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What to do if your skin doesn't like retinol


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Any skincare fan will know retinol is the Holy Grail ingredient because it’s clinically proven to help with the signs of ageing.

Use it to help with wrinkles, fine lines, loss of tone and saggy skin, shrink large pores and even out skin texture. Yes, that’s quite the list. But annoyingly, with great benefits can come great problems.

Sometimes retinol can irritate the skin, with many people too scared to even give it a go in case it causes peeling, flaking or sensitivity.

If this sounds familiar, there are some steps you can take to try and ease into things.

Firstly, get your strength right. Retinol comes in many different strengths and it’s important you work your way up from the bottom.

You wouldn’t go straight in with a vindaloo if you’d never had a curry before, and it’s the same with retinol.

Moderate strength products have 0.04 per cent to 0.1 per cent retinol. Anything below that is weaker so a good place to start, and above that is strong and is best for skin that’s very used to using the ingredient.

It’s also worth thinking about the kind of retinol you get, by that, we mean the base the product is in.

Just like with serums, there are all sorts on the market, so go with what you know your skin likes. Medik8 has a range of different strength retinols which are in a squalene oil base. They are extra moisturising, so combat against the flaking which the ingredient can cause.

If you prefer something more lightweight, Paula’s Choice has a line of retinol serums which melt into the skin, whereas Kate Somerville’s +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturiser combines the beauty powerhouse with vitamin C for more glow.

Once you’ve picked your weapon, make sure you go easy to start.

Apply once a week at first so your skin has time to get used to retinol, then build up from there.

You should always use at night too, as it makes your complexion more sun-sensitive (SPF is a must).

Don’t combine retinol with acids as they are both exfoliators, so it’ll be too much for your skin. Instead, massage into clean skin and leave. At first, follow up a little later with a hydrating serum and/or moisturiser to make sure you don’t flake, but as time goes on you might be able to skip that step.

If these tips still don’t help you might need to use other products instead – vitamin C will give glow, hyaluronic acid can plump skin, and niacinamide is good for evening out texture and improving the look of pores.

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dearJulius.com Philippines: What to do if your skin doesn't like retinol
What to do if your skin doesn't like retinol
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