Flaky skin from retinol

I stopped using my retinol a while ago because my skin cleared up and was feeling smooth.


But now that my forehead breakouts are back, I've started using it again.


I just got a sunburn on my face the other week, so I stopped using it for a couple days. Now my skin is dry and flaky and I'm not sure what to do.


Should I wait until my skin is back to normal to use the retinol again?


I want to start out by using it every three nights so my skin can adjust.


I use Cetaphil face wash, Josie Maran Argan Oil at night and Josie Maran 40+ Sunscreen during the day.


Any suggestions?

Answers: 4
[ Edited ]

Post sunburn, let the skin heal first before going back to retinol.  As far as soothing treatments go, Aloe is a good old standby.  But if curious, the first aid beauty Aloe gel might help with the healing:  http://www.sephora.com/aloe-plus-soothing-gel-P374507


Avoid anything with particles in the meantime.  It will scratch the sore area and make recovery more unpleasant. 


Afterwards, make sure have and use adequate SPF protection when outdoors.  Retinol makes the skin more susceptible to sun exposure.  If necessary, make a wardrobe investment in a hat to keep exposure minimal (in addition to reapplying SPF as directed). 


As for the Josie Maran sunscreen, I either got a bad bottle or the SPF did not work for me (sunburnt on the shoulder, where I tend to load SPF product).  Try a different sunscreen.  If wanting to stick to more natural, try the LAVANILA Healthy Sun Screen.  http://www.sephora.com/the-healthy-sun-screen-spf-40-face-cream-P261320 (My go to facial sunscreen) Consumer reports had a list of more effective types (some were more natural in the list).  


Hope that helps. 

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Hi Arete, 


I entirely agree with Ran8, avoid anything abrasive since your skin is more sensitive right now and more susceptible to both irritation and needs to be protected from sun exposure. 


I would let the skin  heal first and then if you go back to your retinol just let it do it's work, which does lead to more dryness Smiley Sad Keeping an spf moisturizer will be the best for you, if you are happy with the Josie Maran SPF, keep using it, and the LaVanila definitely is very enriching for the skin and less chemical based. 


For ultra sensitive skin I'd even suggest you try the First Aid Beauty SPF or Boscia.


5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 Oil-Free Daily Hydration SPF 15

Luv&Lipgloss, Diana
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Definitely let you skin heal before applying any retinol, remember retinol actually gets rid of dead skin so it's going to really peel with you having a sunburn. Be sure after you wash to pat dry and not to tug or pull.

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If you have sunburn, you should not use retinol...that's a enfatic no. Also, if u use retinol, I'm not sure you should even be in the sun all that much. Clear the sunburn then go back on retinol to get rid of the bumps. Ask ur derm, but as an acne prone retinol user myself, I don't think u should stop just because the breakouts are gone, if ur skin is dry from it, then just use at night, and SPF it during the day. Maybe skip the oil until u find out the cause of the bumps...
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