What is retinol and is retinol good for your skin?

Is retinol good for your skin?

Retinol is also known as vitamin A. It is an essential nutrient that supports skin, eye, and reproductive health as well as immune functions. When vitamin A is introduced in your body, your liver convers it into retinoids. These retinoids are transported by your lymphatic system to all organs in your body, including the skin. Our skin is a retinoid-responsive organ. This means it can absorb vitamin A and apply it anywhere to help skin cells perform their task.

What is retinol and what is the purpose of retinoids in the body?

When it comes to skin care, the main function of retinoids is improving skin cell turnover. It allows new cells to grow while replacing old cells. At the same time, retinoids also prevent the breakdown of collagen and thicken the deeper layer of the skin.

As a result, retinoids reduct fine lines and wrinkles. This is a direct result of an increased collagen production. As the skin is a living organ, it requires healthy blood vessels, which are also stimulated by retinoids. Ultimately, retinoids fulfill a very important role in keeping your skin youthful and healthy. Healthy skin with a steady skin cell production also sheds old skin cells, which reduces the occurrence of clogged pores or patches of rough skin.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient which supports your skin, eyes, reproductive health and immune functions.

Is retinol effective against acne?

Retinol is generally good for your skin and because it allows your skin to shed its old damaged cells, it helps to unclog pores. Clear pores allow other active ingredients which prevent acne to penetrate deeper into the skin layers. This way it is one of the most important ingredients in effectively keeping the acne away.

Even though retinoids are known for making the skin more sensitive, they actually have an anti-inflammatory effect. Essentially, retinoids are most active deep within the pores to keep them clear and clean. It stops acne breakouts in its tracks, before they even begin developing.

Is retinol good to prevent fine lines and wrinkles?

By stimulating cell turnover and increasing the production of collagen, retinoids aid in reducing the signs of ageing. It is effective in reducing visible fine lines and wrinkles. As retinol also stimulated the production of new blood vessels in the skin, it improves your skin tone and density. As a result the skin looks more even and radiant.

What is retinol? Is there more than one type?

We have already cleared one thing up: “Retinol is good for your skin.” These two questions remain: “What is retinol and how many types of retinol are there? The most commonly available types of retinoids available today are pure retinol, retinaldehyde and retinyl palmitate. They all fulfill a slightly different role, so let’s explore further how these work.

Retinyl palmitate: This is a very common retinoid which is used in many facial creams and serums. It’s the least potent retinoid. When retinol and palmitic acid are combined, a chemical compound forms: retinyl palmitate. To be effective, the body must break it down into retinol, then retinaldehyde and finally retinoid acid.

Retinaldehyde: This is also known as retinal. It’s a very pure form of retinol and because it is already in a state which can be broken down by the skin, it’s a popular choice in advanced skincare. Upon introduction, it is immediately converted into retinoic acid by the skin.

Pure retinol: This is the purest form of vitamin A and is about 20% more potent than retinyl palmitate. It can sensitise the skin, so it is best to patch test products containing this form of retinol before applying higher doses. It is advised using these products during the night, avoiding direct sunlight.

Why does Osmosis skincare use retinaldehyde?

Osmosis is known for using retinaldehyde (retinal) instead of any other form of vitamin A. There are some good reasons why. Firstly, retinal absorbs much faster than other forms of retinol. This allows it to work 11 times faster than regular retinol. This allows retinal to be up to 1000 times more effective at stiumulating collagen production than regular retinol.

On top of that, retinaldehyde is much gentler to the skin. That’s probably one of the most important reasons that anyone should consider using retinaldehyde instead of any other form. It doesn’t cause irritation, doesn’t make your skin sensitive to sunlight and is pregnancy safe. This makes retinal ideal to use in your daytime routine.

Osmosis even goes one step further with its retinal products and encapsulate the retinaldehyde in a liposomal delivery system which increases the product penetration into the dermis.

Retinal is 1000 times more effective at stimulating collagen production than Retinol.

Osmosis Beauty

Which retinol products are right for you?

Calm Retinal Serum

It’s the perfect treatment for early signs of aging and is also the first step on the ladder with retinol products. It contais 0.0375% retinaldehyde, which sounds low at first, but as it is much more potent it only requires low doses to get the full effect. The “Osmosis Gentle Retinal Serum” can be used for early signs of aging, rosacea or skin tightening. It contains 5 non-irritating collagen stimulants and antioxidants which help your skin to regenerate. They calm inflammation without causing redness.

Active ingredients include Retinaldehyde 0.0375%, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Sea Buckthorn Extract, and Wild Cherry Bark.


Clarify Blemish Retinal Serum

Blemish-prone skin has met its match with this powerful Vitamin A serum. Clarify Serum works with the skin to normalize oil production, improve detoxification, calm inflammation, restore the epidermal barrier and accelerate the healing process of blemishes for a flawless finish.

Key ingredients

Retinal (Retinaldehyde): Vitamin A that works with the skin to promote cellular turnover and helps reduce multiple signs of aging without causing irritation or sun sensitivity. Clinically proven to outperform retinoic acid in long-term collagen production. Artemisia

Umbelliformis Extract: Plant extract with antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.

Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract: Provides soothing and cooling effects to ease irritated skin. It is moisture-binding and moisture-regulating. Its softening properties improve skin texture while its anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties help the skin’s healing process. It is also used for lightenting skin discoloration. Thanks to flavonoids it also helps protect the skin against everyday toxins, allowing it to stay nourished and hydrated.

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil: Contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties which help to heal breakouts, reduce infection, and provide anti-inflammatory support.


Renew Advanced Retinal Serum

It is super effective at reducing the signs of ageing. Osmosis’ most potent anti-aging retinal serum, Renew, contains 9 collagen stimulants and 7 potent antioxidants. It effectively remodels the skin and reverses the ageing process. This serum creates an optimal environment for cell renewal and cell regeneration while aiding in DNA protection and restoration.

Contains 0.15% Retinaldehyde, 1,3 Beta Glucan, Sythne-6 and Hyaluronic Acid.


There are many benefits to using vitamin A as part of your skincare routine. From treating blemishes and reversing signs of ageing to restoring hydration and overall skin health. In short: it’s important to choose the right type of retinol for your skin to get the best results. We recommend taking a look at Osmosis, but have plenty of vitamin A skincare available.