How Do You Know When to Stop Using Retinol?

3 min read

FEB 25
February 25,2023
SKIN CARE

How Do You Know When to Stop Using Retinol?

3 min read

FEB 25
February 25,2023
SKIN CARE
Retinol is a common anti-aging ingredient, available in over-the-counter products and as a prescription medication for certain skin issues like acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and sun damage [1,2].However, there may be times when you should stop using retinol products, whether they be in the form of a topical or ingestible treatment.If you are asking questions like, “ What do retinoids do?” and “When should I stop using retinol?”, we have several key insights to share that will help you navigate your journey with retinol.
Retinol is a common anti-aging ingredient, available in over-the-counter products and as a prescription medication for certain skin issues like acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and sun damage [1,2].However, there may be times when you should stop using retinol products, whether they be in the form of a topical or ingestible treatment.If you are asking questions like, “ What do retinoids do?” and “When should I stop using retinol?”, we have several key insights to share that will help you navigate your journey with retinol.
01

What are the first signs that I should stop using a retinol product?

Initial skin irritation, dryness, and sensitivity are common when using retinol products for the first time. If you continue to notice these effects on your skin after the first few weeks of use, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your doctor or dermatologist [3].You should always discontinue your use of retinol if your physician instructs you to. Your physician may also recommend that you slow down your use of retinol or use it at a lower concentration depending on your skin type and skin concerns.
01

What are the first signs that I should stop using a retinol product?

Initial skin irritation, dryness, and sensitivity are common when using retinol products for the first time. If you continue to notice these effects on your skin after the first few weeks of use, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your doctor or dermatologist [3].You should always discontinue your use of retinol if your physician instructs you to. Your physician may also recommend that you slow down your use of retinol or use it at a lower concentration depending on your skin type and skin concerns.
02

What are the ‘retinol uglies’?

Also known as ‘retinol burn’, retinol uglies refer to side effects generally caused by more highly concentrated forms of retinol or by use on more sensitive skin [4].Indications that you’re experiencing retinol burn include:
  • Dry skin
  • Redness contributing to uneven skin tone
  • Discoloration
  • Flaking
  • Painful skin irritation
02

What are the ‘retinol uglies’?

Also known as ‘retinol burn’, retinol uglies refer to side effects generally caused by more highly concentrated forms of retinol or by use on more sensitive skin [4].Indications that you’re experiencing retinol burn include:
  • Dry skin
  • Redness contributing to uneven skin tone
  • Discoloration
  • Flaking
  • Painful skin irritation
03

How long do the retinol uglies last?

Usually for about a week. If symptoms persist, contact your physician to discuss your habits of use.
03

How long do the retinol uglies last?

Usually for about a week. If symptoms persist, contact your physician to discuss your habits of use.
04

Should I stop using retinol in the summer?

Yes, if you are already sensitive to sunlight or exposed to sunlight more often in the summer, you should carefully monitor your use of retinol products to help protect against sun damage.Both oral and topical retinoids greatly increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, if you expose your skin to the sun following your use of retinol, you must be extra careful to take additional precautions, such as diligent use of sunscreen and UV-protective clothing.If you do get sunburned when using retinol, spend a few days out of the sun to let your more sensitive skin recuperate.It should also be noted that sun exposure doesn’t just occur in the summer. Many people are exposed to the sun even more during the wintertime, due to the snow reflecting sun directly onto your skin. This is especially true for those who enjoy snow sports, which could mean exposing your skin to reflective UV rays for hours at a time. Thus, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen all year round.
04

Should I stop using retinol in the summer?

Yes, if you are already sensitive to sunlight or exposed to sunlight more often in the summer, you should carefully monitor your use of retinol products to help protect against sun damage.Both oral and topical retinoids greatly increase skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Therefore, if you expose your skin to the sun following your use of retinol, you must be extra careful to take additional precautions, such as diligent use of sunscreen and UV-protective clothing.If you do get sunburned when using retinol, spend a few days out of the sun to let your more sensitive skin recuperate.It should also be noted that sun exposure doesn’t just occur in the summer. Many people are exposed to the sun even more during the wintertime, due to the snow reflecting sun directly onto your skin. This is especially true for those who enjoy snow sports, which could mean exposing your skin to reflective UV rays for hours at a time. Thus, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen all year round.

Related Products

No items found

Related Products

No items found
05

What happens if you use a retinol product every day?

