11 Best Retinol serums to Fight Acne & Skin Aging Signs.

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If you’ve been questing for an anti-aging product to slow down skin aging signs such as wrinkles, saggy skin, puffy eyes, age spots and improve overall skin texture with an even toned skin, then it’s time to try a powerful anti-aging beauty formula,– Retinol Serum. A powerful and effective anti-aging ingredient. In this article, we’ll detail out everything you need to know about retinol, including 11 best retinol serums to choose from.

Probably you may have heard alot about retinol and it’s effectiveness towards fighting skin aging signs and enhancing overall skin texture, you know what? All you’ve heard is true. When it comes to minimizing the appearance of skin aging signs, retinol is the real deal.

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative and an anti-aging molecule that accelerates skin-renewal, reduces wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots, for firmer, smoother and more evenly-toned skin.

Retinol belongs to the family of Retinoids which is an umbrella term for all vitamin A derivative ingredients.

How Does Retinol Works?

Retinol is a collagen boosting machine. When applied to the skin, it stimulates collagen production, which plumps out skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol also encourages cellular turnover which treats acne, unclog pores (allowing your pores to breath) and improves overall skin texture, with a youthful glow.

In summary Retinol serum:

  • Fights Acne (pimples).
  • Mildly exfoliate & unclog skin pores.
  • Boosts collagen production.
  • Diminishes Wrinkles.
  • Firms and smoothens the skin.
  • Promote cellular turnover.
  • Promotes blood circulation in the skin.
  • Evens and brightens out the skin

We have always advised that, you don’t really need to start seeing skin aging signs before using anti-aging products. Infact dermatologists advise you should start using anti-aging products such as retinol creams and serums as early as age 21, this will perfectly control and prevent skin aging signs before the age of 30 downwards. Remember the earlier the better.

How To Choose A Retinol Serum

There is this adage that says

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, 

well in terms of choosing a Retinol serum, you should judge the packaging of the product.

Retinol degrades when exposed to air and direct sunlight, so, when a retinol serum is poorly packaged this questions it’s quality.

Below are things you should look out before choosing a Retinol serum.

1. Check product label

First of all, you want to know the percentage of retinol present in the serum.

It’s interesting to let you know that the ingredients in skin care products are listed in descending order. This means that ingredients with the largest amounts are listed first. If an ingredient is listed at the end, there isn’t much of it present.

Not all retinol serums (and Creams) are formulated equally,  when reading the product label we advice you should ensure retinol is listed amongst the Active ingredients list, or amongst the top ingredients. This qualifies the  effectiveness and potency of a retinol serum (and creams).

2. Look at the product packaging.

Retinol serum comes in a metal tubes, tinted or dark (non-transparent) glass bottles, this is to protect the serum from direct sunlight. This is because retinol degrades when expose to heat, sunlight and air, which renders it ineffective. We recommend you should not purchase any retinol serum which comes in a transparent bottle or poorly sealed.

We also advise, you shouldn’t expose your retinol serum to air, by leaving it uncovered. Always ensure you tightly close the lid, and store in a cool dry place after use, to avoid degradation.

3. Know the difference between Retinol and other Retinoids.

Retinol sounds similarly to some retinoids which are totally different from retinol. For example:  retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl propionate, and retinyl linoleate.

The retinoids meantioned above are derivative of retinol, but it doesn’t offer the same anti-aging benefits as retinol.

Derivatives of retinol are in general weaker and less effective than retinol. So,  If your goal is to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, you’d probably be better off choosing something with plain retinol.

4. Choose a reputable brand.

Reputability also qualifies a quality product. Skincare products from reputable brands goes through vigorous testing, to ensure it’s quality and trustability.

5. Start with the lowest percentage.

Retinol comes in multiple strengths, the most common are; 2.5%, 2%, 1%, 0.5%, .0.3% and 0.25%. If your product doesn’t specify the percentage of retinol on the label, it usually means the concentration is weaker than 0.25%, which may not give you the full benefits of retinol. Studies suggest you need to use at least 0.25% retinol.

If you’re new to retinol, we advice you should start with lower percentage/concentration, (0.5% – 0.3%) before moving up to 1%, 2% or 2.5%(strongest). This is to build up your skin’s tolerance towards retinol to avoid severe irritations. The higher the concentration, the stronger the skin will respond with visible shedding, dryness and redness. If an increase in percentage triggered more shedding and redness, you can stick back to previous percentage.

