Whether you have blemishes, wrinkles or both, retinol can help you treat them. Derived from vitamin A, retinol encourages a quicker renewal of skin cells, which gets rid of the outer layers of skin to reveal the fresher skin underneath. Dermatologist Jessica Wu notes that doctors first prescribed retinoid creams to treat breakouts, and they have since discovered the medication’s effectiveness for fighting the signs of aging as well. No matter what you use retinol for, be sure to develop a skin care regimen that complements it.
Wet your face and wash it with a cleanser that suits your skin type. If your face is dry or sensitive, use a moisturizing cleanser that will not strip skin of its natural oils. For oily or acne-prone skin, use an oil-free face wash that contains salicylic acid to control excess oil and fight breakouts.
Apply an acne cream that contains either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid every morning. This will help banish existing pimples, as well as help keep new ones from forming, says Cosmopolitan. Apply a thin layer over any areas where you break out, and dab a little extra on top of your blemishes. If you do not have acne, skip this step.
Smooth on a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every morning, even if you do not plan to go outside. According to dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., this will help protect your skin from the environmental damage that can make it age more quickly. Use a moisturizer that contains sunscreen if you have dry skin, or select an oil-free product if your skin is oily. This will help keep your pores from getting clogged, as well as keep your skin from feeling too greasy.
Reapply sunscreen often if you have been sweating or swimming.
Put on a retinoid cream at nighttime after washing your face. To fight acne, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for Retin-A. For anti-aging benefits, some products may contain both retinol as well as other age-fighting ingredients.They may smooth lines and wrinkles and make your skin feel renewed. Smooth the product onto your face and rub it in gently.
Use retinol at night only. Immediately exposing your skin to sunlight after applying the product can inhibit its effectiveness.
Take caution when spending time in the sun. Retinoid creams can make your skin more sensitive to damage from UV rays.