Retinols and Retinoids – What are they and should I be using it?

Hey Squad!Welcome back to our blog 🙂 I have been toying around with the idea of using retinol for a while now but been so scared because I didn’t know much about it. Shamiela (my bestie) has had the most amazing results,I mean sis doesn’t even have a fine line in her face – I want that. Macne has also been showing me flames and I desperately need to change up something in my regular routine to combat it and have flawless skin.


Aren’t Retinol and Retinoids the same thing?

No. Retinols are generally over-the-counter products(OTC) whereas retinoids would need to be prescribed (in our country)

Touted as the only tested and proven product to work it’s antiaging magic, leaving you with smooth and glowing skin. Retinol and Retinoid are basically Vitamin A, the latter being a purer form of it. Retinoids have the powers to treat acne, prevent dullness, promote plump firm skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It can also increase collagen production as well as increasing the rate of skin cell turnover,

When should I consider using them?

This product is mainly promoted as an anti-aging product – so starting them once you reach your mid 20’s – it can be started earlier for the other reasons above but because it is such a potent product please consult your GP before using it(whether you are over mid-’20s or not)

How often should  I use it?

For optimal results, it would be best to use it every night because it builds collagen and helps repair the is very important to build up your skins’ tolerance to the product – so you could start with a retinol firsts and then see how your skin reacts to it, spacing your usage from 1 once a week to every 3rd day , then every second day and then every day. once you can use a retinol every day, you could be ready for a retinoid and build up your tolerance in the same way.

It is very important to keep the skin hydrated during the day as well as using a sunscreen every day (which you should be using already ). Coupling your vitamin C can also be great as it will fight off any free radicals.

Consistency as with many things in life is key. If you don’t use it regularly you won’t be able to see a difference in your skin.

What are the side effects?

These can be very drying so it would be a good time to invest in a great moisturizer with active ingredients focusing on hydration eg hyaluronic acid.

If you have sensitive skin or if irritation occurs, you can use the buffer method whereby you apply your moisturizer to your face before you apply your retinol/retinoid.

There can also be peeling when using these products.

As mentioned above, I haven’t used any retinols/retinoids in my routine as yet, so below are some products that I have been checking out as well as a picture of the retinoids Shamiela uses.

Skin functionals has taken the skincare world of SA by storm and putting out high quality products for us to benefit from – this serum is as affordable as R65 for a 5ml , so if you aren’t sure that it is ,this would be a great place to start, click here to check it out

the ordinary retinol


We cant talk skincare without mentioning The Ordinary, sis is everything she claims to be and more. The ordinary products can be bought from  cut beauty



These are the retinoids that Shamiela uses, retinoids are all basically the same they will only differ on potency, they are all Retin-A but each brand had their own Retin-A variant




This article is a very basic introduction to Retinoids and Retinols, the info is a lot and would be very long and tedious to read all in one go if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to leave your comments below and I can answer them in a future blogpost for you.

Hope I was able to answer a few of your questions surrounding Retinols and Retinoids and looking forward to your comments.

Don’t forget to check out our previous post , where we unbox our February #SquadboxSA here

Until Next Time






Cerave Brand Review


Hi Guys. Last year August one of our group members headed to Vegas(thanks Jolene)and generously offered to buy me some skincare.I will be forever grateful to her walking in the middle of the night to Walgreens to get my fix of the Cerave range.?

What attracted me to Cerave was the hyaluronic acid and ceramides in their products.  There products are fragrance free and affordable. I think I paid just under R1000 for these 4 products and the bottles are huge!


Read more

Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

cosrx snail mucin

I received this product a few months ago as part of a skincare bundle gifted by Tamsin from Glow Theory.The same time I received the vitamin c serum from my previous post,click here to read my review. Due to dehydrated skin being one of my skin concerns, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin power essence or as I affectionately call it, COSRX Snail Mucin, was what she recommended me to use.

cosrx snail mucin

If you are as clueless as I was when I started using K-beauty products, I wouldn’t blame you for asking what the heck is an essence, and then imagine weird scenerio’s in my head hahaha ( think Dark Crsytal vibes lol). my understanding now though is that it is ultimately the same as a serum. Like serum = western beauty and essence = Kbeauty.

The COSRX Snail Mucin a very lightweight product with a sort of slimey consistency. I like to kid that it is “slak juice”(snail juice) and clasp my hands together for it to have like a spider web effect hehehe

*Although this product was gifted all opinions are my own

cosrx snail mucin texture

Benefits of using this product

The COSRX Snail mucin consists of 96% snail secretion filtrate and now need to freak out by thinking about crazy things like I mentioned above hahaha. The snail mucin for COSRX products is harvested by the snails being placed over a mesh net in a dark and quiet room. The snails prefer this environment because they are nocturnal animals.  They are left alone to freely roam the net,for about 30 minutes, leaving mucin in their trails.

Snaill Mucin contains many beneficial ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, glycoprotein ezymes and copper peptides. These ingredients all make snail mucin effective in the following;

  • Repairing skin damage(think of snails being able to repair their own shells)
  • Evening skintone
  • Fading hyperpigmentation including acne scars
  • Firming and Tightening the skin
  • Boosting Collagen and Elastin production
  • Hydrating skin

Just for balance because the list of benefits is not long enough, snail mucin has antimicrobial properties which help fight off acne-causing bacteria.


  •  To visibly repair and revitalize skin
  • Help with skin concerns such as acne scarring, dehydrated skin, early sign of aging,
  • To leave you with healthy, glowing, moisturised skin

Whenever I had breakouts, I was always left with dark marks/discolouration where the pimple once was but since using this product( in conjunction with my other products) I no longer have this issue. I won’t be able to say if it is was only due to the product as I haven’t used it on its own(without other serums  in my routines) but since adding  it to my routine it has taken care of this problem. Although I am not anywhere close to perfect skin as yet , I definitely have a slight glow in my skin and I am loving it.


I use this essence as part of my morning routine, after cleansing and before moisturiser. I apply it to damp skin and pat it in to help it absorb properly.


This Serum can be purchased from Glow Theory for R330 

If you have tried this please share your experience in the comments below

cosrx snail mucin snail

Until Next Time

Peace and Love