How to prevent the unwanted side effects of Retinol
Starting a new skincare product range is both exciting and a little nerve racking. This is usually due to the concern the new range will in fact make your skin break out. Breaking out when trying a new product is totally normal and there is a term for it: these breakouts can be referred to as skin purging. Sometimes, when you start using a new skin care range, your skin goes through what is called a “Purging Process”, this refers to the initial effects some people have to products containing retinols and acids and occurs because the product is actively cleansing and bringing all the trapped oil & impurities to the surface of your skin, which can cause you to break out more. All skin types are prone to experiencing purging.
The good news is that skin purging is only temporary!
Generally, retinol side effects in the beginning are often associated with dryness and/or as the skin gets used to it. Other side effects initially can be redness and sensitivity. Always pay attention to your facial cleanser and make sure it isn’t stripping your skin from the natural oils required to properly maintain the acid mantle (skin barrier). You may want to switch to a creamy or milk-based cleanser that is extra gentle on the skin. Anyone with skin issues such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis or sensitive skin may find that retinol is too much for their face.
If well tolerated, retinol can be beneficial for just about anyone who is looking to improve the appearance of their skin and slow down the visual ageing process the skin goes through. Many people start using retinols in their 20’s but it’s important to know that its actually never too late to start using retinol.
In general, retinol is suitable for all skin types but as it can cause irritation, anyone with dry, damaged or sensitive skin should proceed slowly and if need be, use the retinol sandwich method of applying moisturiser > retinol > moisturiser.
If you are experiencing sensitivity from your retinol it may be best to reduce the frequency of use for a while until you feel adjusted to your new routine, don't be concerned if this takes 3-6 months too.
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