Seeing Red With Retinol – Are You Commiting These Mistakes?

Retinol is the secret weapon in a dermatologist’s anti-aging arsenal. It is effective as an anti-wrinkling agent, is often used for getting rid of pesky pigmentation, its collagen stimulating effects helps to texturise skin and erase fine lines and it is anti-acne! But as with all miraculous weapons made, operating them is an entirely different matter – you could be seeing no results with your retinol product, or literally seeing red. If you want your skin to really start reaping the benefits of retinol, avoid these 4 major retinol skincare mistakes.


Mistake #1. Pairing It Wrongly

Have you ever been in a relationship where things between both of you felt so incompatible and basically the lack of chemistry took the sparks right out every date? Well, skincare can be like that. Pairing stuff wrongly can cancel things out for both products, and nothing will work. For example, retinol and vitamin C should not be mixed because they work best at very different acidic ph’s. That is not to say both ingredients are rendered useless- they just won’t work optimally. Instead, use them at different times of the day or week.


Mistake #2. Not layering other products over

Retinol alone can be too strong for some. If dry or irritated skin is your concern, you can apply your topical retinoid over your moisturizer. If applying before, wait at least 15 minutes after washing your face before applying your topical retinoid.


Mistake #3. Sunburn Tragedy

If you are feeling or looking like you have had a sunburn, it is time to dial down on your topical retinoid. You might be applying too much, too often, or some other products you are using as well might be proving too potent a combination. Check if you are also using other acids in your skincare, such as AHAs which can be found in some creams or toners. If this happens to you, avoid going under the

Mistake #4. Too Little, Too Late

Retinol can cause a little redness and peeling, so while Mistake #3 was about too much, another mistake you can make is to back off completely because you couldn’t take the blotchiness, which a lot of people do. You need to build up a tolerance for it, and go easy so you can at least be consistent, then build it up after a few weeks.

If retinols make you really red or dryness is your concern, try retinol oil instead. This doesn’t decrease the effects of retinol, but putting it in a hydrating base such as oils will irritate the skin less. SKIN recommends applying retinol oil as the last step of your skincare regime, after your moisturizer.

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