How to use Retin-A
Since August, Retin-A has been a part of my skincare routine. Wary of potential irritation like dry, flaky skin, I did tonnes of research on how to use Retin-A.
Here are 6 tips that are really helping.
How to use Retin-A
Apply on dry skin
After washing your face, wait 20-30 minutes before applying Retin-A. Retin-A penetrates damp skin faster, which can irritate it. I’ve been told that once the skin adjusts this tip may not be necessary, so we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
Start slow + A little goes a long way
Retin-A comes in different strengths. 0.025% is the weakest and 1% is the strongest. Start with the weakest.
A pea sized amount is enough for the face. Dab it on the forehead, cheeks and chin then spread thinly. If you use a cream formula like I do, you will have more time to blend/spread, not so much with the gel formula.
I barely put any Retin-A on my nose and around my mouth because anything other than a BHA toner twice a week will cause it to dry and flake.
Buffer with moisturizer
After thinly blending the Retin-A, your face may feel dry, like mine. So I immediately apply a moisturizer on top. The first time I applied Retin-A, my face felt all tingly so I was glad to have La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 on top to soothe the skin and reduce potential irritation.
Some people prefer to apply Retin-A on top of the moisturizer, so it’s really up to figuring out what your skin prefers.
There’s no need to rush it with Retin-A. Start using it once a week for at least a month before using it twice or thrice a week. I tested this out. There was this week I tested it out and used it thrice.
OMG, my skin was like, “Nope!” I started breaking out. Now I know, Retin-A twice a week is enough to make my skin happy.
Never forget the sunscreen
Retinoids make your skin more sensitive to the sun so slathering on the SPF during the day, even though you use Retin -A at night, is non negotiable. You can find some great sunscreens for dark skin here.
Give the skin an “actives” break the next day
This is anecdotal, based on my experience. If I use any of my other actives (currently BHA, alpha arbutin, Vitamin C) the day after using Retin-A, my skin is overexfoliated.
I need to simply cleanse and moisturize my skin with creams and oils for both AM and PM routines the day after.
With these tips, I have not experienced dry, flaky, irritated skin while using Retin-A. Hopefully these will help you too!
Have you tried using Retin-A? How did you use it? Join the Facebook group and let me know.