Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil

Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil

Describe the brand in three words.
Newish. Easy. Irish.

Who is it for?
Anyone in need of some good vitamin A action.
I.E. those of you worried about your pores (everyone). Dull, dehydrated, dry, oily, combo, ageing, smokers, drinkers - we literally all need vitamin A. If you're under 30 and healthy, it's not urgent. If you're over 40, it should be your priority.

What’s in it?
Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil*, Rosa Canina (Fruit) Oil*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil**, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Oil*, Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Retinyl Palmitate, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil***, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil**, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu/Foraha) Seed Oil**, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil*, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tocopherol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil**, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil**.
*Cold Pressed | **Cold Pressed and Organic| ***Steam distilled

What's not in it?
mineral oil, parabens, propylene glycol, fragrance

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Not really

Suitable for pregnancy?
The brand will say 'No', but I used retinols happily through my later pregnancies and have advised clients accordingly. It's not going into your bloodstream, and it's not roaccutane, which is entirely different.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
It's a mixture, but in general it's organic/natural.

Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?

How does it smell?
Fragrance free

How do you use it?
Apply in the evenings after cleansing, wait and let it get to work (make a brew), then add your moisturiser etc before bed if required.

Can it be taken around the eyes?
Orbital bone

Best for winter or summer?
All times.

How long did I test it for?
A few months.

How much is it? /Size
£63.00 for 30ml.

Works well with?
Anything. It can be used and then left alone, or you can add a moisturiser on top should you wish. SPF in the daytime, obvs.

What’s the website like?
Good. Easy to manoeuvre and they list all of the ingredients.

How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
Limited. Details here:

What’s good about it?
This is the best retinol I've used outside of a prescription. Besides the basics: fragrance-free, airtight and opaque packaging, the vitamin A comes in two forms: palmitate and hydroxypinacolone retinoate, the same form used in Luna. The retinyl palmitate resurfaces, it doesn't penetrate as much, it's good for pore appearance, but the hydroxypinacolone retinoate (furthermore known as HR) is the killer ingredient. Those of you that saw me on the recent Roadshow will remember that I had a large allergy-related acne spot - literally a boil - on the underside of my jaw. This got rid of it in two uses. I get the same swelling anytime I'm exposed to shellfish and it has old scarring on the site. This has nearly fixed the scarring.
It's gentle and non-drying due to the oil base, it's fragrance free, so those of you with problems in the smells dept are good to go.
My skin is smoother, and more refined, with the texture and colouring more even. The cold-pressed base oils definitely disguise the punch of the HR, you don't wake up dry and patchy. I find myself reaching for it most nights. Although the action is strong, the formula is gentle enough for a first-timer. I've had no redness, just brightness. Really, really good.

What’s not so good about it?
I'd like a 50ml bottle please.

Would I purchase/repurchase?

Do you need it?

Similar products?

Sunday Riley Luna

Medik8 Retinol 3TR

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM (close but retinol, not HR)

Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil is £63.00 and available from

*This post contains some affiliate links. However, as Pestle & Mortar are one of my business clients, I do not affiliate link to them. Nor do I tip them off that I am blogging about them.
If you are happy to click on them and support the blog, thank you very much. If you would rather not, just google the product. It's all good. See my full disclaimer here:
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.

Popular Articles

Introducing Skin Rocks Premium

Introducing Skin Rocks Premium



Introducing: The Gentle Acid

Introducing: The Gentle Acid

Cheat Sheet - Milia

Cheat Sheet - Milia