Retinol is such a huge ingredient nowadays and it does seem like so many brands have jumped on the bandwagon and included it in their products.
For those who have followed me for a while, you will know that I'm not the biggest retinol lover because of the risk of a retinoid reaction. This can be where the skin becomes very red, dry, irritated and flaky. Although some skins can recover perfectly fine from this, there is a risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation on darker skin tones and so I would always approach with caution when using any retinoid products.
So, with all this in mind, I was so excited when I discovered the SkinBetter Science AlphaRet range of products. They created their own molecule with retinol that is slow release and doesn't cause the irritation. In fact, it's even suitable for sensitive skin! Also, even though it's very gentle on the skin, it can offer results as active as something like tretinoin but without the retinoid reaction.
Want to know how to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine? Read on...
WHAT TIME OF THE DAY
It's good to note that any retinol type product should only be used in the evening as it can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore build it into your skincare routine before bedtime. Also always wear your SPF everyday, especially if you're using retinol products.
HOW TO LAYER
I would always be careful when layering with retinol (or any actives for that matter) as sometimes it can be a bit too much for the skin. For those of you who are big fans of the Forlle'd Refining Lotion (myself at the top of the list), just be aware that this can make your products penetrate up to 30% more and so can be more active on the skin.
I would also avoid layering with any AHA's as again, this might just be a little bit 'too much' for your skin. Instead, apply the product to bare skin and only layer with products that don't contain any other actives (especially if you are very sensitive). I love to layer mine with the Calecim Multi-Action Cream as it feels very nourishing and yet it's also very effective in treating fine lines and wrinkles.
Please also note that you shouldn't mix any form of tanning drops of self-tan into the product as it can cause skin irritation.
WHEN TO AVOID
Like with any active, always avoid a couple of weeks before you go in the sun. If you use sunbeds then you should avoid it altogether (however, I personally would just avoid the sunbed instead!).
Also, if you have had a medical grade treatment at home or in clinic, I would avoid retinoids for a couple of days before and after your treatment (especially treatments like skin peels and microneedling).
I hope you have found this useful,
Thank you so much for reading,