When should I start using Retinol?

When Should I Start Using Retinol?

Retinol has become a very popular and talked about product over the past few years yet there is still some confusion over when to start using it and who should be using it. So in this article we will aim to answer all your questions and clear up any confusion you may have!

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is one of the most potent anti-ageing forms of Vitamin A. As it is classified as a retinoid, the small molecules that make it up are able to penetrate deep beneath the epidermis (outer layer of skin) to your dermis helping to boost the production of elastin and collagen, whilst reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores.
Retinol is also sometimes used to effectively treat acne as well as related scarring as it has an exfoliating effect on the skin’s surface that can help improve texture and tone.

Retinol Bottle

What Are The Benefits Of Retinol?

Retinol had many benefits but let’s look at its main benefits….


  1. Anti-ageing- Retinol enhances skin cell turnover which causes your body to produce fresher, smoother skin quicker. It can therefore have powerful anti-ageing effects. A good product for this is the DermaQuest Retinol Peptide Youth Serum.
  2. Improves skin texture- By boosting collagen production, your skin will have more firmness, structure, and strength, plus, the cells on the surface of your skin will be replaced more quickly, helping smooth your skin and reduce the look of dullness. For texture concerns try the DermaQuest Retexture Serum.
  3. Helps to clear acne- Retinol decreases the function of overactive oil glands and unclogs pores which is what can lead to acne. Not only can it clear the skin, it also makes pores appear smaller, and helps prevent future breakouts. A really great product to start using for these concerns is the DermaQuest Retinaldehyde Renewal Cream.
  4. Helps with effects of sun damage- As an antioxidant, retinol can help repair sun damage on the skin such as dark spots and hyperpigmentation, by brightening the skin’s outer layer. If you have hyper-pigmentation concerns, try the DermaQuest Retinol Brightening Serum.
  5. Evens out skin tone- As stated above, retinol can help to fade hyperpigmentation so if you want to learn more, you can read further information about that here in our blog we wrote all on Hyperpigmentation
  6. Boosts collagen production- Not only does retinol help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it also helps to prevent the loss of collagen and elastin that we already have by slowing the enzyme that breaks them down.

When Should I Start Using Retinol?

Many people wait until they’re 40+ before they start using retinol but in actual fact you should start introducing it to your skincare routine in your mid-twenties.
It is best to start using retinol gradually via a ladder technique, so twice a week, using a lower percentage, is a good place to start. Avoid using retinol the day before exfoliation too as exfoliation can be abrasive and irritating, so you don’t want to add to the skin irritation by heightening your skin's sensitivity. If you want to know more about exfoliation, we’ve written a blog about it which you can read here.

Over time you can increase your retinol application to possibly everyday however it is important to note, as many may not know this, that some retinol formulations can stay active in the skin for 72 hours. So with this in mind, aiming to use retinol every 3 days will be perfect for most.

Lady applying Retinol

What Are The Side Effects Of Retinol?

Certain side effects such as mild irritation, dryness, tightness, sun sensitivity and even peeling may occur as your skin is adjusting to the active ingredient.
However, intense flaking or burning are not normal so those with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema should probably steer clear of retinol altogether and look to use alternatives.
These side effects however should subside after a couple of weeks and the benefits of retinol will begin to appear!
Because of these side effects, particularly your skin's sensitivity to the sun, retinol should only be applied at night during the evening skincare routine, after your serums and before your moisturiser, with it ALWAYS being teamed with a daily sunscreen. We recommend the DermaQuest SheerZinc SPF30.
So there you have it, we hope we’ve answered all of your burning retinol questions. If you want any further information however then you can book an online skin consultation with our GlowBay skin expert here, who will be happy to help!

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