How to start using Retinol/ Retinoids

Retinoids are the holy grail of anti-aging. However, they can cause dryness & irritation if you don’t slowly introduce them into your routine.


Girl applying retinol serum to face
Beginner's Guide to using Retinol

When introducing retinol into your routine:

  • Creams are more gentle than serums to begin with- start with a low concentration (0.01 %) and build up your tolerance to avoid irritation. You may even start with milder formulas such as Granactive Retinoid.

  • Start slow: (1-3 times/day) and increase to every other day.

  • Apply before bed on dry skin

  • Wear SPF during the day

  • You can apply moisturizer before and after retinol application to limit irritation

  • Avoid adding new acid exfoliants to your regime for a few weeks (AHAs/BHAs such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid)


Example evening routine:

Oil cleanser-water cleanser-hydrating toner—serums (hyaluronic acid, peptides)-retinol-facial oil-moisturizer

*retinol can be applied after moisturizer as well.


Patience is key! The effects of retinol use becomes apparent after about 6 weeks of consistent use.


Retinoid products for beginners that we love:


Avene Retrinal 0.05 Cream


VERSED Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum


The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion


SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3


Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Face Mask


Note: This is not medical advice. Consult with a physician or dermatologist in the event of uncertainty. Always patch test new skincare products.