Can You Exfoliate When Using Retinol?

It’s a popular misconception that retinol is an exfoliant.

It isn’t.

You don’t see or feel healthy, normal exfoliation.

If you do experience flaking from using retinol, it may be that you’re using a retinol product that’s just too potent for your skin or you’re applying the retinol product too often.

Can I exfoliate while using retinol?

Retinoids get the job done by exfoliating your skin, and this is one case where more isn’t better: When you add another powerful exfoliant on top of your retinoid—like alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)—it can leave your skin raw, says Ava Shamban, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE.

Do I need to exfoliate when using Retin A?

Avoid exfoliating using abrasive objects like body stones, which can potentially irritate your skin. A good strategy is to begin by exfoliating once per week, then increase to twice per week at most if your skin is smooth, healthy and irritation-free after a few weeks of tretinoin usage.

How often should you exfoliate when using Retin A?

Try using your Retin-A once every other day, or even once every two to three days, for a short period of time. Skipping days will give your skin a needed break. Once your skin starts to feel better, slowly work up to using it every day (or as directed by your dermatologist).

Can I use retinol and glycolic acid together?

Yep, you *can* use both glycolic acid and retinol on your skin. While those with normal-to-oily skin are fine to give the coupling a go, if you’re on the drier or more sensitive side, start with a glycolic acid and give your skin time to adjust.

Can vitamin C and retinol be used together?

It’s perfectly fine to use retinol products during the day, as long as you wear sunscreen over them. Research has shown that retinol works well under SPF-rated products, and that vitamins A, C, and E—even in combination—remain stable and effective under a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Can you use retinol every night?

Because using a retinol at night is best, Shani recommends that you “Start with one night a week and build up slowly, tacking on an additional night each subsequent week. It’s important to build up to whatever works best for your skin. Some are able to use it every single night.

How do you exfoliate with Retin A?

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Does Retin A help with hyperpigmentation?

They are only effective for epidermal hyperpigmentation. Topical tretinoin 0.1% has been effective in treating postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. GA peels, in combination with tretinoin and hydroquinone, are an effective treatment of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation in dark-complexioned individuals.

Does Retin A always cause peeling?

It’s real, but it also happens for good reason. During the first few weeks of tretinoin application, it’s normal and extremely common for your skin to take on a slightly dry, flaky texture and for small amounts of skin to peel off from your face.

Can I put moisturizer over retinol?

Yes. It’s perfectly safe to use a moisturizer with tretinoin. Because tretinoin can already make you skin dry and flaky on its own (especially during the first few weeks of use), it’s important to check the ingredients list before you use any moisturizer and avoid products that contain alcohols.

What is the best moisturizer to use with Retin A?

Best Moisturizers to Prevent Retin-A Peeling

  • CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion (Normal to Oily) A great option to restore moisture from Retin-A, for all skin types.
  • CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion (Normal to Dry)
  • Aquaphor Healing Ointment (For Very Dry or Cracked Skin)

Do you wash Retin A off in the morning?

It’s light sensitive so apply it at night before retiring. Wash it off in the morning then apply your other skin care products. Tips for Retin A #2: Some ingredients will interfere with tretinoin. Apply them in the morning after washing off the tretinoin you applied the night before.