A Guide to Retinols


A woman’s finest friend and biggest weapon against wrinkles and the ravages of time is retinol, which is well-known in the beauty industry. Using retinol, which is a pure form of Vitamin A that is applied to the face, can help boost the skin’s thickness and collagen synthesis, resulting in a firmer and more vibrant complexion.

Read more: Useful Nighttime Skincare Routine: All You Need To Know

Acne sufferers may experience redness and peeling of the skin when taking some retinol products because of the high potency vitamin A prescription acne medication Retin-A. As a result, how can you acquire the maximum amount of retinol without causing any harm to your complexion?

Retinol is essentially a weaker and less concentrated variant of a Retinoid, making it widely available over the counter as well! For the latter, a prescription is required because it is often highly potent. In the world of skincare, the versatility of Retinol is one of the main reasons for its enormous popularity. As far as acne, whiteheads, and blackheads are concerned, there is a wide range of treatments available. You may also notice that it slows the ageing process down.

In OTC acne and wrinkle creams, retinol is a popular ingredient, but retinoic acid is more often found in prescription creams like isotretinoin.

Because retinoic acid (aka tretinoin) is more potent than retinol, products containing it tend to be prescribed exclusively. Typically, they’re used to treat severe acne that hasn’t responded to other methods.

Retinol is one of the most well-known skincare ingredients on the market, and many people use it. It is made from vitamin A and is used to treat mature-looking skin and acne

Retinol has a lot of possible benefits for your skin, but there are also some side effects to think about.

Retinol might be good for your skin, but do you know if it’s good for you? You can find out more about this important ingredient below, in the text.

How it Works

You can make Retinol by taking vitamin A. This is one type of retinoid, which is made by taking vitamin A. It doesn’t get rid of dead skin cells like many other products for older skin do. This isn’t how retinol works. Instead, small molecules that makeup retinol go deep beneath the surface of the skin to your dermis

When retinol gets to this middle layer of skin, it helps to get rid of free radicals. This helps to increase the production of elastin and collagen, which makes the skin look fuller and less wrinkled.

  • fine lines
  • wrinkle
  • large pores

It’s also sometimes used to treat acne and scarring caused by it. A prescription retinoid is usually used to treat severe acne, as well as other medications that help fight inflammation and bacteria.

Finally, retinol has an exfoliating effect on the surface of the skin. This can help improve the texture and tone of the skin, as well.

What it treats

A lot of people use retinol to help with the following skin problems:

  • Wrinkles and fine lines 
  • It is called photoaging when you have sunspots and other signs of sun damage on your skin.
  •  Also called uneven skin texture melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation.

You can get the best results from your retinol-based skin care product if you use it every single day. It may take a few weeks before you see big changes.

How to Use Retinol For Best Result

The way you apply retinol can make a difference in the results that you get. Because this product can make your skin dry and sometimes red, it’s best to talk to your dermatologist before you start using retinol. Start with products with a low concentration of the ingredient (like 0.25 per cent or 0.3 per cent) and see how your skin reacts before moving on to products with more of the ingredient.

Retinol can be used in a variety of ways in skincare:

  1. Apply eye cream after washing your face. The delicate skin around your eyes can be protected with an eye cream.
  2. When your skin is completely dry, wait a few minutes before applying any makeup. Make sure your skin isn’t too wet, because retinol will be able to penetrate deeper into your skin and cause irritation if you have any moisture on it. Our goal is to apply moisturizers and serums on slightly damp skin, but not retinol.
  3. Start at the chin and work your way up and outwards using a pea-sized amount of retinol on your fingertips.
  4. Apply a light moisturizer to your skin to complete the process. Retinol makes the skin more vulnerable to the sun, so apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen the next day.

Things To remember before using Retinol:

