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Image / Style / Beauty

Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol fixes everything you hate about retinol


by Holly O'Neill
27th Aug 2021

Read time: 5 minutes

Glossier retinol is here.

From the lipstick lip balm hybrid Ultralip, the perfect summer eyeshadow, the gel-cream bronzer to the ultimate beauty bag, Glossier have been delivering hit after hit this summer. Every launch is better than the last and the latest is no different – Glossier are about to release their very first retinol.

Everything you hate about retinol, or that slightly puts you off using it, is solved with Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol, €35, from irritation to dryness. Glossier are calling it a “nightly renewing complex” designed for all skin types and is suitable for you whether you’re a retinol novice or pro.

“When it comes to many skin frustrations, retinoids are that thing — a catch-all ingredient touted for improving nearly everything from texture and blemishes to fine lines and uneven tone,” says Chenaya Devine-Milbourne, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Development at Glossier. “But somehow, this most celebrated skincare ingredient is also the most complicated, and we were craving a more straightforward experience. One that didn’t compromise on powerful, visible results, but held your hand a bit more; for whether you’re a first-time user or a retinoid expert looking for the ultimate forever formula.”

Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol contains a powerful blend of 0.5% pro-retinol in a mixture of retinol and sunflower seed fatty acid to tackle fine lines, pores, dark spots, dullness, breakouts and skin texture without irritation, while Stevia extract smoothens and plant-based hydrators like glycerin and Mondo Grass Root extract moisturise the skin and keep irritation at bay.

“Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives and they come in three primary forms: retinol, retinal and retinoic acid. Essentially, retinol is a type of retinoid,” says dermatologist and entrepreneur Dr. Camille Howard (@dermbeautydoc), one of many skin experts that helped bring Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol to life. “They bind to receptors in our skin and facilitate multiple physiological cascades essential to building collagen and supporting the layers of the skin. Anyone looking to improve the texture and/or tone of their skin should consider using a retinoid. Retinoids are well studied and documented to help with dispersing melanin granules to increase cell turnover and natural hyaluronic acid, all of which are highly beneficial to the skin’s appearance and health.”

So how do you use it? Strictly at night, on clean, dry skin, followed by moisturiser. Build up your use, starting once or twice a week and slowly increasing up to every night once you’re not experiencing irritation, and it’s not suitable for the eye area or to use during pregnancy or nursing.

“Start with a low percentage and work your way up,” says  Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, award-winning medical and cosmetic doctor (@skndoctor). “Don’t immediately stop if a little sensitivity occurs — it can take your skin cells a couple of weeks to adapt and learn to tolerate it better. However, if it’s extremely uncomfortable, use only once a week and switch to the weakest formula you can find. In extreme cases, I recommend stopping altogether. Retinol compromises your skin’s barrier, so using too much too soon can be counterproductive, but even at a low dosage retinol has great benefits, so you can definitely see the yields without the irritation. Also, it goes without saying but just in case it doesn’t, always patch test. Initially use every 2 days, for the first 2 weeks, then up to every night thereafter. Listen to your skin, it will tell you what it can handle.”

Don’t forget, retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so always wear sunscreen the next day. Universal Pro-Retinol will also be sold in a set alongside Invisible Shield in the Renew + Protect Duo, €49, saving you €10.

Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol, €35, launches August 31.

Photography by Glossier. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.

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