When it comes to slowing the effects of the aging process, here’s the rule of thumb: Protect your skin during the day with a vitamin C serum and sunscreen and restore it at night with a quality retinol product.
We all know that RETINOL is the gold standard anti-aging ingredient. It helps firm the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, and evens out skin tone & texture while also helping to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Yes, it’s a powerhouse but retinol can also be quite irritating and make skin dry out, flake or peel. But there are ways to minimize these unwanted side effects and make your retinol work better so you can include this superstar ingredient in your skincare routine without any discomfort.
Retinol tips For Best Results
Retinol should be applied to skin at night after cleansing and toning and prior to moisturizer. I always use a creamy-rich night cream with ceramides and/or a sleeping mask (this one is my favorite) after my retinol to make sure my skin is well-hydrated! And avoid using additional active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) at the same time as retinol to protect your skin from potential irritation. You can use those on the days when you don’t use a retinol.
My skin naturally tends toward the drier side so I also use a hydrating facial serum first before retinol. This has dual benefits: It helps hydrate skin while also providing a buffer between the skin and retinol product (fun fact: dermatologists call this application technique the “sandwich method,” since you apply hydrating products both before and after using your retinol).
If you are new to retinol, start off slow by using it once or twice a week until your skin builds up a tolerance to retinol (which can take a few weeks or more depending on your skin’s sensitivity) and then eventually increase use to 4 to 5x a week. And for retinol beginners, it’s best to start with a cream or serum with a low concentration of retinol (0.05% to 0.1%) and then gradually move on to stronger options (with 0.5 to 1% retinol)
It typically takes about 3-4 months to start seeing results from retinol, so be patient! As with any skincare product, retinol only works if you use it consistently.
Not to mention, don’t forget to use a sunscreen every morning (whether it’s sunny or rainy!) to help protect skin from UV exposure. If you skip the sunscreen while using retinol in your routine, you’re undoing all the hard work retinol has done for your skin!
Now let’s talk about three new retinol serums that are effective yet gentle and will help you achieve firmer & smoother, younger looking skin!
Great for beginner retinol users, this serum contains 0.1% retinol paired with several vegan superfoods (like green tea, jojoba oil, and dandelion) to create a high-performance retinol serum that is gentle and less likely to cause irritation. This serum can be used as early as in your 20s.
With 22 nourishing actives including Rosehip oil, jojoba oil, peptides, Vitamin B3 and E, aloe vera, Squalane, Coenzyme Q10, green tea, glycerin and more, this is a well-rounded formula with anti-aging plus hydrating and antioxidant benefits.
It has a creamy, lightweight liquid texture that absorbs quickly leaving skin feeling smoother and lightly hydrated. The formula is vegan, cruelty-free and free of parabens and artificial fragrances. Also available at Amazon.com
This is an advanced retinol night serum that helps accelerate skin surface cell renewal to visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The fast-acting formula features 0.3% pure retinol that penetrates up to 15 surface layers deep into the skin and delivers visible improvement in fine lines in as little as 2 weeks.
To ensure maximum efficacy, its innovative packaging isolates a high concentration of pure retinol powder that’s mixed with a lightweight serum upon first use to create a fresh, highly concentrated formula. Take a look at this video below
- Flip the bottle upside down, remove the bottom cap and set aside.
- Open pouch, twist the retinol capsule onto the bottom of the bottle.
- Push the button down on the capsule to release pure retinol powder.
- Shake vigorously to fully mix into the serum.
- Remove and discard capsule, replace with original bottom cap.
Great for all skin types, this serum has a lightweight milky texture that glides on smoothly and absorbs fast. With continuous use, this retinol serum helps skin look renewed for a visibly smoother, more youthful appearance.
The A Method Pearls of Retinol ($104 – $124)
This serum has a special retinol delivery system that features micro-encapsulated “pearls” of All-Trans Retinol suspended in a uniquely hydrating formula that lessens any irritation associated with retinol use. It promotes healthy collagen production while visibly reducing the look of dark spots, uneven texture and discoloration caused by sun damage.
The serum base features hydrating ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, 24K Gold and several natural extracts that aid in moisture retention to avoid dryness and irritation.
– Micro-encapsulated All-Trans Retinol
– Purslane extract
– Chrysanthemum Indium Extract
– Hyaluronic Acid
How does it work? The pearls hold micro-encapsulated All-Trans retinol stable until mixing with the hydrating serum base when pumped through the dispenser.
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This serum has a very lightweight texture that’s hydrating and quick-absorbing with a soft powdery-dry finish. The micro-dose levels of retinol are non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.
The Pearls of Retinol serum is available in 0.5% and 1% strength which offers a systematic approach to building your skin’s strength and tolerance. For those new to retinol, The A Method suggests starting with the 0.5% and advancing to the 1% concentration to help get skin through the “retinol curve” with minimal irritation. Those who already use retinol regularly will see greatest benefits from the 1% concentration.
So, these are some of the new retinol serums I’m loving! And I hope the above mentioned retinol tips will help you reap the benefits of retinol without having to endure dry, flaking skin.
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