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.
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.
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. It's worth noting that you don't need to use retinol on a daily basis for it to effectively treat your acne. Even two to three times per week might be enough.
Chronic toxicities from long term therapy with retinoids may result in skeletal abnormalities, usually mimicking diffuse idiopathic hyperostosis syndrome. Furthermore, the chronic use of retinoids in children may inhibit their growth due to premature epiphyseal closure.
“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.
"[but] best to re-start your retinol again when you can." Most dermatologists recommend using it at least twice weekly to see results.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use Exfoliants Sparingly After the Adjustment Period
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.
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.
While there's no right or wrong age to begin using retinol, most dermatologists recommend fitting it into your skin care routine during your 20s. The reason? "The production of collagen fibers starts to decline in our 20s," explains Dr. Allison Arthur, MD, FAAD, at Sand Lake Dermatology Center.
Using any form of retinol makes your skin more prone to sunburn. Sun damage combined with retinol burn is a recipe for redness or discoloration, inflammation, and more.
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.
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.
Research from 2015 also suggests that combining retinol and an AHA exfoliant together can be an effective combination for hyperpigmentation caused by acne. However, experts generally advise not using the two ingredients at the exact same time, since this can lead to dryness and irritation.
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.
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.
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.
Always apply Retinol products at night, as sunlight can diminish their power. If you're a prescription-strength user, use Retinol as the first layer on your skin after washing your face with a cleansing cream and before applying your anti-aging moisturizer.
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.
Using niacinamide before retinol works well. So does combining them into one product. A 2016 study found that a product containing retinol, niacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and resveratrol improved fine lines, sallowness, wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, and skin tone.