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.
Remember, that 'retinoid uglies' are likely to be temporary, and it will take time before you see the end result. You have three skin layers—the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Your epidermis is your visible layer, and renews approximately every 28 days.
Purging usually lasts between two to four weeks, according to Dr Phillips. “Efficacy is partly determined by the formulation and strength of the product; however, on average, most people will start to see a difference after a month,” he says.
"You can definitely prevent [the retinoid uglies]," he says. "First, make sure it's applied to dry skin. Apply every third night for the first two weeks, then every second night for the next week, and so on so that your skin can get acclimated to it.
Retinol burn occurs after you use skin care products that introduce your skin to high amounts of retinol. Retinol burn typically occurs within 24 hours. Even with home remedies, it can take about a week for the visible signs of retinol burn to dissipate.
If you've had an adverse reaction to retinol before, it's important to give your skin a break—but don't completely eliminate the ingredient. When it's time to reintroduce retinol into your routine, consider starting with a lower-strength product and building up the potency (and your tolerance) gradually over time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout.
Purging is a sign that the product is working and you should continue with the treatment as prescribed. After a few weeks of purging, your skin and acne will have noticeably improved. Breaking out is when your skin is reacting because it is sensitive to something in the new product.
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.
Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen. If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.
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.
Your first port of call should be retinoids, thanks to their ability to speed up cell turnover and fade superficial scars in the process. That said, deeper, more indented scars are less likely to respond, according to Dr. Mahto, who rates The Ordinary's Granactive Retinoid 2% in Emulsion, £8.
However, it takes three to six months of regular use before improvements in wrinkles are apparent—and the best results take six to 12 months. Because retinoids can cause skin dryness and irritation, doctors often recommend using them only every other day at first and then gradually working up to nightly applications.
Remember that in order to start seeing the benefits of retinol, you need to use it regularly. It can take up to 2 to 3 months to see results.
Generally, it takes about 3 to 6 months of daily use to notice a difference. With prescription retinoids, a patient might notice smoother, more even-toned skin in as early as 6 to 8 weeks.
“If the retinol you're using is too strong for your skin causing inflammation, darker skin tones may have a higher risk of discoloration, or hyperpigmentation, from the use of it," she adds. Dr.
Despite dermatologists describing retinol as a skin-care star, it can come with an unpleasant side effect: retinol burn. Also known as retinol irritation, it's essentially what happens when your face can't tolerate the powerful ingredient and subsequently devolves into a flaky, peeling, red mess.
Skin purging occurs because newly introduced skincare ingredients increase the rate at which your skin cells turnover, causing you to shed more dead skin cells than usual. This, in turn, pushes layers of dead skin off and also brings clogged pores to the surface, Chang says, resulting in more breakouts.
The purging of the skin starts after a few days of using a new product. In a breakout, the appearance of the acne and blackheads can be concentrated on any area of the face. Purging appears uniformly all over the face.