Why & How to Incorporate Retinol into Your Skincare Routine

21 Jun 2023 / Treatments
Why & How to Incorporate Retinol into Your Skincare Routine

Do you use retinol in any step of your skincare routine? It is proven to be one of the most effective and transformative skincare ingredients! It is a powerful product that is used in creams, serums, oils and gels. Dermatologists adore this ingredient and encourage all those passionate about or interested in their skincare to incorporate it into their routine. 

However, sometimes finding the right retinol for you isn’t easy. Keep reading as we break down the elements of retinol and how you can incorporate it into your routine. You will discover the purpose of retinol and why it’s so transformative!

Retinol and retinoids, what’s the difference?

Retinol is one of many different types of retinoids, also known as vitamin A. Many refer to retinoids as magic! They are an ingredient used by clinical businesses and professionals globally in skincare products, as the results are incredible. They are known and proven to help treat acne, wrinkles, skin texture and dullness. Retinoids speed up skin cell (a.k.a epidermal) turnover and encourage collagen production.

It is the perfect solution for evening skin complexion, resulting in a younger and more youthful feeling and appearance. Sounds brilliant right? There are many different types of retinoids, retinol is just one of them. Retinol is a weaker retinoid and typically used with other hydrating ingredients and can be bought over the counter, whereas most stronger retinoids are only accessible through prescriptions.

The most common types of retinoids

There are a few different types of retinoids. It can be useful to understand the different strengths, as not one will be the correct retinoid for everyone. If you have more sensitive skin, it would be wise to begin using one of the weaker retinoids, such as Retinol Esters or Granactive Retinoid. They are much gentler and will hopefully be nice to your skin.

If you have regular skin sensitivity, starting at a medium strength (retinol) is ideal and after using it for a month or two, you should be able to gage the impact it is having on your skin through its reaction to it. This will help you to determine whether to increase or decrease your dosage amount, or use a stronger or gentler retinoid.

Retinol is the most popular retinoid as it can be bought over the counter, is easy on the skin and can be found in many products.

What is the purpose of retinol?

Retinol has endless benefits, but its primary function is to accelerate cellular turnover, triggering collagen production, and therefore evening out your complexion. As we grow older, our skin slowly decreases the rate we ‘shed’ dead\dry skin, so we must ensure we keep the process consistent with exfoliating and using retinol. Ultimately, retinol is responsible for having younger looking, smooth skin.

Retinol is also good for:

  • Reducing hyperpigmentation
  • Preventing and minimising wrinkles and other signs of aging
  • Improving skin texture
  • Resurfacing and exfoliating
  • Reducing acne and blackheads
  • Reducing clogged pores

When should I start using retinol?

Although many are beginning to use retinol products early now, you should not need to embrace retinol until your late 20s or early 30s. Your collagen begins to breakdown from around the age 26. Retinol will help your skin to turnover old skin cells into new skin cells.

If you have an existing skincare routine that does not consist of a product that has retinol, you can easily add one in and it will become a part of your everyday habits and routines. If you do not currently prioritise your skin health, you could do further research about what you could include in a skincare routine that would be suited specifically to you. As you learn more about skin care products, you will expand your mix and determine what your skin needs to prioritise.

How can I start using retinol?

What time of the day should I apply it?

Retinol and products containing retinol should always be applied at night before bed. Retinol is sensitive to light, so to prevent any extra or unnecessary sun damage, always apply at night. Some products containing retinol allow you to apply it during that day, so long that you apply SPF directly after using the product.  

How often should I apply it?

If you are new to retinol, it is recommended you only use retinol products once or twice a week until your skin acclimates. Everybody has different skin sensitivity levels and tolerate different products and ingredients uniquely. As your skin begins to normalise and adjust to retinol, you can make decisions yourself as to how often you want to apply it, within reason. If there are directions on the product packaging it is advised you follow them.

How much should I use?

As you begin the inclusion of retinol products into your routine, you should only use a very small amount (maybe a pea size). As you progress, you may slightly increase the amount used. You should follow directions of use on packaging if provided however.

What products can retinol be found in?

Retinol can be found in many different skin products, just to name a few:

  • Face cream
  • Body treatment
  • Overnight body & face lotion
  • Night moisturizer
  • Night cream

Victoria’s Cosmetic Medical Clinic offers skincare products that contain retinol, or retinal. Depending on your preference, one of them could be perfect addition to your skin care routine!

Wrinkle + Texture Repair 0.5% Retinol

Wrinkle and texture repair crème supports the visible improvement of skin’s texture, firmness and colour tone, while reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

05 Vitamin A&B Intense Night Cream

Contains vitamin A & B (retinal and niacinamide) to reverse and diminish the appearance of ageing skin. It reduces wrinkles and fine lines, and improves the skin barrier function. It is also effective at managing mild to moderate acne.


Retinol is a highly supported ingredient that boosts cosmetic product’s results. It is mainly used in anti-aging products as it improves skin complexion through an acceleration in cellular turnover. Retinol can also assist in preventing acne and wrinkles. If you are either looking to extend your skincare routine or start one, you should certainly consider using retinol products to give you that youth-like feeling and appearance!

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