Retinol. Here are the results of using three different brands.

Just as I was about to start preparing a post for skincare and makeup items I’m currently using that I want to tell you about, I realised that I hadn’t told you all the outcome of a few brands that I used last year and will certainly continue to use. Retinol was such a big discovery for me last year and I thought I would share the journey and my thoughts.

In fact, there’s so much that I need to tell you about and I’m going to edit some skincare and makeup post categories. I’d love to hear what type of skincare and makeup you would be interested in reading about. Let me know.

Retinol skincare

Retinol was my biggest skincare discovery in 2020

I’m a little late to the party using Retinol. Do you use it? I always worried my sensitive skin wouldn’t cope with a serum or cream that removed dead skin from your face.

But after reading all that Retinol can do for mature and young skins I wanted to give it a try. Shrinking of pores, a smoother skin plus the boost of cell renewal and a more even skin tone enticed me.

Exfoliating is key to encourage new skin growth and give a boost to cell renewal that slows down as we age. I took the plunge after speaking with the girls from Skin chemist. My first ever trial of Retinol to me was a huge revelation. My skin looked it’s best ever by week two of using it.

If you are sensitive and would like to try Retinol, I highly recommend this brand as a starter. At 0.3 a very low grade and a good number to start on. This Pure Retinol Biphase serum feels a little oily and I never applied night cream over the top of this serum. You are advised to using most Retinols but I didn’t feel the need. I really noticed a big difference to my skin. (now updated with Aloe) It wowed me and so my journey of using Retinol began.

The second Retinol treatment I trialled was the Boots No.7 Advanced Retinol Complex Night Concentrate. At 0.3 I think other ingredients within the cream make this a little stronger. I worked at increasing this serum to three times a week but my skin couldn’t take it. One pump is all you need to. A very economical retinol compared to many out there.

Retinol skincare

Using it twice weekly is fine and it was at this point that I noticed those larger pores on the nose, spreading beyond to shrink considerably. I also use a night cream over this once the serum has sunk into my skin.

I think the No.7 Advanced Retinol Complex Serum is a great price for what your getting in the 3oml tube. It works but I would say build the amount of times you use it slowly.

A complete skincare System with Derma Works

The triple serum kit that I’m using at the moment and my first play with vitamin C. The Retinol is stated that it’s 2.5 so a little harsher again. After reading about using Retinol the advice is to build and go for a higher concentrate each time you renew your skincare.

I would have to say that this doesn’t feel any more aggressive than the Boots No.7 Retinol serum. It doesn’t irritate (I’m using twice weekly) my skin but it is advised to use this daily. I might up the game and try using three times a week. The Hyaluronic acid that comes within the pack is amazing too.

And the picture above? I wanted to point out that straight to the face is way better than the palm of your hand. Rub in as quickly as possible! These bottles are small and I want every bit of it on my face.

I have a 10% discount for Derma Works

I feel that my skin has really benefited from using Retinol this past year. I really do feel like I have a new surface! I can say that it was my best skincare discovery of 2021. Here are a few tips I found helpful using Retinol below.

  • Start by using once a week
  • You must use a good SPF of at least 15 (I use 30 or higher)
  • I would recommend using Hyaluronic acid as a moisture boost
  • Use a mild exfoliator. I know Retinol is an exfoliator but I find a little help with an exfoliator really useful. Ark Skincare does an amazing one. Read about here
  • A liquid version applied with a pipette should be applied straight to the face. Don’t waste it on your hands

If you were to try Retinol I would recommend the Derma Works as a really good starter. The price for what you’re getting is the most appealing. Plus you can get 10% off anything on the Derma Works site using the code Vanity21 If you already use Retinol and want something a little stronger, then the Boots one would be a good buy.

I hope you find this little review of Retinols helpful. There’s no going back for me. It was worth trying on my sensitive skin and the results have been amazing.

Keep you and yours safe and well xx

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  1. March 3, 2021 / 3:14 pm

    Sounds like a great product Laurie. Great review x

    • laurie
      March 4, 2021 / 8:29 am

      Thanks Claire xx

  2. Ivy
    February 27, 2021 / 12:02 pm

    You have such beautiful skin, Laurie! I will give the Pure Retinol Biphase serum a try, since you said it’s suitable for sensitive skin too. You mentioned to use Hyaluronic acid in complement with retinol cream for moisture boost. May I know which Hyaluronic acid brand do you use? been using a moisture oil by Kiehl’s but would like to know your recommendation.

    Thank you for your tips, Laurie!

    • laurie
      February 28, 2021 / 10:22 pm

      Hi Ivy! I use many different Hyaluronic brands. the moment I use Derma works and it’s great. I have a discount code within this post. I also like Ark Skincare’s one too. Hope this helps xx

  3. February 22, 2021 / 10:43 pm

    I’ve always loved Boots #7 products and should give their retinol a try. My skin could use it.

    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:49 am

      It’s my new must-have product to fight those wrinkles Rebecca xx

    • laurie
      February 28, 2021 / 10:27 pm

      I totally recommend it, Rebecca xx

  4. February 22, 2021 / 3:12 pm

    HI Lori,
    I am always interested in retinol products. I appreciate the info on these brands! I have been using retinol for about 4 or so years now, a little late… but I do think it is a mainstay in the skin care arsenal.
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:50 am

      If you’ve been using retinol for four years, then I’m very late to the party! xx

    • laurie
      February 28, 2021 / 10:28 pm

      I only wish I wasn’t so late to the party Jess. I can’t believe the difference it’s made to my skin xx

  5. Rosy
    February 21, 2021 / 2:02 pm

    HI Laurie,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience using No.7 retinol serum. Before I read your post, I was unsure about the quality of this product because it is on a lower price range. I’d always think products with slightly higher price range would reflect better quality. However, I may give it a try since you highly recommend it 🙂 Besides these 3 brands, have you tried the Lilyana’s Retinol Cream? It also has similar positive reviews but it is on a higher price range given its organic ingredients.

