What to Expect When You Start a Retinol Skincare Product

PA Heather tells patients there’s one ingredient everyone should have in their skincare regimen, no matter how old they are: a retinol. Retinols are one of the most effective skin treatments if you want to build collagen, stop acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and even out your pigmentation.

While we’re seeing products with retinol everywhere these days, many new users don’t know how to apply them correctly and what to do about an initially negative reaction. Today we will talk about what to expect when you start using a retinol product.

What Retinol Does For Your Skin

Retinols can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines, improve skin pigmentation, soften out rough patches, and help age spots fade. They work by stimulating the production of collagen and new blood vessels in the skin.

Medical-grade skincare products with retinol are stronger and tend to work faster than over-the-counter products. For some patients, retinol products create visible results after as little as two to three months, but for others, it might take six months.

How to Use a Retinol Product

Retinol is a good product to add to your nightly skincare routine. You don’t want to use it in the sun because the sun’s ultraviolet rays make the retinol inactive. Your skin may also be a little more sensitive to the sun after using the product, so you definitely need good sun protection.

You can start using a retinol at any age, even in your 20s to protect your skin from damage. One caveat: retinols are not recommended for pregnant and nursing women.

Anticipated Reaction: How Your Skin Initially Reacts

@beautyboostmedspa PA Heather’s secret to perfect skin! #skincare #retinol #zoskinhealth #fyp #foryoupage ♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup

Retinol products can do amazing things if you use them long enough, but they don’t give you that beautiful, rejuvenated skin you’re looking for right away. Your skin will get worse before it gets better. It’s worth it, though!

People usually get red, itchy, flakey, dry, or stinging skin after they start using a new retinol product. Many people confuse this reaction with an allergic reaction or assume it means their skin is too sensitive for the product, but that’s not what’s going on. The truth is, irritated skin is a very normal initial reaction to retinol that we expect to see!

When you see red and dry skin, that means the retinol is starting to work. Beautiful results will come if you just keep at it.

Most people start seeing this anticipated reaction four or five days after they start using a retinol product. It usually lasts for another five days or so, but after that, it should clear up. Within 10-14 days of starting the product, you will be well on your way to clear, beautiful skin.

With retinol, irritation is expected in the beginning. You just have to remember that this reaction is only a temporary stop on your way to amazing results.

The Most Common Retinol Mistake

Many new retinol users get that anticipated reaction of red, peeling skin the first time they try retinol and think they need to back off. They stop using the product for a while, try retinol again, get the anticipated reaction again, and ultimately give up.

What you really need to do is to take the opposite approach: keep using the product so your skin can normalize it.

If you are struggling with dry skin after starting a retinol product, you can use a hydrator to help your skin build hydration. Reach out to the Beauty Boost team if you need a product recommendation.

ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair

At Beauty Boost, our favorite retinol skincare product is ZO Wrinkle and Texture Repair. ZO offers several different retinols, but this is the one we recommend for your daily retinol needs. It’s a very powerful, effective, medical-grade skincare product that restores natural hydration and visibly refines skin texture.

Beauty Boost Med Spa gives patients customized skincare regimens to boost overall skin health. If you would like more information about where to get great skincare products or personalized recommendations, reach out to us today.

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