7 Ways to Apply Retinol Serum Correctly
Dermatologists recommend retinol as one of the best antiaging products on the market. It contains a generous amount of vitamin A, which benefits the skin in many ways besides reducing wrinkles. The serums increase skin cell turnover while boosting collagen production to help exfoliate. Unfortunately, only a few people know how to use retinol correctly, which can be detrimental to a skincare routine and skin health. There are a few rules you must stick to when using retinol to achieve results. Look at these seven practices you can incorporate to maximize results.
- Begin with Low Concentrations
When using retinol serum, begin with a 0.2% concentration. Retinol is very strong, and higher concentrations result in skin dryness. Lower concentrations also limit unexpected irritation. Increase the concentrations as your skin becomes more comfortable with the ingredient. To be on the safer side, consider using it in recommended amounts.
- Avoid Applying in the Morning
Retinol breaks down when exposed to sunlight for long hours. As a result, it reduces the effectiveness of vitamin A. It works better when applied at night before bed and tapping into the full effects. It can absorb easily into the skin through the night without washing it off. Create a nightly skincare routine to always apply retinol on schedule.
- Be Consistent with Slow Applications
The first days of applying retinol will cause rapid collagen production and cell turnover. As a result, it may show signs of peeling. Hence, consider applying it twice a week or after every two days to examine how retinol reacts with your skin. If it does not cause any significant side effects, use it again. As your skin acclimatizes, increase the application to daily use and stick to the evening skincare routine. However, if there are visible signs of reaction, it would be best to wait a week to try the retinol serum again.
- Apply on Dry Skin
Although moisturizing products should be applied on damp skin to lock in the actives, it is not advisable for retinol. Retinol is powerful and may cause dryness and irritation on moist skin. Wash your face to remove any oil and dirt on the face, then pat using a dry towel for complete dryness. Retinol works better on dry skin and does not require any boost.
- Use Little Amounts of Serum
When applying retinol serum, squeeze only a pea-sized amount on your fingertip and apply it on your skin lightly. Work the cream on the skin to cover the full face while avoiding the eye and mouth corners because it may irritate these areas. Using more retinol than necessary causes irritation, and you should avoid washing it off post-application.
- Combine with a Moisturizer
After applying retinol on your face, wait for it to dry before applying moisturizer. The vitamin A in retinol causes skin dryness. Using it with a moisturizer ensures your skin is hydrated and protected. Opting for a moisturizer with niacinamide is a great combination because it efficiently minimizes the side effects.
- Be Patient
You will likely see results a week or two after using alpha arbutin and retinol. To get better results, be patient and follow the nightly schedule to get desirable results. Visible results will show at around 12 weeks when the serum is used consistently within recommended limits. Even if results show later, be patient and use it over a few months.
One basic rule of using retinol is avoiding ingredient combinations that can be potentially irritating. For example, avoid AHAs and BHAs because they work on the skin similarly to retinol and can cause extreme dryness and peeling. Also, avoid using vitamin C and retinol together because it may tamper with the potency. If you must use both products, do it at different times of the day, vitamin C in the morning and retinol in the evening.