Ingredient to Know: Retinol
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Ingredient to Know
Ingredient to know: retinol.

Does retinol win Most Popular skincare ingredient? It’s hard to name a product-savvy celeb, friend, or beauty blogger who hasn’t raved about its wonders. Dermatologists refer to retinol as the gold standard anti-aging ingredient, and for good reason. Here’s the science behind this skincare superhero:


All about vitamin A

Retinol is a pure form of vitamin A that helps speed up cell turnover, which is the rate at which your skin sheds dead cells. As you age, cell turnover naturally slows down. When dead cells start to pile up, your skin can look dull, and wrinkles can look more pronounced. Retinol kicks cell turnover into overdrive, sloughing off the dead cells, allowing for fresh, radiant young cells to surface. Your skin looks smoother and wrinkles look reduced.

The Clinique difference.

Where to begin? We recommend adding Clinique Smart Night Clinical™ MD Multi-Dimensional Repair Treatment Retinol to your anti-aging skincare routine at night. It’s a retinol cream that sinks into skin to help renew, smooth, and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll notice that your skin tone looks more even and radiant and that pores look minimized.

But here’s the biggest difference: This cream-based formula delivers instant and lasting hydration, which can help offset the discomfort and dryness sometimes associated with using retinol.

The Do’s & Don’ts


Do apply it at night. You’ll get the best results at night because that’s when your skin is ready for repair.


Don’t overdo it. Use a pea-sized amount. If you’re just starting out: For the first two weeks, use it every other night, then nightly.


Do use it year round. Yes, that’s right—retinol can be used in the summer too.


Do wear sunscreen when using it, because retinol can make skin more photosensitive.


Don’t be surprised if you experience a bit of redness, dryness, or peeling—that’s proof that it’s transforming your skin. Clinique Smart Night Clinical™ MD Multi-Dimensional Repair Treatment Retinol contains a comforting blend of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, mango seed butter, and vitamin E that infuses skin with hydration.


Don’t give up. You’ll instantly see a brighter complexion, but it’ll take a few weeks to reap the full rewards of retinol. With continued use, you’ll see visibly reduced lines and wrinkles, and by week 12, you’ll see improved skin texture and a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll be so happy you stuck with it.

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