  • Most dermatologists recommend starting retinol treatment at the age of 30 to avoid premature aging signs like sunspots and crow’s feet. However, many women are starting earlier to take advantage of the most recent advances in skincare technology. “Starting retinol in your twenties is the ideal time to begin utilizing it.
  • The skin may get inflamed if you use too much retinol or if the formulation is too potent for your skin. To allow the skin time to adjust, experts recommend beginning with a tiny dose (.01 per cent to 0.03 per cent) and applying it “two times each week, gradually increasing the usage.” As an added precaution, do not use retinol the day before an exfoliation procedure (Bowe recommends exfoliating two to three times per week). If you’re planning on having in-office treatments like lasers, micro-needling, or microdermabrasion, you should avoid exfoliating beforehand because doing so could aggravate your skin and make it more sensitive. To avoid overdoing it, new time-release products have been developed for those with sensitive skin.
  • If you’re using retinol, you may notice moderate irritation, dryness, and increased sun sensitivity while your skin adjusts to the substance. Those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea or eczema should avoid using retinol because it can cause severe flaking, redness, and burning. There’s no need for you to use it on your own! As an example, wild indigo, which does not irritate or induce sun sensitivity, is an excellent anti-ageing ingredient.
  • It can take up to six months for OTC retinol to generate the same outcomes as prescription-strength retinoids. Conditions like acne may resolve after 12 weeks, but sun damage and ageing effects may take much longer.
  • When using a retinol-infused elixir, be mindful of the areas around your neck and décolletage. It’s easy to overlook these places, which are known to show indications of ageing. Add a spritz of ceramide-containing moisturiser or retinoid to the region that requires it before applying your regular moisturiser. Soothers, poor vitamin A levels, and a lack of smell are all common features in these creams.
  • the best and well-formulated products are always recommended for your skin. If you want such products to create a fool-proof skincare routine for yourself, visit here

How effective is retinol as a treatment for acne? How?

There are many types of retinoids. Retinol is one of them. Retinoids are a group of drugs made from vitamin A. It can be bought over the counter in many different forms.

Retinol helps clear blocked pores, which makes it a good acne treatment. Helps to reduce the signs of ageing and improve the look of the skin.

Prescription-strength retinoids are more powerful than retinol. Because of this, people may use it to treat mild to moderate acne because it is so easy to use. People with more severe forms of acne might want to talk to their doctor about prescription-strength products.

People who use retinol products may get flushed, dry, and itchy. These, on the other hand, happen more often with stronger retinoids.

Different Kinds Of Retinol

Many different types of retinoids are available on the market. Retinol is one of them. Retinol, for example, is the next strongest and most tolerable of the retinoids. Retinol, retinaldehyde, and adapalene are all over-the-counter products that can help with ageing and acne at the same time, and they’re all safe to use. There are even stronger retinoids that can be prescribed to you by your dermatologist. These can be even more irritating, but they work faster and better.

Choosing a retinoid is a difficult decision. However, dermatologists aren’t always able to tell you which product is ideal for your skin type. If you have sensitive or dry skin, doctors recommend starting with retinyl palmitate or retinol and gradually increasing the strength of your retinoids over a year.

How Often To Use Retinol

Retinol should be used 2-3 times a week. new to retinol, look for a product with other moisturising ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid to help your skin stay soft and smooth It’s important to moisturise skin after you put on products that have retinol in them at night and also when you wake up.

But if you don’t keep up with the plan, you won’t see any results. ” A retinol purge is when your skin gets worse. This can be caused by more acne, redness or peeling skin. “As long as this isn’t painful, keep taking your retinol.” When your skin gets used to retinol, those symptoms will go away.

Just remember that retinoid creams function over the long term. Don’t be fooled into thinking that “weak” retinol won’t make you seem younger in the long run because it has the same long-term anti-ageing properties as a moderate-strength retinoid.

Side effects

As long as retinol is approved by the FDA, this doesn’t mean it’s free of side effects.

People who use retinol often have dry and irritated skin, especially when they try a new product for the first time. Other side effects could be:

  • itchiness
  • peeling skin
  • redness

Use your retinol every other night or every third night to lessen the side effects. Then, start using it every night and work your way up to using it all the time.

If you keep having trouble with your skin, you might want to see a dermatologist. You should talk to your dermatologist before you start using a retinol product. They can tell you if it’s a good idea for you and your skin.

Less than 10% of people who use retinol may have more serious side effects, like:

  • darkening of the skin
  • photosensitivity to UV radiation
  • blistering
  • stinging
  • and swelling

Applying retinol 30 minutes after washing your face may also help alleviate skin sensitivity.

If you’re using more than one retinol-containing product at a time, your chance of side effects goes up. If you’re using a combination of “anti-ageing” or “acne” products, which are more likely to contain retinol, be sure to read the labels carefully.

How to choose retinol for different skin types

Retinol as per every skin type:

  1. Combination/acne-prone/oily skin

The best thing for your skin is a fluid or a gel that doesn’t make your skin feel heavy. Fun fact: The more oily your skin is, the better it can handle retinol because it makes your skin dry. Keep in mind, though, that if you have acne-prone skin, it might make your skin flush when you first start using it. This will soon go away. Keep sunscreen on your face even if you use retinol a lot. Sun and retinol don’t mix well.

