How often should you apply retinol

November 11, 2020

How often should you apply retinol

Retinol The Fountain Of Youth

At Posie Cosmetics, we believe aging is a fact of life, but looking your age is not! And that is when good skincare comes into play with anti-aging ingredients like Retinol, aka the fountain of youth.  


More than likely, you heard about Retinol and maybe some of its anti-aging benefits but do not really understand this star ingredient and everything it can do for your skin! So, if you are ready to venture into Benjamin Button's magical elixir of youth, continue reading. 


What Exactly Is Retinol

Retinol is a retinoid derived from vitamin A. This game-changing ingredient works to boost the appearance of collagen depleted skin and encourages cellular turnover, which is one of the reasons it is the number one anti-aging product recommend by dermatologists and aestheticians everywhere! 


How Does Retinol Work

Retinol is your secret weapon to aiding in the skin's renewal process by sloughing off dead skin cells, allowing new, fresher, radiant skin to appear. 

You see, as we age, our cellular turnover starts to decline, meaning that our body is slower to shed dead skin cells and produce new ones. This buildup of dead skin cells can harm our skin, leaving it looking dry and dull, or worse, this accumulation can result in excess oil production and clogged pores, which could lead to problematic skin.

And if that wasn't bad enough, starting as early as your mid 20's, your collagen production begins to slow down. While this is not something you may see the effects of immediately, it will impact you later in life, with thinner skin texture, premature wrinkles, and elastin loss over time. 

These are just some of the reasons we recommend implementing a skincare routine early to prevent future signs of damage rather than waiting to later in life, trying to undo it.

Now that we've explained a bit about Retinol, let's dive in a bit deeper on how to make it work for your skin!


 How To Apply Retinol To Achieve The Best Results?

Like applying moisturizer the right way, there is a correct way to use Retinol when reversing skin damage. Although some consider retinoids as the holy grail for its noticeable results, it does come with some noticeable side effects that first-time users need to cautious of, like drying out the skin, causing an initial breakout, even extreme peeling. Because of this, most aestheticians, like myself, recommend starting with a lower concentration. Know the strength before diving in; Retinol comes in multiple strengths. The most common are 1%, 0.5%, 0.3%, and 0.25%. If your skincare product doesn't specify the Retinol's percentage on the label, it usually means the concentration is less than 0.25%.

Once you determine the concertation, you can test your skin's tolerance to see how your skin will respond by implementing these five steps into your nighttime skincare routine.


Step 1: Wash your face with a cleanser packed with antioxidant vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Step 2: This is an important one, as irritation can happen if you do not follow this step, waiting until your skin is completely dry. If your skin is damp, it can interfere with how much retinol is absorbed, resulting in severe irritation.

Step 3: Less is more when using retinol; hence use a pea-size amount, applying in an upward, outward direction. 

Step 4: Wait about 20 minutes and apply a hydrating serum to help counteract any retinol's potential skin-drying effects. Finish with a great moisturizer making sure to avoid anything that includes benzoyl peroxides or salicylic acids unless you like red, irritated skin. 

Step 5: Retinol makes skin more sensitive to the sun, which is why you should apply in the evening time. You also want to do your best to avoid direct sunlight, and do not forget your SPF.


How Often Should You Apply Retinol

Many people want everything now and think the more I do this, the quicker I will be on my way to younger-looking skin. But the truth is you, while many want to hop on the anti-aging bandwagon, you need to be patient when it comes to using retinol, as it can severely inflame the skin, cause burning, itching, severe peeling, dryness, redness, and more. 


Start off using it once a week, if that is ok, then move up two twice a week for two weeks, then three times a week for three weeks. If your skin has a minimal reaction, you can bump it up, but then keep it there for a few months before using it nightly! 


Retinol products should be used with other anti-aging skincare products containing skin-replenishing ingredients, antioxidants, and restorative ingredients to hydrate, replenish, and nourish, resulting in healthier, reinvigorating skin.