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Monday April 15, 2024

How to use Retinol: 5 key tips to know before applying product

Retinol is one of the body’s a key nutrients for boosting bright and youthful looking skin

By A. Akmal
February 21, 2024
How to use Retinol: 5 key tips to know before using
How to use Retinol: 5 key tips to know before using 

Retinol appears to be the new elixir in skincare regimes that is all the rage nowadays.

Known for its magical properties to keep your skin looking youthful, many are unfamiliar with the right way to use the serum to garner its full benefits.

Retinol is essentially a derivative of vitamin A, which is one of the body’s key nutrients for boosting cell production. This makes retinol a powerhouse ingredient to promote skin renewal, brighten skin tone, reduce acne, and boost the collagen production

And while it seems simple enough to use the serum, the product is often underutilised or misused.

Here are some basics about retinol and common misconceptions that everyone should know:

When to start using Retinol?

While many dermatologists recommend adding retinol into your skincare routine after 30s but many women have begun earlier after they noted signs of aging.

However, ideally the age bracket remains closer to 30 – mid-20s to early 30s. Although, if the signs appear much earlier, you can start at the recommendation of your dermatologists.

What are the different types of retinol products?

  • Adapalene is a topical retinoid that treats acne deep in the pores at the source.
  • Tretinoin is also used to treat acne and reduce fine wrinkles
  • Alitretinoin is used to treat skin lesions associated with Kaposi's sarcoma.
  • Bexarotene is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
  • Tazarotene topical cream and gel are used to treat psoriasis.

What is the best retinol product to start with?

Begin with a low percentage (.01% to 0.03%) OTC retinol product. Going straight to higher percentages may cause irritation. Gradually increase the concentration if the need arises. 

What is the best way to apply retinol?

  • Retinol works best when applied at night.
  • Wash your face and apply eye cream to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.
  • After a few minutes when your skin is completely dry to avoid irritation.
  • Take a pea-size amount of retinol and start with the chin move upward and with outward motions. The retinol should not damp your skin like a moisturiser.
  • Finish off with a moisturiser.
  • If you do apply retinol during the day, make sure to apply sunscreen as the skin is more sensitive after application.

What are the products to use with retinol?

It’s best not to combine retinol with other potentially irritating ingredients, such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHA or BHA) or physical exfoliants and scrubs.

Opt for more hydrating and nourishing moisturisers. Apply a thin layer rather than slathering on a lot of product.

When do you see results from using retinol?

Retinol starts to work right away but you would likely start seeing results after several weeks of consistent use. However, first your skin condition may look worse at first as you adjust to the new regimen, before it starts looking better.