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Why is Retinol in Singapore Trending Now?

Why is retinol in Singapore trending now you ask? Maybe it’s because we’re languishing in pandemic blues. Or maybe it’s just because we need to head back to the office. Either way, that kind of stress probably isn’t doing any favours on our aging skin. Out of all the anti-ageing products being hyped out there, retinol has been holding its sway for a couple of years now. Tropika Club now dives back into how and why it works before you buy retinol serums or retinol creams from your nearby Watson’s store.

No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • What is Retinol? Retinol is a form of vitamin A that helps reduce wrinkles, acne, and sun damage on the skin.
  • How does Retinol work? Retinol stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that keep the skin firm and smooth.
  • What are the benefits of Retinol? Retinol can improve the appearance of fine lines, pores, dark spots, and texture of the skin. It can also brighten the complexion and even out the skin tone.
  • How to use Retinol? Retinol should be applied at night, after cleansing and toning the skin. It should be followed by a moisturizer to prevent dryness and irritation.
  • What are the side effects of Retinol? Retinol can cause redness, peeling, flaking, and sensitivity in some people. It can also make the skin more prone to sunburn, so sunscreen is essential during the day.

Retinol vs Retinoids — What’s the Difference?

Retinol and retinoids are often lumped together, so it’s easy to get confused about what they are. 

Retinoids are the derivatives of Vitamin A, and that they share similar chemical structures. So think of retinoids as the big umbrella to which retinol is under, along with the other main types of retinoids: retinyl esters, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid. Retinoids have been proven to be promising when it comes to treating aging skin and reducing the signs of wrinkles and improving skin tone.

However, since it’s a more potent product, you tend to need a prescription to get retinoids. That’s why retinol is usually chosen for anti-ageing treatment products because it’s gentler on the skin, unlike tretinoin—another retinoid. So, it’s less likely to cause irritation on your skin.

The Wunderkind Ingredient

Retinol has been hailed as an active ingredient that can ‘transform your skin’. It’s one of the stronger over-the-counter retinoids, especially retinaldehyde and retinyl palmate. And, it’s one of the rare active ingredients that can visibly reduce the signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Plus, it’s a skilled multi-tasker. Retinol is often added to topical skincare products to brighten skin tone, enhance skin renewal, fight acne, and improve collagen production. It can also be used to target sun spots, freckles, sun-damaged skin, acne scars, uneven skin texture, melasma, some types of hyperpigmentation, as well as large pores caused by acne, collagen loss, or oily skin.

To better understand how it can give you an improved appearance and brighter skin, let’s take a look at how retinol works.

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How Does Retinol Work—Can Retinols Reverse Ageing?

They’re able to reverse the signs of ageing when they’re converted into retinoic acid—an active form of Vitamin A which our skin can absorb and utilise. Most other anti-aging, lightening products, and acne products simply remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, the small molecules of the retinol go underneath the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), and into your dermis.

Once it’s in the middle layer of skin, it neutralises the free radicals in your skin. That, in turn, boosts the production of elastin and collagen. That’s how it reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and large pores—the coveted ‘plumping effect’.

Meanwhile, retinol also provides some exfoliation, further improving your skin’s tone and texture. And, it reduces the appearance of blemishes and keeps your pores unclogged by creating comedolytic agents—a compound that inhibits the formation of blemishes when oil and skin cells become trapped in the pore. 

The mild exfoliating effects can also balance your skin’s hydration as it removes dead skin cells, which is one of the causes of moisture losses. That also prevents excess production of sebum in your pores, which can do wonders if you have oily skin.

Where can you find retinol in Singapore?

Wanting less-noticeable fine lines? It’s a pretty common ingredient so it’s not too difficult to find where you can buy retinol in Singapore. You can easily find retinol in common pharmacies such as Watsons or Guardian. Most skincare brands, such as The Ordinary, carry retinol products too. Some brands even create variants that work for most types of skin, as well as sensitive skin. If all else fails, there’s always Sephora.

Wondering what are the Top 10 Best Retinols in Singapore? Look no further.

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Retinol Side Effects—What Your Need To Know

Retinol products could induce dry and irritated skin, especially when you’re trying out a new product. You could be experiencing itchiness, redness, and peeling skin too. These side effects are usually temporary and would probably improve within a few weeks. Though retinol may aggravate eczema, so do avoid using it if you have an active eczema rash.

To build up your skin’s tolerance to retinol, you could try starting with applying the retinol product once every other day before you begin to use it daily. If you have sensitive skin, you might need to wash it off sooner than the time stated on the label. If you’re still experiencing skin irritation, you might need to consider an alternative.

Take caution when you’re applying it in the sun. The drying and irritation could be exacerbated by the sun. Avoid any trouble by wearing sunscreen and staying away from the sun if you’re applying it.

Refrain from using retinol if you’re pregnant as well, as they may increase the likelihood of miscarriage and birth defects. Consult your doctor about your pregnancy, and they might recommend oral contraceptives as you’re using retinol.

Based on a few rodent studies, retinol might have long-term carcinogenic effects. But more human studies need to be done before the risks can be confirmed. Do discuss with your doctor about these concerns before using retinol.

