The basic rules of retinol
The no.1 rule of skincare? Wear SPF. Every single day. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays so the daily dose of SPF becomes even more crucial. Invest in sun creams that are an SPF30 or higher and don’t rely on makeup products with SPF in them – that SPF15 in your foundation? It’s only going to be effective if you’re laying it on thick.
If you’re using retinol (or any type of retinoid), skip the exfoliators and stripping acids (like lactic acid). Doubling up can cause skin irritation and potentially lead to burning your face… ouch.
How to pick a retinol?
Like most skincare products, retinols can have some side effects – redness, dryness and peeling are amongst the most common. The good news is, normally these effects will only last a few weeks while your skin adjusts. To keep flare-ups to a minimum, look for a retinol product that fts. a small percentage of active ingredients.
A retinol virgin? Start low. Keep an eye out for products with 0.1% to 0.3% and gradually increase to 0.5%. For tackling visible signs of ageing, hyperpigmentation, or acne scars try 1%, (usually only available with a prescription).
The Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum or First Aid Beauty’s Fab Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream With Hyaluronic Acid, are ideal for beginners or dry, sensitive skin types. For a little bit more oomph, Medik8’s Intelligent Retinol 3TR is a highly potent formula that’s enriched with nourishing vitamin E to help protect skin from flaking and dryness.
Just remember, whatever product you choose – baby steps.