A beginner’s guide to incorporating retinol in skin care routine

You don’t need a lot, but retinol does a lot for your skin

Why use retinol you ask?

As we age, our skin’s cell turnover slows down, leading to dry, dull, and pigmented skin, and a greater tendency for acne. Retinol helps accelerate this process, allowing newer, plumper skin cells to come to the surface, preventing these issues. It also helps other skincare products penetrate the skin more effectively. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative is a multitasking wonder that can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, all while boosting collagen production and cell turnover

Incorporating anything new to your skin care can be confusing. We have curated a beginner’s guide to use retinol.

Start with a low concentration

Retinol is quite potent, so it’s best to start with a low concentration and gradually increase as your skin adapts to the ingredient. Use a pea size amount in the beginning. When it comes to starting to use retinol, less is more.

Use it at night

Retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it’s best to use it at night to avoid any potential damage. Your skin usually repairs itself while you sleep, so it’s best to apply it before bedtime.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Retinol can cause dryness. Use a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and avoid any dryness. If you are too cautious, you can use apply moisturizer, then retinol, topped off with another layer of moisturizer.

Make sunscreen your best friend

Even though retinol is applied at night, it can make the skin extra sensitive to the sun. Even when indoors, make sure to use sunscreen. When you step out, use sunscreen generously and reapply whenever needed. 

Avoid other exfoliant

Retinol is already a powerful exfoliant on its own, so it's best to avoid using it with other exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs to avoid overdoing it. If you are confused about exfoliation, it’s better to speak to a dermatologist.

Be cautious with other products

Retinol is potent and can be reactive with other ingredients, such as vitamin C or benzoyl peroxide, so it's important to introduce them into your routine slowly and with caution. Slow and steady is key here.

Breakouts are normal

When you first start using it, you might notice mild irritation, flakiness, dryness, especially in sensitive areas near lips and around the eyes. Don’t panic. But if you do get excessive redness, intense irritation, it’s better to stop and consult a skin care specialist.

Be patient

Retinol is not a magic solution, and it can take several weeks or even months to see noticeable improvements in your skin. So, be patient and consistent with your retinol routine.