How Many Times a Week Can You use Retinol?

How Many Times a Week Can You use Retinol?

With the number of benefits and praise that comes with retinol, you’d want to reap the rewards of such an impressive ingredient. With this is praise and countless benefits however comes some precautions you should follow when introducing this powerhouse into your routine.

If you already use retinol, chances are you’ve already experienced how much time and effort it takes to build the skin’s tolerance towards this form of vitamin A. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge in using a retinoid yet, well, you’ll find today’s blog post extremely helpful. So, stick around if you want to find out exactly how many times a week you can use retinol as well as other questions, we’ve has sent to us recently.

Before we dive in, if you are needing a little refresher about the benefits of retinol and the results you can expect to see, check out our dedicated blog post.

Can you use retinol every day?

The short answer is yes, the longer, more detailed answer is this is very much dependant on how potent the formula is. Because of the benefits of retinol resulting in it being an effective ingredient to help combat free radical damage, such as sun exposure and pollution, as well as boosting collagen production I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to use it every day. Before you do, however, ensure you are using a product containing a low percentage, starting with 0.05% this will help build your skin’s tolerance and is not too aggressive.

For more potent percentages, if you wanted my advice, I would avoid using every night and instead only apply them up to 3 times a week. Don’t forget, if you have any concerns consult with your doctor or a dermatologist to make sure you avoid any unwanted irritation or reactions. 

How often can you use a retinol?

You can use a higher percentage of retinol once or twice a week to begin with. This should only be done once you have introduced your retinol product into your routine the correct way resulting in the skin building its tolerance. Once this has happened and your skin is happy for you to up the ante, you are able to use retinol 3 times a week, or every other day.

The common side effect, also known as the “retinol uglies” is something that everyone who starts their retinol journey will experience. The face will have patches of dry skin, flakiness, and can often feel quite uncomfortable and tight. This will pass over time, and you’ll really see the true benefits of this potent powerhouse. In the meantime, if you are wanting to combat the itchiness, apply a serum packed with hyaluronic acid will transform the skin and give the complexion a boost in hydration and lock moisture into the outer surface.

How long do you have to use retinol to see results?

For over-the-counter formulas you can expect to start noticing a difference after consistent use in 5-6 months. The complexion will appear smoother, have a more even skin tone, and all-over improved youthful bounce.

If you are using a medical grade or prescription only product, you’ll find it will be a similar wait time, however, some users have found there is an all over improvement in some concerns, such as breakouts and acne as quickly as 12 weeks. Other concerns, such as sun damage, dark spots, and signs of ageing will take longer to show improvement. 

How much retinol is too much?

The saying “the more you apply, the faster results you’ll see” just doesn’t ring true when it comes to using such potent skincare ingredients. With retinol you should avoid applying too much to the skin as this can lead to severe dryness, discomfort, and potential soreness and peeling. Using roughly the size of a pea-sized amount for the entire face will be more than enough to reap the rewards without the side effects. As I have already mentioned you can also counteract the dryness with skincare products packed with hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid to keep the skin barrier balanced and functioning correctly.

Can I use retinol once a week?

Yes, you can, but there’s really no point in only applying it once a week. It is true that retinol is firstly initially drying and can cause some mild irritation. But this doesn’t last long and once your skin is accustomed to the formula you can build to applying it every other evening.

If you still wish to only use retinol once a week, by all means if it works for you and your skin type continue to do so. You may want to team this powerhouse with other ingredients, such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid for example, just check your skin will be happy with this routine. One final and highly important step is to always ensure you apply a daily SPF of 30 and above to keep the skin barrier protected from sun exposure and free radicals. 

What happens if you use too much retinol?

If you use a medical grade or prescription only formula you’ll find if you don’t pay too much attention you can result in severe itchiness, irritation and peeling of the face. It is of the upmost importance that you follow the instructions on the packaging as every formula and product are all different. If you have any concerns check with a medical or trained professional to check you are using the correct amount. It is important to not rush into using retinol, if you are unsure about what I mean by this you can check out our blog post which goes into a little more detail about which strength of retinol you would need and benefit most from.

So, there you have a little bit more of an insight into how many times a week can you use retinol. Don’t forget that if skin is your thing, you can come and follow us on Instagram for exclusive discounts, new product launches, and daily skincare tips.


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