• 06/28/2021

How to Use Retinol for the Best Results


Revivalist is a reader-supported endeavor and our posts may contain affiliate links. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Chasing the latest skin care trends can feel exhausting, especially if you’re not sure which one will work. Many people have recently started posting about using retinol cream every day. Is it the right fad for your beauty goals? This guide explains how to use retinol for the best results, so you don’t have to try something new without knowing exactly why it’s so great for your skin.

What Is Retinol?

There are hundreds of skin care products in your local stores, so you might wonder which will be most effective for you. Specific ingredients blur together into colorful packages with catchy slogans, but retinol is different. It’s a retinoid, which are vitamin A derivatives that experts convert from retinoic acid into an ingredient that’s a powerful antioxidant.

Retinol has the same function, but it’s not as strong. It doesn’t require a prescription, so you can get it through over-the-counter products.

What Are the Benefits of Retinol?

There are a few main benefits to using retinol every day. It gently exfoliates sensitive skin and encourages cellular regeneration to create a natural glow. While it keeps your skin young and healthy, it also prevents wrinkles, sun spots and an uneven complexion.

It is the perfect ingredient if you want to prepare for your wedding or fight oncoming wrinkles and sagging skin. You won’t have to worry about any uncomfortable reactions if you have dry or sensitive skin, which is a major win for people who struggle to find skin care products that work with their bodies.

How to Apply Retinol

After arriving home with your new cream, learn how to apply it correctly to get the best results. Applying it without using these steps could make it less effective or even stop its effects altogether.

Step 1: Prepare Your Face

Wash your face with whatever face wash you prefer. Carefully pat your skin to avoid irritating it or creating microscopic scratches.

Step 2: Let Your Skin Dry

Even after patting your skin dry, it might remain damp. Give your face a minute or two to dry completely. Wet skin can’t absorb retinol as well. Allowing your skin to dry is a secret normally reserved for people who check into a wellness retreat or class, so get ahead of the game by fanning your face before proceeding to step three.

Step 3: Move Up and Out

Place a pea-sized dollop of cream on your fingertip and massage it into your skin. Press it up and out towards your hairline. You’ll encourage healthy blood circulation that aids in the absorption of beauty products.

Step 4: Finish With Moisturizer

It’s also good to finish your application with a moisturizer. If there’s any dry skin left, the moisturizer will bring it back to life so it can get the most use from the retinol. It’s best to do this at the end of your beauty routine so you can indulge in your favorite face masks without taking away the possible results of your new retinol cream.

Step 5: Add Light Sunscreen

If you want to apply retinol in the morning, add a light sunscreen to your face before leaving home. Any product that stimulates new cell growth makes your skin more sensitive to the sun, resulting in faster and more severe burns.

How Often to Use Retinol

You never know how your skin might react to a new product, so use retinol once or twice during your first week with it. Watch your skin closely for redness or breakouts and adjust your routine as necessary. If everything goes well, you can use it once a day in either your morning or evening beauty routine.

What to Expect from Retinol Use

Retinol works best on the cellular level, so you may not see results immediately. It needs time to change your skin enough to see results with the human eye. Give it a few weeks of regular use before expecting any extra softness or a new glow.

Potential Risks of Applying Retinol

Over-the-counter products will have fewer side effects of prescription retinoids because it’s not as strong. Still, you could experience certain results if retinol isn’t right for your skin type.

People with extra dry skin may only use retinol once a week. It can result in skin thinning, creating drier patches or redness. You may also start getting sunburns across your face if you apply retinol in the morning without using sunscreen before leaving home.

Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you’re unsure about using retinol. They can point to your health history if there are concerning patterns that might point you towards more gentle lotions.

Upgrade Your Skin Care Routine

Anyone can use retinol for the best results, but only if you know how to apply it and what you can expect. If you’re aware of potential side effects and discuss any questions with your doctor, you could use retinol to improve your beauty routine and make your skin healthier.

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

We would love to connect deeper with you!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.