6 Essential Things to Know Before Using Retinol

Retinol, often touted as the gold standard of skincare ingredients, has earned its reputation for good reason. This derivative of vitamin A has the power to transform your skin, but it's essential to use it wisely. Before you dive into incorporating retinol into your skincare routine, here are six essential things you should know.

1. Understand What Retinol Is

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is used in skincare products for its remarkable anti-aging and skin-renewing properties. It has the ability to stimulate collagen production, promote skin cell turnover, and address a range of skin concerns, from fine lines and wrinkles to uneven skin tone and acne. Before you start using retinol, it's crucial to have a basic understanding of what it is and what it can do for your skin.

What are the Benefits of Retinol?

  • Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Helps prevent breakouts
  • Plumps skin
  • Assist in collagen production
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Leaves skin bright and glowy
  • Boosts the effects of hydroxy acid peels 

2. Start Slowly with Lower Concentrations

It is exciting using a product that has proven results and easy to get carried away slathering it on the skin, but remember, low and slow is the go. One of the most common mistakes people make when starting with retinol is using a high concentration product right away, and/or diving right in to applying it every night. This can lead to irritation, discomfort and an impaired skin barrier. It's best to begin with lower concentrations, we suggest 0.2% or 0.5%, and gradually increase the strength as your skin becomes more accustomed to it. Starting slowly allows your skin to build tolerance and minimises the risk of side effects.

The Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils is a great option as the botanical oils ensure skin is deeply nourished, lessening the chance of irritation, redness or peeling. Choose from the least potent edition which is 0.2% and work your way up through 0.5%, 0.75% to the 1%. Or simply start where you feel your skin is ready.

Shop Pure Retinol in Luxurious Plant Oils



Keep reading: Which Retinol Percentage is Right For Me?

3. Expect Some Initial Side Effects

While the goal is to limit potential side-effects, when you first start using retinol, it's normal to experience some changes as your skin gets used to this powerful active. Side-effects can include redness, dryness, flakiness, and even a mild burning or stinging sensation. Be patient, ensure you’re using adequate skin barrier supporting products and resist the urge to overuse retinol, as this can exacerbate these side effects.

Keep reading:  The Do's and Don’ts of Skin Barrier Repair


4. Use it at Night and Prioritise Sun Protection

Retinol is best applied at night as it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Sunscreen is an absolute non-negotiable when using retinol. Exposure to UV rays without proper protection can lead to increased skin damage, so make sunscreen a part of your daily routine to protect your skin from potential harm. You’re working hard to achieve beautiful skin, why not protect it?

The Rebalancing Vitamin A Night Cream is a dedicated do-it-all night cream that has both anti-ageing and acne-regulating benefits. Containing the two forms of Vitamin A; retinal and retinol. Ceramides, Jojoba Oil, Ethyl Linoleate, Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid as well as Green Tea to help calm stressed skin and relieve irritation.

Shop Rebalancing Night Cream 


5. Be Mindful of Product Pairings

Some skincare products don't play well with retinol. Avoid using products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or other strong active ingredients on the same nights as retinol. Mixing these potent ingredients can increase the risk of irritation. Instead, consider using them on alternating nights or reintroduce once your skin has grown accustomed to your new routine.

Instead, pair retinol with hydrating, nourishing products. The Deep Hydration Moisture Cream is our favourite skin barrier protection product to use alongside retinol. Formulated with a triple moisturising system specifically to help strengthen and repair the skin moisture barrier to ensure skin is in tip-top shape and can handle what retinol is putting down.


Keep reading; Benefits of Vitamin C and Retinol

6. Patience Is Key

Results with retinol take time. Don't expect overnight miracles. It can take several weeks to months of consistent use to see noticeable improvements in your skin. Be patient and stick to your routine. The long-term benefits of retinol are well worth the wait.

The Final Word On Using Retinol

Retinol can be a game-changer for your skincare routine, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Before incorporating it into your regimen, take the time to understand what retinol is, start slowly with lower concentrations, and be prepared for some initial side effects. Remember to use it at night, prioritise sun protection, and be mindful of product pairings. Most importantly, be patient and consistent with your retinol use, and you'll likely discover the remarkable benefits it can bring to your skin over time.


Shop all Retinol products

Keep reading: What is “Skin Cycling” and how to do it
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