Retinol is one of the only ingredients that is proven to deliver clinical improvement of photo-aged skin. Photo-aging is premature aging caused by excess exposure to ultraviolet radiation, primarily from the sun.
Retinol is a type of retinoid, or a derivative of Vitamin A. It can transform and prevent fine lines and wrinkles and texture. It’s also been an incredible ingredient for active acne and acne scarring. Tretinoin, on the other hand is the most potent retinoid, which is available by prescription only.
If you’re super sensitive, it may be best to apply a thin layer of the retinol or retinoid over your moisturizer. This way, it penetrates more slowly and is less likely to over-sensitize your skin.
Layering with other actives
If you typically use potent AHA’s in your routine, such as glycolic acid or lactic acid, it’s best to not layer them. Maybe try applying your retinol at night and applying your acid in the morning, to avoid sending your cell turnover rate into overdrive. AHA’s and retinol products thrive at different PH levels, so layering the two is typically bad news.
Protect your skin from the sun & no waxing
Although it’s a myth that retinol thins your skin (it actually thickens the deeper levels of the skin due to increased collagen production), it’s important to be even MORE diligent with SPF when using retinol or retinoids.
Only ever apply at night
Always apply retinol products at night. Natural factors like the sun and free radicals degrade the stability of the molecules, making the product less effective.
Especially if it’s your first time using retinol, you need to start slow. Depending on whether it’s an over the counter product or if it came from your dermatologist, start by using it twice a week. You can always increase in strength and frequency of application.
There you have it! Adding a retinol to your routine is the best thing you can do to preserve your natural beauty. But remember ALWAYS apply SPF too!