While introducing retinol into your beauty routine might seem intimidating, it’s actually relatively simple as long as you follow a few simple steps!
Apply at Night
Retinol should always be applied at night. It’s especially sensitive to light, which is why it’s kept in dark packaging or packaging that doesn’t let any light through. In order to avoid unnecessary sun damage, only ever apply retinol before you go to bed.
One of the most common mistakes people make when starting to use retinol is using it every single night. For many people, that’s far too often, especially as your skin adjusts! To acclimate your skin to the retinol, start using it twice a week (every three days) in the evenings. If you aren’t experiencing any redness or flakiness the next day, you can bump it up to every other day—and then even every day if your skin can handle it.
Use Pea-Size Amount
Another common mistake people make is to use way too much product. With retinol, a little goes a long way, so you really only need a pea-sized amount to cover your entire face!
Mix It Up
One tip to help your skin adjust to retinol is to mix your retinol with your face moisturizer and then apply it to your skin. This allows the retinol to be a little gentler on your skin, which is great if you have sensitive skin. Over time, you could transition to applying the retinol directly to your skin with no moisturizer. Another option is to first apply your moisturizer as a barrier to your face, and then apply your retinol on top of that.
As you start using retinol and slowly increase how often you use it, you should monitor how dry and flaky your skin gets. That is often one of the side effects of retinol, especially in the first few weeks. As your skin acclimates to the treatment, you will notice the redness and flakiness decrease, which is a sign that you can increase the frequency of application if you so desire.
Give it Time
Retinol is not an overnight solution to your skin concerns. In fact, you likely won’t see any major results for 12 weeks, which is the amount of time typically recommended to consistently use the product. Retinol will give you great results over time, so don’t give up if you don’t see results in the first week!