How To Use Retinol In Your Acne Routine

How To Use Retinol In Your Acne Routine

Retinol is a retinoid, which is a common blanket term for a number of compounds all of which are derived from vitamin A. Retinol promotes skin renewal, reduces breakout and blemishes, improve skin tone and texture and combats signs of ageing. It’s no wonder the popularity of this skin ingredient has sky-rocketed in recent years. Having said this, retinol was first patented as an acne treatment by dermatologists back in 1967, meaning it has played an important role in the skincare development for over 50 years. You can find out more about the skincare benefits of retinol over on our website.

Adding retinol to your skincare routine will help combat many skin concerns, especially if you find yourself suffering from frequent breakouts and acne. Let’s find out more about how to use routine in your acne routine.

How do you use retinol in a skincare routine?

When it comes to using retinol in your skincare routine, always remember that slow and steady wins the race! Your skin needs to build a tolerance towards the potent ingredient to avoid any reactions such as rashes, flakiness and other irritations. Here are the main key points to remember when using retinol in your daily routine;

  1. Start with the lowest percentage to avoid skin irritation
  2. Apply retinol once a week to begin with to build the skin’s tolerance
  3. Always apply retinol in your evening routine as UV exposure evaporates the ingredient’s potency
  4. Avoid the mouth, eyes and neck when using retinol as these areas have thinner skin and are more likely to be sensitive
  5. If you have a very sensitive skin type you must ask for advice from a doctor to ensure you are safe to use retinol
  6. Always ensure you apply an SPF to the skin the following morning, even on overcast and cloudy days
  7. If you are finding the strength of your over the counter product is not having much effect, seek the help from a professional for a prescription concentrate
  8. If you are feeling unsure or nervous about introducing retinol into your skincare routine consult a dermatologist for more advice

If you are wanting to know more about the various percentages of retinol available you can find out more about which strength of retinol would work best for you.

How do you use retinol for acne?

Retinol and other retinoids are a key ingredient to combating acne. Unlike other blemish-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that work at killing spot causing bacteria and exfoliating away dead skin cells, retinol works from the inside out. Retinol penetrates deeply into the lowers of the skin and combines to the nuclear receptors, which are in charge of all functionality of the skin, from cell turnover to collagen production. This results in retinol having the ability to help treat all forms of blemishes and acne, especially if you team it with a skincare routine enriched in high quality ingredients. We have shared with you some advice on the best skin ingredients to use to treat acne in a dedicated blog post.

The following are the key benefits of using retinol for acne;

  • Retinol work further down the skin compared to other blemish-fighting ingredients
  • Retinol is able to slough away the build-up of dead skin cells making the skin appear brighter and more glowing
  • Retinol can unclog pores of any build of bacteria, excess sebum and debris that can develop into active spots
  • Retinol tightens pores resulting in an even looking complexion and preventing any future breakouts
  • Retinol boost collagen production giving the skin an even texture and acne scarring visibly reduced
  • Retinol is packed with antioxidants allowing the skin to protect itself from any environmental aggressors such as UV exposure and pollution 

There you have the key benefits of treating the skin and addressing any blemishes. The powerhouse status of retinol and its ability to benefit the skin in many ways makes it one of the most effective skin ingredients allowing you to give your regime a boost in improving your skin’s health and appearance.

Can you put retinol on open acne?

Though this may sting a little, applying retinol to open acne should not have any negative effects on the skin. That is taking into consideration that you have previously used retinol and your skin has become used to the percentage of the product. It may not provide overnight miracle results you were hoping for, you will find any active spots will be significantly reduced in size and redness. 

Do you put retinol on before or after moisturiser?

This really depends on the product and the formulation containing the retinol. For example, is it is a treatment serum it is best to apply it before a moisturiser as it allows the serum to seep into the skin. The easiest way to remember which product should be applied first is on the thickness of the formula, starting with lightweight gels to heavier creams as this won’t overload the skin and allow the products and the ingredients to target the correct areas of the skin.

How long does it take for retinol to clear acne?

Depending on the level of concentrate of retinol you are using, you can expect to see the beginning of the results after 6 weeks and an overall improvement after 10 weeks. This is reliant of the continuous application of the retinol, for example if you apply retinol 2-3 times a week you will see a difference quicker than using it once a week. As previously mentioned introducing retinol into your routine takes some time and should be applied correctly to the skin to avoid any irritation and other skin reactions to occur.

Does retinol make acne worse before it gets better?

Retinol is a highly potent and effective skincare ingredient that started as an acne treatment, this means it should not cause any acne or blemish concerns to get worse. If you are finding your skin has not had any improvement or find you are suffering from more breakouts than it may be a case of taking a look at the formula of the product. Over the counter products generally have a lower percentage of vitamin A in them compared to medical grade level products. If you are wanting to up the ante at clearing the skin from spots then consulting a dermatologist for a prescription product would be the next step to take when using retinol in your acne skincare routine.

I hope this has helped clear up a few questions you have about using retinol in your daily routine, don’t forget to get in touch with us on our Instagram if you have any further questions!


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