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.
There is no hard and fast rule about using retinol or moisturizer first. The order you apply it in depends on the actual product you're using. Retinol can be included in all sorts of different formulas, such as retinol creams and retinol serums, and how you apply them will vary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So, how often should you actually use retinol? The short answer: Eventually, most people can use it every day or almost every day, if they like. The long answer: It depends on what kind or product you're using, how sensitive your skin is, and what percentage of retinol you're using.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This retinol cream is a great option if you're looking for a moisturizer that also helps repair signs of aging.
Well, when it comes right down to it, the choice is really in what you're looking to do for your skin. While vitamin C is incredible for the skin because of its ability to help brighten and improve hyperpigmentation, the best active ingredient for wrinkles is retinol.
“This will make your skin look older and accentuate wrinkles” — which is probably not what you're going for when you start using the stuff. And there's no question that retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Retinol can be effective in lightening the skin and reducing the appearance of dark spots. It does so by promoting skin shedding, which improves cell turnover rate and hinders the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, which encourages the production of melanin.
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.
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.
Retinol is potent, but that doesn't mean it can't get along with anybody else on the playground; you just have to choose its playmates wisely. Pairing retinol with a simple moisturizer (think Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion) makes for a perfect combo if dryness and irritation are your big retinol woes.
The problem is, retinol can be irritating when applied straight to the lips (so keep your prescription-strength cream off your mouth for the time being). But Verso's formula contains a gentle derivative, called retinol 8, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines around the mouth overtime.
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.
You should use hyaluronic acid after retinol. And to maximise the benefits, you should use retinol first and then wait at least 30 minutes before applying hyaluronic acid.
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.