How To Use Retinol Properly – The Do’s and the Don’ts
If you have visited LiveYoung with skin health concerns, chances are good you have heard us rave about our favourite active ingredient – retinoids. Retinoids are proven scientifically to be the gold standard in anti-aging skin care, acne correction, and preventive skin health. We are strong advocates for nightly retinoid use, a program which is extremely successful but which can be tricky to get underway.
The biggest challenge of nightly use is working through the phase where your skin is getting used to retinoids – called retinization. This is the phase during which your retinol may make you experience redness, irritation, and peeling. Skin peeling is usually what makes people discontinue their retinol – but stopping and then starting repeatedly will prevent your skin from adjusting and building up a tolerance to retinoids.
How to Start a Retinol Program
The correct way to begin a retinol program is with consistency. Using retinol at regular intervals is of the utmost importance, whether it’s every three nights, every second night, or (ideally) every night. As your skin builds a tolerance over several weeks, you will be able to use retinol nightly with no irritation or peeling. As time goes on, you will find that you will be able to increase the strength of your retinol – the stronger the product, the greater the positive impact on your skin.
You should do these things.
- DO use retinol consistently, at regular intervals and work your way up to nightly use.
- DO start with a low concentration retinol, build up a tolerance, and then increase your dose.
- DO apply a very thin layer of retinol serum to a clean, dry face at night, allow it to absorb, then lock it in with a peptide-rich night cream.
- DO stop using retinol for about a week before and a couple of days after you get waxed, have a chemical peel, IPL or undergo laser treatment. Contact your treatment provider with further pre-and post-treatment care instruction.
- DO wear sunscreen EVERY DAY, year round when using any retinoid as you may more easily flush or sunburn.
You should not do these things.
- DON'T stop using retinol when your skin begins to get flaky and peel. “Push through” the peeling phase – it lasts on average for about 4-6 weeks. Moisturizing also helps during this phase.
- DON'T just use retinol on your face. It is lso great for preventing wrinkles and improving tone and texture on your neck, chest, backs of hands, and body parts where skin is thin and crepey.
- DON'T skip other important steps of your skin care routine. Retinol is complimentary to ingredients such as antioxidants and peptides. A combination of powerhouse ingredients catered to suit your individual skin health concerns will ensure you get the very best result.
- DON'T forget to wear sunscreen!
Are you interested in learning a little more about Retinol? We might even have some product at the clinic for purchase.