Retinol 101 – Everything You Need To Know About Retinol

This post is sponsored by Olay - thank you for supporting the brands that make Blondes & Bagels possible!

I am a skincare junkie. We know this. I love to test and try new products - and retinol has been on my radar for a long time.

Retinol can be such a confusing (and even intimidating) product to add to your routine - it was for me! I wanted to break down my retinol experience, tips, and tricks today. Let’s consider this your retinol 101.


What exactly is retinol?

Retinol is made from vitamin A and is often infused into skincare products for its anti-aging and complexion clearing benefits. Retinol helps to improve not only fine lines and wrinkles, but dark spots and even acne.

Retinol for PM and Vitamin C for the AM are basically my holy grail items in my skincare cabinet.

If retinol is so amazing, the real question is why hasn’t everyone adopted it into their skincare routines? The reality is that approximately half of the women who dive into the world of retinol end up abandoning their new routine within a month for one of three reasons:

★ Retinol is too expensive

★ The retinol causes skin irritation (dryness/itchiness/bumps)

★ The user sees few or no results

I’ve tried a few retinol products (and promptly abandoned them for one of the above three reasons), but I’m about to make a bold statement.

I’ve found a retinol line that checks off all the boxes - no irritation, potent formula (AKA results), at an affordable price.


Why Retinol24

If you’ve been following me for even a short time, you know Olay is my ride or die affordable skincare brand. Olay makes high quality skincare actually attainable. I was insanely excited to see Olay tackle a complex and challenging product line like a retinol - and absolutely kill it.

Retinol 24 is formulated with an unprecedented combination of B3 and Olay’s most transformative Retinoid Complex, including two types of retinol. Olay Retinol 24 is optimized for potency and skin penetration, while simultaneously providing 24 hours of hydration and virtually no irritation. Olay jam packed three different products with their new Retinol24 - an eye cream, a serum, and a nighttime moisturizer.

Retinol24 is different - better - than the other retinol options out there because the top three typical issues experienced while using a retinol aren’t a thing.

★ Retinol is too expensive - Olay’s retinol products are less than $40!

★ The retinol causes skin irritation (dryness/itchiness/bumps) - 96% of users did not experience irritation with the new Retinol24 collection.

★ The user sees few or no results - Olay Retinol24 delivers 24-hour hydration, works in your skin for 24 hours and brighter, smoother skin in 24 hours.


My Retinol24 results

I want to dig into this “results” and potency piece a little deeper because my biggest skepticism with any affordable skincare product is always potency. Can this product seriously give me the same results as a higher priced item? How do I know this product is potent?

PRO TIP: The amount of retinol in a product doesn’t matter so much as the way it’s combined with other ingredients. Retinol is an incredibly difficult ingredient to formulate as it degrades when exposed to air, sun, and heat.

Olay’s proprietary formula remains stable and potent from first use to last. Olay’s formula with vitamin B3 plus retinoid complex hydrates better than the #1 bestselling retinol.

I’ve been using the Retinol 24 moisturizer religiously in my routine for the last four weeks and transparently have been pleasantly surprised at my lack of irritation and improvement in hydration. I naturally have incredibly dry, sensitive skin and my previous attempt at a retinol resulted in aggressive peeling for days - Olay’s Retinol 24 left me with more even, hydrated skin and zero peeling.

I typically like to use Retinol 24 at night. I start my nighttime skincare routine with my usual makeup removal and cleansing, followed by my Retinol 24 moisturizer.


Tell me about your retinol experience in the comments below!

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