How to Use Retinol Serum Effectively for a Beauty Boost

Retinol serums are quite popular in the skincare world because retinol is an effective ingredient in anti-aging skincare products as it works on several skin issues. It helps with skin issues such as acne, aging spots, sun damage, fine lines and so much more. 

Retinol serum is a skincare product that contains a high concentration of retinol; which is a derivative of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the skin in several ways, especially in the reproduction of skin cells to heal the skin of damages.

Unlike other vitamin A derivatives, you can get a retinol serum over the counter. You can easily just get yourself one today to start enjoying its amazing anti-aging benefits. 

However, you need to learn to use a retinol serum correctly. This will not only help you prevent the side effects and irritation on your skin, but it will also aid the effectiveness of the serum.

How to Use Retinol Serum in Your Skincare Routine

There are several benefits attached to using a retinol serum correctly on your skin but to reap these benefits, you have to learn to apply your retinol serum correctly on your skin. 

First, you have to do a patch test to check for any allergic reaction or irritation on your skin. Do this by applying a drop of retinol serum on your inner wrist and massaging it in. Leave this on for a few hours before washing it off. 

If you notice any irritation on your skin, do not continue to use retinol in your skincare routine and you can contact your dermatologist for help on how to use retinol on your skin.

However, if the retinol serum didn’t irritate your skin, you can confidently include retinol in your skincare routine. Ahead is a guide on how to incorporate the use of retinol serum in your skincare routine. 

1. Prepare Your Face for Application

Before you start to apply any skincare product to your face, you have to clean your face first. This will help to remove dirt and debris from your face. 

How to do it: 

  • Splash clean water on your face
  • Get a gentle cleanser that works for your skin type
  • Massage a little amount of cleanser on your face using your palm or fingertips
  • Wash the cleanser off your face after a few seconds. Do this with cool, clean water.

2. Dry Your Skin and Apply Face Toner

After washing your skin with a cleanser, the next step is to dry your face using a clean towel. After drying out your face, apply the toner on your face. This will help to prepare your face for the application of your serum. 

The skin around covering the face is sensitive, using a toner before the application of your serum will help to protect your skin from getting irritated. Wait for a few minutes after applying your toner on your face for your skin to absorb the cream. 

SEE: What Does Retinol Do? See the Benefits and Side Effects

3. Apply Retinol Serum

Before you apply your retinol serum, ensure that your skin is completely dry. When you apply retinol serum on wet skin, the serum penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and might irritate your skin. 

How to do it:

  • Squeeze out a drop or two drops of retinol serum into your palm
  • Rub the serum on your face using your palm or your fingertips
  • Massage the serum all over your face by rubbing in a circular motion

4. Use Your Moisturizer

After applying your retinol serum on your face, wait for your skin to absorb it for a few minutes, and then grab your favorite moisturizer. Apply your moisturizer gently on your skin.

Applying moisturizer on your skin after using retinol serum on your skin will help to protect your skin from the drying effects of retinol serum.

5. Finish up With Your Sunscreen

If you are using your retinol in your morning skincare routine, you have to apply a sunscreen of SPF-30 or higher to your skin after moisturizing. Applying sunscreen to your skin will help you to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. 

Going out into the sun without using sunscreen may cause sun damage to your skin because retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. You do not need to apply sunscreen separately if your moisturizer contains an SPF of 30 and above.

How to Use Retinol to Treat Hyperpigmentation

Reducing and treating hyperpigmentation is one of the many amazing things your retinol serum can do for you. Applying retinol on your skin often will help to prevent dark patches from forming on your face. 

How to do it:

  • Prepare your face for the application by washing it with a mild facial cleanser
  • Dry your face using a clean towel and apply your face toner on your face to protect the sensitive area of your face from getting irritated by the retinol serum
  • Allow your skin to dry up completely before applying your retinol
  • Rub a drop or two of your retinol on your face
  • Follow up with your moisturizer for protection against dryness and sunscreen for protection against sunburns

SEE: What Is Face Serum? A Complete Guide for Skincare Beginners

How to Use Retinol for Acne

Using retinol serum on your face will also help to treat and reduce the appearance of acne on your face. All you need to do is apply retinol two to three times weekly. 

How to do it: 

  • Cleanse your face using a facial cleanser
  • Dry your face with a clean towel
  • Apply your facial toner to your face
  • Allow your face to dry completely after using your toner
  • Apply two drops of retinol serum on your face and rub it on your skin in a circular motion
  • Repeat this process two to three times weekly

Tip: Be consistent with your application of serum on your skin. Continue using the serum till you can achieve your desired result. 

