Can You Really Drink Retinol? | Clozette

Retinol has been hailed as a skincare hero ingredient for its anti-ageing benefits. Contributing to its success are the added effects of evening skin tone, smoothing out textural irregularities, and antioxidant properties. Typically found in topical creams, retinol finds its latest incarnation in the form of — get this — a drink. Health beverage brand Dirty Lemon recently added a retinol drink, the first of its kind, to its roster and it’s left the beauty world buzzing.

retinol drink

Dirty Lemon +retinol drink, SGD61/~USD45 for a pack of six (

Whereas full-strength retinol requires a prescription, Dirty Lemon’s beverage is made with “pro-retinols” which are supposedly a milder form of vitamin A. So it’s not going to be as effective as the potent stuff. But it has been deemed safe to be ingested by dermatologists. Similar to how prescriptions for retinoic acid pills (such as the drug Accutane) are taken orally, retinol can work from the inside out. How this compares with topical retinoid products is surprisingly similar. The key process is that upon contact with retinols (applied topically or taken orally), the body converts it into retinoic acid. This accounts for the cell renewal which manifests itself in the form of clearer, healthier looking skin. Only the time frame for when you’ll start seeing results differs.

Though retinol drinks are nowhere near as effective as medical-grade prescriptions, they do have their benefits. As we know, vitamin A can readily be found in foods like fruits and vegetables mostly in the form of beta-carotene. Carrots, spinach, and kale are all rich in vitamin A. The difference is that the body needs a lot of it, six units specifically, to convert to one small unit of usable retinol. Retinol drinks offer the convenience of taking it in a concentrated form so that the body has more to work with.

dirty lemon retinol drink

Currently, there is only one retinol drink up for purchase on Dirty Lemon’s site at a rather steep SGD61 per case (one case contains six bottles), though we suspect other brands might be jumping in on the trend soon. While topical retinoids seem like the convenient choice, they do have their negative side effects so those with sensitive skin might find the drink a gentler option. But if you're still not convinced that ingestible is the way to go, here are topical options for you. 

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

drunk elephant retinol cream

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream, SGD105/~USD78 (

This retinol cream combines 1.0% vegan retinol with superfood ingredients to diminish fine lines, reduce sun damage and encourage cellular turnover. 

Pixi Retinol Tonic

pixi retinol tonic

Pixi Retinol Tonic, SGD22/~USD16 (

Pixi's youth-preserving toner blends retinol with powerful antioxidants and botanical ingredients to nourish skin and repair its moisture barrier.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum

sunday riley retinol serum

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum, SGD128/~USD95 (

Sunday Riley's formula boasts of a 6.5% stabilised retinoid blend along with botanical retinoid-alternative extracts. It also features this year's big skincare ingredient, blue-green algae.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream 

dennis gross retinol eye cream

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream, SGD105/~USD78 (

Dr. Dennis Gross's retinol eye cream includes ferulic acid and ECG complex to target crows feet, dark circles, and fine lines for a more youthful look. 

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane

the ordinary retinol oil

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, SGD11/~USD8.40 (

Arguably the most affordable retinol on the market, The Ordinary's formula mixes the powerful ingredient with ultra-hydrating squalane oil. The low retinol percentage makes it a good entry point for first timers, with higher concentrations also available. 

(Cover photo from: @dirtylemon)



There was once a time when heavy stigma came with bold-coloured hair. But not anymore. Today, it's all about self-expression and creativity, showing that your crowning glory is as much an extension of your personality as the rest of your body. So as an empowering move for yet another hectic week, what do you say about celebrating some Clozetters who are serving boldness with rainbow locks on the daily? 

Serene in silver

Girl with silver hair

(Photo from: penmyblog)

Fiery in red

Girl with red hair

(Photo from: MsElaineHeng)



Think of your favourite skincare product. We bet sunscreen isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, although it definitely should be. But we get that – sunscreen can be hard to love. Some of them are sticky, heavy and messy to apply. But what if we tell you that we’ve found a couple you’ll not only love to wear but also love the skin-caring benefits of. The Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk SPF 50+ PA++++ and Anessa Essence UV Sunscreen Mild Milk SPF 35 PA +++ are mild and gentle on the skin. But more than that their benefits pack a punch. Watch the video above, then keep reading to find out why you’ll love them. 

Bottles of the variants of Anessa's Mild Milk Range

Nourishing protection

When we say they are mild, we mean they’re gentle enough to use even on a baby’s skin (from one year and up). These new offerings from Japan’s (and very soon, your) favourite brand contain ingredients that were dermatologically tested to be delicate enough for your sensitive skin. The two variants are also perfect for different skin types: the Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk is great for someone who has normal to combination skin, while the Essence UV Sunscreen Mild Milk is hydrating for those with dry skin.

7-Free Formula

The Mild Milk range is made with only the mildest ingredients and features a 7-Free Formula: it’s free from fragrance, parabens (preservatives), colourants, alcohol, minerals, octinoxate and oxybenzone that may cause irritation to the skin. Instead, the range is boosted with skin-loving ingredients such as soothing Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate from licorice root, antioxidant from wild thyme and chestnut rose extracts, and moisturising angelica acutiloba root extract.

Sweat- and water-proof

You know how sunscreen seems to lose its effect after you’ve broken a sweat? Well, these two don’t. In fact, with Anessa’s signature Aqua Booster Ex Technology, these sunscreens bond with water and sweat to form a more even and stronger veil against the sun. So the wetter, the better!

Anessa's Mild Milk Range has anti-pollution properties and is safe for reefs


These days, it’s not just the harmful UV rays of the sun we need protection from. If you live a busy urban life in the city, it’s great to think of protecting your skin from pollution. These sunscreens envelop the skin in such a way that it’s protected from grime and dust.

Coral Reef-friendly

With the environment taking a hit from how we live, it’s only fitting that we do something to protect it. And we can do so by using products that don’t harm the environment, like these sunscreens that don’t contain coral-bleaching ingredients. So you’re sure that it not only cares for your skin but the environment, too.

More than just a sunscreen

We love a multi-tasker when it comes to beauty products. Not only are these lightweight sunscreens great for sun protection and nourishing the skin, they can also be used as a moisturising primer to ensure your makeup glides on smoothly and stays on for long.

Follow Anessa on Facebook and Instagram for more details. Shop the sunscreens here.