Using Retinol in the Summer

So you’ve picked out a retinol product, you splurged on it a little because you know it’s worth it, but how can you maximize the benefits to see the best results?

Here’s a quick breakdown on retinol. It’s a form of Vitamin A, and it’s recommended to use it in your skincare routine along with daily SPF. It promotes cell turnover, stimulates collages production, and promotes elasticity in your skin. Retinol will thin your skin’s barrier, so wearing sunscreen every day is a must, even if you don’t use retinol as often. Incorporating this product into your skincare routine in your 20s will go a long way in keeping your skin youthful in later years.

You are probably also wondering how you should use your new product. Retinol is best applied at night, and doesn’t have to be used every night. If goes on just before your moisturizer, and can even be applied mixed with moisturizer if your skin is sensitive. At the start, apply it twice a week, and from there you can increase or decrease the frequency based on your skin’s reaction. Of course, it is best to visit with a skin care professional to get a personalized recommendation on how to use retinol and which formulation is best for you.

Once you start using retinol, use other exfoliants with caution. Since retinol is helping with cell turnover, adding other forms of exfoliation might be too much for your skin. Both chemical and physical exfoliants, when used in addition to retinol, can lead to dryness, breakouts, or other negative skin reactions. If you are considering another form of exfoliation, start by using retinol and the new exfoliant on different nights and keep an eye on how your skin reacts.

It’s important to remember that retinol makes your skin sensitive to the sun, so SPF is non-negotiable! In the summer months, you will be exposed to longer days and more sun rays, so reapplying sunscreen and keeping a hat handy is critical. There’s no need to avoid outdoor fun in the summer as long as you keep your face covered – both with sunscreen and shade, particularly between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are at their peak. Finally, consider skipping retinol use before going on a vacation where you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun. The good news is that your skin will be less dry in the summer, you are less likely to see any flakiness as a result of retinol use.

You can buy retinol products from a drugstore or from a skincare professional. It is always recommended to get one from a professional – the formulations are more stable and potent, so you will see results more quickly than with an over-the-counter formulation. Whatever form of retinol you end up with, maintaining a solid skin-care routine that incorporates retinol and sun protection is your best bet for gorgeous skin.

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