Retinol – Anti-aging, acne-fighting and skin-rejuvenating ingredient

Retinol is known as the golden ingredient, an indispensable piece to reach a perfect skin of women for health and beauty care. So how does retinol really bring miracles? Find out in today's article!


1 What is retinol?

Retinol (a class of retinoids) is known to be a derivative of Vitamin A. They work by neutralizing free radicals present in the skin, which can cause damage to collagen cells.

It brings many benefits to the skin, especially the following four uses:

  • Treatment of melasma helps to regulate skin color because vitamin A extract reduces the amount of melanin pigment in the skin, the culprit that causes pigmentation disorders, melasma, freckles or darkening on the skin, giving the skin an even and bright color.
  • Anti oxidant , anti-aging. Regenerate cells, nourish healthy skin from the inside.
  • Strengthens resistance, regenerates the protective barrier for healthy, smooth skin.
  • Support acne treatment , anti-inflammatory and prevent acne recurrence.


How does retinol work so well on the skin?

To prevent aging and protect the skin, in addition to moisturizing and sun protection, the supply of ingredients that help produce collagen for the skin is also essential. At this point, retinol is the perfect solution for your skin. However, if you use cosmetics incorrectly, it can cause skin irritation and affect more or less. So, here are some ways to get retinol to work well on your skin!

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Full sun protection

Retinol makes the skin sensitive to the sun, so it is important to use the right amount of sunscreen to avoid damage to the skin.

Precautions before using retinol

Do not use retinol immediately after washing your face. After washing the face, the skin will lose a significant amount of the skin barrier, if using immediately retinol will be sore, red. It is recommended to use toner first, then retinol and other skin care steps.

Always dry the skin before applying retinol products to the skin because retinol can react with water making it more active, thereby causing severe skin irritation.

Combined with products to note

You can use the same AHA/BHA ingredients in your skin care routine: After using AHA/BHA, you should not immediately use products containing retinol, but wait 20-30 minutes. Make sure your skin is dry before use

Ideal time to use:

At night before bed, if your skin is too sensitive or dry, you can combine retinol with a moisturizer or serum. Don't forget to do it regularly and properly to get the best results.

Use the right amount

Using too much retinol does not make the skin beautiful faster but also makes it easier to irritate, so a pea for the entire face is enough.

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You have to be patient to get the results you want

It takes a long time for the skin to get used to the Retinol and the right concentration, the time to achieve the best results is 1 year. As mentioned above, you have to slowly let your skin get used to each appropriate concentration, so it will take a long time for your skin to have noticeable changes. The average time to notice a change is usually 10-12 weeks and depending on the skin condition can be 2-3 months, the time to achieve the best results is 1 year.

3 Types of retinol suitable for each skin type

Retinol is more popular with users because it is less irritating than other derivatives. To see a noticeable effect, a concentration of 0.1% is most appropriate, while those who are new to retinol can choose a concentration of 0.01% or 0.03%. In the long run, you can increase the concentration to 0.5%, even 1%.

For sensitive skin

"Due to the potential for irritation, skin, especially sensitive skin, needs to be acclimated to retinol slowly," says dermatologist and Skinfluence founder Dr. Marina Peredo. "By using different concentrations of retinol, we can safely and effectively help the skin adapt with almost no irritation."

Thin and sensitive skin types who have never used a retinol should start at a low percentage, like 0.025%. And if your skin adapts well to the product after a few weeks of use, you can switch to a stronger one.

For normal and combination skin

Normal and combination skin can start with a higher concentration, 0.3% retinol. And depending on your skin's response, increase to a higher concentration for a few months. "When starting out, always watch for side effects, which may include redness, dryness, itching, or general sensitivity."

For healthy skin

"Darker, thicker skin types, will be a little more accommodating at the start of use." Let's start with a concentration of 0.5%. Once your skin has adapted, try a product with 1.0% retinol.

4 Ways to use retinol in skin care

Test skin sensitivity when using retinol

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Before adding any new skin care products to our skincare routine, we need to make sure that the products or ingredients contained in that skincare product do not cause irritation to our skin.

Retinol is suitable for most skin types, but if you have sensitive skin, eczema, rosacea… then consider and consult a qualified doctor before using.

Apply a small amount of Retinol to the skin on the forearm, cover it, and keep it out of the sun for a period of 24 hours. If, after 24 hours, you see that the skin on the hands that has been applied Retinol does not have any signs, we can completely rest assured to apply Retinol products to the face.

How often to apply retinol

If you are new to retinol, start with products with a low concentration of retinol (about 0.5%) first and then gradually increase it (up to 1.0%).

The frequency of use should also be gradually increased to let the skin get used to it, you can use retinol 1 time / week for the first time, 2 times / week 2, 3 times / week 3 and then increase the number of times.

What is the order of retinol in your evening skincare routine?

Order of applying retinol in your skin care routine: Retinol is not a chemical exfoliant so you don't need to use them right after your toner, you can try one of two ways:

  • Method 1: face wash, toner, serum, retinol , lotion, cream.
  • Method 2: face wash, toner, serum, lotion, cream, retinol.

4 Notes when using products containing retinol

Note when using with other special treatments


vitamin C

Combining the use of retinol and vitamin C has received mixed reviews. Previous views have suggested that the acidic pH necessary for vitamin C's action contributes to the reduction of retinol's effectiveness. However, recent studies show that the combination of Retinol and Vitamin C not only deactivates each ingredient, but can also increase the ability to fight free radicals and effectively improve aging skin.



HA / BHA has the effect of purifying pores and helping the skin to remove old cells. Retinol is a powerful anti-aging agent. If used separately, each type will help your skin regenerate extremely well. Both groups of ingredients are strong active ingredients, if the skin is weak, it can immediately react with redness, peeling, even burning pain.

So, once your skin has gotten used to the retinol and you want to step up your treatment, you can use an AHA/BHA in the morning and a retinol at night. In addition, you can completely exfoliate with AHA / BHA before using Retinol to promote its effect (should only be applied to really healthy skin). But either way, you should still use moisturizer and adequate sun protection for your skin.

How to properly store retinol for effective results?

If you decide to use Retinol in your skin care routine, then you must know how to preserve this sensitive ingredient. Similar to other cosmetics, Retinol is also recommended to be stored in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Retinol can be stored in the refrigerator. However, you should arrange cosmetics in separate boxes separate from fresh foods to avoid cross-contamination.

Time to use Retinol after opening the cap

Expiry date and actual shelf life are two completely different concepts. After opening, environmental factors can affect and change product quality and shorten the shelf life to ⅓ compared to the shelf life on the package. Specifically, when the original packaging is still intact, retinol will still be effective for about 1-3 years depending on storage conditions. Once opened, retinol should only be used for up to 12 months.

The proper use of retinol will bring high efficiency, but if abused, it can cause side effects.

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In addition, it is necessary to limit the use of Retinol with some subjects as follows:

  • Women in early pregnancy should not use products containing retinol. They can increase the risk of birth defects and cause miscarriage.
  • People with sensitive skin to Vitamin A extracts , before using, try applying a little product containing Retinol to your hands, leave for about 10 minutes if there is no abnormality before continuing to use.

(Source: General)

The article has provided you with the miraculous effects that Retinol brings, hope you will get great skin and beauty with the benefits it brings.