During the adjustment period, it's best to avoid using any exfoliants or other skincare products that could irritate your skin. Instead, give your body two to six weeks to adjust to the effects of the tretinoin cream or gel before adding additional products into your skincare routine—and only add them if you must.
If you want to use both, try exfoliating and using your retinoid on alternating evenings, or exfoliating in the morning and using the retinoid at night. Also, because retinoids increase your sensitivity to the sun, make sure you're always using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, Dr. Lipner says.
Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol. As for benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out.
When first starting a retinol regimen, or if your skin is sensitive, it's best not to combine retinol with other potentially irritating ingredients, such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids or physical exfoliants and scrubs. The best product you can use in conjunction with retinol, according to Dr.
Thus, adding exfoliation to this can cause or increase the potential irritation." So, if you use a stronger product, like a Retinol, make sure you space out its application from your exfoliating products. Since Retinols and the like tend to be used at night, an a.m. scrub might be better for you.
Rouleau says the best time to use a scrub is in the morning. Overnight you've loosened up dead skin cells with your glycolic acid or retinol products, making the morning a perfect time to brush them off.
Even though you may want to exfoliate or pick at your peeling skin, this will only continue to irritate and exacerbate the issue. It is best to keep a “hands-off” approach, keeping your hands away from your face and also being mindful of what products are making your skin peel even more.
Pairing the two ingredients is safe and can make retinol easier to use. Niacinamide helps hydrate the skin, which reduces the risk of irritation caused by retinol. Niacinamide and retinol can be combined in one product or used as separate products.
Generally, it takes a few weeks to see results, but some OTC options may require months of regular use. Most dermatologists said you'll need to use retinol for a few weeks before you see results, but you should see improvements by 12 weeks with most products.
Retinol is best applied at night, since it can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. When you do go outside, be sure to use sunscreen to protect your face. Also, keep in mind that you don't need to use retinol on a daily basis for it to be effective at treating acne. Two to three times per week may be enough.
But did you know the powerhouse ingredient can also be your ticket to smoothing and firming all of your skin? Meet retinol body lotions. Retinol body lotions can help smooth fine lines, clear body acne, and correct hyperpigmentation on arms, legs, and more.
If you have time, you can use hydroxy acids and retinol sequentially. After applying an AHA or BHA product, wait for 30 minutes to allow your skin's pH to return to normal, and then apply the retinol product.
It's perfectly safe and okay to use hyaluronic acid and retinol together. Using skin care products that contain these ingredients together shouldn't cause any interactions or side effects. Hyaluronic acid and retinol are one of the most popular skin care combinations.
Peeling, redness, and irritation are common onset reactions for some people when they first start to use retinol. Some reactions get so bad that the common term used to describe the list of effects has been dubbed the “retinol uglies”. Note from a skincare expert: Many things in life get worse before they get better.
Purging is slightly different, appearing on the skin mostly as blackheads or small skin-coloured bumps just under the surface of the skin. But it is also possible for purging to cause similar spots to a breakout, too.
A formula with retinol, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment, should be applied after your serums and before moisturizer due to its consistency.
Does purging mean you should stop using retinol products? “No, purging is a temporary phenomenon. Your skin should improve if you persevere,” advises Dr Derrick Phillips, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic. “Retinoids dry out the skin and can cause irritation, particularly in those with dry skin.
In general, retinol is one of the more gentle varieties of retinoids, however, “if you're going to experience shedding it will begin on day three to five of daily night time use, and this usually continues for about five to 10 days depending on your skin type and the percentage of retinol you've used,” adds Ejikeme.
You might also get more breakouts once you start using retinoids. Keep calm and stick with it. “It's common to see acne get worse before it gets better, as the retinoids can cause a mass 'purge,'” says Robinson. Basically, as skin cell turnover increases, new clogs rise to the top.
According to skincare guru and best-selling author, Caroline Hirons, you should allow 20 plus minutes before moving on to the next step of your routine.
If you tend to wear makeup throughout the day, it may be better to exfoliate at night, Dr. Gonzalez says. “Exfoliating at night helps clear out makeup and dirt on the skin,” she says. Exfoliating at night also removes oil and debris from the day.