Retinol is one of the best products you can use in your skincare routine.But we realize that not everyone really understands what retinol is or where to even start. We know that it can seem a bit overwhelming at first — nearly every brand has some sort of retinol at a variety of different strengths. If you’re not careful, you can really damage your skin so it’s important you do some research on what works best for you. Or let us teach you in this post lol. We’re going to break down what retinol is, why you should be using it, and how to get started. Remember, we are not skincare experts. We’re here to give you information based off of our knowledge and experiences.
What Does Retinol Do?
- Prevents wrinkles
- Brightens dull skin
- Treats acne
- Fades dark spots
As you age, your cell regeneration slows down. This means your skin begins to look more dull, dry, and wrinkled. Obviously we are all trying to slow that process down. That’s where retinol comes into the picture. Retinol speeds up cell turnover, in turn bringing fresh skin cells to the surface and giving you that smooth look. It’s a way to trick your skin into thinking it’s younger than it really is. But this only happens after consistent use. If this is going to be your first time trying a retinol, you will want to start out slow. Eventually working your way up to frequent use. More on that in a second.
Retinol is just one of the many different types of retinoids out there — the umbrella term used for all vitamin A derivatives. Depending on your tolerance, you can even have your dermatologist prescribe you a retinoid, like tretinoin or tazarotene. — which are faster and more effective. Though they can be more irritating.
Before you start using a retinoid, you want to think about a few things —
- Strength — For beginners, start out easy with a low dose retinol. Give your skin time to adjust to this new product.
- Don’t use too much at once — This is so important. Less is more with retinoids. Start with 1x/week for one week, 2x/week for two weeks, 3x/week for three weeks, then eventually every other night. This will allow your skin to get into a good routine without causing unwanted irritation. When using a retinol product, you only want to use about a pea sized amount for your entire face.
- Alternate harsh products — Don’t use any other harsh acids, peels, or products on nights you are using a retinoid.
- ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN — This one deserves to be capitalized. Retinoids can make skin extra sensitive to the sun, This causes sunburns, and even discoloration. Always apply an SPF 30 or higher each morning to protect your skin.
- Always use at night.