'I tried retinol for the first time at 39. Here's how it's going.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Olay

When you're a gal of a *certain age* you start thinking about very important, serious things like, "what will I have for dinner" and "should I have a birthday party this year?"

AKA, the same things you think about at any age because friends, age is just a number, right??? 

And truthfully, taking care of my skin is something I've done through my teens, 20s, 30s... and now I'm about to hit my 40s (oh wow, that was... difficult to write), I'm not planning to stop looking after my face. Because it deserves to be loved, coddled and taken care of like the sweet baby angel it is. 

But the thing is with skincare, the WAY you take care of it changes as you age, because your face has different needs, different dreams and desires. That's why, at 39, I've decided to incorporate retinol into my regular skincare routine, and I picked Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Serum to take me on that journey.

Image: Supplied. 


So, a quick refresher: retinol is a type of vitamin A that can help improve the appearance of the skin. It helps promotes cell turnover and helps slough off dead skin cells, leading to smoother, brighter-looking skin; stimulates collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; assists in fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation; and helps unclog pores. That's a lot of work for one little hero ingredient!

The thing is with retinol products, though, they can cause irritation, redness, and increased sensitivity to sunlight — especially when you're a beginner with the stuff. And there are SO MANY different retinol products out there that it can be hard to know which one to pick, especially as a newbie.

That's what makes the Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Serum a great beginner retinol, as it's a gentle, fragrance-free formula that's less irritating than some of the harsher options out there.

It's generally recommended to start with a lower concentration and gradually increase frequency of use to allow your skin to adjust. Additionally, wearing sunscreen during the day is crucial when using retinol, as it can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.


What is Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Serum?

You guys, Olay knows its way around retinol. 

In a nutshell, this baby renews and resurfaces your skin at night for plumper and younger-looking skin over time. The retinoid and vitamin B3 formula gently improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and pores, plus helps smooth and firm skin. And all of that sounds pretty great, right?

Image: Supplied. 

As it's formulated with a unique bioavailable retinoid complex, it's less irritating but still potent for visible results —perfect for beginner retinol users like me. But even better, it also delivers 24-hour hydration with its non-drying formula; and as it's free from fragrance, synthetic dyes, sulphates and phthalates.


But I know what you're thinking: does this stuff actually work? Well, in a consumer study with 156 women using the retinol serum for 28 days, 87 per cent notice smoother skin texture — but I still wanted to give it a go for myself.

How did you go with it?

Before and after using Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Serum. Image: Supplied. 


So the first thing I did was read the instructions, because the thing with retinol skincare is, you need to use it carefully. Remember how I said it can cause irritation, redness, etc, etc? 

It's important to only use the serum at night (it's right there in the name!), and also a SPF is a non-negotiable during the day. (Which I know you're doing anyway because you already know that SPF is one of the most important things you can do for your skin health.)

If you're a total retinol newbie, it's a good idea to start by using it once a week and then build up to two to three times a week, depending on your tolerance to retinol.

I've dabbled in retinols before, though never as a regular ongoing part of my routine, so I felt pretty safe diving straight in and applying nightly. And I can honestly say, after one night, my skin was actually looking more radiant by morning. No, seriously. I swear!

My glowy complexion had me excited, so I kept it up each night. By about day five of my 14-day experiment, I did notice a little bit of irritation developing in a couple of small patches near my nose and mouth. And yep, this was definitely my own fault for not adhering to the suggested two-to-three-times-a-week.

So I pulled back, starting applying every second night and the mild irritation cleared up. The takeaway here is, if you're a beginner, I definitely recommend easing your way into this one, taking it slow and reaping the retinol results.

The verdict. 

After 14 days, my skin was feeling smoother and some of those fine lines seemed to look more plumped out, so I'm definitely keen to keep this going as part of my regular skincare routine, and see the kinds of results I get with a full 28-day regimen.

Best of all, it's only $30 from Chemist Warehouse, and definitely at the top of my rec list for anyone looking to dive into the world of retinol.

Shop Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Serum, available at Chemist Warehouse.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Olay is a worldwide leader in skin care and has been trusted by women for over 60 years. The brand continues to hold the philosophy it was founded on; to maintain a deep understanding of our skin's changing needs and to combine products that fit our skin needs with the latest advances in skin care technology. Olay has sold over 1 billion red jars across the world being an anti-ageing powerhouse to visibly reduce fine lines & wrinkles. Olay Collagen Peptide 24 cream hydrates better than a $500 cream. For deep wrinkles and smoother skin, try Australia's #1 retinol range. Olay Retinol24 collection; renews and resurfaces your skin while you sleep.