Let’s talk about skincare!

Since turning 30, I’ve noticed a few subtle changes to my skin, and have become more invested in finding a skincare routine.

I know I’m still young, but it’s important to take care of your skin, no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. For me, part of the process of adding products to my routine is – research!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found the information about skincare out there to be overwhelming and asking:

  • Where do you start?
  • What products do I need for my skin type?
  • What order do I add products to my skin?

While I don’t claim to be an expert, I want to share my research with you!

What am I starting with? Retinol Cream.*

When I started to research this project, I had so many questions.

  • What is Retinol?
  • What does Retinol do?
  • What are the benefits of using Retinol?
  • Are there any tips for applying Retinol?
  • What are the side effects?
  • How long does it take to see results when adding Retinol to your skincare routine?
  • What if I have sensitive skin – can I still use retinol cream?
  • When are you not supposed to use Retinol cream?

I know, I know … I had so many questions! Below, I’m going to walk you through the answers I found for each of the questions above.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A, the group of fat solvable vitamins in carrots, eggs, and sweet potatoes.

What Does Retinol Do?

  • Boosts collagen production (helps reduce wrinkles and tighten skin)
    Helps prevent fine lines
  • Refine your skin’s texture and enhances your overall skin radiance
    Reduces age spots

What are the Benefits of Using Retinol? (Vitamin A Topically)

  • Prevent wrinkles
  • Smooth out existing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Over time, it can help fade dark spots, sunspots, and hyperpigmentation
  • Brighten dull skin
  • Regulate oily skin

Wow, this is ingredient can be a powerful product added to your skincare routine, but when should you start incorporating it?

How many days/week should you use retinol?

  • 30’s: 3-4x/week
  • 40’s: Every other night
  • 50’s+: 5 – 7x / week

How do you apply Retinol creams?

Before I add a product to my routine, I read all of the instructions provided to me on the bottle and on the packaging. For example, the retinol cream I have pictured here recommends that I:

  • Apply the product in the morning or at night. (Applying three to four drops to face and neck)
  • Follow with moisturizer and/or oil and a broad-spectrum sunscreen

But after some additional research, I found that a little bit of retinol cream goes a long way. It’s recommended to only use a pea-sized amount of cream/serum for your entire face. Which, is great news, because it means that the product will last longer!

Are there any side effects when using Retinol Cream?

Yes, there can be side effects when using a retinol cream.

Wear Sunscreen. It’s important to wear sunscreen on your face every day, but retinol makes your skin more sensitive to the light. To protect it, make sure to add sunscreen to your daily routine.

May Cause Peeling. Retinol creams can cause redness and peeling. If this happens to you, you might be using it too much. Before you quit using the product, reduce the number of days/week you’re applying it to your face. For example, try adding it one to two nights per week and gradually add it to your routine according to the amount of days/week that is recommended above.

What if I have sensitive skin? Can I use Retinol products?

Did you know that there are retinol creams on the market that are made for sensitive skin? These products usually have a lower dose of active ingredients, so chances are you won’t see the same results. BUT, if you find that your face tolerates the full tube of a retinol cream for sensitive skin, you can graduate to a stronger cream.

How long does it take for Retinol to start showing results?

You’re going to need to have patience with this product. On average, it takes around 12 weeks for the product to start showing noticeable changes.

When Should You Not Use Retinol?

If you’re pregnant, thinking of getting pregnant or are nursing you should not use retinol without contacting and getting approval from an obstetrician.

Do I have any Retinol Product Recommendations? 

I started using the Josie Maran Retinol serum a few weeks ago as a part of an Influenster campaign. So far, I’m liking it, but haven’t been using it long enough to fully endorse the product. If you’re interested in learning more about specific retinol creams, I suggest reading this article on today.com. At the bottom of the post, they provide a lot of Retinol options and talk about the specific benefits of each of the product options. 

I hope this post helps to answer some of your basic questions about retinol creams and if you should add it to your skincare routine!

Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any additional questions about Retinol? Let me know in the comment below what other skincare products you’re interested in learning more about!

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*If you have any concerns or questions about adding skin care products to your routine, please consult a dermatologist or esthetician.

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