Can Teens Use Retinol? Learn the Truth About Using Retinol Here

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You must have seen or heard about Retinol at one point or the other, however, you might not know fully what it is. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that is famous in the skincare market for the incredible aging remedies it does to the skin. Now you ask, can teens use retinol?

Teenagers are allowed to use retinol in their skin as a treatment to solve their skin concerns. Retinol works to treat skin concerns such as acne, uneven skin tone, brown spots, and so on and these are skin issues common among teens. 

According to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, “retinol helps to clear acne and acne scars by regulating turnover in the skin cell.” Most teens experience acne breakouts due to hormonal changes that occur due to puberty.

This article contains all you need to know about the function of using retinol as a teenager. 

What Does Retinol Do to the Skin?

Retinol does not only help to defy age, but it also helps to treat other skin issues, such as photoaging, hyperpigmentation, and so on. This makes it beneficial to even those that have no aging problems such as teenagers.

According to Amanda von dem Hagen, a licensed esthetician, “retinol is the star ingredient in anti-aging skin care products as it enhances collagen production in the skin.”

This helps to smoothen and improve skin texture, as well as keep the skin ageless and radiant. Listed below are the three major benefits of using retinol on your skin.

1. It Helps to Treat Acne and Reduce Breakouts

Aside from using it for anti-aging purposes, retinol is commonly used as a treatment for acne. If your acne is proving stubborn, try using retinol on it.

Retinol helps to regulate oil production in the skin, thereby, reducing breakouts on the face. Retinol also helps to defend the body against the bacteria that cause acne on the skin. 

It does this by unclogging pores in the skill and this automatically allows the skincare products to penetrate the skin.

2. Tackles Aging Signs

The use of retinol on aging skin will help to enhance the production of collagen, and elastin in the blood vessels. This will help to firm up the body, and this will assist in reducing the appearance of aging on your skin.

Wrinkles and fine lines as a result of aging, however, using retinol on your skin will help to stop fine lines from forming. It will also help to reduce existing aging signs in the body.

3. Improve Skin Tone

I bet you didn’t know that this anti-aging ingredient also helps to even out your skin tone. Retinol helps to enhance new skin cell turnover by naturally exfoliating. 

Old dull-looking dry skin will become brighter and evenly toned skin, as retinol sloughs off dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to unravel fresh ones. 

Can Teenagers Use Retinol for Acne?

Teens experiencing acne breakouts can use retinol as an acne treatment to reduce, clear, and prevent the development of acne in their pores. 

As teens, retinol will help to remove the dirt in your pores that cause the development of acne. It will also help to regulate the production of sebum in the sebaceous glands to prevent excess oil from blocking your pores. 

The best product to use with your retinol product to tackle acne and acne scars is one that contains hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is very effective in hydrating the skin deeply and nourishing the skin with the necessary nutrients to make the skin smooth and plump. 

Using hyaluronic acid after using retinol will help to keep the body moisturized throughout the day. It will also help to reduce the risk of experiencing side effects from using retinol on your skin.

Using retinol on acne is a faster way of getting rid of acne and acne scars, compared to regular acids.

When Should You Start Using Retinol?

If you are looking to treat acne as a teen, you can start using retinol on your skin even before your 20s to help clear acne and reduce the appearance of acne scars. 

The best time to start using retinol to tackle aging signs on your skin is in your early 20s. Early incorporation of retinol in your skincare routine will help to prevent the formation of aging signs on your skin. This will help to prevent early aging caused by sun damage.

However, it’s never too late to begin using retinol on your skin. Even as an adult, retinol will help to keep your skin fresh by eliminating aging signs such as fine lines, wrinkles, and crowfeet. Using retinol on your skin will help to keep your skin flawless and ageless. 

When Should You Use Retinol in Your Skincare Routine?

You can use your retinol in either your morning or evening skincare routine. However, the best time to use retinol on your skin is at night. The reason for this is that the body works to repair itself overnight, using retinol in your evening routine allows the ingredients to work in your body to repair your skin. 

