So, to avoid the risk of sun damage or burning, it’s best to apply sunscreen on top of retinol when going out during the day. No shade to salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but retinol is truly the only topical ingredient that's helped keep my cystic acne and blackheads in check, while also making my skin super smooth and glowing, too. J Clin Pharmacol. Overuse of retinol may cause similar results. Or, you can check out Curology, a skincare company that matches you with a medical provider who can virtually prescribe you prescription-strength tretinoin (along with a full acne routine). Best Retinol Eye cream. Why the Hell Am I Breaking Out on My Scalp?! Though they still have excellent skin benefits—like line-smoothing and spot-brightening—they aren’t strong enough to effectively treat acne, says Dr. Marchbein. The information on our website is intended for educational purposes only. One percent is a big dose so it's best to proceed with caution. Using one (even for a few weeks before you start your retinol treatment) has been shown to help make retinol less likely to turn your face into a blizzard of flakes. After three months of application, these side effects tend to disappear as the skin acclimates to the treatment, giving way to a marked improvement in skin quality. Products that contain as little as 0.04% to 0.1% retinol can have visible results, however retinol products are commonly available in 1% concentrations. But if you don't want to make a trip to the derm/deal with insurance—OR if your skin is just hella sensitive—don't stress; you've still got options. So just because your acne has cleared up doesn't mean you should stop using them. 1. The Best Retinol Cream., Dark Circles Under Eyes: Causes and Proven Treatments, Dark Eyelids: Causes, Treatments, Best Creams, Remedies and More, How to Choose the Best Cleanser for Acne and Use It Effectively, Lines Under Eyes: Causes, Prevention, and How to Get Rid of Them, Lip Wrinkles: Best Treatments and Preventative Measures, Blackheads in the Ears: How to Safely and Effectively Get Rid of Them, Increase skin cell growth to heal lesions and scars, Wash your face with a mild to moderate cleanser, Allow your skin to dry before applying retinol; this reduces the risk of the product getting into your eyes and causing irritation, Dab a pea-sized amount of retinol onto the cheeks, chin and forehead, The morning after application, use an SPF cream or sunscreen on the treated area. Short contact therapy (STC) is ideal for anyone with really, truly, extremely sensitive skin, says Dr. Love, since it involves leaving a retinoid on your skin for just a tiny amount of time before rinsing it off. Retinoids. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2x. Retinol creams can make your skin more photosensitive. Use salicylic acid. The goal is to work your way up to nightly use without irritation. If you experience chronic issues such as eczema, speak with your dermatologist before applying retinol. Lauren Balsamo is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan covering all things skin, hair, makeup, and nails for both the magazine and website. Keeping pores clear also allows creams, gels  and other acne products to penetrate and therefore work more effectively. 2012 Dec;52(12):1844-51. Similarly, those dealing with rosacea and eczema already have a compromised skin moisture barrier and skin could be further irritated due to an application of retinol. (This is known as the retinization period, i.e., the process where your skin slowly acclimates to the ingredient.) We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we love. Retinoids may be useful for stubborn cases of acne by helping to unplug pores. Even under ideal conditions, retinol can cause skin purging that temporarily worsens acne-prone skin. The “bread” here creates a buffer that slightly dilutes the retinol, making it more tolerable to your skin during those initial few weeks. Touted as a “skin-tone-correcting solution,” this serum's $10 price … Retinol also works to unclog pores by clearing away excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. Retinol is one of the skincare greats when it comes to treating acne, provided you use the right kind and ease your way into it (remember, less is more in the beginning). Products that contain as little as 0.04% to 0.1% retinol can have visible results, however retinol products are commonly available in 1% concentrations. First up is the powerful Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore … The main active ingredient in the formulation is benzoyl peroxide which kills bacteria and prevents acne from worsening. The biggest issue people have when starting retinoids is the admittedly sh*tty side effects. The active ingredient, vitamin A, has a powerful impact on the skin because it can: Topical retinol is formulated within creams, serums and other similar products to bolster the production of both collagen and elastin. There are many medicated skin care products, including cleansers and pore strips that can be used simultaneously with retinol to eliminate blackheads.