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Retinol for skin

Retinol for Skin: Navigating the Top 9 Mistakes in Your Skincare Routine

Did you know that dermatologists view retinol for skin as a miracle anti-aging ingredient? Retinol, a popular derivative of vitamin A, is an essential component in anti-aging creams and serums. From pore-clearing, texture-improving, dark spots elimination, and fine-lines reduction, the list of benefits is impressive and long.

It's no secret that retinol is an integral part of the anti-aging wish-list. If you visit a dermatologist in hopes of commencing a routine to delay aging signs onset, he/she will most probably suggest using retinol. But, a plethora of people aren’t sure how to use it for best results and it’s easy to run into trouble and impair the skin barrier.

If you are following a skincare routine but don't see good results, you're probably unconsciously making a few mistakes. With retinol, the amount you apply matters! Excessive use can lead to dry, red, and irritated skin. Well, the good news is that the retinol transition does not have to be miserable—not if you do it in the appropriate way.

In this blog post, know how to get the most out of Retinol and evade making common blunders.

What Is Retinol?

What Is Retinol

So, what exactly is Retinol? Vitamin A has several derivatives of which one of the groups is Retinoid. But, the one that is best for your skin is Retinol that falls under the category of Retinoid.

Touted as one of the most tolerable types of Retinoid, this form of vitamin A is usually spotted in over-the-counter products.

How Does Retinol Work On The Skin?

The molecules of fibrous protein collagen are tightly arranged to create long, thin fibrils that hold skin cells to one another. This is how collagen gives your skin strength and maintains its firmness.

As you age, the skin’s collagen production reduces due to external aggressors such as stress, UV rays, pollution, and poor diet. This accelerates the aging process.

Retinol promotes collagen synthesis, increases skin cell proliferation, removes dead skin cells, improves overall skin tone, and slows down aging.

Retinol for Skin Benefits

What is retinol used for? Why is it so much loved? Here's the answer! Retinol skin benefits are many! This miracle superhero could address your pesky skin concerns. It:

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Accelerates skin cell turnover
  • Boosts production of collagen and new skin cell growth
  • Fades sun spots, hyperpigmentation, age spots
  • Improves skin texture
  • Minimizes breakouts
  • Unclog pores

Seek for skin care products with a low concentration of Retinol. A wonderful retinol product to begin with is 0.4% retinol serum that aims to diminish wrinkles and fine lines. You can also try retinol creams available in the market.

Keep reading to know ways to reap retinol benefits and also understand possible reasons why it might not have worked.

Common Retinol Mistakes You Should Stop Making

When using retinol, you require immense precision. In the world of skin care, there is usually plenty of advice coming from every direction. Below are the top 9 mistakes you may make when encompassing retinol into your skin care routine, particularly if it is your first time experimenting with it.

1. Applying Too Much Of It

Retinol Overuse

It's exhilarating to use a product that has positive effects and easy to get carried away slathering it on your skin. But, a little is good to see visible results on the skin. You don't require too much! It will not make it work faster. Rather, it will raise the chances of irritation and severe dryness. So, just stick to a pea-sized portion and apply it in tiny dots!

2. Using It In The AM

Not only is the amount of retinol used is crucial, but when you use it is also pivotal. Most products for skin care are intended for morning use. But, retinol is not one of them. Light and Retinol are incompatible and do not go hand in hand.

When exposed to direct sunlight, this vitamin A derivative is readily broken down. As a result, it can make your skin more prone to sunburns and sun damage. If you desire retinol to do wonders for your skin, it is best to apply it at night — just prior to going to bed. Retinol offers your skin an extra boost at night when your skin is already working to rejuvenate itself.

3. Not Applying Sunscreen


It is crucial to always wear sunscreen and even more important when using retinol. As skin cell turnover is being promoted, the skin below is highly sensitive to sun exposure. Now that the skin is healing, ascertain that you’re guarding it. Be sure to wind up your AM routine with a sunblock.

4. Not Using Moisturizer Right After


Your skin may get dry after using retinol. If irritation and dryness are your big retinol woes, pairing retinol with a good moisturizer makes an ideal combo.

Moisturize before applying retinol. This will not interfere with absorption of retinol into the skin. Then, add another layer of moisturizer on the top.

5. Using A Strong Cleanser

If you use Retinol at night, a cleanser with gritty particles or one with a high concentration of chemical exfoliators such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta hydroxy acids (BHA) won't be helpful. Why? Because such harsh cleansers may disrupt the skin's pH.

This will trigger your skin to become even more inflamed and dry if you use retinol afterwards. Use a gentle cleanser, as per your skin type.

6. Using It On Damp Skin

If you use it on damp or even wet skin, there is a higher chance that you will experience irritation. So, make it a point to pat dry your face. Wait for a few minutes. Then apply Retinol when your face is absolutely dry. Your anti-aging superhero works best without water.

7. Using It Too Frequently

Using Retinol frequently will impair your skin barrier. So, start using Retinol just twice per week. Increase it to three times per week, and gradually go towards using it on alternate nights.

8. Not Patch Testing

Patch Test For Retinol

It's always a great idea to perform a patch test prior to trying a novel product to determine if it's suitable for your skin type. Each one of us has a unique skin. So, always do patch tests before using Retinol to avoid the purge.

9. Not Being Consistent With Usage

You may probably halt using retinol at the first sign of adverse effects. This is a common mistake. Some of you may have used retinol for a week. However, the irritation drove you super-crazy. So, you ceased using it for a few weeks, then tried again, and so on! Hence, the problem is, not being consistent!

While it's always a good idea to talk to your dermatologist if you have any concerns about retinol side effects, but you should always expect at least some dryness, tightness, peeling, and redness when using it.

Most of the time, that dryness goes away after consistent use as your skin builds tolerance for it over time. Flaking and little dryness are OK and part of the process. Your skin will have to go through redness and peeling again if you stop using it during this adjustment stage and resume use after a few months.

Therefore, you need to be consistent while using Retinol. Also, do not drop it in the middle of the procedure. Give it some time to show results.

Take Away!

When it comes to retinol, a little bit goes a long way! This skincare power player is one of the most valuable ingredients in your arsenal to retard the aging process. Given retinol’s amazing benefits, it is quite a favorite among dermatologists.

It is renowned for coming to the rescue when faced with skin concerns like acne breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and skin discoloration. For best results, apply a pea size of retinol. If used without considering skin sensitivity, retinol could be irritating.

Watch out for how your skin reacts and accordingly adjust the frequency of use. Your skin requires time to adjust and get accustomed to using retinol. Just follow the above tips and tricks to ensure you’re using it effectively and see your skincare game transform for good!


1. Can retinol be used with niacinamide?

Yes! Pairing retinol with niacinamide is absolutely safe and can make the use of retinol easier. Also, Niacinamide aids to hydrate your skin, thus minimizing the risk of retinol-triggered irritation.

2. How To Use Retinol?

  • 1. Wash your face. Pat it dry.
  • 2. Apply retinol in a pea-sized amount.
  • 3. Gently massage and allow your skin to absorb it.
  • 4. Apply a moisturizer and finish off with sunscreen.

For best results, use retinol at night before you go to bed.

3. What happens if you use retinol too much?

Retinol is pretty powerful. So, if you are overusing it, you may experience dryness, irritation, peeling, itchiness, redness, and scaly patches.

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