How to Use Retinoids Without Wrecking Your Skin
Retinoids are amazing. Whether you’re using adapalene (Differin) to treat acne, over-the-counter retinols to prevent signs of aging or correct hyperpigmentation, or plan to start tretinoin (Retin-A) for both, retinoids are exciting and have decades of research to back up their efficacy. But they can be a bit tricky- after all, almost anyone who turns to retinoids is warned of flaking, dryness, purging, redness, irritation... side effects galore. Except, it’s honestly pretty easy to avoid most of those. The purging is somewhat inevitable due to how retinoids work, but mixing retinol with an oil or applying an oil in the same routine can help stave off a lot (if not all) of the irritation, redness, flaking, and/or dryness. Oils help to fortify the skin barrier with fatty acids, as well as seal in the moisture from your hydrating serums and/or your moisturizer. I figured this tip out after accidentally forgetting to apply an oil (a usual part of my PM routine) with my tretinoin and immediately experienced flaking around my nose. Here are my favourite retinol+oil combos... The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane is my favourite over-the-counter retinol, melding two wonderful and simple ingredients: squalane and retinol. They offer three concentrations, beginning at 0.2%, then 0.5%, and finally 1%. I saw no irritation slowly making my way between the various concentrations, the squalane drying down to a lovely satin finish if you use in the AM before sunscreen. THE inkey LIST - Rosehip Oil applied after my Apostrophe Tretinoin has helped immensely- I didn’t notice any flaking/dryness until the night I forgot to apply it after my tret, which is impressive! I also haven’t experienced any redness or increased sensitivity, which I credit partly to this oil (also partly to my soothing serums). It’s already been helping with my acne and hyperpigmentation, as well as some tiny bumpy texture that has been persistently plaguing my forehead since before the beginning of my skincare journey years ago. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil applied after DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is a dream team combination for aging, dry skin- as well as a wonderful way to correct texture and tone! I can’t recommend this specific combination enough for helping with uneven texture and uneven tone. It lightened some of my dark spots and really helped smooth the orange peel texture on my chin, with the oil keeping a lot of the dryness at bay.
DRUNK ELEPHANT-A-Passioni Retinol Cream