However, another thing to consider is your skin type. If you have thick or oily skin, try a higher-strength retinol serum, If you have thin or dry skin, start with the lower-strength option.

Note
We strongly advise you should not use retinol serum during the day. Limit usage at night only. Retinol or retinoids breakes down when exposed to sun making then ineffective and unstable, this is why they are sold in metal tubes, opaque bottles/containers.

However if you still choose to use retinol serums during the day, then don’t forget to apply a sunscreen. Retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. To avoid irritations such as burning, redness and discoloration, we advice you should protect your face with sunscreen after applying retinol during the day.

You should always use SPF (sunscreen) during the day, whether you use retinol or not.

Also ensure to use retinol serums in conjunction with a moisturizer, this is because, as a new user, while using retinol products, you may experience a mild micro peeling associated with slight redness, this is normal, this is your skin trying to build tolerance to retinol. These signs should clear after some weeks. By then your skin’s tolerance to retinol products is built.

Although, retinol products tend to also contain moisturizers or emollients to reduce the possibility of irritation (shedding and redness).

But, we still advise you should apply a moisturizer after applying retinol serum. This is to keep your skin moisturized and hydrated which will reduce the possible occurrence of shedding, dryness and redness. You can read our review on 5 best oil-free facial moisturizers worth your money.

How to apply Retinol Serum

While applying retinol you should use little amount (pea-size).

Trust us, alittle goes a long way. Using too much amount won’t result to a faster result, rather it may cause more skin redness, dryness and peeling.

To break it down, apply your retinol this way:

  • Step 1: Wash your face with a clean water.
  • Step 2: Wait a few minutes until your skin is completely dry.
  • Step 3: Take a pea-size amount of your retinol serum, starting at your chin, apply with your fingertips in upward and outward motions till fully absorbed.
  • Step 4: Finish with your moisturizer.

If you’re new to retinol, start by applying twice a week (at night). Pay attention to your skin, if no severe irritations occured such as peeling, redness and dryness, you can move to applying 3 times weekly. Then gradually keep moving your way up till your skin builds full tolerance to retinol. Then you can use every night.

After a careful research, we’ve handpicked 11 best retinol serums to smoothen wrinkles, plumps out your skin, by boosting collagen production, unclogging the pores, fights acne and improve your overall skin tone and texture.

Below are 11 Best Retinol Serums.

1. TruSkin 2.5% Retinol Serum.

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Truskin retinol serum contains 2.5% retinol which is the strongest percentage available, combined with pure botanical hyaluronic acid, organic green tea, jojoba oil and vitamin E which rebuild your skin, plumping wrinkles and erasing fine lines, by boosting collagen production to give your skin back that youthful vibrance and texture that it deserves.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of Acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Fragrance-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None

Ingredients:

Organic Deionized Herbal Infusion, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Aloe, Wheat Germ Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Retinol, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Organic Green Tea, Propolis Extract, Organic Gotu Kola, Horsetail Extract, Wild Geranium, Organic Dandelion Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Lecithin, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin

2. Yeouth 2.5% Retinol Serum.

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This is also one of the best retinol serums in the market, from a reputable brand. Yeouth retinol serum also contains 2.5% retinol in combination with hyaluronic acid, aleo vera and vitamin E to boost collagen production which plumps out wrinkles and fine lines, evens skintone, age spots, sun spots, gets rid of acne and improve overall skin texture. This serum has so many positive reviews with high ratings from users.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of Acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate.

3. Tree of Life 2% Retinol Serum.

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Defy the law of aging with tree of life retinol serum. With 2% retinol combined with other organic powerful ingredients such as botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, witch hazel, jojoba Oil and green tea which counter the effects of aging and give your skin a youthful shine while making it feel soft and rejuvenated.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of Acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Deionized Water), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Glycerin (Kosher, Vegetable), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Organic Aloe), Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil (Wheat Germ Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Organic Jojoba Oil), Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Green Tea), Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract (Organic Gotu Kola), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Geranium Maculatum Extract (Wild Geranium), Taraxacum Officinale Extract (Organic Dandelion), Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Lecithin, Ethylhexylglycerin.

4. Eva Naturals 2.5% Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Serum.

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This is yet another potent and effective retinol anti-aging serum. This serum claims to be an expertly crafted formula that can penetrate four layers of skin, and you know what? It’s absolutely true. According to one of our editors who has used and currently using this serum, she said;

“Eva natural retinol serum absorbs quickly and penetrates deeply into the skin which enables it do it’s job by delivering nutrient-rich ingredients where you need them most”.

