Want To Add Retinol To Your Skincare Routine? Here’s Where To Start.

Want To Add Retinol To Your Skincare Routine? Here’s Where To Start.

Magic products. Secret serums. Glass skin in a bottle. We’ve all heard the claims of skincare brands that promise to solve all of our skin’s needs with just one product added to our rotation. And while it’s easy to veer into “product junkie” territory when trying to find the right creams or serums to correct your skin’s needs, over time, it can become frustrating when you still don’t see results.

But if there’s one skincare ingredient that can deliver an all-in-one solution to most skincare concerns, it’s retinol.

What Is Retinol?

As the darling of the skincare space, retinol is a vitamin-A derivative that is used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin texture, increase collagen production, and enhance cell turnover, leading to smoother and more youthful-looking skin.

How Does Retinol Work? 

Retinol, which is commonly found in creams, serums, and other skincare formulations, works in several ways that benefit the skin. It promotes cellular turnover by encouraging the removal of old skin cells and the production of new, healthier ones, improving skin texture and reducing fine lines. Additionally, retinol stimulates collagen production, which combats wrinkled skin and helps to unclog pores, making it an effective ingredient to use against acne and enlarged pores.

Because the body can not produce vitamin A on its own, it needs to be provided through dietary intake and topical application to the skin via skincare products.

How To Start Using Retinol

Because retinol is an active skincare ingredient, it’s important to start adding it into your skincare routine gradually and taking note of your skin’s sensitivity and how your skin responds to it. If you're new to retinol, it's advised to begin with a lower concentration (at least 0.25% retinol) and allow your skin to acclimate by starting once a week or every other night.

As your skin becomes more accustomed to retinol over time, you can then gradually increase the frequency. After a few weeks, you may be able to use it every night, but some people may find that using it every other night or a few times a week is sufficient.

Always listen to your skin and pay close attention to how your skin reacts to the usage of retinol. Experiencing dryness, redness, flaking, or irritation while using retinol is normal, but it could be a sign that you may be using retinol too often or at too high a concentration. While it can be frustrating to go through the trial-and-error phase of using retinol, adjusting the frequency of use or switching to a milder formulation can yield the best results while minimizing potential side effects.

And, of course, always use sunscreen.

To get you started on your retinol journey, here are some of the best beginner-friendly retinol serums and creams to try out for yourself:

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Featured image by Renata Angerami/Getty Images

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