    I am trying to take a look at what is best in the market before I make a purchase decision.
    Thank you for your advice, Laurie!


    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:52 am

      Thanks for the tip rosy xx

    • laurie
      February 28, 2021 / 10:31 pm

      Hi Rosy. I don’t think you will be disappointed. I haven’t heard of the brand you have named but I will take a look xx

  6. February 18, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    Laurie, thanks so much for sharing your experience with retinol. I have yet to add anything like that to my skin care routine, but it is nice to have all the information from trusted sources like my blogging friends! Thanks for linking with me.


    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:54 am

      Do it now Shelbee. You will be amazed at the difference xx

  7. February 16, 2021 / 4:48 pm

    I really need to start using Retinol!
    You look great as usual. Love the grey robe!
    Suzy xx

    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:55 am

      I totally recommend you try retinol of some sort Suzy. Not during your hot summers though! xx

  8. February 16, 2021 / 11:54 am

    I’ve used a retinol alternative but not retinol. Thank you for sharing your experience with these products!


    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:55 am

      Give it a try Jill xx

  9. February 15, 2021 / 10:41 pm

    looking good Laurie, thanks for sharing the results with #PocoLo

    • laurie
      February 23, 2021 / 8:56 am

      Thanks, Stephanie xx

  10. February 15, 2021 / 2:59 pm

    I’ve never used a real retinol consistently, but I’ve been wanting to try. I think that really gentle one would probably be a good choice for me. I’ve always been nervous about making my skin more sun sensitive, but I imagine it the retinol is used at night, that’s probably key. I learned how hard the sun can be to the skin one summer a few years ago, when I had taken over the lawn work for my husband and was out in the sun every day for quite a while, without sunscreen. My skin had visibly aged several years by the end of the summer! I could see the difference in photos! Thanks so much for these recommendations!

    • laurie
      February 16, 2021 / 8:14 am

      Hi Pam. Yes, I delayed in trying too due to sensitive skin. Try and samples behind the ear for any reactions. The Skin Chemist is really gentle. You can build up as you go along. It’s definitely worth trying, my skin is so much better for it xx

  11. February 13, 2021 / 11:18 am

    It’s good you have enjoyed using these products and you can use them a few times a week! I’ve heard good things about retinol but I just don’t want to do anything that makes my skin any more sensitive to sun – the sun is so fierce here, I’m worried about doing anything that could bring risk to my skin, skin cancer is a big concern.

    Hope you are having a nice weekend 🙂 We had fun with the family celebrating Lunar New Year today 🙂

    • laurie
      February 14, 2021 / 8:22 am

      You are still so young as well Mica. As long as you exfoliate and use good SPF you will be ok for a while yet xx

  12. February 12, 2021 / 8:30 pm

    Loved your comparisons here – I’d like to try the new no 7 serum but I’m not sure if it’ll be too much with the ones I’m already using. I’ve been using Retinol since 2016 – it did take quite a while to get used to. Have a lovely weekend – it’s freezing in the NE🥶Longing for springtime now! xx

    • laurie
      February 14, 2021 / 8:28 am

      I wouldn’t use different ones together Alison. You might sensitize your skin. I think the Boots one is great value for money and strength compared to others xx

    • laurie
      February 16, 2021 / 8:16 am

      I would stick with one brand Alison. You could sensitize your skin. The boots one is by far the best value/strength xx

  13. February 12, 2021 / 6:06 pm

    Love retinol… I’ve been using it since my mid thirties… I take a break for the summer though

    • laurie
      February 16, 2021 / 8:17 am

      That’s a good idea actually. I think I will stop through the summer too. After all, we need so much more protection in the warmer months xx

  14. February 11, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Always interesting to be to read about others experience with products.

    • laurie
      February 14, 2021 / 8:28 am

      Glad you enjoyed reading Mireille xx

    • laurie
      February 16, 2021 / 8:19 am

      Yes. I always read reviews before trying Mireille. xx

  15. February 11, 2021 / 2:32 pm

    I use retinol too Laurie and you do need to start slowly. I think it is the same with vitamin c. I have yet to try the Boots one. Seems to be worth a try.

    • laurie
      February 14, 2021 / 8:30 am

      Very impressed with what you get with the Boots one Hilda. Excellent value for money. I haven’t noticed a lot of change using the vitamin C xx

  16. February 11, 2021 / 7:30 am

    I’m using a mild retinol daily, it has definitely improved the look of wrinkles. Good to read your comparisons. Thanks for linking at #WowOnWednesday Laurie.

    • laurie
      February 11, 2021 / 8:39 am

      I’m so glad I took the plunge to start using it Gail xx

  17. February 10, 2021 / 6:43 pm

    What a great post and you look gorgeous dear!


    • laurie
      February 10, 2021 / 7:16 pm

      Hi Val. Thank you so much. Thanks for stopping by xx

  18. February 10, 2021 / 6:42 pm

    I am now using a new skin care line and I’m building it up. I have a very sensitive skin and could not use retinol. But with this line there is a exfoliator, that I can use daily in a few weeks hopefully. This is a very informative post Laurie, as there is so much out there.

    • laurie
      February 10, 2021 / 7:19 pm

      My skin is super sensitive Nancy. The first Retinol type would be worth a try I think. You could test some on your wrist or behind your ear? I do that a lot before applying creams to my face. It was worth trying for me. It makes such a difference xx