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How To: Successfully Introduce Retinol into Your Routine

If you’re not yet aware of the multitude of benefits Vitamin A (when used correctly) can yield for the skin, then we’re about to rock your world.

Retinol or Vitamin A works by increasing the cell turnover in the skin and promoting collagen production. The acceleration of both of these translates to the brightening of the complexion, the lightening of pigmentation, the decrease in signs of fine lines and the reduction of inflammation-based concerns such as acne.

Unfortunately, while Vitamin A can be a wondrous product making serious improvements to the skin, it can also be super sensitising.

So, there is a correct and an incorrect way to introduce Vitamin A, here’s how to avoid the latter…

The best way to introduce retinol, whether that be in a product prescribed by us or not, is to do so very slowly.

Our dear friend and Dermatologist Dr Alice Rudd once told James that our skin has only so many Vitamin A receptors. You can actually increase the number of Vitamin A receptors to get better absorption of your retinoid-based products, but the only way to do this is by introducing topical Vitamin A, slowly.

When starting off with your first retinol product, you must only use it once or twice per week. Then if all is going well and you’re not experiencing any common side effects, you can then graduate to using the product 3 times per week for a few weeks and so on.

Common side-effects of retinol misuse are as follows:

  • Sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Flaking
  • Dryness

If these are present, we recommend stopping the use of all actives, including retinol, and allowing your skin to regain health.

Another factor that is crucial when introducing retinoids into your routine is making sure that the product is the right fit for you.

You must kick off your retinol journey with a product of low Vitamin A concentration or using only a tiny amount mixed in with an appropriate carrier (i.e. moisturiser).  

We’ve very conveniently written a blog post all about choosing the right retinol for your skin, devour it here.  

Many people have negative experiences with this active due to misuse or mis-prescription, coming to the false conclusion that retinol isn’t right for their skin.
This isn’t the case!

The sweet spot is to go slow and low, and with the right guidance of a professional to support you along the way, Vitamin A will be your best friend.

Get in touch with any questions, concerns, feedback or love song dedications here.