Swisse Retinol 0.1% Clear Skin P.M. Balance Serum on a bathroom shelf

So, What Does Retinol Do? The Benefits Of This Powerhouse Ingredient

Written by: Swisse Wellness
Swisse Wellness

When it comes to fine lines and wrinkles there’s no ingredient more renowned and effective than retinol. It’s known to have benefits for most skin types, helping to support bright and a blemish-free complexion. 

We’ll take you through everything you need to know about this powerhouse ingredient. Including what it is, the benefits and how to incorporate retinol skincare into your routine.  

What does retinol do for your skin? 

So, is retinol good for skin? The short answer is: absolutely! Retinol plays a number of important roles when it comes to your skin. Here’s how it works.  

The active agent in retinol, retinoic acid, encourages cell turnover, reducing the appearance of fine lines. However, retinol’s work doesn’t stop there. It also helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, leading to a more even skin tone.  

Retinoids vs retinol 

If you’re interested in retinol for skin, chances are you’ve probably come across the term retinoids too. While they’re related, they’re not quite the same.  

Essentially, retinol is a type of retinoid. The key difference is that the term retinoids is often used to describe more powerful vitamin A derivatives. Retinol, on the other hand, is typically a little gentler and more commonly found in skincare products1. 

Retinol benefits 

With so many retinol benefits for skin, it’s no wonder this powerful ingredient is incorporated into a range of skincare formulations. Here are some of the main retinol skin benefits. 

Accelerates skin cell turnover 

Retinol encourages the rate at which skin cells are renewed and replaced. This process, known as skin cell turnover, leads to the shedding of old skin cells to make room for new, healthier ones. This process leaves you with smoother looking  skin and reduces the look of pigmentation. 

Fights the signs of early ageing 

By promoting skin cell turnover, retinol can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines, making it a powerful skincare ally.    

Refines pore appearance  

Retinol can help to target blemishes and impurities by refining the appearance of pores. This makes retinol your skincare best friend if have acne prone skin.  

Reduces the look of pigmentation 

While skin pigmentation is natural, sometimes we may want to reduce the appearance of dark spots, which is where retinol may help. Retinol can help promote a more even skin tone and reduce the look of uneven skin tone and dark spots.  

How to use retinol 

If you’re new to retinol or you have sensitive skin, it’s important to understand how to start using retinol before incorporating it into your daily skincare routine. Keep in mind that retinol is an ingredient that can cause dry, irritated skin2 if it’s not used correctly.  

If you haven’t used it before, it’s worth starting with a low percentage retinol-based product just a couple of times a week before slowly building up to every other day. This way, you can build up your tolerance over time. 

When to use retinol in your skincare routine 

When you use retinol in your routine it will come down to the specific product that you’re using. For example, our Swisse Beauty Retinol 0.1% Clear Skin P.M. Balance Serum contains retinol which is ideal for reducing the look of fine lines and pigmentation. It is also formulated with Niacinamide to improve skin texture and tone and help keep breakouts under control. It should be applied at night, after cleansing.  

Retinol can cause sun sensitivity3, so it’s best to use retinol as part of your PM skincare routine. And don’t forget to protect your skin with SPF30 or higher every day. 

From reducing the look of fine lines to targeting uneven skin tone, retinol can benefit your skin in a number of ways as long as you use it correctly. For more beauty tips and information on skincare ingredients, check out our collection of tips and advice on our Wellness Hub 


  1. Retinoid or retinol? [Internet]. Available from: 
  2. Retinoids [Internet]. acne support. Available from: 
  3. Ferguson J, Johnson BE. Photosensitivity due to retinoids: clinical and laboratory studies. The British Journal of Dermatology [Internet]. 1986 Sep 1;115(3):275–83. Available from: 


Swisse Wellness

Swisse Wellness - Swisse Wellness

The copywriting team at Swisse Wellness plan, research and generate blog content with inputs from multiple teams across the business. With access to our industry-leading Science team, Product Development team, Customer Service team as well as informative Brand Managers, we have the contacts to deliver a well-rounded suite of blogs tailored to an array of wellness interests....