This serum combines 2.5% retinol with botanical hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, vitamin E, and green tea, to soften and plump wrinkles and erasing fine lines, by boosting collagen production. It also fades brown spots, age spots by accelerating cellular turnover, thereby improving overall skintone and texture.

Trust us, this serum absorbs quickly and also penetrates deeply into the skin. It also comes in a double-sized 2 oz bottle, with a pocket friendly price which offers the best value for your money.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Double-sized bottle.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Fragrance-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Glycerin (Kosher, Vegetable), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Organic Aloe), Retinol, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil (Wheat Germ), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Organic Jojoba), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Green Tea), Resina Propoli Extract (Propolis), Centella Asiatica Extract (Organic Gotu Kola), Equisetum Arvense Extract (Horsetail), Taraxacum Officinale Extract (Dandelion), Geranium Maculatum Extract (Wild Geranium), Hydoxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin.

5. Orlette 2.5% Retinol Serum.

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Bid farewell to dull-looking and blemished skin by using the Orlette Retinol Serum. This skin uplifting solution is infused with 2.5% retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, which destroy free radicals that cause cellular damage, oxidative stress, and premature aging, by gradually erasing wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and eye bags.

We love this serum because of it’s fast absorbing rate, without leaving a greasy feeling or residue. This potent retinol serum is moisturizing too, because it’s richly infused with hyaluronic acid and aleo vera.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Fragrance-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Retinol (vitamin A) botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, (Tocopheryl acetate), Organic aleo vera, Organic herbal infusion, witch hazel, Polysorbate 20, Potassium phosphate, Hydroxyethl cellulose, Carrageenan gum, Organic jojoba oil, Wheat germ oil, organic green tea, wild crafted propelen, sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Ethylhexyl glycerin.

6. Eve Hansen 2% Retinol Serum.

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Say goodbye to wrinkled, saggy and dull skin with Eva Hansen retinol serum. This potent anti-aging serum encourages quicker cell turnover to exfoliate and remove dead skin for a brighter and tighter complexion. Its anti-aging properties and presence of essential antioxidants work together to reduce fine lines, crows feet, age spots, eye bags and gets rid of acne. It stimulate collagen and elastin production to develop clearer and more resilient skin.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Cruelty-free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free. Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol 2% (Vitamin A), Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic Jojoba Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Organic Green Tea, Wildcrafted Propolis, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

7. SOSIAY CICI 2.5% Retinol Serum.

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If you have an extra-dry skin, then we recommend this serum for you. SOSIAY CICI contains 2.5% retinol, 5% hyaluronic acid, aleo vera extract, vitamin E, glycolic acid and jojoba oil, to combat skin aging signs while restoring your skin’s youthful glow with an improved texture.

According to some users who has used this retinol serum on their dry skin, said – their skin felt well moisturized, with fast absorption rate, and no greasy residue or feeling.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Fragrance-Free, Phthalates-Free, Cruelty-free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free. Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None

Ingredients:

98% Natural/72% Organic Ingredients: Water, 2.5% Retinol Serum,0.05% Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Organic Aloe Vera Extract, Organical Jojoba Oil, Organic Green Tea Extract, Organic Gotu Kola Extract, Witch Hazel, Glycerin, Retinol, Wheat Germ Oil, Propolis Extract, Propolis Extract, Horsetail Extract, Dandelion Extract, Wild Geranium Extract, Hydoxyethyl Ethylcellulose Carrageenan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Po-Tassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin.

8. OZNaturals Anti Aging Retinol Serum: Pro-Retaxinol 2.5%.

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When it comes to beauty products, Oznaturals never fails. This brand is known for their reputability in producing top notch beauty products. Oznaturals retinol serum contains 2.5% Encapsulated Retinol, Astaxathin, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin E to Boosts collagen and elastin production, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, minimizes hyperpigmentation, and pore size, gets rid of acne and restore skin’s firmness, elasticity and glow.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Fragrance-Free, Phthalates-Free, Cruelty-free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free. Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Glycerin, Hammamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Retinol (Retinol), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Astaxathin (Astaxathin), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Bixa Orellana Seed Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenylpropanol, Caprylyl Glycol, p-Anisic Acid.

9. La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum with 0.3% Retinol & Vitamin B3.

(Suitable for sensitive skin & new users)

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If you’re new to Retinol and you have a sensitive skin, then we recommend La roche-posay retinol serum with 0.3% retinol + vitamin B3.

