Skincare in your 30s – To Retinol or not to retinol?

Skincare in your 30s - To Retinol or not to retinol?

So I have been on a bit of a beauty quest recently and one of the things I decided I wanted to try was retinol.

It is one of the few products that most dermatologists agree makes a big difference to fine line and elasticity in our skin. However, it is quite the active little bugger, so you do have to be careful of exactly what retinol product to use.

They come in a variety of different strengths, mixed with different things and called different names. To be honest it’s a bit of a jungle to try to figure out the difference between a retinoid, Retin-A, and retinol.

Trial and error work well in most cases when it comes to makeup and skincare. Retinol is, however, the one product you don’t want to get wrong. It can be a massive irritant to skin and could leave your face burning up and peeling off if you are not careful.

I used to have skin that could take almost everything. But since I had Ace it has gotten a lot more sensitive. To be honest I think I might have a slight case of rosacea on my cheeks these days. They tend to flare up red every so often, especially when I exfoliate or use active skincare. I’m going to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis, but all the signs are there.

So to be on the safe side, I chose to begin with a really low % retinol product. I picked the retinol 0.2% in Squalane (oil) by The Ordinary. (adlink) Why make it more complicated than it needs to be? I can’t believe how inexpensive their products are. It’s crazy that this bottle only cost me a few quid.

I have used it two nights a week for the last few weeks and even though it’s too early to see any real difference yet, I thought I would share my first impressions.

Skincare in your 30s - To Retinol or not to retinol?

When I applied the oil the first night I was convinced I was going to wake up bright red and flaky. To my big surprise, I did not. My face was actually less red than the day before. I did read that people with rosacea can go either way on retinol. It can help or make it worse. For me, it seems to be the former rather than the latter.

So far I’m over the moon with this product. My skin feels glowy and my redness is not as bad as before. My plan is to stick to this routine for 6 weeks when I start using the product every other night for a few more weeks. Then I’m planning to give what is left to my hubby and move on to a stronger version.

Because The Ordinary’s products are so inexpensive it’s totally doable to keep switching up whenever my skin has gotten used to the strength of the retinol.

…and why shouldn’t guys use retinol anyway? They have skin that ages too. (And I don’t have to throw away perfectly good retinol). Win-win.

So now I want to hear all about your retinol experiences! What % are you on and has it worked for you?

You can find The Ordinary 0.2% retinol in squalane hereadlink


  1. I am yet to try Retinol but I do love the ordinary products – they are straight to the point and so affordable!

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  2. I’m on my second bottle of the Retinoid Emulsion. Its my fave

  3. I recently started the Ordinary products, retinol included and love them and it’s affordable.

  4. Gorgeous products! Retinol is something I need to try more of.

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