The one ingredient that has gained a cult following in the past couple of years is retinol. This anti-ageing elixir delivers on its claims and is the undisputed choice when it comes to fighting signs of ageing. But like most top ingredients, retinol is NOT for everyone. It can cause redness, peeling and irritation on sensitive skin. But fortunately, there are ways to train your sensitive skin and make it immune to retinol’s side effects.
This ingredient makes retinol bearable
Another popular ingredient that you might have come across is niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3). This ceramide-boosting ingredient strengthens your skin’s barrier, making it resilient to irritants. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent that minimises the effect of retinol on your skin. Hence, look for niacinamide in your retinol products.
Other hacks for using retinol on sensitive skin:
In addition to using retinol products that contain niacinamide, here are some useful tips that can help minimise retinol-related irritation on your sensitive skin.
Buffer your retinol application: The topical application of both niacinamide and ceramides can prep your skin for retinol application. Give your skin time to prepare and remove any other irritants such as foaming cleansers, acid toners and external exfoliators from your routine!
Start slow: Start with a small amount of product and maintain consistency. Use a dotting technique to make sure there is even application of product on your face. Use every other night and increase the number over the next couple of weeks.
Apply retinol AFTER moisturiser: Usually, moisturiser is the last step of the skincare routine. But to use retinol on sensitive skin, layer your face with moisturiser FIRST. This will form a moisture barrier and prevent the active ingredients from drying out your skin.
Stop and restart: If you are still noticing redness after your retinol application, stop the use, strengthen your skin’s barrier and restart use once things are back to normal.