How to use retinol: A begginer’s guide

What exactly is retinol?

Retinol is a skin care ingredient that’s been called the holy grail due to its numerous benefits. It’s commonly used to improve skin texture and reduce dark spots. However, it can also cause side effects, such as soreness and redness.

Four Skincare retinol products on a white table
Favourite retinol products to start with

Retinol is a type of retinoid that’s naturally produced by your body. It helps boost cell turnover and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Here are some different types of retinoids:

  • Retinol
  • Tretinoin
  • Isotretinoin
  • Adapalene
  • Trifaro
  • Retinoldehyde
  • Tazarotene
  • Retinol esters

What retinol does?

Retinol is a powerful antioxidant that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as reduce the risk of skin cancer. It can also help prevent and treat acne.

Is retinol suittable for all skin types?

Yes, any skin type can start using retinol, but sensitive skin types should be careful of the side effects which retinol has: such as mild irritation, dryness and sun sensitivity are normal because your skin adapts to the active ingredient, but redness, burning and intense flacking are not. So sensitive type and rosacea should be wary or they can use the the vegan natural alternative to retinol, bakuchiol. And should also be remembered that pregnat women should not use retinol.

What age should you start using retinol?

Best age to start is 25, because this is when collagen production will start to slow down. But also you should pay attention to the following signs like dynamic wrinkles, frown lines, crow’s feet, or laughter lines.

What retinol percentage should you use?

You should start slowly, with at least 0.1% retinol, retinyl esters or retinaldehyde. If your skin is not to sensitive you should strat with 0.5%.

How to add retinol to your skincare routine?

The first thing that you should know is that always apply retinol products at night, as sunlight can diminish their power. Retinol should be incorporate into your skin routine slowly and wih caution. The most common recommendation are these:

  • For the first two weeks, use retinol once a week;
  • In the next two weeks, use retinol twice a week;
  • After four weeks, use retinol every other day and see how your skin reacts to it, if it gets to sensitive use retinol only 2/3x a week.

Remember to apply only a pea-sized amount to your face and neck after double-cleansing and toner on dry skin. After it apply your favourite hydrating serum, eye cream, ceramides moisturiser and lip balm (because your lips can get really dry while using retinoids).

What should you do if your skin has a bad reaction to retinol?

The most common side effects are dryness and irritation, so is normal to have this, but if your skin is quie irritated you should cutting out the retinol application, along with other skincare products that contain active ingredients. Go back to a gentle routine and use only gentle skincare products. Once your skin is back to normal (it usually takes a month and a half), you can try retinol again, using it less frequently, but on a regular schedule.

What not to mix with retinol:

Don’t mix retinol with: benzoyl peroxide, vitamin C and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA are also exfoliating acids and they toghether with retinol can irritate your skin really bad and also dry out. As for benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out.

What can you mix with retinol:

You can mix retinol with hyaluronic acid and ceramides. Also don’t forget to use SPF 50 religiously every day of the year, not only to prevent skin cancers, wrinkles and sun spots, but when you apply retinol (or other active ingredients) your skin is more sensitive to the sun.

How does retinol take to work?

Be patinet. you will see results after 3-6 months or a minimul of twelve weeks before you say that it’s not working for you!

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