Retinols and retinoids are taking the skincare world by storm. Before, it was probably available to dermatologists. But with its growing popularity, there are tons of skincare brands that are producing their own line containing retinoids and retinols. Before putting it on your skin, however, you will need to understand the little tidbits of information so you wouldn’t suffer the side effects.
Here are the important things to know before using retinol and retinoids:
- What is Retinol?
Retinol itself is basically a Vitamin A derivative that can help increase cell turnover. Therefore, the retinol added in skincare will be useful for increasing cell regeneration, brightening the skin, increasing collagen production and reducing acne. In addition, retinol also functions as an antioxidant that helps overcome free radical damage that causes signs of premature aging.
- Can all skin types use retinol?
Any skin type can use retinol, although fair or sensitive skin should be more cautious as it may be harder for them to adjust to the potent ingredient. Other skin types not recommended for retinol treatment would be skin that’s been over-exfoliated (from at-home or in-office treatments), or sun-damaged. Other than those skin types, it’s not recommended that pregnant women use retinol.
- Why do some skin types react to retinol?
For some skin types, retinol can do a lot of good. But for other skin types, it can occasionally cause redness and flaking. This can be caused by a number of factors from the skin type itself as mentioned above, using it too often, using too much of it, not prepping your skin properly or mixing retinol with other harsh ingredients, like exfoliators or acne treatments.
- Start in your Mid 20s or Early 30s
The early 30s are always used as a benchmark for trying skincare products with anti-aging claims. However, there are various reasons why it’s recommended to try out retinol before this age. At this day and age where pollution and overexposure to the sun can cause premature aging such as dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines, it’s perfectly fine to use retinol in the mid-20s.
- Proper Way to Use It
One of the most important things about using retinol is how it’s used. For that, it should be noted that retinol can be very irritating if used too often or the formulation is too abrasive for the skin. The recommended dose of retinol use can start with the size of a pea with an amount of about 0.01% to 0.03%. In addition, the frequency of use itself can be 2 times a week. This helps the skin to adapt well to the retinol.
Step 1: Wash your face and apply eye cream. Putting eye cream on will help protect the delicate skin around your eyes.
Step 2: Wait for a few moments until your skin is completely dry. Applying retinol on damp skin will prevent the retinol to absorb more deeply into your skin and might cause irritation. It’s fine to apply moisturizers and serums to slightly damp skin, but never retinol.
Step 3: Next, take a pea-size amount of your retinol and starting at your chin, apply with your fingertips in upward and outward motions.
Step 4: Put on moisturizer.
Step 5: As for the morning routine, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen the morning after as retinol makes skin more sensitive to the sun.
- Side Effects
The next thing that is no less important to know is the possibility of side effects that will be caused by retinol. As for side effects such as dryness, sensitivity to the sun and mild irritation, can still be tolerated.
However, if the effects are more than that, for example, such as intense burning and redness, you need to be careful. Especially for owners of sensitive skin, rosacea and eczema. The solution, of course, is to switch to other anti-aging skincare products besides retinol. If your skin becomes dry or irritated, limit the use of retinol to every third night or even once per week.
- The Best Skin Care Products to Use With Retinol
If you just started your retinol regiment or if your skin is on the sensitive side, it’s best not to combine retinol with other potentially irritating ingredients, such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids or physical exfoliants and scrubs. Instead, use retinol with a moisturizer, which can help hydrate skin and reduce the risk of irritation from retinol. Another option is to mix their retinol with a moisturizing cream to dilute the solution as well as its effects.
This also applies if you want to use other active ingredients (such as vitamin C). The solution is to use them at a different time of the day than when you apply your retinol product. In fact, you can use vitamin C during the day to fight free radical damage while using retinol, peptides and growth factors at night. Not to forget, one product you must never leave when using retinol is sunscreen during the broad daylight as retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
- Where to Apply Retinol and Retinoids?
Well, one more thing that should not be ignored is the area of application of retinol and retinoids. In addition to the face area, don’t forget to apply retinol and retinoids on the neck. The neck area is also one of the parts of the body that can show signs of premature aging.
Therefore, applying it to this area is the right decision. If the neck area feels more sensitive to applying retinol or retinoids, it is necessary to apply a moisturizer containing ceramides before applying it. This method will provide protection for sensitive neck skin.
- When to Expect Results
As with any other skincare product, you will have to be consistent in order to see results. Retinol does not deliver visible results quickly and it takes time, so be patient when applying skincare. Improvements in textural changes take about two to four months to start to become visible. However, with consistent use, you’ll see more and more positive changes—so find a retinol you love and stick with it.
Have you been using retinol and retinoids? Tell us your results in the comment section below!