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Post in Age Defiers


Can I  use retinol if I currently use Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Syncronized Repair serum?

Can I  use Vitamin C?

What about AHA?

I'm totally new to these products but have been reading about it and believe it's time I invest in my skin 65!

I have kind of sensitive skin.

Re: Retinol

Hi @unisolar55 ! Yep, you can use retinol with all 3 of those things. 

If you’ve never used retinol or AHA before, don’t introduce them both to your skin at the same time. Pick one, use it just once or twice a week for a few weeks, and then gradually increase usage over time. Once your skin’s tolerating it well, add the second product and go through the same gradual buildup process with it. 
Which AHA product(s) are you considering? If it’s a leave-on exfoliant or high % toner, I recommend capping usage at 3 times a week. I use mine just 1-3 times a week. I use an OTC retinol serum every other night, so I frequently layer it with my AHA exfoliant. 
I use a vitamin C serum in the morning, as a way to prep my skin for the day’s environmental stressors/pollutants. But you can absolutely layer vitamin C and retinol if you want. 
Do you also use a sunscreen with minimum SPF of 30? If you use retinol, AHA, or vitamin C, you’ll also need sunscreen during the day. AHA increases your skin’s sun sensitivity. Vitamin C is very sensitive to light (and air). And really, there’s no point using retinol or vitamin C to reduce sun damage like hyperpigmentation and wrinkles if you’re not also going to stop the sun from undoing their hard work and doing new damage. 

Re: Retinol

Thank you so much for your answer. I will start with a retinol serum for now.  Any product suggestion and/or recommendation?

What about a sunscreen? I always break out when I put it on (only when on vacation) so if I  will start wearing it daily I  would really appreciate some suggestions. 

Thanks again, your response has been very reassuring and informative. 

I  don't wear any makeup. 

Re: Retinol

@unisolar55 Glad I could help! Hey, when you respond to folks on BIC, be sure to tag them (type @ and their username) so they'll know you replied to them. 🙂 


If you have sensitive skin, you might want to ask your primary care doctor or a dermatologist for retinoid options. A bit about a few different types of retinoid: 


Retinoic acid, aka tretinoin or Retin-A: skin cells don't have to convert this at all before it can get to work, and it's been very heavily researched. This is what some derms recommend first, as it's become the gold standard among retinoids. Available only by prescription. 


Retinaldehyde, aka retinal: requires just one skin cell conversion to turn into retinoic acid, yet it's less irritating than tretinoin and (according to my derm) retinol. Available OTC. 


Retinol: skin cells must do 2 conversions to turn retinol into retinoic acid, so retinol works slower than tretinoin. But retinol is also less irritating (has fewer side effects) than tretinoin. The most common OTC option. 

Hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR), aka granactive retinoid: a retinoic acid ester that needs no skin cell conversion, yet is less irritating than tretinoin. HPR hasn't been studied nearly as much as the others I've listed, so whether it's truly more effective than retinol or retinaldehyde has yet to be confirmed. But it looks great on paper. Available OTC. 


Note: folks who claim retinol and retinaldehyde are generally ineffective are 100% wrong. Those options are very effective. It just takes longer to see results with them than with tretinoin, thanks to the conversion steps needed. 

First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum 0.25% Pure Concentrate was my starter retinol product. Its low percentage was a great way to see if my skin would tolerate retinol at all. I never even finished my full bottle of this before moving on to another retinol serum. 


Avene RetrinAL 0.05 Cream could be another good gentle starter option for you. This is the one my dermatologist suggested I start with (but I didn't). It's a retinaldehyde product you can buy from Avene direct, Dermstore, Amazon, and probably anywhere else that sells Avene products. 


The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum is what I used for a year + a few months. This contains HPR and retinol. When I started this, I began slowly again: used it just one night a week for 2 or 3 weeks, then bumped up to 2 nights a week, and gradually increased usage to every other night. This product worked quite well for me, with no major irritation. I see it's frequently out of stock everywhere it's sold lately, probably due to its very low price. A couple months ago, I got curious about a new-to-Sephora HPR + retinol product and decided to test it. 


SOBEL SKIN Rx 4.5% Retinol Night Treatment sounds much scarier than it is. 😂 4.5% retinol is alarmingly high, but it's a blend of retinol and HPR. When I started this, I didn't go back to once-a-week usage: I used it every other night from the start, and the only negative was a round of purging. I don't recommend starting with this one though, and I haven't used it long enough yet to confidently say it's more or less effective than The Inkey List Retinol. 


Once my bottle of Sobel Skin is finished, I'll start testing Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream. That's another product my derm recommended. 



About sunscreens: which ones have you already tried that broke you out? You might be sensitive to certain sunscreen ingredients. Have you tried both chemical and physical/mineral sunscreens? 

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