Should you use retinol? A facialist answers

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A Kilkenny-based skincare expert shares recommendations for healthier, more youthful skin

This post is sponsored by Eyrebrushed

We’re all on a journey to healthier skin. We all know a skincare routine is essential, and to supplement it with treatments to target particular concerns, but guidance from a skincare expert will ensure the best results, particularly when incorporating products like retinols which can be intimidating.

Facialist Emma Hogan Eyre owns the award winning skin clinic Eyrebrushed in Kilkenny City. She helps clients by carrying out a full skin consultation, analysis and scan, before creating a bespoke treatment plan and home care package. Here, she explains some of her most frequently asked skincare questions.

Why retinol?

Emma explains that lots of clients are starting to use retinol to target the signs of ageing at home.

“Retinol is the holy grail when it comes to ingredients, it is a form of Vitamin A that is the ultimate skin normaliser,” Emma says. “Vitamin A is phenomenal at getting down into the dermis and firing up your collagen in the fibroblast cell.  This grows all these collagen fibres that gives your skin so much strength and support. It’s incredible when used under the direction of an experienced facialist or practitioner.”

Retinol not only creates more youthful skin, it will also improve texture, give the appearance of tightened pores, and reduce the visibility of lines and scarring. Retinol is known for normalising the production of oil in the sebaceous glands and aiding the turnover of dead cells.   

“With retinol, the skin grows in strength, the fibres become more elastic and the pathways are more hydrated,” Emma says. “Retinol is far superior for addressing redness and pigmentation. It becomes an inhibitor to enzyme reactions and in turn slows down the production of melanin.  If you are an acne sufferer and experience hyperpigmentation (lingering redness post breakout) I would encourage you to considering topical retinol. Likewise if you are a rosacea sufferer topical retinol can be a very effective treatment.”

Do not use retinol if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.  If you are on medication Emma recommends consulting your GP before introducing Vitamin A into your routine.

Clinical treatments

Emma Hogan Eyre

Earlier this year, Emma invested in a skin resurfacing machine to complement her existing range of technologies used in her facials and treatments.

“The Venus Viva from Venus Concept is a non surgical solution for skin resurfacing,” Emma says.

The machine is like a cross between laser and microneedling but according to Emma one session of this is like three sessions of microneedling. The treatment addresses textural issues such as lines, wrinkles, scarring, acne scars, stretch marks, pores, pigmentation, and redness.

Emma treats client from all over Ireland at her Kilkenny base. Check out more of what she offers at

Main image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels