• Niwrka Esthetics

Retinol: How To Introduce It In Your Skincare Routine.-

By: Niwrka P. - Skincare Professional

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I am sure you have heard about retinol. Perhaps you have listened to the no-so-favorable stories about it, or maybe you have close friends who swear by it and have dubbed it as their holy grail product?


I will clarify the retinol basics and give you the necessary information.


This article takes you on a retinol journey, its benefits, possible side effects, and the best way to incorporate it into your skincare regimen for the best results.


  • Below, is a list of recommended retinol products:


Let's start by explaining what this excellent ingredient is.

  • Retinol is a type of retinoid derivative of vitamin A.

  • Vitamin A plays an integral part in ensuring that the body functions properly.

  • Retinol has anti-oxidant capabilities.

  • Retinol boosts cell renewal.

  • It is considered to be a skin revitalizer.

Retinol is the most accessible form of retinoids as it has a lower concentration of vitamin A and does not typically require a prescription.


It stimulates cell repair and helps normalize the skin by generating new cells.


Retinol is available in these presentations:

  • Serums.

  • Gels.

  • Lotions.

  • Creams.

When applied topically, it can encourage the skin cells to regenerate and turn over faster, resulting in many benefits.


Retinol benefits


Our skin's natural collagen reserves break down as we age, and the skin cells do not turn over as quickly.


When applied topically, retinol penetrates the skin and slightly into the dermis. Once it sinks in, the skin converts the retinol into its active form–retinoic acid.

  • It has been proven to be beneficial in regulating skin abnormalities.

  • It's excellent for individuals who struggle with persistent acne, clogged pores, and inflammation.

  • It is also excellent for individuals looking for an effective anti-aging treatment.

  • Retinol's regenerating properties effectively treat signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and a loss of firmness and elasticity.

Retinol in action

  • Prevents collagen breakdown.

  • Treats visible signs of aging.

  • Promotes collagen production.

  • Encourages the skin cells to regenerate and turn over faster.

The result is a more rapid emergence of fresher, brighter skin that is smoother and more radiant.



Who should use retinol?


Retinol's reparative properties can be beneficial to all skin types.


Side effects


If used at too high a concentration, you can experience significant peeling and flaking of the skin.

  • It can make your skin extremely sensitive.

  • It can cause peeling of the skin.

  • Skin irritation

Keep in mind that good things come with time!

Do not freak out and toss your retinol in the trash.

These side effects will subside.

How to introduce it


When applying retinol, you can reduce these side effects if you are patient and strategic.

  • Slowly introduce it into your skincare routine, start with a weekly application on dry skin, and if needed apply it on top of moisturizer.

  • Tip: Cerave Healing Ointment can help buffer irritation on the corners of the mouth, corners of the eyes, sides of your nose, and under the eye area.

  • Start with a low percentage and gradually increase the percentage number as your skin adjust and the number of days you apply it.


Remember! Slow and steady wins the race!


Avoid excessive irritation by slowly introducing retinol into your skincare routine. We recommend starting by using it once a week for three weeks. Once your skin has adjusted and built up a tolerance, you can start using it twice a week and successively.


It's essential to pay close attention to how your skin feels. For example, if your skin tolerates two applications a week well, you can go up to three times a week on alternating days.


It is best to use retinol products at night!


Retinols for beginners:

  • Do not skip the sunscreen!

Although retinol has been proven to reverse the effects of photoaging and sun damage, it will increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Don't skip the sunscreen – your skin will thank you for it.

  • Do not use it with other active ingredients!

It may be tempting to layer on many different products; however, using retinol with vitamin C and exfoliating acids such as AHAs and BHAs. These ingredients will not play nicely with retinol and can cause significant irritation, especially if you have sensitive/reactive skin.


However, that does not mean you cannot use them all; it is all about strategic planning. Alternating use is a must to reap the benefits of all these ingredients!


For example, use Vitamin C in the morning and your retinol at night. Use your AHAs or BHAs on nights when you don't use retinol.

Photo taken by: Moi in my petite studio (Retinol Serum Form) - I could not resist! NE.- "No amounts of retinol were wasted! I promise!"


Patience is a virtue.


The best things in life take time, and retinol is no exception!

It will take consistency and patience to see results. But if you follow these steps, retinol will become your holy grail too!


Retinols I recommend, click below to see the full list:


Note: Neutrogena (retinol cream) does not disclose the percentage in their formulation. The best practice if you go with Neutrogena is the same, START SLOW!


If you are a true beginner:


I recommend Avene Retrinal 0.05 Cream (it comes in a beautiful pump packaging) and after you graduate from 0.05, move on to the following number in the line-up.

  • I love Avene Retinols; I will do a review in a future post!

Read about How To Treat Hyperpigmentation here.


Until next time!

Peace, Love & Light!


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Niwrka Skincare Professional Makeup Artist Licensed Esthetician

Author: Niwrka P.

Is A Beauty Content Creator | Skincare Professional | Licensed Esthetician & Makeup Artist

With over a decade of experience in the beauty industry.-

Passionate about Esthetics and sharing knowledge!