Retinol, a divine anti-ageing ingredient, can be tricky to use. Since it encapsulates a potent pool of nutrients, it has been highly revered as a skin-boosting hero to reverse the signs of ageing, combat pigmentation issues, and repair the complexion. However, it can be detrimental to the skin if applied incorrectly. That said, here’s the complete lowdown on retinol to understand where exactly does it fit in your beauty regime and help you to reap the full rewards of this super ingredient.


So, What Is Retinol?

As a derivative of vitamin A, retinol, or also known as retinoids, is highly prized for its anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Used topically and orally, it has been proven to reverse the signs of ageing by minimising the appearance of fine lines and reduce pigmentation issues as well as acne. One of the most effective anti-ageing ingredients in skincare, retinol has indeed demonstrated a perfect track record in boosting cell regeneration to provide divine results for the skin.


How Does Retinol Work?

By stimulating the renewal rate of skin cells within the layers of the skin, it fortifies the skin’s natural barriers and keeps free radicals at bay. This helps to prevent the breakdown of elastin and collagen in the dermis, which ultimately leaves the skin looking youthful and revitalised. Once applied on the skin, it works hand in hand with the other skin-enhancing ingredients within your skincare product to significantly reduce skin woes and greatly improve the skin.

It also sloughs away dead skin cells to make way for a firmer, healthier complexion by eliminating dullness and roughness from the skin. With prolonged usage of retinol, you will definitely start to see a renewed radiance within your complexion that feels smooth and supple to the touch.


Are There Any Risks?

As retinol is a potent ingredient, there are certain side effects that come with incorporating it in your beauty regime. Individuals with sensitive skin that are prone to irritation may find that retinol can exacerbate redness and dryness within their complexion. However, this does not mean that you should completely avoid retinol if your skin is sensitive. Speak with a professional or dermatologist beforehand if you are seriously considering to use retinol-based skincare products.

Since retinol is known to deeply stimulate the skin’s natural repair abilities, it can also over-exfoliate the skin and give way to skin irritation. That said, your dermatologist might recommend you to use products that are formulated with a lower dosage of retinol so that your skin can get used to it. Gradually easing your skin into the realm of retinoids can minimise sensitivity, prevent flaking, and still allow your visage to reap the wonderful anti-ageing benefits.


How Often Should You Use It?

If you are new to the world of retinol, you should start by using retinol-based skincare products just once a week and gradually build it up. Slowly introducing your skin to this potent ingredient allows the dermis to get used to it without leading to any potential skin irritation or detrimental side effects. If you are unsure, do feel free to speak with your dermatologist to find out which types of retinol-based products are suitable for your skin type. You would not want to risk damaging your skin by going ham with retinoids.

On top of that, you should only apply retinol on your skin at night as it can increase your skin’s vulnerability to UV rays. That said, always apply sunscreen in the day to protect your skin from the harmful effects of sun damage if you are not already doing that. Look towards sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher to keep pigmentation and sunburns at bay.

Also, do apply retinoids after toners or serums and right before slathering on any rich moisturisers or creams. Minimise your skincare routine to avoid overwhelming your skin with active ingredients as retinol is already a very powerful ingredient.


What Should You Do When Using Retinol?

Before you start incorporating retinol in your skincare routine, always remember to choose the right formulation for your skin type. Some retinoids can be very strong and others can be mild. All of these retinol-based products are specially designed to suit the needs of various skin types, which range from sensitive, oily, acne-prone, combination, and normal. In fact, anyone can use retinol, but it all depends on choosing the right one for your skin’s needs. For starters, individuals with sensitive skin can look towards retinyl palmitate, while retinaldehyde works best for normal skin types.

On the other hand, try not to apply too much retinol on your skin as just a little pea-sized amount goes a long way. Since it is a highly concentrated active ingredient, keeping your skincare routine simple can actually do your skin more good than a comprehensive one with too many steps. Having established that, try to steer clear of exfoliants, peels, or acidic skincare products when using retinol to prevent over-exfoliating and harming your precious skin.