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Post in Age Defiers

Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

Hi everyone.  I'm looking for advice on beginning a retinol regimen for my skin.  I'm 28 years old, very fair complected, and I'm starting to see some noticeable lines under my eyes and around my mouth (laugh lines).  I'm interested in using retinol, and I've tried the OTC ones before (mainly ROC), and they have torn my skin up.  I even tried the sensitive one that is time released, and it irritates my skin terribly.  I've tried taking it slow, I've made sure to use sunscreens, etc.  The irritation seems to last for weeks after using it sparingly.  Would it be better to get a higher quality retinol?  What would you suggest?  Or should I just avoid it altogether?  Smiley Sad


Thanks for the advice!



Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

Retinol side effects can be worsened by the action of water. Use a small small amount at least 30 minutes after washing your face - and start using it only 3 times per week then slowly build up to daily - only if your skin tolerates it. I actually do NOT pay for expensive retinol products - jus ask your physician for a weak prescription for acne - 0.025% is a good place to start. 

Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

I would check with your doctor or dermatologist since you have sensitive skin they will give you the best advice. Hope this helps!

Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

Hello Jenna,


I'd advise starting at a 0.5 concentration — it's very effective, but less likely to cause irritation that something higher (You can work your way up). Start by using retinol twice a week at night and work your way up very slowly to three times a week, every other night, and finally nightly. I'd highly recommend FutureDerm Time-Release Retinal 0.5 (diclaimer: I work at FutureDerm): It's microencapsulated and has a slow, sustained relase, as well as a number of ingredients, like aloe, meant to help soothe sensitive skin. There may be an adjustment period for all retinols for you, but the more gentle the formulation, the less problematic that will be.


For optimization, I'd suggest using a retinol at night and a Vitamin C serum in the morning (with plenty of sunscreen, of course!).


I hope this helps!



Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

I love, love, LOVE Help Me by Philosophy.  It's a good intro to retinol and I have seen visible results without any irriation.    I use exfoliants with gylcolic and different AHA and BHA's and have not had any problems but you do have to be careful to not over exfoliate.  Using a retinol has wonderful benefits for your skin as long as you can find one that works for you.  It's also good that you are using a suncreen with it.  Try a sample of Help Me and see how that works for you. Help Me is also a "time released" to reduce sensitivity.  I also agree with the suggestions of using Vitamin C.  Vitamin C is a good for anti-aging, sun damage and hyperpigmentation but I wouldn't use it has a comparison to retinol.  Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum and Philosophy's Turbo Booster are good Vitamin C products.  Good luck!

Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

When you say time release, do you mean the Dr. Brandt pink/grey ones? If not, those might be a good option (I'm almost done with the pink day cream and didn't feel a thing, usually my skin gets tender with too much treatment). The night one is a serum. The good thing about retinol serum rather than moisturizer is you can concentrate on the problem area and apply sparingly else where and such, adjust accordingly until your skin get used to it.


Vitamin C and glycolic acid stuff are also valid alternatives (altho you shouldn't use retinol product with glycolic acid product together, not when both are the main/active ingredients of the respective products).

Re: Suggestions for retinol for senstive skin

What are the names of the retinol products you have tried? Do they list the concentrations on the label?  I think 1% is normally on the strong side as far as OTC retinol goes.  If I were you I'd want to try something with a lower concentration of retinol and phase it in slowly over time to see if irritation still happens.  If it does, possibly your skin is too sensitive for retinol altogether.  


However, Vitamin C is another option to try if you can't get retinol to work for you.  Vitamin C is another powerful antiaging ingredient that again comes in different concentrations so you can pick the lowest one to start with to test for sensitivity.


I'll PM you a link where you can do more research about anti-aging ingredients.

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