If you are using an oral or topical retinoid daily and experience negative side effects that persist more than a few weeks, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend you taper down your use to just two or three days per week [5].Most people can tolerate over-the-counter doses of retinol every day, however, using a highly concentrated prescription retinoid may cause irritation and side effects more readily than over-the-counter products with lower concentrations. Before incorporating a retinol product into your regimen, it’s important to be aware of the more common retinol side effects on skin. This way you can more easily monitor how your skin responds to frequent application over time.If you experience negative side effects from retinol, consider alternating days that you use retinol with days that you use a soothing peptide moisturizer , preferably one containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, to counteract its effects. The best type of skincare product to alternate with retinol is one that promotes skin health and hydration, such as OneSkin’s OS-01 Topical Supplement.
05

What happens if you use a retinol product every day?

If you are using an oral or topical retinoid daily and experience negative side effects that persist more than a few weeks, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend you taper down your use to just two or three days per week [5].Most people can tolerate over-the-counter doses of retinol every day, however, using a highly concentrated prescription retinoid may cause irritation and side effects more readily than over-the-counter products with lower concentrations. Before incorporating a retinol product into your regimen, it’s important to be aware of the more common retinol side effects on skin. This way you can more easily monitor how your skin responds to frequent application over time.If you experience negative side effects from retinol, consider alternating days that you use retinol with days that you use a soothing peptide moisturizer , preferably one containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, to counteract its effects. The best type of skincare product to alternate with retinol is one that promotes skin health and hydration, such as OneSkin’s OS-01 Topical Supplement.

Related Products

No items found
No items found
No items found

Related Products

No items found
No items found
No items found
06

What happens when you stop using retinol?

It may take a week or more for your skin to return to normal after discontinuing the use of retinol. Keep in mind that retinol works on a cellular level, and it takes time for your skin cells to adjust to its introduction and its departure. If you’re concerned about the effects of discontinuing use of retinol as part of your skincare routine , you may consider exploring alternatives to retinol.
06

What happens when you stop using retinol?

It may take a week or more for your skin to return to normal after discontinuing the use of retinol. Keep in mind that retinol works on a cellular level, and it takes time for your skin cells to adjust to its introduction and its departure. If you’re concerned about the effects of discontinuing use of retinol as part of your skincare routine , you may consider exploring alternatives to retinol.
07

What are natural alternatives to retinol?

There are several natural alternatives to retinol [6], including:
  • Rambutan
  • Bakuchiol
  • Rosehip
  • Carrot seed oil
Bakuchiol is relatively new to the all-natural market, but has made waves as an effective alternative to retinol.
07

What are natural alternatives to retinol?

There are several natural alternatives to retinol [6], including:
  • Rambutan
  • Bakuchiol
  • Rosehip
  • Carrot seed oil
Bakuchiol is relatively new to the all-natural market, but has made waves as an effective alternative to retinol.
Key Takeaways:
  • Retinol is generally safe, but should be used sparingly. To avoid common negative side effects, consider using lower concentrations of retinol or alternate days in which you use retinol.
  • Discontinue use if you have negative side effects after a few weeks of use and contact your physician to help reassess your skin type and find a solution that will protect your skin barrier .
  • Consider using moisturizing and soothing topical skin care products with retinol to counteract its negative side effects.
  • Always be sure to apply sunscreen when using a retinoid to help protect your ski n against sun exposure .
  • There are natural alternatives to retinol that are generally safe for use.
Key Takeaways:
  • Retinol is generally safe, but should be used sparingly. To avoid common negative side effects, consider using lower concentrations of retinol or alternate days in which you use retinol.
  • Discontinue use if you have negative side effects after a few weeks of use and contact your physician to help reassess your skin type and find a solution that will protect your skin barrier .
  • Consider using moisturizing and soothing topical skin care products with retinol to counteract its negative side effects.
  • Always be sure to apply sunscreen when using a retinoid to help protect your ski n against sun exposure .
  • There are natural alternatives to retinol that are generally safe for use.
References
  1. Sharkey, Lauren, Retinol Is a Staple in the Beauty Aisle — But What Is It, Exactly? Healthline. 13 August, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-retinol
  2. Murray, Dana. 13 Facts to Know Before Adding Retinoids to Your Skin Care Routine. Healthline. 11 February, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/retinoid-benefits
  3. Kaur, Wendy. Does Retinol have a dark side? Icecreamwala Dermatology. https://www.icecreamderm.com/about-us/articles/newsletter/featured-article/does-retinol-have-a-dark-side-/
  4. Watson, Kathryn. What Is Retinol Burn and How to Prevent It. Healthline. 5 February, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/retinol-burn
  5. Armstead, Morgan. How Often Can You Actually Use Retinol? Healthline. 3 August, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-often-to-use-retinol
  6. Intner, Katie. The Ultimate Guide to Natural Retinol. Harper's Bazaar. 1 June, 2021. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a36542105/natural-retinol-alternatives-explained/
References
  1. Sharkey, Lauren, Retinol Is a Staple in the Beauty Aisle — But What Is It, Exactly? Healthline. 13 August, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-retinol
  2. Murray, Dana. 13 Facts to Know Before Adding Retinoids to Your Skin Care Routine. Healthline. 11 February, 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/retinoid-benefits
  3. Kaur, Wendy. Does Retinol have a dark side? Icecreamwala Dermatology. https://www.icecreamderm.com/about-us/articles/newsletter/featured-article/does-retinol-have-a-dark-side-/
  4. Watson, Kathryn. What Is Retinol Burn and How to Prevent It. Healthline. 5 February, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/retinol-burn
  5. Armstead, Morgan. How Often Can You Actually Use Retinol? Healthline. 3 August, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-often-to-use-retinol
  6. Intner, Katie. The Ultimate Guide to Natural Retinol. Harper's Bazaar. 1 June, 2021. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/a36542105/natural-retinol-alternatives-explained/

