With sensitive skin, practically every other skincare product or ingredient can cause a reaction, which is a big setback. If you have sensitive skin, you can relate to it. It becomes especially problematic when you wish to add actives like Retinol into your routine. But worry not! We at Foxtale have come up with the ideal routine for using retinol on sensitive skin. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know before using retinol on sensitive skin.
Hacks to use retinol for sensitive skin
- Cleanse your skin gently but well: Before using retinol, make sure your skin is thoroughly washed. Sensitive skin should avoid using foaming cleanser and instead opt for a gel-like hydrating, mild cleanser like the Foxtale Daily Duet Face Wash. It is formulated with Sodium Hyaluronate, Red Algae extracts, and Vitamin B5 all of which ensures your skin's natural barrier and moisture is maintained.
- Moisturize your skin well beforehand: Adding a layer of hydration and moisture to your skincare routine makes it much easier to include retinol into your regimen. There is less risk of skin reactions when you do this. Make sure to use a moisturizer that contains Ceramides and Hyaluronic acid like the Foxtale Ceramide Supercream Moisturizer.
- Use a gentle version of retinol: When starting with vitamin A/retinol, use a less potent type because it will be gentler on your skin. Anything that is not pure retinol and is an entry-level variant is what you should be looking for.
- Start with a lower percentage: Along with using a gentler version of retinol, make sure to pick one that has a lower percentage. For sensitive skin types, anywhere between 0.01% to 0.03% works best.
- Be mindful of how much and how you apply: For sensitive skin, retinol should be used with a 'less is more' approach. This means you must go easy on the retinol application. A pea-sized amount for the entire face is enough and any more than that may irritate. Also, make sure to start by using once or twice a week and gradually increase frequency.
Layering it up
- Apply retinol to dry skin: Retinol should be used on completely dry skin and at night. For best results, wait a few minutes after cleaning before applying retinol to the face. Damp skin can increase product absorption which can lead to irritation.
- Buff retinol with a moisturizer: Since sensitive skin never knows what will cause irritation, use the sandwich method for applying retinol to avoid any discomfort on the skin. Use a moisturizer before as well as after applying retinol to dilute the effects and make it tolerable.
- Use SPF religiously: No matter if you're using retinol or not, you should always wear a broad-spectrum SPF daily. Retinol, on the other hand, can make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation, making sunscreen even more critical after use.
- Do not layer any other actives: Glycolic acid and other acids (except for niacinamide & hyaluronic acid), which can dry and irritate the skin, should be avoided when using retinol, especially for those with more delicate skin.
Slowly get used to it
- Be patient with it: For retinol to work, you'll have to wait a few weeks or months before you see results. If you're taking a less potent formula, results may take anywhere from six weeks to three months to appear.
- Don’t be afraid of purging: When you apply retinol to sensitive skin, your skin undergoes a purging process, which translates to purification and cleansing. Retinol works by increasing cell turnover and this is how your skin responds in the initial adjustment phase. But don’t be afraid of it as it only lasts for a few weeks.