The Rules of Retinol

Lately, a lot of focus in the beauty world has been on retinol, and for good reason. Retinol is a skin care ingredient that actually produces new, healthier skin by removing the dull outer layer. This removal process actually kick-starts collagen and elasticity production, resulting in smoother, bouncier skin. Retinol’s removal process also helps clear up acne by removing the dead skin cells and excess oil.

So what’s the issue? Why are we all not using retinol every day and night? Well, retinol is an intense ingredient that can leave your skin feeling raw, looking red, and super sensitive. The effects can be intensified depending on the type of retinol used too. Never fear! The CGS Team is here to share a few rules to live by when it comes to using retinol skin care products. Follow these rules and you will reap the full benefit of the ingredient, with minimal side effects.

Rule #1: Start Slow

Because retinol can leave your skin burning, flaking, and extremely red, proceed with caution. Start by using your product every other day for two weeks. If you’re skin starts freaking out, switch to every three nights. As your skin acclimates to the product, start increasing use. Ultimately using every night.

Rule #2: Skip the Mornings

Once your skin becomes acclimated to the retinol, why not use it as much as possible to reap all the benefit, right? Wrong! Actually, most forms of retinol have been tested to be useless when sunlight hits your face. Keep using your SPF in the mornings and stick to retinol at night.

Rule #3: Use on Clean, Dry Skin

When testing retinol on damp skin, the ingredient was sucked into the skin too quickly. This resulted in immediate irritation. Blend it onto clean, dry skin before using any other products, says dermatologist Joel Schlessinger.

Rule #4: Avoid Sensitive Areas

Unless your product is designed for the eye area, avoid using retinol there. The skin is already sensitive and an intense ingredient like retinol can do some serious damage. Also avoid using on the lips and brow bones. These are also sensitive areas that can have a painful reaction.

Rule #5: Skip the Exfoliation

When using retinol, skip the chemical peels and exfoliants. Glycolic acid and alpha hydroxyl acids, when mixed with retinol, can seriously strip your skin.

Rule #6: Add a Layer of Moisturizer

While retinol may seem strong enough to work on its own, it can dry your skin out. Using a mild or oil-based moisturizer after applying retinol can help your skin recover from dryness.

Related: 5 Tips for Radiant Skin

To get the full benefits of retinol, it’s important to use it as instructed. Over-use or under-use can leave you skimped of the potential of the product. Follow the tips above, and you should be good to go! Do you use any retinol-based products? What experiences have you had with retinol? Leave a comment below to share your tips and experiences!

-The CGS Team

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