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DO Build Up Usage Slowly
Those new to retinol are always told to build up slowly, and the same applies to body products. Dermatologists recommend applying a retinol-based lotion every other night to start with, gradually increasing how often you use it depending on how your skin tolerates the product. If you notice any kind of inflammation or a stinging sensation, it might be worth pulling back. If you develop any rashes, always seek expert advice from a GP or your pharmacist. It’s also important to apply a daily SPF while using retinol, since it can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage.
DON’T Use Them All Over
While they’re generally safe to use, experts advise you begin using retinol-based body lotions only on specific areas which need them – think the chest, elbows, or any areas of particular concern, rather than slathering them on head-to-toe.
DO Look Out For Other Ingredients
It’s also important to invest in retinol body lotions that contain powerful hydrators, like hyaluronic acid. These will deliver moisture back into the skin to counteract any drying effect of the vitamin A. At the same time, try to steer clear of any formulas that contain alcohol, as these can cause further irritation.
DON’T Go For A High Percentage
Finally, opt for creams that have a low retinol percentage. Anything over 1% can take time for your skin to adjust to, whereas those which contain around 0.25% tend to produce good results.
Shop Our Favourites Below…
Advanced Clinicals Retinol Firming Cream, £9.74
Best For: Sensitive Skin Why We Rate It: Coming highly recommended by dermatologists, this firming cream is one of the best for sensitive skin. Its small – but potent – levels of retinol work to boost collagen production for firmer tone, while aloe vera and chamomile soothe any harsh side effects. Use it on areas that need it most – think the neck, chest, hands and feet – and stick with it. You’ll start to see results within a few weeks. Extra points for affordable price tag – especially when you consider the generously sized tub. Available at iHerb.com
Chantecaille Retinol Body Treatment, £85
Best For: Extra Nourishment Why We Rate It: Some products are worth the splurge, and Chantecaille’s version falls firmly into this category. Brimming with pure retinol – put simply, it’s more effective than retinol derivatives – it sloughs away dead skin cells to reveal a smoother, more luminous surface beneath, while botanicals hydrate and soften. Meanwhile, marine collagen works to hydrate the skin for a bouncier appearance. Shea butter, sunflower oil and blackcurrant leaf also help keep any excess dryness at bay. A little goes a long way, so this one should last you a good while. Available at LibertyLondon.com
Cosmedix A-Lift Overnight Vitamin A Body Treatment, £96.50
Best For: Brightening BenefitsWhy We Rate It: Industry insiders love this overnight body treatment. Slather it on before you go to bed and let the combination of retinol, caffeine and safflower seed oil exfoliate, hydrate and brighten your skin as you sleep. It can be used all over, but it works best on targeted areas, like the legs, shins, chest and arms. While it won’t get rid of them entirely, regular application will also help blur the appearance of any dark spots or red, uneven tone. A must-try for those with lacklustre skin looking for a luminous boost.
Available at SkinCity.com
The Solution Retinol Smoothing Body Lotion, £7
Best For: Hydration & Affordability Why We Rate It: We love this affordable brand here at SheerLuxe. The Retinol Smoothing Body Lotion has been a huge hit since it launched and it’s easy to see why. Combining retinol, arbutin and shea butter, it softens, evens out skin tone and provides serious hydration from the first application. It’s brilliant for those suffering with body acne as well – while it won’t get rid of it entirely, it will improve its appearance and lessen the chance of new breakouts. Our favourite thing about it is how quickly you see results – if you apply it daily, you’ll start to see a difference to your skin within a week. Our only tip is to really work it in – it’s slightly tackier than others on this list, but the results are worth it. The formula is also vegan friendly, while the tube is 100% recyclable – a total winner. Available at FeelUnique.com
Paula’s Choice Skin-Smoothing Retinol Body Treatment, £33
Best For: Improving Tone & RadianceWhy We Rate It: A bestseller for a reason, this body treatment uses retinol and skin-loving antioxidants to simultaneously boost skin’s tone, radiance and moisture levels. One of those products that makes a visible difference within just a few days, the fragrance-free formula never causes any irritation. Plus, it leaves limbs feeling silky soft, while the texture itself is lightweight, non-sticky and glides on easily with zero greasy residue left behind. Dubbed a ‘game changer’ by industry insiders, it’s incredibly nourishing and works well to hydrate the body. Just be sure to follow up with an SPF if you go outside. Available CultBeauty.co.uk
iS Clinical Body Complex, £58
Best For: Gentle ExfoliationWhy We Rate It: One of the gentlest formulas on this list, iS Clinical’s cream is brimming with fruit extracts for gentle exfoliation. The result? Brighter skin and fewer flaky patches. Collagen-boosting retinol helps to plump up skin, while hyaluronic acid and aloe vera lend an instant hydrating boost. It’s a brilliant option for those with KP (keratosis pilaris) as it soothes uneven bumps and lifts away any dirt trapped in hair follicles. It’s also recommended for those who suffer with eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis, as it’s deemed gentle enough to use on delicate skin. Apply it after having a bath or shower for best results. Available at isClinical.co.uk