Who Should Avoid Using Retinol?

a woman applying retinol serum on her face | Who Should Avoid Using Retinol


Retinol has several benefits for your skin, including anti-ageing, acne treatment, and general renewal. This multifunctional skincare product is a kind of retinoid derived from vitamin A.

Unlike stronger retinoids like Retin-A (tretinoin), retinol may be purchased over the counter in up to 2% concentrations. In other words, if you want to utilise it, it's quite accessible.

What is the role of retinol in skincare?

Retinol may assist with a number of skin issues, from acne to sun damage. 

Retinol for Acne 

Retinol cream or retinol serum keeps pores clean by preventing skin cell accumulation. It may also inhibit skin inflammatory pathways.

In a nutshell, this suggests that retinol does more than just help you have fewer breakouts. It may also help to reduce the associated redness and swelling.

Retinol for skin Ageing support

Skin cells naturally renew themselves, exposing new cells underneath. However, as you get older, this occurs less often, resulting in a duller complexion. You may also see fine lines and wrinkles, which may develop at any age.

Retinol serum promotes brighter, smoother skin by speeding up the turnover process. It also penetrates deeper into the skin to promote collagen formation and plump the skin even more.

Sun damage

Skin tone may be improved by increasing skin cell turnover. This is especially beneficial if you have indicators of sun damage, such as:

  • wrinkles 
  • hyperpigmentation 
  • fine lines 
  • wrinkles

Retinol may also assist to strengthen the skin, protecting it from additional environmental damage. 

Dead skin cells might cause your skin to become drier than you'd want. With the aid of retinol, you can remove those dead cells and have more moisturised skin. By smoothing rough and bumpy skin textures, retinol may help cure keratosis pilaris.

The usefulness of retinol has been shown in much research. Topical retinoids, according to a study, are safe and efficient acne therapy. Retinol seems to boost cell turnover and collagen formation, according to the same study.

Stronger prescription retinoids, along with additional therapies such as benzoyl peroxide, may be more effective for severe acne. When it comes to anti-ageing benefits, stronger retinoids may be more effective.

Who can use retinol?

If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you shouldn't use retinoids like retinol. If you have any of the following, continue with caution:

  • Sensitive skin or dry skin
  • rosacea
  • eczema
  • acne scars

If any of these apply to you, you should see a dermatologist or healthcare expert before using retinol. Of course, seeing a doctor before using any new skincare product is always a good idea.

Is age a factor?

Due to the anti-ageing benefits of retinol, conventional wisdom suggested commencing a routine at the age of 30. However, retinol has several additional advantages. Furthermore, there is no certain age at which you may see changes in your skin.

Only you and your dermatologist can decide which products are best for your skin, and your age may have a far less role than you think.

Side effects and risks

When you start taking retinol, you may experience discomfort as your cell turnover rises. This comprises:

  • dryness
  • Redness
  • itchiness

Stronger retinoids have more of these side effects. However, you may get them from retinol as well, particularly if you take many retinoid-containing products.

These adverse effects should go away after a few weeks of usage. If you don't see any improvement, you should stop taking the product and consult your doctor. Keep in mind that if you have darker skin, inflammation might cause hyperpigmentation.

When using any retinoid medication, try to avoid sitting in direct sunlight and always use sunscreen – at least SPF 30 every day is recommended. If any side effects or severe irritation make you uncomfortable, get advice from a dermatologist.

Including retinol in your skin-care regimen

  • If you wish to use retinol, remember these two rules: Begin slowly and with a light touch.
  • A 0.05 per cent concentration is a decent place to start.
  • Start by applying a pea-size quantity of product two or three times per week to work your way up to more regular usage.
  • If you're worried about increased sun sensitivity, use retinol cream at night.
  • After 1 or 2 weeks, if your skin seems to handle retinol well, you may gradually increase to using it every other night.
  • If no negative effects appear after another 2 weeks or so, you may start using it every night if necessary. If you like, you may limit yourself to two or three evenings every week. Less frequent use may still provide advantages while lowering the chance of negative effects.
  • So, how long will you have to wait for results? Patience is essential. It might take anywhere from six weeks to three months to detect an improvement.
  • If you're still not seeing results, you could want to try stronger retinol or another kind of retinoid. A dermatologist can always provide more tailored advice and suggestions.

Take Away

Retinol is a simple method to begin exploring the realm of retinoids. Although it may take some time before you see any effects, many people believe the advantages are well worth the wait.