My skincare regime is always a work in progress. Being the type of person I am, I rarely stick with one product – even if it’s working (which is kind of stupid, yes, but – there it is). There’s just always something new to try, and my easily bored ways mean that I’m always drawn in by the latest and greatest. However, there is a central idea to my madness, which is to say, there are certain types of products that I want to be sure to incorporate into my daily routine. The biggest one that I’d like to pull into the fold are retinoids, a form of Vitamin A. I have yet to dabble in the world of this heavy-hitting product (which has many types, including Retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene – Skinacea has a great chart to explain them here). Retinoids are favored even over many of the more new-fangled (<– awesome old-person word) products of the day, because of their ability to multi-task: as they promote cell and collagen production, they diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help improve the texture and clarity of the skin, while also helping to treat acne and clear blocked pores. On top of that, retinoids help repair damage through their antioxidant component. Sa-weet! Sign me up :)I’m not going to get too technical here because I’m not a dermatologist and I don’t know the science behind it all (though my pic above makes me look awfully smart!). But I’ve been doing some research for my own cause, and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you! Using retinoids isn’t a totally no-brainer situation. There is a method to the madness that should be followed in order for you to get the maximum benefit from your products, as well as not causing unnecessary irritation to the skin. Because my skin is so sensitive, this was a must for me to decipher.If any of you are like me, you use a multitude of treatment products in order to achieve the best skin you can. I particularly try to ensure that I’m using something with antioxidants in it, as well as a chemical exfoliant of some kind (as I can’t use manual scrubs since they rough up my skin too much). Here’s the lowdown on how to proceed with some of these products while still using retinoids safely and effectively:
- Do not apply retinoid in the morning, as the sun will deactivate the product and cause the skin to be more susceptible to UV rays.
- Do not apply glycolic acid/lactic acid (AHA’s) at the same time as retinoid product as they will cancel each other out (and cause some mega-irritation I would think!).
- Apply retinoids at night to bare skin, waiting 20 minutes after washing face (*If you experience too much sensitivity, you can apply a buffer moisturizer an hour before using the retinoid).
- Begin using retinoids over time; start by applying them once every three days for the first one or two weeks. After your skin adjusts to the product (or if you experience no irritation at all), bump it up to once every two nights for another few weeks. Then, use it every other night for another week and gradually graduate to using it nightly.
- Wait an hour after application, then use an anti-inflammatory moisturizer on top to prevent redness and flaking.
I have yet to incorporate a retinoid into my regime, but plan on picking one up within the next few months (likely one of the ones I’m showcasing here – perhaps right around my 30th birthday???) and slowly introducing it into my system over time . Right now I’m using an AHA cream, which also helps to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps exfoliate the skin – I apply it about every third evening just to keep my skin smooth as I’m not using much else in the way of exfoliation. I probably won’t use both a retinoid and an AHA product at the same time; I’m sure it’s possible for some, but with my tempermental skin I’m not going to chance it!
Just to give you an idea, here’s what my ideal skincare regime will look like:
Moisturizer w/SPF (Winter) / SPF (Summer)
Eye cream with SPF
Oil-based makeup remover (Summer or for heavy makeup days)
Nothing fancy by any means but I think it covers the bases fairly well – I think the simpler the better, to avoid irritating my skin (which can actually cause you to age faster).I hope this post was at least a bit helpful! I’m confident that most of you already know what you’re doing with regards to skincare, but it can get a bit convoluted when you start to introduce more advanced products into the fray. I’m looking forward to getting this down pat and hopefully seeing some results – not that I have a ton of visible aging yet, but I want to keep it that way! And as much as I like trying new things, I want to find a solid regime that helps minimize any surprize rashes or breakouts, and have my skin calm down for a long stretch of time (which seems to have been AGES ago).
Do you use retinoids in your skincare? What’s your current regime? What products do you buy over and over (if any)?
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