What Does Retinol Do For The Face

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Rebecca is a contributing writer for where she specializes in all things nail. She has worked in beauty editors for seven years.

What Does Retinol Do For The Face

Lucy Chen, MD is a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, FL. She specializes in Mohs surgery and skin cancer.

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Whether you have stubborn acne or are on a mission to prevent premature breakouts, there’s a very good chance that retinoids have made their way into your skin care routine. “Retinol is one of the best and most effective anti-aging and anti-acne ingredients,” confirms board-certified dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, but its use can have some side effects.

“Retinoids are very effective at promoting cell proliferation, which brings new, healthy cells to the surface of the skin,” explains Lancer. “However, in doing so, retinoids can also cause blockages, breakouts, redness and/or peeling during the initial adjustment phase.”

This alarming procedure is called retinoid cleansing (often called “retinol-uglies” because of its ability to make the skin look worse). Since watching skin get worse before it gets better, we asked Lancer, along with board-certified dermatologists Alexis Stephens, M.D., and Corey L. Hartman, M.D., what happens to your skin during the retinoid cleansing process and how. One can overcome it.

The word purging literally means cleansing or washing away – and that’s what happens to your skin during the retinoid cleansing phase. “Retinoids work at the cellular level to normalize the skin,” Stephens explains. “In the area of ​​acne, retinoids remove whatever is clogging your pores that is hidden underneath. The combination of retinoids’ ability to increase cell turnover and unclog pores with everything brought to the surface at once can cause a temporary increase in breakouts.”

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In addition to an increase in whiteheads and blackheads, Hartman says new retinoid users may experience redness, peeling and general skin irritation, “especially in areas of the face where the skin is the thinnest, such as around the nose and mouth.”

As counterintuitive as it may seem, Hartman notes that seeing flare-ups while starting a new retinoid product is actually a good thing. “That means the retinol is working to transform your skin,” he says.

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Other good news? The retinoid washout phase does not last forever. While it varies by skin type, Hartman says a typical cleanse lasts about four weeks. That said, Stephens says flare-ups can last up to eight weeks, which she says equates to two cells. “If you have been using the product for more than three months and this clearing still occurs, do a thorough evaluation because something is going on and it’s time to see a dermatologist to solve the problem,” she added.

If you notice a negative reaction to your retinoid, your first thought may be to stop using it. No. “Doing that will stop the progress you’ve made so far, and if you fully rest, you’ll go through the retinization process again,” Hartman warns. “Retinol cleansing is a temporary side effect; if possible, continue using retinol as directed.”

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While retinoid cleansing is completely normal for any skin type, Lancer says it’s important to know if it’s a cleansing or a negative reaction. “If you experience any degree of redness, peeling or burning, contact your dermatologist and stop applying immediately,” he says.

Retinoids are the gold standard in skin care and therefore can do a world of good almost entirely on their own. With that in mind, Stephens recommends reducing your skin care routine while incorporating a new retinoid. “Use a gentle cleanser, retinoid and moisturizer,” she advises. “Look for moisturizers with MLE technology that can restore healthy skin barrier functions, such as Atopalm or Zerafite.”

While continuous use is ideal, Hartman knows you may need to adjust the frequency to give your skin a break. “If necessary, stop using retinol daily and reduce it to two or three times a week to give your skin a little more time,” he advises. “Once you find you can manage two or three times a week, try bumping it up to four or five times a week.”

“Many individuals make the mistake of using large amounts of clinical-grade treatments with the idea that more is better,” Lancer said. He explains that overuse of almost any pre-clinical anti-aging treatment can cause more damage.

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“Using too much product can dry out the skin and cause dryness, redness, scarring and irritation,” he warns, noting that instead of using only a small amount, especially when you first introduce a new ingredient to your skin.

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Retinol can transform your skin, but also steals important moisture when incorporated into anti-acne products. “Even if you have naturally oily skin, be sure to use a rich moisturizer to repair the skin barrier,” says Lancer. “Our Rehydration Mask ($100) works wonders to hydrate while providing a hydration barrier to prevent moisture loss.”

Even if you’re not using an acne product with retinol, Hartman says moisturizing is essential, as it will help address peeling during initial cleansing. “Choose a moisturizer with ceramides, hyaluronic acid or glycerin to add moisture and help with visible dryness, peeling and blemishes,” he says.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be wary of using retinol at all. If that’s the case, Lancer says just dilute your product. “If you have very sensitive skin, you can mix retinol with moisturizer before using,” he shares.

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If you don’t want to mix your products, Lancer says you can create a light but protective barrier between your skin and the retinoid by applying moisturizer first. While doing so will prevent retinol from irritating your skin, he says it won’t stop it from working its anti-aging, acne-reducing magic.

When you use a retinoid, you want to minimize the use of other harsh skin care products, such as certain cleansers. “Don’t use scrubs or cleansers with other ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid,” says Hartman. “Stick to pH-neutral cleansers for sensitive skin.”

Speaking of salicylic acid, Hartman says you should cut out all skin care serums and spot treatments that contain exfoliating ingredients like AHAs and BHAs. “They can be too harsh for the new skin that appears on the face during retinol cleansing,” he explains.

Retinoids make the skin more sensitive to UV damage. “Because retinols and retinoids work to accelerate the life cycle of skin cells, they make the skin more sensitive to the sun,” explains Lancer. So, he says to always use SPF 30 or higher after your daily moisturizer. He added: “Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours.”

Retinol Plus Vitamin C Skin Refining Night Oil

Don’t let the thought of a retinol cleanse stop you from taking advantage of this world class ingredient. “My opinion is that except for people with rosacea or overly sensitive skin, everyone should use retinol,” Hartman says. “These vitamin A derivatives are among the most studied and published ingredients in skin care, their benefits are many and intangible and are the most important steps you can take for overall skin health and anti-inflammatory after sun protection factors. Promotes effective exfoliation, prevents acne, even discoloration, controls sebum, smooths and blemishes, clears pores and more.

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In short, if you don’t already have retinol in your routine, it’s worth adding one to your diet, statistically. Oops! You have added to your bag. Due to the overwhelming demand for the lights, we are limiting the total purchase amount to $500 in a single order. If you believe you received this message in error, please contact support@.

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Tips To Use Retinol For Acne Treatment

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