Avoiding Retinol Serum Side Effects

Negative retinol serum side effects can usually be avoided by using the products properly.  Retinol is one of the best anti aging active ingredients on the market today.  It reduces wrinkles, fine lines, hyperpigmentation like age spots, and can even diminish acne scars.

Most retinol serum side effects are mild and temporary.  Normal side effects for proper use of retinol include dry skin, peeling, and sensitivity to other forms of exfoliation.  Redness, irritation, inflammation, and raised patches are a sign that you are using too strong of a concentration.  If you are experiencing any of these complications, you’ll need to give you skin time to heal, usually a couple a weeks, before starting to use retinol again at a lower concentration or frequency.

You can avoid retinol serum side effects by introducing retinol into your routine slowly.  Most retinol skin care products come in strengths of .15%, .5% and 1% retinol.  A retinol serum is often the strongest product.  Mild formulations don’t always list the concentration, but most strong serums will so that the users are aware of the higher risk of irritation and greater effectiveness.  It is important that you start off using a mild product.  This may not even be a serum.  A retinol cream or lotion is typically mild enough for new user.  They also contain moisturizing ingredients to soothe any initial irritation.  Start off using a retinol lotion, cream, or mild serum every other day in the beginning, or every third day if you have sensitive skin.  Gradually work your way up to daily use of a mild product.  After using a mild product daily for a few weeks, try adding a .5% retinol serum to your routine by using on alternate days with your mild product.  Gradually work your way up to daily use, and repeat the process with a 1% serum.  Don’t try to rush results by using something too strong too fast.  By taking your time, your skin will become used to the ingredient without excessive irritation.  This process is also a great way to prepare your skin for prescription retinoid wrinkle fighters like Retin A.

Retinol serum side effects cause your skin to become drier than normal.  Many people with very dry skin can’t use retinol.  Others may need to use a heavier facial cream than they did before using retinol.  Oily skin types actually find this side effect very helpful.  The reduction in skin oil production makes it one of the best facial treatments for oily skin.  Retinol also has anti acne properties.

Skin flaking is a normal retinol serum side effect that will subside with continued use.  Don’t pick at the skin flakes.  You can try to remove them somewhat by gently massaging your skin with a wet washcloth in circular motions.  This skin flakiness is a normal result of exfoliation and increase cellular turnover.

Many retinol serums contain alpha hydroxy acids, which cause your skin to burn easier when exposed to sunlight.  Check your product label for sun exposure warnings, and the ingredients list for lactic or glycolic acid.  Retinol products should only be used at night, because UV exposure makes retinol less effective.

A strong retinol serum is too intense for the new, delicate skin exposed after a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment.  Don’t use strong anti aging products containing retinoids or Vitamin C for a few days to a week following a heavy exfoliation treatment.

Most people can avoid experiencing negative retinol serum side effects by starting out with mild formulations and working your way up to the more effective products.  Moisturizing regularly and using sunblock daily is also helpful to prevent skin irritation.