This anti-aging face serum with pure retinol, gradually release retinol, and vitamin B3 into the skin, leaving the skin feeling smoother, hydrated, and renewed. As a result, the look of lines, wrinkles and premature sun damage are reduced, and skin recovers a youthful bright look. This formula is allergy tested which is suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Allergy Tested & Suitable for Sensitive skin.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Cruelty-free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free. Vegan formula.

Cons

  • None.

 

Ingredients:

AQUA /WATER / EAU • GLYCERIN • CYCLOHEXASILOXANE • ALCOHOL DENAT. • PENTYLENE GLYCOL • NIACINAMIDE • DIMETHICONE • GLYCINE SOJA OIL / SOYBEAN OIL • PPG-6-DECYLTETRADECETH-30 • SODIUM HYALURONATE • RETINOL • ADENOSINE • AMMONIUMPOLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE • CAPRYLYL GLYCOL • CITRIC ACID • TRISODIUM ETHYLENEDIAMINE DISUCCINATE • XANTHAN GUM • POLYSILICONE-11 • RETINYL PALMITATE • TOCOPHEROL • PHENOXYETHANOL • PARFUM/ FRAGRANCE

10. The Ordinary 0.5% Retinol.

(For new Retinol Users)

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If you’re new to retinol or your skin hasn’t experienced the touch of retinol before, then we recommend you should start with The Ordinary 0.5% Retinol serum. The Ordinary is a very reputable brand which produces high quality skincare products. Their retinol serum is not an exception.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Suitable for New users.
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
  • Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Cruelty-free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free. Vegan formula

Cons

  • None.

Ingredients:

Squalane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Retinol, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone, BHT.

11. FAB Skin LAB 0.25% Retinol Serum Pure Concentrate.

(Also For new retinol users & Sensitive skin)

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If you’re new to retinol, and you want to start from the lowest percentage, then we recommend Fab skin Lab 0.25% retinol serum. This concentrated serum combines retinol and peptides to help soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles and impart firmer-looking skin with a smoother texture.
This formula is tough on wrinkles, fine lines and acne while gentle on your skin, which makes it perfect for sensitive skin and new retinol beginners.

Pros

  • Absorbs quickly
  • Suitable for sensitive skin & new beginners
  • Formula deeply penetrates.
  • Gets rid of Acne.
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Helps protect skin from damage.
  • Fades pigmentation.
    Paraben-Free, Sulfate-Free, Phthalates-Free, Fragrance-Free, GMO-Free, Triclosan-Free, Cruelty-free, Vegan formula.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Ingredients:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Polysorbate 80, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Retinol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Colloidal Oatmeal, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide NP, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Linoleic Acid, Allantoin, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Palmitic Acid, Oleic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Triolein, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Stearic Acid, Maltodextrin, BHT, BHA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q: Why must i use a moisturizer after applying retinol serum?

A: This is because as a new user,  while using retinol products, you may experience a mild micro peeling associated with slight redness, this is normal. Retinol is doing its job by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. Your skin is trying to build tolerance towards retinol, (These signs should clear after some weeks).

Using a moisturizer after applying retinol will go a long way to sooth the skin, thereby reducing the possible occurrence of irritations, by keeping the skin well moisturized and hydrated, thereby preventing severe skin peeling, dryness and and redness.

Q: Can a pregnant women use retinol?

A: The answer is No. If you’re pregnant or a nursing mother, avoid using retinol products.

According to Dr. Robinson. She said; 

“Retinol, retin-A, retinoic acid, and tazaratene. All are derived from vitamin A, and while the vitamin can work wonders on your skin, excessive amounts can interfere with fetal development and lead to birth defects.”

As a precaution, we advice retinol products must not be used during pregnancy and by women planning to have a baby. With oral retinoids too.

Q: Can Retinol help with pigmentation?

A: Retinol can be applied topically to lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. This over-the-counter (OTC) retinoid can help minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation in under six months when applied correctly and consistently.

Q: Does Retinol thin the skin?

A: No. However retinol thickens the skin by boosting collagen production which plumps the skin. Thereby slowing down aging signs. This is beneficial because one of the natural signs of getting older is thinning of the skin.

Q: Can young people use Retinol?

A: Yes. There is no age restrictions in using retinol, you don’t need to start seeing skin aging signs before using anti-aging products (retinol or retinoids).

Dermatologists advise you should start using anti-aging products such as retinol creams and serums as early as age 21, this will perfectly control and prevent skin aging signs before the age of 30 upwards.

Q: How long does it take before seeing visible result while using retinol?