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  1. Normal/sensitive skin

If you have dry skin, Retinol which is full of hyaluronic acid will be great for you. Because retinol can make your skin dry, give it a break. It’s also important not to put two active ingredients in your skin cream or face wash at the same time. Retinol is a powerful ingredient that should never be used with vitamin C.

Make sure you use retinol to make your skin moister, says the dermatologist. Make sure the moisturiser has other good things in it, like Vitamin E or Omega 3. In the evening, you should use a thick moisturiser that you can put on and go to sleep with. This is best for your skin type. Always keep in mind that retinol should only be used at night to get the best results. This is also what she says. She advises not to use it every day, but only twice a week so that your skin can get used to it without getting irritated.

Tips for applying retinoids so you get good results (without dry, irritated skin)

  • According to Dr., retinol might make your skin more vulnerable to the sun, thus he advises against spending too much time in the sun. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, whether or not you take a retinoid. 
  • For the most part, it’s to avoid the sun-sensitivity adverse effects. Because sunlight can deactivate retinoids and render them useless, Dr. recommends using retinoids at night.
  • Have you decided to get your eyebrows or upper lip waxed or have laser hair removal? Retinoids, which promote cell turnover, make the top layer of skin extremely vulnerable to damage during both operations. Burns and discomfort may be the end effect. Take a break from products before the treatment and you’ll be good to go. According to Dr., “Your dermatologist may recommend that you stop using your retinoid before waxing or laser operations.”
  • Using retinoids while you’re trying to get pregnant, or while you’re already pregnant, is not recommended, according to Dr.
  • Eczema and rosacea can be exacerbated by the addition of retinol. If you have an active case of either, do not use it.


Retinoids are indeed the best wrinkle-preventers and line-smoothers on the market, but they’re also fantastic at making your face look like a bright little marble. According to a dermatologist, retinoids can help your skin look fuller, clarify and minimise pores, and remove dark spots and redness because they speed up cell turnover.

This is more than just a little tweak in performance. As opposed to most skincare products, which only act at a superficial level on the skin’s surface, these penetrate deep into the skin’s cells. Retinoids can resurface your skin at the cellular level, which might result in long-term changes to your appearance. It’s like this Retin-A using a grandmother who went viral because she looked so youthful, or this acne-prone woman who went viral after taking retinol to clear her complexion. The secret to glowing skin lies in the use of retinoids.

Is it better to apply retinol before or after moisturising?

The topic of whether to apply retinol before or after moisturiser is one of the most important when it comes to skincare. In our opinion, it’s not as simple as either/or but rather a matter of perspective. The benefits of retinol have been well studied and documented, but you must use it appropriately for them to be realised, and this is dependent on a variety of circumstances. Make sure your attempts to utilise retinol don’t go away by learning when to apply it in your skincare routine.

It doesn’t matter whether you use retinol or moisturiser first, because there is no hard and fast rule. The order in which you apply it depends on what you’re using. You can use retinol creams and retinol serums in different ways.

To apply a retinol product the same way you would apply another skincare product, start with the thinnest and work your way up. It’s not always easy to say whether you should apply retinol before or after moisturiser, but we can break down when to apply retinol based on the type of product. 

A cleanser with retinol is the first step in any skincare routine, and that holds even if you don’t. Face and hands should be wet. Then, apply the cleanser to your face and body. Rinse with warm water.

To apply a serum with retinol the right way, spread it on clean skin before you apply your moisturiser. Your serum will be a lot thinner than your moisturiser, which is why you should apply them in that order. Do this after you wash your face at night. Then apply two to three drops of the Derm Intensives Night Serum 0.3 per cent Pure Retinol to your face and follow with your moisturiser.


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation Trusted Source, sun exposure may worsen some of the drying and irritating effects of retinol.

The irony is that the same effects that retinol is used to treat, such as age spots and wrinkles, can also be caused by sun exposure. Wear a mineral-based sunscreen (with at least an SPF of 15Trusted Source) whenever you are going to be outside for an extended period to minimise these risks.

Retinol and Skin Irritation

If you use retinoids, your skin will likely shed its cells faster than normal, which means you’ll likely have flakiness, dryness, irritation, and/or breakouts for a few weeks until your skin gets used to the new changes. Fortunately, there are things you can do to lessen the damage.