Aside from that, retinol is known to make the body more photosensitive; this makes your body prone to sun damage. Additionally, the sun neutralizes retinol when your body is exposed to the sun; making retinol a waste on the body.

Always ensure that you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen as a layer of protection on your skin to protect it from sunburn and ultraviolet radiation damage.

Ensure that you do this every day before going outdoors even if you do not use retinol in your morning skincare routine.

How Long Does It Take Retinol to Work?

With frequent usage of retinol, you should begin to see results from the fourth week of using it. Depending on the skin issue you are using retinol to treat, it could take a shorter period than that and it could take longer. 

Consistency is the key to seeing better skin improvements quickly. Going on and off with the product might not show any tangible effect on the skin. Ensure that you go all in when you begin to use your retinol serum; this way the product works effectively to give you ageless skin.

After about 12 weeks of using your retinol serum, you will see major skin improvements, such as a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as age spots, and even acne breakouts.

How Do You Know if Retinol Is Working?

Retinol is a magic ingredient that tackles major aging signs in the body, and it has also been proven to work to treat acne and reduce acne scars. It also works to reduce brown spots and photoaging. 

After using retinol on your skin for a couple of weeks, you should begin to notice these skin improvements in your skin. 

If there is a reduction in the rate of breakouts on your face, or if there is reduced visibility of wrinkles and fine lines on your skin, then your retinol is working just fine. It is quite easy for you to see the difference between how your skin was when compared to after using retinol on it. 

How Often Should You Use Retinol on Your Skin?

As you begin to use retinol on your skin, only apply it once or twice weekly. This will help to get your skin familiar with the ingredient. Building your skin’s tolerance to the use of retinol is important, as it is capable of irritating the skin. 

It usually takes the skin about 3 weeks to get accustomed to the use of the ingredient. As time goes on, you can increase your frequency of usage by adding one more night every month. That is, after each month, you increase the usage by one more day. 

Keep doing this till you can build up enough skin tolerance to accommodate the daily usage of the ingredient.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Using Retinol?

First-time retinol users may experience common side effects, such as dryness, redness, and peeling of the skin. Other factors such as overusing retinol or using a high concentration retinol product can trigger side effects, such as itchiness and rashes. 

Those with sensitive skin should use retinol on their skin with caution to avoid irritation. Some other rare side effects of retinol include:

  • Enzymes
  • Acne breakout
  • Discoloration
  • Swelling
  • Stinging

Frequently Asked Questions

Is retinol for the face only?

No, it isn’t. Asides from using retinol for your face, you can also apply retinol on other parts of your skin. 

Other parts of your body such as your back or chest may also be affected by acne. Therefore you should use your retinol sparingly on all parts of your body that you would like to treat with it. 

Can you use retinol under your eyes?

Yes, you can. Even though the skin under the eye is delicate and retinol is considered to be a very powerful ingredient, it can still be used on the delicate skin under your eyes.

However, to avoid irritating your skin, ensure that you do not use too much retinol around the delicate skin of your eyes. 

What does retinol do for acne?

Retinol helps to regulate oil production in the skin, thereby, reducing breakouts on the face. Retinol also helps to defend the body against the bacteria that cause acne on the skin. 

It does this by unclogging pores in the skin, and this automatically allows the skincare products to penetrate the skin.

What does retinol do for wrinkles?

The use of retinol on aging skin will help to enhance the production of collagen, and elastin in the blood vessels. 

This helps to firm up the body, and this will assist in reducing the appearance of aging on your skin.


Retinol is a star ingredient that works for both young and old. For teens battling skin issues such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and so on, you should consider using retinol to tackle and treat them. 

Retinol promotes the production of necessary protein fibers in the skin to help the rejuvenation of your skin cells. It also regulates the production of sebum to prevent oils from clogging your pores. 

Asides from all that, It also enhances the epidermal turnover rate as well to rid your skin of dead skin cells and other blemishes.

Thanks for reading. 

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