If there’s one product that is universally accepted and recommended, specifically for anti-aging, no debate, no comparison, that would be Retinol. This leading youth preserver is a Vitamin A derivative that works to give an even complexion, refine skin texture, and smooth out wrinkle and fine lines through increased cell regeneration. It’s even believed to help banish some forms of acne and acne scars.
However, retinol is not weak and most retinol formulations tend to be strong and could leave users with sensitive skin feeling like they’ve made a mistake. Fret not, retinol can be a staple in everyone’s skincare regimen, so long as you’re not pregnant, you can definitely start introducing this miracle ingredient into your anti-aging skincare.
Here’s how you can incorporate retinol into your delicate skin without suffering from redness, extreme dryness and flakiness, or even itchy skin.
- Use just a pea-size or few drops
Whether you’re using a serum or a cream, retinol is a potent ingredient in skincare and you only need a very small amount per use. You don’t have to use 1oz serum bottle a week to see quick results. No, your skin won’t be happy, and you will see it. Use just a small quantity and for longer for best results and give your skin time to decode what’s happening. More is not better.
- Use at Night
To get the most out of retinol’s anti-aging power, it’s advisable to use it at night especially if you have sensitive skin or if you get sun exposure during the day. During the night or when you sleep, your body rests and your skin has all the time to repair and regenerate. Okay, this is not the reason why you use it at night.
This is why: Sunlight is said to deactivate or breakdown retinoic acid and renders it inactive. Using anti-wrinkle retinol serum and/or cream at night makes sure you get optimal benefits. Get retinol products packaged in opaque containers (e.g. frosted, amber, or airless bottles) to make sure your miracle ingredient remains effective.
- Alternate Use With Other Serums or Creams Throughout the Week
Regardless of the precautions you might take, your skin may still feel dry and appear red because retinol can cause dry skin. If your retinol cream is not moisturizing enough, alternate with a more hydrating and soothing moisturizer throughout the day to keep your skin nourished, hydrated and protected.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C and Rosehip, along with hydrators like Hyaluronic acid can be of help.
For the most sensitive skin types, you can also mix a little retinol serum or cream into your usual moisturizer or facial oil to buffer redness and irritation that retinol often causes.
- Use Sunscreen during the Day
I cannot stress this point enough. Whether you’re using retinol or not, sunscreen is one of the major and simplest ways you can protect your skin from premature wrinkles, creases and fine lines.
Using retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun so it’s crucial to use sunscreen. Do this religiously, and you will thank yourself someday.
- Be Gentle…Be Patient…and Take Little Breaks
Scrubbing and rubbing on your skin may make it more prone to irritation. Handle your skin with care. Use a soft face towel on your face, avoid abrasive scrubs that tear and hurt your skin, use a gentle cleanser or soap that won’t irritate or strip your skin of its natural oils, and apply your products gently with gentle presses for serums and soft circular upward motions for creams.
Take little breaks between retinol uses: Ease into it. You can use retinol 2-3 nights a week, alternating with other products in your skincare rituals. This rhythm gives your sensitive skin time to process and adjust without getting reactive or overwhelmed by the powerful ingredients.
Lastly, yes, retinol works but this does not happen overnight. It helps to have some patience along with realistic expectations. About 3-4 months, or 9-12 weeks, to be precise, is what it would take to really judge how retinol has helped your skin age less.
Well, there you have it. Five simple ways you can enjoy the anti-aging and anti-wrinkle benefits of retinol by adjusting your skincare regimen. Now you can use retinol serums and creams without irritating your sensitive skin. Go ye and try it!