A Final Note About Retinol

Do note that it can be unstable under UV light, so you’d have to check how your product was formulated and packaged. Even the way it delivers the formula matters. Say, for example, if it’s exposed to light and air, it would lose its effectiveness more quickly than an airtight pump. The preservatives in the formulation would affect the overall efficacy too. Retinol can also come in the form of a cream, foam, gel, or serum. And that can affect its interaction with your skin as well.

On a side note, stick to one form of it at a time. Avoid using several retinol products in one go. So don’t go washing your face with a retinol cleanser while following that with a retinol serum. And remember, some anti-aging and acne products may contain retinol as well.


If you’re looking for a skincare ingredient that can make your skin look younger, smoother, and clearer, you might want to try retinol. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that can boost your skin’s health and appearance. It can help with wrinkles, acne, dark spots, and more. Retinol is trending in Singapore because more people are discovering its benefits and how to use it safely.

But retinol is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It can also cause some side effects, such as dryness, irritation, and sun sensitivity. You need to be careful when choosing and using retinol products. You need to find the right strength and form of retinol for your skin type and needs. You also need to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of retinol you use. And you need to protect your skin from the sun and other factors that can damage it.

Retinol can be a great addition to your skincare routine, but it’s not the only thing you need. You still need to cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin regularly. You also need to eat well, drink enough water, sleep well, and manage your stress levels. And you need to consult a dermatologist if you have any skin problems or concerns.

Retinol is not a miracle cure, but it can make a difference in your skin if you use it correctly and consistently. It can help you achieve the glowing, healthy, and beautiful skin you deserve. That’s why retinol in Singapore is trending now and why you should give it a try.

At Tropika Club Magazine, we want to help you find the best skincare products and tips for your skin. We also want to help you discover the best beauty and wellness deals in Singapore. Whether you’re looking for a facial, a massage, a manicure, or a haircut, we have something for you. You can browse our website and find the best offers from top-rated salons and spas near you. You can also read our articles and learn more about skincare, beauty, health, and lifestyle topics.

We hope you enjoyed this article about retinol in Singapore and why it’s trending now. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave us a comment below. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family who might be interested in retinol too. Thank you for reading Tropika Club Magazine and stay tuned for more updates.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is retinol and why is it good for your skin?

A: Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is used as a topical treatment for skin. It is scientifically proven to increase skin cell turnover rate, exfoliate skin, and boost collagen production. This is why it is a holy grail anti-ageing ingredient that many swear by as it helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and keep your skin looking plump and supple. Retinol can also be used to treat acne and lighten acne scars.

Q: How to choose the best retinol product for your skin type?

A: There are different types of retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A, with varying strengths and effects on the skin. The most powerful form of retinol is tretinoin, which is prescribed by a doctor for severe acne or ageing concerns. Lower strength retinoids that can be purchased over the counter are retinol and retinyl palmitate, which are mainly for anti-ageing, hyperpigmentation, unclogging pores and preventing breakouts.

When choosing a retinol product, you should consider the concentration, formula and packaging of the product. Generally, the higher the concentration of retinol, the more potent and effective it is, but also more likely to cause irritation and sensitivity. You should start with a low concentration (less than 1%) and gradually increase it as your skin adapts.

The formula of the retinol product should suit your skin type and preference. For example, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a cream or moisturiser that contains hydrating and soothing ingredients. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may prefer a serum or gel that is lightweight and non-greasy.

The packaging of the retinol product should protect it from light and air exposure, which can degrade its effectiveness. Look for opaque tubes or bottles with pumps or droppers that minimise contact with air. Avoid jars or clear containers that expose the product to light.

Q: How to use retinol safely and effectively?

A: Retinol is a powerful ingredient that can cause irritation, redness, peeling and sensitivity if used incorrectly. To use retinol safely and effectively, follow these tips:

  • Start slow and work your way up: Introduce retinol into your skincare routine gradually, starting with once or twice a week and increasing the frequency as your skin tolerates it. You can also mix a small amount of retinol with your moisturiser to dilute its strength until your skin adjusts.
  • Hydrate and moisturise using the sandwich method: Apply a hydrating toner or serum before applying retinol to prep your skin with moisture. Then apply a moisturiser after applying retinol to lock in hydration and reduce irritation. This is known as the sandwich method, which helps to buffer the effects of retinol on your skin.
  • Use retinol at night and use sunscreen in the day: Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to sun damage, so you should only use it at night and avoid direct sunlight during the day. You should also apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning to protect your skin from UV rays and prevent further ageing.
  • Do not layer it with actives like vitamin C, AHA, BHA, and Benzoyl Peroxide: Retinol can interact negatively with other active ingredients that are acidic or exfoliating, such as vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA), and benzoyl peroxide. These ingredients can make retinol less effective or cause more irritation and inflammation on your skin. You should use them on alternate nights or in different parts of your skincare routine (e.g., vitamin C in the morning, retinol at night).

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Terence is the deputy editor for Tropika Club Magazine. He is an analytical individual who enjoys learning about animals and different cultures. He has a curious mind and is always seeking knowledge and understanding. Terence is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys making connections with others. He is passionate about his work in the publishing industry and takes pride in his collaborations with authors and editors.

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