol Serum

A powerful and highly effective serum containing one per cent liposomal retinol, a stabilised vitamin A derivative which has been clinically proven to increase cell turnover. R+ will reduce pore size, resulting in firmer younger looking skin as well as reduce, visible signs of ageing including pigmentation and uneven skin tone.

More Ingredient Spotlight blogs will be coming to our social media shortly, keep an eye out to stay in the loop!

If you would like to sample or add R+ into your range, please contact

Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, March 2015, pages 271-280 Dermatology, May 2014, pages 314-325 Dermatoendocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 308-319 Toxicological Research, March 2010, pages 61-66 Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606-612 The Journal of Pathology, January 2007, issue 2, pages 241-251 Clinical Interventions in Aging, December 2006, pages 327-348


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