Retinol: it’s one of the most effective skin rejuvenating ingredients on the planet, but boy can it cause side-effects. We road test REN Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil and Cream to see how our faces fare...

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Aside from SPF, there’s probably nothing more skin-improving to add to your bathroom ritual than retinol : it can press refresh on skin and is one of the only actives proven to increase cell turnover, stimulate collagen synthesis and inhibit melanin production in the skin, by proxy reducing pigmentation . In essence, it’s awesome, but its power can sometimes come with a price, namely irritation, redness and flaking. Sometimes this is par for the course when introducing a retinol into your regime, but more gentle formulations with lower strength retinol and additional soothing ingredients can take the edge off of any flare-ups, or prevent them altogether. Enter a nourishing night time oil and cream duo that major on a synergy of three vitamin A derivatives to deliver plump, healthy skin in a non-aggro manner.

What is it?

REN Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil , £45, and  Anti-Wrinkle Cream , £45. Think a beautifully blended facial oil and hyaluronic acid  pumped cream, enriched with a trio of retinoids that act as a kind of heroic ‘three musketeer’ setup for your skin. Also joining the vitamin brigade in both is vitamin C by way of rose oil, while soothing and hydrating cotton, sunflower and linseed oils provide moisture and instant radiance. There’s nothing like a bit of circulation boosting massage aided by a juicy plant oil concoction to make skin look instantly brighter and less tired, and the long-term antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits ensure that skin stays supple long-beyond the time it takes for the oil to sink in (it’s silky, not gloopy). Seal in the goodness with the cream and you’re golden.

Who is it for?

Late 20s onwards is generally the benchmark for retinol based products, but age ain’t nothing but a number- if your skin is on the dry side and in need of TLC in terms of hydration, firming and fine-line smoothing, consistent adoption of this vit rich oil plus cream will serve you.

How should I use it?

Both are mellow enough in the vitamin A department to be used nightly- I’ve been sandwiching the oil in between a spritz toner and the anti-ageing cream for around a fortnight and I’ve noticed an improvement in suppleness and skin texture without any adverse effects. It does feel quite rich for my combination skin, so I could probably skip the ‘belt and braces’ step in terms of follow-up moisturiser, but go with your own flow there. In general, apply the oil after cleansing and toning and gauge how your skin feels as to whether you apply the cream every night or as a deeply moisturising ‘topcoat’.

The verdict

A delicious plant oil with an edge, with a luminosity enhancing protective big sister of a night cream. The pair feel especially comforting and reviving for winter skin, but will deliver results all year round, particularly if you keep at it. These will particularly hit the spot for dry, dehydrated and mature skins.

REN Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil , £45, and  Bio Retinoid™ Anti-Wrinkle Anti-Ageing Cream,  £45

Use the code GLOSS to receive a free Rosa Centifolia™ No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm when you buy a product from the Bio Retinoid™ range. This oil-based cleanser works wonders on dry and mature skins. The code is valid for one gift per order and expires on Monday 12th March 2018.

This review was written in partnership with  REN Skincare

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