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Discover More

How to Protect Against and Reverse Collagen Loss
Why Your Neck, Décolletage, and Hands Need Extra C...
What's the Connection Between Dehydration and Dry ...
How to Tighten Facial Skin Without Surgery
Exploring Alternatives to Botox
Best Practices for Moisturizing After Exfoliating
Recognizing Signs of Over-Exfoliated Skin
Healing Over-Exfoliated Skin: How to Treat Over-Ex...
OS-01 BODY SPF and OS-01 BODY: Even Better Togethe...
Introducing OS-01 BODY SPF: Triple power protectio...
Is Talc Bad for Skin? 7 Things You Need to Know
How Do We Know the OS-01 Peptide is Safe?
What Is Lanolin and Is It Bad for Your Skin?
Non-Comedogenic vs Comedogenic Skin Care Products
Mineral Oil: Facts, Myths, and Effects on Skin
The Problem with Paraffin for Skin
Petrolatum: Is it Safe or Harmful for Your Skin?
How Much Sunscreen to Apply
What Do Antioxidants Do For Skin and Why Should Yo...
Making Sense of SPFs: What’s the Difference Betwee...
How to Relieve Itchy Skin: Tips for Soothing Skin ...
What is The Difference Between UVA and UVB Rays?
Decoding the Connections Between Intrinsic & Extri...
Causes of Skin Itching
Causes of Skin Itching: Understanding the Reasons ...
How to Protect Your Skin from UVA and UVB Rays
Morning vs. Night Exfoliation: Determining the Bes...
How to Tell if Acne is Hormonal or Bacterial?
How to Know if Your Skin Barrier is Damaged
Tips for Managing Hormonal Breakouts
Understanding Hormonal Acne and Its Triggers
How to Repair & Restore Your Skin Barrier
How To Get Rid of Crepey Skin: 7 Solutions
When to Apply Sunscreen: Before or After Moisturiz...
How Alcohol Impacts Your Skin’s Health
The Effects of Alcohol on Your Skin's Aging Proces...
OS-01 FACE: Clinically Validated to Support Your S...
Can Alcohol Cause Breakouts?
The Proof is in the Peptide: 12-Week Clinical Stud...
Why Is My Neck Aging So Fast?
6 Factors That Contribute to Slow Skin Healing
6 Tips and Tricks for a Youthful Neck
Woman applying sunscreen
Addressing the Need for Indoor Sun Protection
Sunburned skin
The Science of Sunburns: How to Treat and Prevent ...
Get to Know OneSkin’s Topical Supplements:
OS-01 F...
Pollution
Can Air Quality Affect Skin? Exploring the Impact ...
Close up of eye
Understanding the Relationship Between Sleep and U...
Woman not sleeping in bed
Exploring the Effects of Quality Sleep on Your Ski...
Gut microbiom illustration
How to Improve Gut Microbiome
Woman holding bowl of food
Exploring Caloric Restriction and Its Effects on A...
woman stretching in bed
What’s the Connection Between Quality Sleep and Lo...
Healthy foods
Unlocking the Skin Benefits of Intermittent Fastin...
woman exercising
Why Exercise is a Game-Changer for Longevity
The Microbiome Diet and Its Effects on Skin
The Microbiome Diet and Its Effects on Skin
cold water
Cold Exposure: Hype or Longevity Boosting?
healthy foods
Eat Better, Live Longer: Top Foods for Longevity
How Environmental Stressors Affect Skin
How to Protect Your Skin from Everyday Environment...
OS-01 BODY
Pressing the Pause Button on Aging Skin: OS-01 BOD...
lip treatment
Lip Balm Ingredients: What to Look for and What to...
earth