Retinyl palmitate or retinol is the gentlest option. Just once a week at first, then every other night, and so on until you get the hang of it, then you can increase the frequency to three nights a week. Then, for the rest of your days, use it nightly. The skin will return to normal if you stop using these cosmetics at night.

There’s still no need to load up on retinol to speed up the process. You’ll only burn your face. Use just a tiny amount on clean, dry skin at night. Make sure you only use enough retinoid to cover your face in a thin layer of cream at night. Make sure that your retinoid is in a pump bottle or tube. If it is, apply a small amount over your whole face, wait 20 minutes for it to sink in, and then apply your usual serums and moisturisers on top of it.

On the nights that you don’t use a retinoid, make sure to utilise your acne-fighting treatments (such as anything with benzoyl peroxides or salicylic acid) to prevent irritation. Don’t be alarmed if you suffer from acne or greasy skin. So you won’t suddenly become a massive zit, retinoids tackle both of these naturally.

When to seek medical attention

Even though retinol can be bought over the counter without a prescription, you should talk to a dermatologist before using a certain brand. They can help you figure out how healthy your skin is and suggest products that meet your needs.

If beauty or drugstore products don’t work, your doctor might give you a prescription retinoid. Because prescription formulas are more powerful, they also have a greater chance of having bad side effects. Wear sunscreen every day and as directed by your doctor.

If you don’t get the cosmetic results you want after using retinol, there are many other things you can talk to your dermatologist about, like:

  • alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic and citric acids, are good for anti-ageing. 
  • Beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid can enhance skin texture and acne chemical peels can help remove the outer layer of skin for a more even tone and texture.
  • Fillers for fine lines and wrinkles, laser treatments for red and brown pigment (broken capillaries) or scarring, and 
  • dermabrasion can also help improve texture and tone.

Until you’re approximately 30, it happens every 28 days. There are no impurities in this new skin layer at all. However, cell regeneration slows down in your 30s. Approximately 50, 60, or 70 days after you were born, your cells begin to reproduce. What causes your face to appear dry, dull, and wrinkled as a result of delayed cell growth.

It is because Retinol penetrates the skin and stimulates cell turnover that your skin will begin to produce new, healthy-looking skin again. Your body thinks it’s far younger than it is, making you look like real life.

Skincare Products You Should Never Use With Retinoids

One of the most well-known uses of retinoids is as a multitasking skincare product. As retinol is a vitamin-A-derived substance, it heals acne, battles indications of age including fine lines and wrinkles, unclogs pores and evens out the skin. A faster regeneration of skin cells is the explanation given by the experts for how retinol works its magic. “Retinol encourages a speedier renewal of skin cells,” explained the doctors.

Fresh, clear, and youthful-looking skin is the best thing that could ever happen to you. However, there are some drawbacks to this newfound vigour. According to dermatologists, retinoids can be dry to the skin when they’re first used. On their own, retinoids can be irritating, but when combined with other potent compounds found in cleansers, creams, and serums, problems arise.

Take a look at the components that don’t mix well with retinoids and the best ways to keep your skin healthy while using this wonder drug.

  1. Exfoliators

Your skin is exfoliated by using retinoids, and there’s no need to go overboard with them. Your skin might become extremely sensitive when you combine an exfoliant like alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) with retinoids, dermatologists warn. Acidic exfoliants aren’t the only problem: Salicylic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), is also a poor match for retinoids, according to Dr Additionally, the salicylic acid exfoliates the skin in addition to removing impurities such as whiteheads and blackheads from the pores.

To keep using these items, you’ll need to stagger your application. Acid products can be taken throughout the day and retinoids at night, according to Dr As a serum, Dr.. advises using an antioxidant. A greater penetration rate and less risk of discomfort can be achieved by using this product.”

  1. Astringents, toners, and other drying agents

Retinoids tend to dry up your skin—the last thing you want to do is further dehydrate it. “It is preferable to avoid other drying agents such as toners, astringents, and medicated cleansers when taking retinoids. These products aggravate the situation,” Dr. recommends.

  1. Benzoyl peroxide

As you can see, combining chemicals that dry or slough off your skin in the same way as retinoids do might cause issues. The opposite is true with benzoyl peroxide. Retinoids can oxidise if you use this acne therapy, explains Dr. To what end? Your retinoid is less effective when it is oxidised.

Final Word

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