How do I get the best results from retinol?

Author: Garnet Schamberger DDS  |  Last update: Monday, April 4, 2022

How to Apply Retinol for Best Results
  1. Step 1: Wash your face and apply eye cream. ...
  2. Step 2: Wait a few minutes until your skin is completely dry. ...
  3. Step 3: Take a pea-size amount of your retinol and, starting at your chin, apply with your fingertips in upward and outward motions.
  4. Step 4: Finish with your moisturizer.

How can I make retinol work better?

10 Ways to Make Your Retinol Work Better
  1. 1 / 10. Put it on when your skin is dry. ...
  2. 2 / 10. Buy quality products. ...
  3. 3 / 10. Start slow. ...
  4. 4 / 10. Use sunscreen with it. ...
  5. 5 / 10. Put it on first. ...
  6. 6 / 10. Pair it with the proper follow-up products. ...
  7. 7 / 10. Find the right product for you. ...
  8. 8 / 10. Use it at night.

Should you use retinol every night?

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.

How long should you wait to apply moisturizer after retinol?

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.

How long should I leave retinol on my face?

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.

How to Use a Retinoid like a Dermatologist

How do you know if retinol is working?

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.

Should I wash off retinol in the morning?

And washing your face is necessary to remove any retinol or AHAs you wore overnight. Bottom line: Not washing your face in the morning is a mistake. A thorough a.m. cleanse ensures your products will work like they're supposed to.

What can you not mix with retinol?

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.

What is retinol uglies?

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.

What does retinol purging look like?

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.

Can you overuse retinol?

“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.

Can I use retinol on my neck?

To help combat aging, Dhingra recommends applying topical retinoids to this area. 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.

Can I use retinol under my eyes?

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.

How do I prepare my skin for retinol?

Quick Tips for Incorporating Retinol into Your Beauty Routine
  1. Mix your retinol with your moisturizer, or apply your moisturizer first and then your retinol.
  2. Always use sunscreen the morning after you apply retinol. Your skin will be especially sensitive to sunlight, so it's important to protect it.

Should you moisturize after retinol?

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.

Should retinol be applied before or after moisturizer?

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.

Why do my wrinkles look worse after retinol?

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.

Can I exfoliate while using retinol?

After two to six weeks of using tretinoin, it's usually okay to start using an exfoliant. However, it's best to use exfoliating products as sparingly as possible while using tretinoin to avoid potentially irritating your skin.

Can retinol make your face puffy?

Some people have noticed acne breakouts after using retinol, though this is a rare side effect. Eczema flare-ups, skin discoloration, swelling, and stinging are also rare occurrences. Side effects are likely to disappear after a few weeks of regular use, so it's important to give your skin time to adjust.

Can I mix retinol and vitamin C?

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.

Can I use retinol with hyaluronic acid?

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.

Can I put Vaseline over retinol?

Make sure you don't apply Vaseline after using powerful, retinol-based serums—the petroleum jelly can make those work too well, which can lead to skin irritation.

Does retinol need to be refrigerated?

Light and heat exposure is damaging to all retinoids. It can be a dangerous situation for your serum if it's stored on a sunny windowsill or a frequently hot and steamy location like the bathroom. It is not mandatory to refrigerate retinol and it can safely be stored at room temperature.

Should I use retinol everyday?

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.

How long do the retinol uglies last?

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.

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