Okay, so here’s the thing: retinoids are tricky. Depending on who you ask, they can be a skin-saver or a less-than-stellar skin-irritant. Unlike other popular skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol isn’t something you just slap on and call it a day. Properly incorporating a retinol into your skincare routine takes time and sometimes a little experimentation. But, when done right, it can work magic.
So how should you go about it? It helps to understand the basics first.
Simply put, this ingredient is a gentler, more skin-friendly type of retinoid, which is a derivative of vitamin A (I know, it’s a complicated flow chart). Interestingly enough, our bodies actually produce our own retinol to help boost collagen production and slow down signs of aging.
However, as we get older, our bodies produce less and less of this stuff, which is why many people opt to add it to their skincare routine. What ends up tripping a lot of people up, though, is the care with which you have to apply your retinol of choice.
As we mentioned earlier, retinol isn’t just something you start applying every day — your skin has to build up a tolerance. After choosing the right product for your unique skin type, we recommend easing into the process. Start by applying retinol once a week, then work your way up to twice, and then three times a week to minimize any potential redness or irritation.
Done correctly and consistently, this ingredient can drastically improve your skin over just a few months.
When you hear people talking about how retinol literally saved their skin from fine lines and adult acne, they’re not kidding. Thanks to its unique, skin-boosting properties, this chemical compound can help turn your skin around for the better. Here’s how the right retinol can transform your skin.
If you’re suffering from bumpy, textured, or acne-ridden skin, look no further. After a few months of using this wonder ingredient, you’ll find yourself with smoother, more radiant skin than ever. For a great beginner treatment that you can slowly build up over time, try Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream ($84).
This fragrance-free option is perfect for pre-bedtime application. It has 20% more Retinol 24 hydrating complex than the original Base Retinol24, so it packs an even bigger punch when it comes to wrinkles and fine lines.
One of the biggest reasons people love this skincare ingredient is its powerful anti-aging properties. When used consistently over time, it can reduce the appearance of the fine lines and wrinkles you already have and actually help prevent new ones from forming! For extra anti-aging goodness, we love L’Oréal Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($27.99).
This day cream works well to plump your skin while protecting it. That’s because it’s enriched with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid for a lifting effect. Plus, it has micro-pearlescent agents that help balance skin tone.
Contrary to popular belief, retinoids actually boost your skin’s ability to retain moisture. For sensitive skin types, though, we recommend trying a formula specifically made for dry and sensitive skin, like RoC Correxion Sensitive Night Cream ($19.99).
Arvesa Retinol Cream contains collagen and hyaluronic acid to reduce fine lines and smooth wrinkles while hydrating your skin. It’s designed to give you softer and smoother skin while helping to lift and firm, giving you a more youthful appearance.
Retinol comes in a variety of strengths, so you may experience a bout of irritation or redness at first. This is normal! This ingredient can take around three months to actually start showing visible signs of progress, so it’s important to stick with it regularly and not get put off if you experience slight irritation.
We recommend starting your retinol regimen by slowly building it up from once a week to twice and beyond over a couple of months. This is not a magical, overnight product, but its long-term effects are well worth the patience. While many retinol creams already have a moisturizer built into them, you can consider adding an actual moisturizer to your routine if you find your skin is overly dry or sensitive. You can apply it before the retinol or after, or both if you find that works best for you. One moisturizer that’s gotten great feedback when used in conjunction with retinol is Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Moisturizer. If you want to look around for other options, try to find one with glycerin or hyaluronic acid as a primary ingredient. They’ll give you the best results without compromising the efficacy of the retinol itself.