If you’re the average TikTik user in 2021, you’ve most likely heard of Retinol and all the wonders it can do.
Both skincare enthusiasts and licensed dermatologists have jumped on the Content Creator bandwagon, filming videos and trends all across TikTok and making the community real interested in this little skincare product.
From what is it, to when and where to apply and use it – grrrl, we’ve got you covered!
The thing is, this amazing little ingredient can genuinely make the biggest difference in your skincare routine. And we know you’ve heard all about the brightening, zit-eliminating, and anti-ageing benefits this little guy offers, but we’re here to break it all down in bullet points. So, sit back, get comfy and get ready to learn a bit more about the wonders of Retinol.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is a subset of Retinoid, which is made from Vitamin A. Since Vitamin A is so good for the skin, it was once used as a zit and acne treatment.
You’ve most likely heard this from your mom, dermatologist, or your average sixth-grade Biology class teacher, but after you hit 30, regeneration of your skin cells drastically slows down. And although ageing is inevitable, certain products are made to help you age more “gracefully”.
So, when push comes to shove, Retinol is there to pick up where your cells naturally left off. Additionally, once a few drops are applied to the skin, the product sinks deep into it, helping your cells reproduce faster, leaving your skin fresh and radiant.
In true internet fashion, here are just some of the best Retinol products dermatologists and beauty influencers across the web swear by.
- The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane – the most affordable and popular one from the bunch, this little guy sure has made a name for himself in the last year or so.
- Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair 1% – a great addition to your skincare routine, where the 0.5% version is available as well!
- Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream – possibly the strongest one from the bunch, specifically created to avoid and help with irritated skin. Perhaps it’s best to avoid this guy if your skin is sensitive and prone to acne.
- CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum – another internet and TikTok star in the skincare realm, this one can seriously help your skin if it’s struggling with acne and acne scarring!
Speaking of radiance, Retinol and Vitamin C are a match made in skincare heaven. If you’ve ever wondered when to apply retinol in your skincare routine, we’ve got you covered! When it comes to these two products, make sure you are applying the Vitamin C of your choice in the morning, and Retinol at night.
The reason behind this very specific application timeframe is due to the different PH levels of both products.
In skincare theory, you can technically apply one now, the other 3o minutes later, that works too. Just make sure you are applying them separately, so the mixture of ingredients doesn’t do more harm than good. But overall, this is how to use Retinol and Vitamin C together, without doing any excess damage to your skin.
Additionally, here are some of the best Vitamin C products the market currently has to offer:
- Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum – this vitamin C derivative helps with pigmentation, brightens, and helps with acne treatment.
- Joanna Vargas Rescue Serum – a great yet minimalistic serum that also helps brighten the face, all while increasing its collagen levels!
- The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% – say bye-bye to dark spots and pigmentation after using this product. The Ordinary truly made a name for itself with its amazing product, with this one being on top!
Now that we’ve covered some of the pure basics, let’s dive a little deeper and know how to read signs and listen to what our skin needs.
When To Start Using Retinol
Since we’ve already talked about what Retinol is, as well as what it’s for, maybe it’s best to also mention the best time to actually start incorporating it into your daily routine.
As in the abovementioned section, Retinol is partly used to help cells reproduce faster, because as we get older, our entire organism slows down, which doesn’t exclude our skin’s ability to keep looking pure and fresh.
“Your mid-twenties are a great time to start using retinol,” said Ellen Marmur, M.D. “Many patients who have used it for years swear by it.”
In other words, our roaring twenties bring much more than just career switches, apartment huntings, and the occasional wine and cry o’clock session with our besties. All of those college all-nighters and weekend craziness start showing off on our skin, especially after the big 25.
From eyebags to wrinkles and sunspots – the first sign of ageing is probably the best time for you to start using Retinol.
Your future self will thank you later.
Speaking of eye bags, have you ever wondered what’s the best Retinol eye cream? Some of you are probably wondering do you even need one? Although not a necessity, Retinol eye creams are a nice cherry on top of your skincare routine. Especially if you are already using Retinol, to begin with.
Knowing our under eyes tend to be dark, saggy, and even filled with puff and discolouration, it’s worth mentioning that the skin surrounding the eyes is much thinner and more sensitive than the rest of our face.
This is exactly why we shouldn’t really use traditional face creams on our eyes, as they might lead to even more puffiness due to overhydration of the eye skin area. Alternatively, eye creams are specifically created to cater to the thinner skin around the eyes, providing it with all it requires to thrive.
Retinol-infused eye creams, on the other hand, can even out the skin, smooth its texture, reduce dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines, leaving the area fresh and radiant.
What Not To Use With Retinol?
Retinol is a very powerful skincare product that sometimes even creates reactions on the skin before some actual results come barging in. Due to its exfoliating nature, you should never EVER use actual exfoliators and other products together with Retinol. Anything that further dries your skin out, like toners, for example, is a big no-no!
What you should do, on the other hand, is always use sunscreen! Every morning, before you head out of the house, make sure to add sunscreen as the last step in your skincare routine! Summer or Winter, Morning or Afternoon, sunscreen should ALWAYS be a daily necessity! Protecting your skin from the Sun and the damage it can cause throughout time.
“Retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight decreases the efficacy of the product,” said more than one dermatologist out there.
So, make sure you have written this equation down Retinol at night, sunscreen in the morning! And lastly, because we know you’re most likely wondering, long does it take for retinol to work?
All individuality aside, the average person may notice a difference in just a matter of weeks! But one thing is certain, it does take some time for the skin to fully adapt to the product, if used correctly and regularly, of course. Keep in mind that skincare isn’t a point A to B kind of journey, but a really long process, with many ups and downs. No product, no matter how good will help you achieve perfect skin, that just doesn’t exist.
Make sure to be kind to yourself, as well as your skin, because that’s the first and best treatment you can provide for it!