How to Start Retinol in Your Skincare Routine

As a beauty blogger and skincare lover as well as a strong believer to age gracefully not surgically, I find Retinol is one of the key ingredients that help with keeping the skin looking fresh and young. If you don’t know what is Retinol – this is a vitamin A molecule that offers a slew of skin benefits including treating acne, improving the signs of aging (fine lines & wrinkles) and repairing sun damage but there are ways on when, and how to use this chemical ingredient the right way.

I think I started using it a little late but I am happy to say that it’s never too late for anything you want to start. I started experimenting with Retinol in my late 30s by limiting the use only during the winter time as I tried to use the ingredient when it’s the safest – least sun exposure, whereas if you’re neglecting how you expose your skin to the sun, it might reverse its effects. Here I am sharing some information including some myths I’ve learned as well as on how to start with retinol and product recommendations as a beginner.

Not all retinol is the same. Retinols and Retinoids are two different types. Retinols are much weaker than Retinoids. If you’ve never tried the ingredient before, it is essential to talk to your Physician or start with retinol which is easy to find over the beauty counters and probably very safe and gentle, especially if you know your skin and its needs.

Something I learned is that it is safe to use retinol under the eye area but try to use the least amount of product followed by a rich eye cream. Here is another myth that I learned you could use Retinol during the day but as retinol itself is sensitive to sunlight it will be less effective and as the skin adapts to the new retinol product it may burn skin as its adaption to the new routine. It just makes more sense to use it in your nighttime routine where its safe for the skin to get into the new routine and for the retinol to be more effective and wear sunscreen in the morning to help the skin ease its routine.

Here are a few things you need to remember as you start with Retinol you have to be careful of chemical exfoliants, you want to build your skin’s tolerance over time then you can add more acids to your routine (AHA -BHA) as it may and will add redness and sensitivity and dryness to the skin. It may not be smart to combine them in the beginning but as the skin strengthens, you can use both retinol and acids but at different times. I would recommend exfoliating in the morning or using acidic serums (Vitamin C, Glycolic, Salicylic Acid, etc) and using retinol at night or using each of them on alternate days. Retinols do cause peeling but that is only with a strong prescribed ingredient of retinoid.

Keeping in mind that retinol doesn’t show results immediately, it takes several weeks before you start to see improvements in the skin. If you’re starting new, make sure you start slowly using the least amount of product and build the skin’s tolerance over time plus always wear your sunscreen regardless of using retinol in your skincare routine.

I think it is really good to start in your early 30’s and slowly by using it once a week but never more than 3 times a week. It really helps with keeping the skin looking fresh, luminous, and young. I still haven’t tried the prescribed retinol (retinoid) but I’ve linked some of my favourite Retinol products I’ve used so far and been really good for my skin. You can find review posts for all of them individually such as Hello Results Wrinkle-Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-Cream, Skin Caviar Night Time Oil and Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Face Mask.

Shop My Favorites