6 Top Tips From A Dermatologist, For Getting Started With Retinal

6 Top Tips From A Dermatologist, For Getting Started With Retinal

Hey, you! With the retinal! (Very nice purchase.) 

Can you put that cute goop down for just one second while we explain exactly how to get started with vitamin A. ‘Cos it’s a tricky one. And we will not stand for burning or redness or any ‘I went too hard too soons'. 

Dr Cara McDonald is going to jump in here. You might know her from posting practical skin advice on Instagram, or other content like, retinal results you can expect to see in three months' time, right here on The Go-To Guide. 

These are her top six tips for maintaining skin health and happiness, when introducing a retinal. 

1. Start slow

There are no prizes for overdoing it. Retinoids deliver results in the long-term. The rewards will come from starting gradually to build tolerance, and then being consistent. 

2. Work with your skin type 

Tailor your routine to suit your skin type, from the very beginning. If you have sensitive/reactive skin that’s prone to inflammation, or are someone quite prone to acne breakouts, then you should consider a much slower start to minimise the early (potential) side effects of retinal.

3. Think long-term 

Consistent use (for upwards of a year) is going to give you the best firming and lifting results. You still want to build up slowly, to ensure your skin can tolerate the ingredient, but some people mistake the lack of side effects as a “the product isn’t working anymore” response. Once your skin quality has improved, regular use of retinoids should be problem-free, and it is only going to continue improving the look and feel of your skin. 

4. Consistency is key

It is best to avoid starting and stopping as you will likely experience side-effects again, each time you re-introduce a retinoid into your routine. There is no need to stop over summer if you are using good sun protection during the day! The only exception is that you may need short breaks before or after skin procedures if recommended by your practitioner. 

5. One new product at a time

Do not start any other new skincare products at the same time as introducing a retinoid. If you experience any skin irritation or inflammation in those first few weeks, it can be hard to know what it is that is causing this reaction, when you’re trialling more than one new product.  

6. Know your actives

Because it is okay to combine them. If you’ve got robust, resilient skin, then it is fine to use other actives such as hyaluronic acid (PM) and vitamin C (AM) in your routine. As for exfoliating acids - AHAs, BHAs, PHA - you’ll want to use those on alternate nights. Practise skin cycling.