Retinol Guide: How & When Can I Incorporate Retinol Into My Skincare Routine?
If you want to start using retinol but don’t know when it’s best to add it to your skincare routine, here are some guidelines.
Keep in mind that there are no guarantees for any particular age range — and, a lot of people will tell you to start much sooner than what is on here.
If you feel like your skin has been healthy and happy without retinol so far, there is no need to rush right out and try it (at least not yet). Try another great anti-aging ingredient first.
Retinol, more commonly known as vitamin A, has been used in skincare and acne treatments for decades.
But, do you know when to start using retinol? How about how to use it?
This guide on when to start using retinol will answer these questions and more, so you can make the most of this powerful anti-aging ingredient.
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How do I incorporate retinol into my skincare routine?
Before you can use retinol, your skin needs to get used to it. This process is known as retinization and should happen gradually over a few weeks.
It depends on how sensitive your skin is and what type of retinoid you’re using.
For example, if you’re using an over-the-counter product with vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), then you could start seeing results after just two days.
On the other hand, if you’re taking prescription tretinoin (Retin-A), then it might take several months before any changes are noticeable.
If you notice any irritation during that time, stop using it immediately and talk to your dermatologist about ways to soothe your skin.
If you have very sensitive skin, don’t use retinol without talking to your dermatologist first.
It makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight and puts you at risk for hyperpigmentation. It can also irritate acne. So if you have sensitive skin and/or break out easily, make sure to use a low-strength retinol product and wear sunscreen every day (it’ll even help with wrinkles!).
In general, start using retinol at night so that your body has time to adjust during a slow transition period of about 2 weeks; then slowly introduce it into your morning routine once your body is used to it.
How do I check if my skin is sensitive to retinol?
Sensitivity to retinol is a possibility and usually goes away within several weeks of consistent use.
However, sensitivity to it has a higher chance of occurring if you start using a topical product with high concentrations too quickly. To prevent irritation and burning, it’s best to test yourself for sensitivity before jumping into a full-blown regimen.
Before you buy your first retinol cream or serum, dab just a bit on your skin at night and wait until morning to see how your skin reacts.
If it looks fine and isn’t red or flaky, then go ahead with using it regularly!
If you do experience any irritation after trying a product once (or even a few times), stop using it immediately until all symptoms are gone.
The benefits of retinol
Retinol is one of dermatology’s most powerful anti-aging weapons.
Found naturally in foods like carrots and cantaloupe, retinol has the following benefits:
- help to exfoliate the skin,
- reduce fine lines and wrinkles,
- diminish dark spots, and
- increase collagen production.
Retinol is a must-have for anyone over 25 who wants to protect their skin from premature aging.
It is applied right after double cleansing during your nighttime routine.
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Retinol is often described as a miracle worker—and it can help with everything from wrinkles to acne.
It helps your skin repair itself from damage and stop new breakouts before they start.
As we age, our hormones and oil production change, it’s important to use retinol if you want to keep your skin healthy for decades to come. The best age to gradually start introducing retinol to your skincare routine is mid 20’s.
That said, it’s easy to overdo it and end up with painful side effects—particularly if you start using it too early.
Comment below when you think is the best age to start introducing this miracle ingredient to your skincare routine.