How to Use Resurfacing Retinol Serum in Five Easy Steps

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Resurfacing retinol serum is a mild form of retinol serum that works for anti-aging, post-acne marks, and pore refining.

Being a mild form of retinol doesn’t make it less of a retinoid serum. Although this serum is marketed under a few brands, it has become quite popular in the world of skincare.

The resurfacing retinol serum was made as a substitute for people with skin types that cannot tolerate the harshness of retinol. It contains a less active retinoid that helps to reverse signs of aging and improve the appearance and texture of your skin.

If you’re looking for a retinol serum that stings less and shows fewer side effects, you should try the resurfacing retinol serum. This article has a step-by-step guide on how to use the serum correctly to maximize results.

1. Carry Out a Patch Test

If you’re using a product for the first time, you should not skip a patch test. This brief but necessary procedure helps you identify side effects early and authenticates the compatibility of your skin with the ingredients in the product.

Apply a few drops of the serum to a clean area of your skin like the side of your jaw. Leave the serum on and watch the area for up to 24 hours to see any adverse reactions. If it makes your skin uncomfortable and you notice redness, rinse off the serum and put it away.

However, if your skin seems to like the serum and fares well with retinol, you can incorporate it into your routine. Most importantly, introduce the serum in small concentrations and build up as tolerance increases.

2. Cleanse Your Skin

If your skincare routine will be effective, it should begin with cleansing. Cleansing provides a penetrable canvas for the ingredients and also allows them to work uninterrupted. Since you’ll be using a retinol serum, do not use a cleanser that contains any exfoliating acids.

Dampen a cotton ball with a mild cleanser or micellar water. Then, gently wipe across your face to remove oils, dead skin cells, makeup, and soap residues. Do not rinse off the cleanser. Allow it to dry off by itself but retain some amount of moisture to aid the absorption of the serum.

3. Apply Resurfacing Retinol Serum

After cleansing your face, the serum comes next. You only need a little serum per routine for even coverage. Applying more retinol serum than your skin can take can be rather counterproductive, especially for a retinol beginner.

Pump out resurfacing retinol serum and release about 2-3 drops in your palm. Use your fingertips to apply the serum to the areas where you have acne scars, enlarged pores, fine lines, and facial wrinkles. Do not apply pressure or rub the serum in, gentle pats would do.

Allow the serum to absorb into your skin for about a minute before you proceed to the next step.

4. Don’t Skip Moisturizer

If you have used retinol before, you’ll agree that not moisturizing after retinol is equal to exposing your skin to irritations. Retinol has a drying effect on the skin, it strips it of moisture and subsequently weakens the skin barrier.

To counter this effect and to seal in moisture, use a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, a powerful hydrator. Take a pea-sized amount of moisturizer and gently rub it in. Again, allow the cream to absorb into your skin for up to a minute.

5. Shield Up

Sunscreen is not a decorative step of your routine, even though it does not absorb into your skin. SPF guarantees the effectiveness of your products. Layer on sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before you step out in the morning.

Although this serum contains a less active retinoid, it can make your skin photosensitive (since it’s a retinoid after all). Also, it shields your skin from ultraviolet radiation that can cause the formation of free radicals which leads to damaged skin tissues.

Does Resurfacing Retinol Serum Work?

Yes, it does. Resurfacing retinol serum contains retinol, an active form of vitamin A. Retinol stimulates cell turnover which is necessary to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. This retinol serum helps to uncover clear skin with improved acne scars.

Furthermore, it refines your pores. It reduces enlarged pores that characterize acne-prone skin. With its lightweight, gel-like formula, it delivers retinol into the deep layers of your skin and communicates skin rejuvenation, revealing brighter skin with an even tone.

Is Resurfacing Retinol Serum Different From Retinol Serum?

Yes, it is. Applying resurfacing retinol serum shows fewer side effects, especially redness and flaking. It is a more tolerable retinol serum that reduces the prominence of post-acne marks, facial wrinkles and gives your skin a smoother texture by refining your pores.

Unlike the regular retinol serum, it makes your skin comfortable with retinol in your routine yet it works effectively.

Resurfacing retinol serum is tested and approved by dermatologists who affirmed that it contains other active ingredients like niacinamide which makes the retinol concentration tolerable.

In addition, it contains ceramides which preserve the integrity of your skin barrier. This increases resilience against moisture loss, thereby preventing cases of dehydration and skin irritations.

What Are the Benefits of Using Resurfacing Retinol Serum?

Resurfacing retinol serum is a relief from the regular retinol serum. Sensitive and oily skin will appreciate the gel-like formula that makes it absorb quickly into your skin. As mentioned earlier, it contains other ingredients that enhance its resurfacing ability.

For instance, the serum contains niacinamide, an active ingredient that helps control sebum production. One serum offers more benefits than the other. It employs licorice extract, one of the ingredients in the formula, for skin brightening.

If you need a tolerable retinol serum for your sensitive skin, resurfacing serum is a good fit.

How Much Retinol Is in Resurfacing Retinol Serum?

Resurfacing retinol serum contains about 0.01-0.1% retinol. This low concentration of retinol is still effective for reversing the signs of aging, refining pore size, and improving the texture of your skin.

While many like to believe that you need more to get more, the opposite is the case with active ingredients, especially retinol. The low concentration makes the serum tolerable for every skin type.

How Long Does It Take Resurfacing Retinol Serum to Work?

Expect to see results of using resurfacing retinol serum after two to three months of consistent use. Retinol is powerful but you shouldn’t expect an overnight miracle with it. Just like with any other product, you need to be consistent with the serum to get results.


How do you know resurfacing retinol serum is working?

The effects of retinol take a while, some weeks before they are visible and well-defined. One common way to know resurfacing retinol serum is working is a skin purge.

This may look as though things are going south but it’s a sign of cell turnover which is necessary for skin resurfacing.

Should you rinse off resurfacing retinol serum?

No, you should not. Just like every serum, resurfacing retinol serum is a leave-on product. Apply the serum to pre-cleansed skin and allow it to absorb into your skin before you apply moisturizer and any other product in your routine.

When should you use resurfacing retinol serum?

The best time to use resurfacing retinol serum is during your evening routine when your skin is protected from sun exposure. Sunlight breaks down retinol and makes your skin photosensitive.

Moreover, at night, your skin enters into self-repair and this is a good time for your skin to bask in the anti-aging effects of retinol.


Resurfacing retinol serum is the way to go if you need retinol for your aging skin but your skin already cringes when you think about it. With less active retinol, it is more tolerable yet very effective. This serum helps with the appearance of wrinkles post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) acne marks.

To enjoy the benefits of this serum, you need to know how to use it correctly. Before you fully incorporate the serum into your routine, you should test for suitability with a patch test. Do not forget, sunscreen is just as important as your resurfacing retinol serum.

Thanks for reading.

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