A: It all depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re using Retinol to treat acne. It will take probably 11-12 weeks to see results.

However, if you’re using Retinol for anti-aging purpose such as reduction of wrinkles, fine lines, and improvement of skin texture, it can take up to six months for full result to be visible. However it all depends on your skin type it may not take that long before seeing results.

Q: If i should use retinol at night only, do I still need to use sunscreen during the day?

A: Yes. You should always use SPF (sunscreen) during the day, even if you applied your retinol serum at night. Infact, applying sunscreen is a starting point towards fighting skin aging signs.

This is because by applying sunscreen you’re protecting or shielding your skin from environmental hazards, and the dangerous UV rays of the sun. See the best non-comedogenic broad spectrum sunscreens worth your money.

Q: Should i apply more retinol serum for better results?

A: Using too much of retinol serum or cream can often cause undesirable effects like peeling, redness and dryness. The recommended amount is about a pea-sized drop for the entire face. Like we stated earlier, alittle goes along way.

Q: Should i avoid using retinol around the eye area?

A: There has been a lot of speculations that you shouldn’t apply retinol or any other vitamin A derivative around the eye because of the sensitivity of the eye area towards retinoids.

However the eye area is the place where wrinkles shows up first and can benefit the most from collagen-stimulating effect of retinol or retinoids. While applying your retinol serum, you should concentrate around the eye area.  If you’re sensitive around your eyes, you can always layer on a moisturizer or an eye cream first followed by your retinol.

Q: Does stronger percentage of retinol give faster result?

A: For retinol and other retinoids building tolerance will create better results. If you are new to retinol, we advice you should start from the lower strength, probably 0.5% – 0.3%. Gradually you can work your way up to 1% – 2%, if you still feel you need a higher percentage and your skin can take it, you can move to 2.5%.

However, your skin type matters too.  if you have a thicker or oily skin, we advice you should start with higher percentage probably 1%, after building tolerance you can move up to 2% – 2.5%.

Q: Does retinol (and retinoids) exfoliate the skin?

A: Well, alot of people believes that retinol (and other retinoids) exfoliates the skin. But the truth is, retinoids are “cell communicating ingredients“. Which means as soon as retinoids gets into the skin, it “talks” to the skin cells by encouraging healthier younger cells to make their way up to the skin surface.

During this process the skin starts to peel and flake.  It’s easy to assume that the skin is exfoliating itself, however those side effects is as a result of irritations until the skin builds up tolerance, as retinoids don’t have the ability to clear or dissolve dead skin cells on their own.

Q: I have a sensitive skin can i use retinol?

A: Retinol can be alittle aggressive, but people with sensitive skin can still use retinol with proper guide and modifications.

That’s why we recommend you should start off slowly. Start by applying once or twice weekly, then apply a moisturizer after. You can as well mix both retinol serum and your moisturizer before applying.

Q: Can i layer retinol and vitamin C together for better result?

A: I all depends on the form of vitamin C you want to use. For example: layering L-acorbic form of vitamin C together with retinol can cause severe irritation and sensitivity.

Vitamin C comes in different forms. L-acorbic is the most unstable form of vitamin C, which can also cause mild irritations on sensitive skin.

If you want to pair vitamin C together with your retinol serum, we suggest you should use a more mild, stable and yet potent form of vitamin C, such as

  • Ascorbyle Palmitate.
  • Ascorbic Glucosamine.
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate.
  • Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.
  • Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (most mild & stable form of vitamin C)

Most skincare companies prefer using Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate form of vitamin C, because of its mildness and stability. It converts to ascorbic acid when it’s absorbed into the skin. This form of vitamin C is also potent just like L-acorbic acid.
If your vitamin C serum contains Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate form of vitamin C, then you can layer or pair together with your retinol serum (Make sure you apply a moisturizer after).

However, If you must use retinol and L-ascorbic acid at the same time, separate them by 30 minutes intervals. Apply your vitamin C (L-acorbic acid) first, since it has the lower pH of the two. Then, wait half an hour before you apply your retinol. Then finish off with a moisturizer, to keep your skin hydrated.
This way, you can also enjoy the benefits of the two.

You can still alter retinol and L-acorbic vitamin C serum between your AM and PM routines. By applying vitamin C serum in the morning (AM), then apply retinol serum at night (PM). Then finish off with a moisturizer. You can read our review on 13 Best vitamin C serums for skin brightening.

 

RELATED: 10 Best Retinol Anti-Aging Face Creams

 

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