Starting retinol: Tip of the Day 9-13-22
Many anti-aging products have a popular ingredient in common: retinol. Experts say it's proven to be a skin superstar, and is recommended by almost every dermatologist. But if you're not sure how to use it, the initial side effects can be discouraging.
In a nutshell, retinol is an over-the-counter version of prescription tretinoin. Both are derivatives of vitamin A. The benefits of retinol (and tretinoin) include everything from improving acne & skin discoloration, to improving skin texture, decreasing fine lines and inflammation, tightening pores, and reversing sun damage!
The problem is some people find retinol too harsh on their skin, so they stop using it before experiencing the benefits. Because of this, experts say the trick is using less, and starting slow. Using a pea-size amount at night followed by a nighttime moisturizer is recommended.
First one to two weeks: Apply retinol two nights a week.
Weeks three and four: Apply retinol every 2nd night.
Weeks five and six: Apply retinol nightly only if skin is tolerating it well. Cut back if irritation increases.
Once you've built a tolerance, you might want to start gradually increasing the strength of your retinol, depending on your skin type. Dry sensitive skin may want to stick with 0.25% strength. Experts say oily, acne prone skin could benefit from increasing the strength gradually.
Bonus tip: To prevent irritation, apply a gentle moisturizer or healing balm around your eyes, to the corners of your mouth and edge of nose before applying retinol. If your skin starts to get dry, or irritated, stop using retinol. Allow your skin time to return to normal, and then try again with a smaller amount of product.