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Skin

We tried Glossier's first ever retinol: Here's what you need to know

August 31st 2021 / Melanie Macleod / 0 comment

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Glossier's Universal Pro-Retinol is here to smooth out your skin. We tried it first

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Nothing sends excitement around the beauty world quite like news of a new Glossier drop and when it's a first from the brand, that excitement is tenfold.

Enter, Glossier's Universal Pro-Retinol, £30. Retinol is one of those ingredients people tend to shy away from, fearful of irritating the skin, but Glossier's take on the ingredient is gentle and designed so in theory all skin types can reap the retinol rewards.

Universal Pro-Retinol delivers all the benefits you'd expect from retinol; it improves the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, pores, dark spots, uneven tone and texture—all while nourishing skin. It has a creamy texture, though the brand recommend using it as you would a serum and following with a moisturiser if needed.

Glossier's retinol is made with a plant-based complex of 0.5 per cent retinyl sunflowerate (a mixture of retinol and sunflower seed fatty acids), a new player in the retinol game that is found to be less irritating than traditional retinol, yet just as effective over time. Other ingredients include stevia (a natural retinol alternative) and humectant powerhouses mondo root grass and glycerin, which are in the mix to help your skin hold onto water and minimise the downsides of retinol, such as dryness and peeling. They smooth the appearance and nourish at the same time, acting as a nice buffer to the retinyl sunflowerate, so it's better tolerated.

MORE GLOSS: The best retinol creams, serums and oils and why we rate them

Price-wise, the Universal Pro-Retinol is Glossier's most expensive skincare launch to date at £30, £1 more than the brand's Priming Moisturiser Rich, £29.

As with most retinol, it should only be used in the evening as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun as well as being an ingredient that degrades in sunlight. Glossier recommends using the retinol one or two nights per week to start with and increase slowly.

Results from a four-week consumer study of Universal Pro-Retinol are in and look seriously impressive; 81 per cent of testers (they don't tell us how many) said their dark spots looked faded, while more than 80 per cent said their skin looked more lifted, and even in texture while everyone said their skin looked more radiant and less dull, felt softer and smoother.

What do we think of Universal Pro-Retinol?

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My bottle is a lab sample so isn't what the final packaging looks like (see our picture at the top for the finished product), but the formula inside is the same. It takes a while for the benefits of retinol to make themselves known, but after trying it for the first time before bed I didn't notice any irritation or redness at all (having said that, I've been using Sunday Riley's Luna Sleeping Night Oil for about six years, so probably have a good tolerance to retinol already). The formula feels thick and cocooning, much bouncier and thicker than other retinol I've used, more like a moisturiser in texture so I can see why it would be well tolerated by all skin types.

It sinks in quickly and my skin didn't feel tight or tingly, in fact, it felt as moisturised as if I'd used a day cream. I'll report back on long-term effects!

Try Universal Pro-Retinol for yourself, £30

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