Want to introduce retinol into your skincare routine? Follow these simple tips to maximise the efficacy of this powerful youth-enhancing ingredient.
We know how difficult it is to navigate the complex world of skincare. While active ingredients like retinol are all the rage right now, they can harm your skin if not used correctly. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, one of our body’s most important nutrients for increasing cell turnover. It has a plethora of skin benefits – it exfoliates, brightens skin tone, reduces signs of ageing, and also keeps breakouts at bay. But are you still on the fence about adding retinol to your skincare routine because of retinoid purges? The good news is that the problem can be avoided with the correct application. I have put together my best retinol tips to help you take the plunge and add retinol into your skincare routine.
- Start early
Retinol is one of the best skincare ingredients for a youthful complexion. It acts as an antioxidant to combat free radical damage, which causes visible signs of ageing. Retinol also boosts collagen production. But to get the most out of this anti-ageing ingredient, I recommend starting early – in your mid-20s or early 30s. This can give you a headstart, and you can tackle early signs of ageing like sun spots and crow’s feet more effectively.
- Start with a low concentration
Did you know that there are different types of retinoids? While retinol can give incredible results, starting with powerful formulations can irritate your skin and lead to skin issues like redness, dryness, and rashes. For beginners, I suggest starting with a pea-sized amount of a formula with a low concentration, like 0.2% or 0.3%. If you have sensitive skin, you can start with a night cream that contains retinol – it is more gentle on your skin. You can also pick a product with other hydrating ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid.
- Incorporate retinol gradually
When it comes to retinol, integrating it slowly and gradually is the key. Since it can be irritating if used frequently, start slow. Instead of using retinol every day, start by using it twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency to allow the skin to adapt.
- Always apply it at night
Retinol works by exfoliating your skin to sweep away dead skin cells and unclog pores. Hence it is not very gentle on your skin. You must always apply retinol at night as it can make your skin sensitive to the sun, thus increasing the chances of sun damage. And don’t forget to apply a broad spectrum SPF the next morning. Skip retinol if you have an upcoming vacation where you will be spending a lot of time under the sun.
- Exfoliants and retinol don’t go well together
People often mix other actives with retinol for faster and better results. On the contrary, combining retinol with other acids like AHA/BHA can weaken your skin barrier and lead to complications like skin irritation and sensitivity. Skip retinol before exfoliating your skin with the help of scrubs or treatments like microdermabrasion.
- Be patient with the results
Admittedly, retinol can do wonders for your skin, but the results are not instant. Be patient! I can assure you that the results are worth the wait. It will take at least three months of consistent nightly use of retinol to see a reduction in fine lines, dark spots, or acne. Another important thing? A lot of people experience purging. As long as it is not painful, continue the usage. It simply means that the product is working. Symptoms like acne, redness, and peeled skin will fade away after your skin gets accustomed to retinol.
If you wish to learn more about retinol and how to use it to improve your skin texture and tone, schedule a consultation with me here.