How to Use Retinol as Told by Professionals

Retinol comes from Retinoids, a form of Vitamin A. Found in some of the best organic anti aging products, retinol causes the skin cells to regenerate at a much faster pace, visibly shrinks pores, limits oil production and exfoliates the skin to get rid of sagginess, discolorations, and other issues.

In other words, retinol face care products are nothing short of miracles – but, they have to be used properly. If care isn’t taken, retinol products can cause itchy rashes, seborrhoeic dryness, and a whole host of other unwanted conditions. So how do dermatologists recommend you use retinol face creams?

How to use Retinol cream

When Should You Start Using Retinol?

Retinol is a much-loved anti-aging skincare ingredient that works quite effectively for many people. However, just because it’s effective, doesn’t mean that you need to use it. Retinol isn’t for everyone, and therefore, it shouldn’t be considered as something that is a must! While some people’s skin can’t tolerate this extremely potent ingredient, others just don’t want to commit to including a complex ingredient to their skincare regimen.

For those who are truly motivated to use retinol to prevent aging signs, you should start using a retinol product starting in your mid to late 20s. Bear in mind that you should be using a moisturizing cream and sunscreen since your teen years. Retinol moisturizing creams, when used in the correct manner, are quite effective for those experiencing aging signs.

Best Skincare Products to Use with Retinol

If you are giving retinol a try for the first time or have overly-sensitive skin, you should avoid combining retinol with certain potentially irritating ingredients like beta or alpha hydroxyl acids or other scrubs and exfoliants. As per dermatologists, the best product to use with retinol is moisturizing cream. A moisturizer contains hydrating properties that protects your skin and reduces the risk of skin irritation from retinol. The best solution for you would be to opt for a retinol moisturizer cream like the 0.5% retinol moisturizer by ML Delicate Beauty!

Woman applying cream on her face - ML Delicate Beauty

If you are keen on using active ingredients, such as a Vitamin C skincare Products, you should consider using them at a different time of the day. Never use active ingredients along with retinol-based products. You should use your anti-aging vitamin C serum during the day to combat damage caused by free radicals whereas you should apply retinol and peptides during your nighttime skincare routine.

How to Use Retinol Cream

Start Slow!

Dermatologists recommend using retinol containing anti wrinkle serums and creams only once or twice a week for the first month or so. You have to get your skin used to this super potent ingredient, and the best way to see its suitability is to start slow. Ideally, it is best used only 2 – 3 times a week.

Woman checking out her skin - ML Delicate Beauty

Use Only at Night

It turns out that retinol is photolabile. This means that it breaks down when exposed to the light of the sun. Therefore, wearing an anti aging retinol moisturizer cream during the day time won’t be of much help.

Be Stingy – Literally

Retinol face creams are pretty strong, so it’s highly recommended you start with a small, pea-sized amount in the beginning. If your skin is prone to skin conditions, a little really goes a long way – after a while, when your skin has settled, you can increase the amount that you use.

Use Buffers

One of the most popular ways to incorporate a natural retinol face cream in your skin regiment is to sandwich the retinol application between a basic moisturizer. So apply your usual moisturizer, top it off with a little bit of retinol, and then finish with the first moisturizer.

Start Wearing Sunscreen When You Begin Using Retinol

Retinol makes your skin cells turn over quite rapidly, thereby increasing your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. It’s highly recommended that you wear sunscreen before going out into the sun to avoid UV damage, thus canceling out the effects of retinol – and to protect your skin, of course!

woman wearing pajamas applying cream on her face - ML Delicate Beauty

Stop Using Retinol If…

You’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive. Retinol can harm the fetus, and a high dose of Vitamin A can cause birth problems and affect fetal health.

How to Choose the Correct Retinoid?

Retinol is just one of the various types of retinoids. Retinol is the strongest and most tolerable vitamin A derivative that is found in over-the-counter-products. If you’re wondering about what type of retinol and how much you should be using, you should contact your dermatologist to seek help.

Depending on your skin type and primary skin concern, your dermatologist will suggest a retinol product that will work fast and effectively on your skin. You don’t have to worry too much in this regard because despite the kind of retinoid you choose or are recommended, know that all of them are effective in the long-run.

Choosing the correct retinoid for your skincare needs involves understanding the different types available and considering your skin's sensitivity and goals. Retinoids vary in strength, with retinol being a milder over-the-counter option and tretinoin, a stronger prescription variant. For beginners or those with sensitive skin, starting with a low concentration of retinol (such as 0.25% to 0.5%) is advisable to minimize irritation.

Gradually, one can increase the strength or switch to a prescription retinoid for more pronounced effects. It's also important to consider the formulation—serums, creams, or gels—and choose one that suits your skin type. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized advice, especially if you are targeting specific concerns like severe acne or deep wrinkles.

When Can You Expect to See Results?

Just like any other skincare product or routine, consistency is the key to see obvious results. As magical of an ingredient as retinol is, it doesn’t instantly deliver visible results. Therefore, you will have to be quite patient for a while after you begin using skincare products with retinol. It will take about two to four months to notice any changes in the texture of your skin. Moreover, as you keep using a suitable retinol product, you will notice more and more positive changes in your skin’s appearance.

When using retinol, a popular and effective ingredient in skincare for anti-aging and acne treatment, patience and consistency are key. Typically, users may start to notice improvements in skin texture and tone within a few weeks, but more significant changes, such as a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, can take several months to become evident.

It's important to remember that skin cell turnover and collagen production, processes stimulated by retinol, take time. Initial side effects like dryness or mild irritation are common, but these usually subside as the skin adjusts to the product. For the best results, retinol should be used continuously and as directed, and its efficacy is often fully apparent after consistent use for three to six months.

Are you excited to try retinol? Tell us below! In the meantime, check out this super cool natural retinol face cream!



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  3. Why You Need a Retinol Moisturizer Now!
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About Author:
Christine Wright | Beauty Expert | Esthetician | Blogger
Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.
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Opinions expressed are those of the writer.



It is always better to take time to get the right skincare product for your face. Do not rush on making a decision. It seems like you are making the right choice and doing the right thing.

Christine Wright September 09, 2019

I always get a moisturizer with sunscreen in it already so I don’t have to worry about another step in my skincare routine. My motto is to make it as short as possible so I don’t get lazy and just skip it.

Tracy September 09, 2019

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