Can you use retinol every day? Start slow. If you're a new user, your skin may only be able to tolerate retinol once every other day or so. As your skin gets used to retinol, you can apply it more often.
"Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight decreases the efficacy of the product," explains Bowe, who instructs patients to only use retinoids at night and be diligent about applying a daily broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher during the day.
“If you're overusing your retinol, or if you're using a retinol that's too strong for you, it can lead to peeling, irritation, and excessive dryness, which may have led to retinol's association with skin thinning,” she says.
Use retinol once or twice a week at first to see how your skin reacts, and gradually work up to every other day or three times a week. Another key tip for using retinol is to incorporate it into your nighttime skincare routine only, as it makes your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Retinoids work best if you use them daily. Specifically, they should be used at night because some types are deactivated by light and air. It's important to start slowly and allow your skin time to adjust. Using too much too quickly can cause redness, dryness, and irritation.
You'll likely want to use retinol once or twice per week initially and work up to using it more than that. The reason: Retinol can initially be drying, especially if you have sensitive skin, so it's a good idea to give your skin some time to adjust to the change in your routine.
Layering products correctly is important if you want your products to work. If you place one product on your skin, like a serum, and follow up with another product whose molecules are smaller than the first, like a toner, then the second product cannot penetrate the first layer.
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.
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.
Should you use retinol under your eyes? Yes, definitely. While it is true that retinol – a form of vitamin A – is a powerful ingredient and the skin under your eyes is delicate, there's no reason why you should miss out on the amazing benefits of retinol.
Pending potency, OTC retinol can take up to six months to see results." That's not to say you won't see any benefits upon the first few uses. Nussbaum explains that in the short term, the benefits are that your skin will be exfoliated of dead skin cells and your pores will be unclogged.
First, the answer is yes, retinol can make wrinkles worse, especially when you first start using it. What is happening is a drying effect, and one can get epidermal sliding from separation from the dermis.
In theory, retinol makes your skin cell turnover faster. The increased cell turnover temporarily sloughs off more dead skin cells. This creates a lag time before new, healthy cells come to the surface of your skin. Your new skin is exposed before it's ready, and redness or discoloration, and irritation is the result.
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.
Retinol should always be applied at night.
It's especially sensitive to light, which is why it's kept in dark packaging or packaging that doesn't let any light through. In order to avoid unnecessary sun damage, only ever apply retinol before you go to bed.
The truth: You can use vitamin C with retinol and retinoids. Get them as separate products so you can tailor the concentration of each and use them at the right time of day. Although vitamin C can be used day or night, it is ideal for daytime use, while retinol and retinoids should be applied at night.
Niacinamide and retinol can be combined in one product, which may be easier and more convenient. But they're also available as separate products. If you're using these ingredients in separate products, it's recommended to apply niacinamide first and to then follow with retinol.
What Are the Benefits of Combining the Two? Good news: Retinol and hyaluronic acid actually have a synergistic effect. “They can be combined so that the benefits of retinol can be achieved more easily with concomitant use of hyaluronic acid, which helps to prevent retinol irritation,” says Hartman.
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.
Apply topical retinoids
Retinoids, which are topical vitamin A-based derivatives, may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production. If you use retinoids on your face, extend the treatment area to your neck and chest at night. Retinoid products are available by prescription or over the counter.
L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Night Serum with Pure Retinol
Goldenberg's go-to recommendation for timing between serums and moisturizers is about one minute. This wait has the same reasoning: Sixty seconds — give or take — gives each product a moment to delve into your pores.
For prescription retinols, you'll typically apply this step onto dry skin before your moisturizer—but always check with your dermatologist. You may be advised to use it after a moisturizer, which buffers the retinol and lessens risk of irritation.
Limit to Two Serums Per Routine
Of course it is fine to use the same one consistently but by alternating you can effectively use many different serums. Retinoids and serums can be used together, especially if the serum is soothing or hydrating. Be careful using very aggressive face oil serums with retinoids.
Retinol (leave to absorb for 10-20 minutes)
Retinol is also an ingredient that should be left to absorb sufficiently into the skin before following up with another product. “It is important to leave a 10-20 minute wait time before applying the next product.
The best product you can use in conjunction with retinol, according to Dr. Zeichner, is a moisturizer, which can help hydrate skin and reduce the risk of irritation from retinol. “Some people even prefer to mix their retinol with a moisturizing cream to dilute it out,” he says.