SEE: Do You Need Retinol? Find Out Here

How to Use Retinol and Vitamin C Serum

Combining vitamin C serum and retinol serum in your skincare routine will do magic in improving the appearance of your skin; as retinol and vitamin C are both active anti-aging agents. 

However, applying it incorrectly on your skin will irritate your skin and might also have other serious side effects. It is important to learn to use it correctly.

How to do it:

  • Cleanse your face and apply your facial toner
  • Apply your vitamin C serum on your face 
  • Wait for about 15 minutes before applying your serum
  • Finish up the process using your moisturizer

You can also use your serum and vitamin C serum separately. There are two different ways to go about it and ahead is how to go about it.

SEE: Does Retinol Work? Learn the Facts

Use Vitamin C in the Morning and Use Retinol at Night

You can use your retinol and vitamin C serum separately by using vitamin C in the morning and retinol at night. Using vitamin C in the morning is the best choice; as vitamin C is an active brightening agent that helps to glow up the skin.

Who brightens their skin before going to bed rather than do it when you are going out? No one. Also, using vitamin C serum will work hand-in-hand with your sunscreen to form a barrier to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and photoaging.

Retinol increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Using retinol makes your skin prone to getting sunburn and irritation from the heat caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. It is best to use your retinol at night to tighten your skin and reduce aging signs such as wrinkles. 

Switch Between Using Retinol and Vitamin C Each Night

If you have hypersensitive skin, you might want to use either one vitamin C serum or retinol each night. This way, you will be able to enjoy the amazing benefits of both serums without irritating your skin. 

Do this by using your vitamin C one night and switching to retinol serum the next night. Doing this will help your skin balance its pH levels between the use of your retinol and vitamin C serum. 

How to Use Hyaluronic Acid With Retinol

Hyaluronic acid is a moisturizing agent that helps to hydrate the skin. When combining your retinol with hyaluronic acid, it is best to use your serum first before applying your hyaluronic acid to your skin. 

How to do it:

  • Cleanse your face using warm water and a gentle face cleanser.
  • Dry your face using a clean towel and apply your facial toner. 
  • Massage a drop or two of retinol serum on your face using your palm or fingertips. 
  • Keep massaging for a few minutes 
  • Wash off any leftover retinol on your palm or fingertips 
  • Let your skin fully absorb the retinol, then you can apply your hyaluronic acid. This will moisturize your skin and prevent the drying effect of retinol serum on your skin.

Other useful tips:

  • Do not combine or mix your retinol with exfoliants if you are a first-time user of retinol serum or if you have sensitive skin.
  • Do not use more than the recommended amount of retinol serum per application. 
  • Always wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every time you use your retinol in your morning routine. 
  • Always moisturize your skin after applying retinol serum to it; to avoid getting dry skin.
  • Avoid applying your retinol serum on wet skin. Ensure that your skin is completely dry before the application of retinol on your skin. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you apply retinol serum to your skin?

As a first-time retinol serum user, you want to go slow and steady with your usage of retinol serum. Start by applying the serum once every week for the first month, then you can upgrade to using it two to three times weekly. 

This will help your body to adjust and be able to tolerate retinol. If you are not struggling with side effects after 3 months of using retinol serum, you can start using it every day in your skincare routine.

When should you use retinol serum?

You can use your retinol serum in your morning or night skincare routine. However, you might want to use your retinol at night because retinol increases your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. This makes your skin vulnerable to photoaging and sunburn.

Using your retinol serum in the morning requires you to apply a sunscreen of SPF-30 or higher; for protection against sun damages.

How do you know if retinol is working?

You will be able to tell that your retinol serum is working when you start to notice changes in your skin. 

Retinol helps to reduce aging signs such as wrinkles and fine lines and it also helps to smoothen the skin by promoting cell reproduction. If you have been using your retinol for a while, your skin should reflect the benefits.

Conclusion

Retinol serums are quite popular in the skincare world because retinol is an effective ingredient in anti-aging skincare products as it works on several skin issues. It helps with skin issues such as acne, aging spots, sun damage, fine lines and so much more. 

However, you need to learn to use a retinol serum correctly. This will not only help you prevent the side effects and irritation on your skin, but it will also aid the effectiveness of the serum.

Thanks for reading. 

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