It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s be honest, skin can suffer in the run-up to Christmas. Enter a rejuvenating retinol serum that could help to reverse damage and create radiance, despite the conveyor belt of late nights/ mulled wine/ mince pies…

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If there’s a time for SOS, ruthlessly effective skincare, it’s now. Likelihood is your carousel of Christmas parties is well underway, and/or you’re running round like a headless chicken trying to combine daily life and work with Christmas shopping, turkey orders and general holiday season logistics. Chances are the gym, five-a-day, sleep, hydration, face masks and general ‘me time’ have fallen to the bottom of the Christmas list already, and it’s only the 4th of December. As such, we have a simple skincare switch-up to make it ALL better. Face-wise at least.

If you’re not already using a retinol , i.e, the most effective skin replenishing ingredient currently known to mankind (it’s official), these dermatologically challenging times are just the opportunity to dabble in the protective skin cushion that is vitamin A . One tried, tested and frankly adored such elixir is Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum , £65. Here’s why it’s a such a bathroom cabinet staple:

It works in a matter of days

As in, within the first week of popping open your advent calendar. I saw a difference in terms of skin clarity and texture after about four day’s use- smoothness and brightness got a hefty boost without me changing anything else in my routine. For skincare, this is practically the equivalent of light years of progress. Brilliant stuff.

It shrinks fine lines

This took closer to a fortnight to kick in, but there has been a definite diminishing of small forehead grooves. It won’t iron out deep set wrinkles and crow’s feet necessarily, but it’s probably one of your best topical options for plumping out crinkles over time. Speaking of plumping…

It doesn’t make your face flake off

Unlike other retinols I’ve tried, this light retinol lotion doesn’t provoke redness, sensitivity or flaking, although if you do notice a retinoid induced reaction, just dial down usage to every other evening or a few times a week. Otherwise, the added emollients provide a much-needed hit of moisture that decreases your risk of adverse dryness and helps to create softer, more supple skin from the get-go. Ideal if winter is already provoking more chapping and flaking than you’d like.

It’ll brighten up your day

Or at the very least, your complexion. The tri-active retinol technology revs up skin cell turnover, meaning that shiny new skin cells come to the fore all the quicker, and dull dead ones get the heave-ho. Sounds harsh, but its action can have frankly dazzling effects on your skin, giving you that coveted candlelit glow when actually you’re feeling anything but beaming.

It’s stable

You’d think that this one would be a given, but where product potency and efficiency is concerned, packaging matters. If you’re going to use a valuable and highly beneficial skin tincture, it’s a good start to make sure that it’s active and well conserved. Murad’s airtight vial both guarantees hygienic delivery and shields your precious retinol potion from potentially detrimental light and heat. Retinol is as close to a “miracle” skincare molecule as it gets, but it’s a sensitive one. Preserve it, and it’ll preserve you.

Want in on the retinol face party? You can buy  Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum , £65, online here. Call it a Christmas gift to yourself before the festive craziness gets going.

This review was written in partnership with  Murad