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How to Use Retinol for Maximum Results

No doubt you’ve heard about the many benefits of retinol – reduction in appearance of fine lines/wrinkles, improving skin texture and tone, and help for problem skin. Retinol is part of the class of ingredients known as retinoids, which are all derived from vitamin A. Retinol helps stimulate collagen production and accelerate skin cell turnover. It helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and fade acne scars and heal blemishes. Retinol (Vitamin A) is considered the gold standard of repairing skincare ingredients and it is found in many serums, moisturizers, and specialty products.

It’s a favorite of many, but do you know how to make sure you’re getting the most from your retinol products? The following are our Euro recommendations for best retinol results.

How you apply is important when it comes to using retinol. Before you start using a retinol product, test your skin for sensitivity. Start with a once-a-week application and increase slowly from there. Retinol can cause skin dryness, redness, irritation, and flaking. Begin with products that contain a low concentration (0.25% or 0.3%) of the ingredient first to see how your skin reacts.

4 Step Process:

Step 1: Wash your face and apply a small dot of eye cream. An eye cream will help protect the delicate skin around your eyes.

Step 2: Wait until your skin is completely dry. This is important! Retinol absorbs faster and deeper into the skin if it is damp, which can cause irritation. Serums and moisturizers benefit from application to slightly damp skin, but not retinol.

Step 3: Use a pea-size amount of the retinol product and apply to the face (starting at the chin) using your fingertips in an upward and outward motion.

Step 4: Finish with moisturizer & sunscreen (either a combination product or 2 separate products).

It takes 3-4 weeks for the skin to adjust to new products and to see results. Use retinol once or twice a week and gradually increase to 3-4 times per week. If you notice any peeling, flaking, redness, or irritation, reduce application or discontinue for a period of time.

Don’t combine retinol with other possible irritating ingredients (like AHA or BHA hydroxy acid exfoliators) especially when starting out. That also applies to physical exfoliants like scrubs. A good moisturizer is your best friend when used in conjunction with retinol, to keep skin hydrated and reduce the chances of irritation. You can mix a small amount of retinol with your moisturizer.

If you’re using other actives in your skin care routine (such as Vitamin C products), apply them during the day and retinol at night. The product that is non-negotiable is sunscreen. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays, so daily sunscreen is a must.

As with any skin care product or regimen, consistency is the key.You won’t see results if you aren’t using it regularly. Retinol doesn’t deliver instant results, so be patient. Any improvements in skin texture and tone take at least two to four months to become noticeable. Stick with it and you’ll see better and more positive changes – so find a retinol product you like and watch your skin thrive!


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