Exploring Blue Zones: How Can We Optimize Our Heal...
Sunburn
Sun Exposure and Your Skin: 6 Things You Need to K...
Lips
Nurturing Your Lips: How to Keep Them Moisturized ...
Lips
Uncovering the 9 Causes of Dry Lips: Why Do Lips G...
How to Travel with Skin Care
How to Travel with Skin Care Products
SHIELD on arm
The Importance of Sunscreen: Why Should You Wear I...
Lip sunscreen
Lip Sunscreen: Do Lips Need SPF Protection?
heart hands
The Science of Gratitude
prep on shoulder
Removing Sunscreen: Tips for Clean and Healthy Ski...
freckled skin
Skin Explained: Is Skin An Organ?
UV Light and Skin
UV Light and Skin: Effects and Protection Strategi...
What is Epidermis
Understanding The Epidermis: Functions, Compositio...
Diving into dermis
Diving into Dermis: Functions and Significance
Why Do We Get Wrinkles
Unlocking the Science of Wrinkles: Causes, Formati...
Back skin
Why Skin Barrier is Important
bentonite clay
Ingredient Spotlight: Bentonite Uses, Benefits, & ...
hypodermis function
Hypodermis: Exploring Its Vital Functions
oil-dropper-background-pink-dripping-cosmetic-product
The EU is Limiting Retinol in Skincare: Here’s Eve...
face+shield
Why You Should Use OS-01 FACE & OS-01 SHIELD Toget...
Age Gracefully: How to Manage Neck Wrinkles and Ac...
Discover Why Our New SPF Outperforms the Rest
How to Preserve Your Feet
How to Preserve Your Feet: 5 Strategies for Wrinkl...
Hands and Dermal Elasticity: Understanding and Man...
The Lip Lineage
The Lip Lineage: Exploring the Why Behind Wrinkled...
A Journey Through the Skin: How UV Radiation Cause...
How to Address Stomach Wrinkles
How to Address Stomach Wrinkles For Smoother Skin
How to Get Rid of Wrinkly Skin on Arms
A Scientific Approach to Addressing Wrinkly Skin o...
What is Skin Cycling
What is Skin Cycling? Understanding, Embracing, an...
How to Skin Cycle: A Guide to Optimize Your Skin C...
How Do Our Products Work Together?
Do You Know What Clinical Claims Really Mean?
What is Tinted Sunscreen?
What is Tinted Sunscreen?
two types of face wrinkles
2 Types of Wrinkles and Tips for Treating Them
 Zinc Oxide
The Top 5 Benefits of Zinc Oxide for Skin
Marionette Lines
Understanding Marionette Lines: Causes and Prevent...
How to Help Your Skin Act Younger
how-much-sunscreen-to-use-on-face
The Science of Sunscreen: Understanding the Optima...
Better Elasticity, More Firmness: Discover OS-01 E...
Symptoms and Causes of Melasma on Face
Benefits of Sunscreen
Beyond UV Protection: 7 Surprising Ways Sunscreen ...
Navigating Anti-Aging Skincare: The industry, the ...
Sun spots
Sun Spots: Causes & 3 Prevention Tips
sunscreen-ingredients-to-avoid
Navigating Sunscreen Labels: Unwanted Ingredients ...
How to Prevent Skin Aging Before It Starts
Face vs. Body Sunscreen: Can You Use Body Sunscreen On Your Face?
Face vs. Body Sunscreen: Can You Use Body Sunscree...
Sun Damaged Skin: What it is, how you can prevent ...
Thick Skin vs Thin Skin
A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Differe...
How to Strengthen Your Skin
How to Strengthen Your Skin: A Guide to Thicker, H...
what-is-glycerin
An In-Depth Look at Glycerin: What is it and What ...
Glycerin Benefits for Skin
Exploring the Benefits of Glycerin for Skin Health