When I suffered from acne flare-ups with seemingly no other prevention, what was the solution? Retinol. When my friend struggled with hyperpigmentation and rough skin, what was her solution? Retinol. When my parents were worried about wrinkles, what was their solution? Retinol. Discovering this over-the-counter miracle truly feels akin to stumbling across the fountain of youth, and we just *had* to share it with you.
By penetrating deep beneath your epidermis (the outer layer of your skin) and neutralising free radicals, this potent little ingredient boosts your skin's production of elastin, collagen, and comedolytic agents. These natural chemicals work simultaneously with retinol's auxiliary exfoliating effect to uncover fresh layers of youthful-looking skin, essentially speeding up the skin's natural regeneration process and consequently thwarting any and every skin issue that springs to mind.
The side-effect of all this, though, is increased skin sensitivity, particularly to the sun, so it is absolutely—and I cannot overstate this enough—*imperative* to use a quality daily sunscreen. Click here to find the best sunscreen for you!
French pharmacy brands are the masters of retinol. Developing some of the best and highest-quality formulations available on the market, they have helped millions of people—myself included—uncover the flawless skin we all have hiding beneath the surface. Keep scrolling to read our retinol cream reviews and find the best French retinol products & regimens definitively categorized & ranked!
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Unfortunately, this miracle treatment can be difficult to get a hold of in certain areas of the world - fret not, though, as we have trawled the internet to find products that are available for everyone! *As of the current update, we have only been focussing on the USA, France and the UK.
Redermic By La Roche Posay
I'm so incredibly pleased to see that La Roche Posay's phenomenal retinol products are available worldwide. I personally turned to this first-class French pharmacy brand out of sheer desperation when I was younger and suffering from acne and unknowingly discovered one of the *best* dermatologist-backed skincare lines in the world: Redermic. Rigorously dermatologically tested, the award-winning Redermic products deliver inimitable anti-ageing and zit-zapping efficacy for even the most sensitive skin.
Revitalift By L'Oreal
L'Oreal offers a more economical and more anti-ageing-oriented product range known as Revitalift. They blend the latest innovations in anti-ageing into effective formulas with high concentrations of active ingredients, tested by leading skincare experts and scientists. Millions of people entrust them with their beauty and self-care routines daily, and with such affordable prices, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not at least trying their French retinol products.
AVAILABLE IN THE U.S.A.**
The following products are—at the time of the latest update—fully available in the USA but only partially available elsewhere. Where appropriate we have selected and linked to regional alternatives. **As of the current update, we have only been focussing on the USA, France and the UK.
Retrinal By Avene
Avene, the 'Best French Skincare Brand for Sensitive Skin' (from our Best French Skincare Brands article), offers our favourite French pharmacy retinol collection. With two strengths to choose from, as well as a product specifically formulated for the delicate skin around your eyes and a gloriously nourishing day cream to complete the regimen, this is anybody's first and last stop on their journey to flawless skin. Ahead is everything you need to know!
AVAILABLE IN THE U.K. & France***
The following products are—at the time of the latest update—fully available in the UK and France but only partially available elsewhere. Where appropriate we have selected and linked to regional alternatives. ***As of the current update, we have only been focussing on the USA, France and the UK.
A313 by Pharma Dev.
A313 is the cult French pharmacy retinol and one of the best-kept French beauty secrets. The magnitude of rave reviews it has is quite staggering; one such review was from Gwyneth Paltrow:
"[A313] is hard to find outside of France, but it's one of my very favourites. It's full of Vitamin A, which is wonderful for the skin, getting rid of blemishes, tough dry spots and preventing wrinkles (they say). I know an older movie star who uses this every night and she has the most amazing skin!"
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