Retinoil Creams & AHA

Retinol Creams and AHA’s

Retinol and AHA’s are not the same. AHA’s are natural exfoliation agents that help remove the upper layers of dead skin, in order to reveal new healthy glowing skin from underneath. AHA’s include lactic acid and glycolic acid.

On the other hand, some think that retinol is exfoliation agents, which is not true. They could cause your skin to peel, but their real job is to stimulate the production of new younger healthier cells.

If you ever were told NOT to use retinol and AHA at the same time, never listen because there is no research that AHA’s make retinol less active when used in the same beauty routine.  Just remember that if your skin gets irritated or suffer from redness when using both of them, it is because either retinol or AHA product is too strong for your skin. You always need to ask your dermatologist, and you need to start slowly to reduce irritation. Some can use a retinol cream 2-3 times a week without problems, and others can use it every day, it depends on your own skin, and there is no one rule for all.

I have been using lactic acid for a few months now, and I can assure you that they are great in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. In fact, I have achieved the fastest results when using lactic acid 50%. Combining AHA’s peel with retinol can give you better results since the latest encourages the formation of new skin cells.Just keep in mind that it takes time, an average of 3 months (in the previous study) to get the desired results.

Therefore, if you have seen  RETINOL products that are labeled MIRACLE or other fancy promises, you should remember that you will need to use them for a few months in order to fade those dark spots, considering that that product works!

Best Ingredients to Go with a Retinol Cream

The reason why I am talking about ingredients to go with retinol; is that retinol alone cannot solve all your skin problems, the same way eating only meat cannot give your body all the nutrition’s it needs. You need to eat healthy foods, and your skin needs several ingredients to stay healthy. These ingredients are essential whether you use a retinol cream or not. Using them together will give you much better results, so do not rely on one product for your skin care routine; because, in a real world, there is none!

Here are the three main ingredients that will give you the best results along with your retinol cream:

  • AHA’s as mentioned before, it is a complementary ingredient for what retinol does. AHA’s exfoliate your skin; removing all the dead skin while retinol works on deep layers of your skin to generate new healthy skin cells. When used together, they can give you better results, but be careful, and don’t overuse them or your skin will suffer from irritation.
  • Sunscreen: There is no doubt that a sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin from harmful UV light. Applying a sunscreen over a moisturizer that contains vitamins A, E, and C can benefit your skin the most and give extra protection from UV’s. Unlike some may think, retinol does not cause the same sensitivity to daylight as tretinoin; the prescription-only form of retinol. In addition, applying an antioxidant rich moisturizer that includes vitamins A, E, and C under a sunscreen is still active in protecting your skin from UV’s. Remember that you can use a retinol cream (cosmetic retinol) during the daytime but only with a sunscreen on top of it.
  • Vitamin C ( and vitamin E as well): Since vitamin C fights free radicals, vitamin C helps your retinol cream do its job in promoting the production of new cells and protecting those cells from free radicals. If you are using a retinol product, applying a vitamin C serum underneath it would be very helpful for giving your skin extra protection.

Things You Need to Know When Using a Retinol Cream

  • Retinol products may be applied underneath the eye, but not on the eyelids or under brow area.
  • All beauty products containing retinol, like all vitamin A derivatives, is NOT recommended for women who are pregnant, trying to be pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • When using a retinol cream during the day, you should never skip your sunscreen. I know I have said that before, I am saying it again just in case you missed the previous paragraph!
  • If it is your first time, start slow.
  • Apply a pea-size amount for the whole face. More is not better!
  • If you are using a retinoid, apply a moisturizer first (choose a moisturizer that does not contain anti-aging ingredients). This will help build a barrier between your skin and retinoid and cause less irritation.
  • Consistency and patience are so important when using skincare products. You need to use it consistently, and you will have to wait for weeks to see visible results do not listen to those who tell you that it works for the first weeks, because it does not!
  • Most dermatologists and articles I have read advice that you should start using retinol when you are 30+. Some mentioned that you can start since you are a teen. A 30 something woman needs retinol, but a teenager?! I believe a teenager will need a sunscreen more than anything else, don’t you think so? A moisturizer with vitamin C would be a good idea, too.
  • Stay away from retinol creams containing irritating ingredients (like parabens, fragrance, or alcohol).