Using Retinol for the first time? These are the do’s and don’ts!

Using Retinol for the first time? These are the do’s and don’ts!

We all know the excitement that comes with trying something new, especially when it comes to skincare. If you're about to embark on your journey with retinol, we've got your back! Whether you're a skincare newbie or just new to retinol, understanding the do's and don'ts can make all the difference. Let's dive into the world of retinol together and ensure your experience is a smooth one.

What is Retinol and what does it do for your skin?

Before we dive into the do’s and don’ts of using Retinol, you might be wondering what Retinol is and how your skin can benefit from this powerful ingredient. Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. It works its magic by stimulating collagen production, which helps plump up the skin and smooth out lines and wrinkles. It also promotes cell turnover, making way for fresher, younger-looking skin. With over 40 years of research backing its efficacy, retinol is one of the most popular skincare ingredients of the moment. Although Retinol can work wonders for your skin, it is a potent ingredient that can cause irritation and dryness if not used carefully.

Unlike traditional Retinol products, Clay And Glow’s Retinol Night Serum is formulated with soothing ingredients like Niacinamide and Vitamin E. These soothing ingredients help keep your skin balanced while using retinol. With these ingredients, irritations can be kept at bay as much as possible. However, when you are using Retinol for the first time it is best to follow some do’s and don’ts to make sure your skin stays happy and healthy!

Retinol Night Serum

The Do's of Using Retinol:

  1. Patch Test: Before incorporating retinol into your routine, patch testing is your best friend. Apply a small amount to a discreet area of your skin to check for any adverse reactions. Patience pays off in the long run!
  1. Cleanse Gently: Use a mild cleanser like the Micellar Foaming Makeup Remover, that doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils. This sets the stage for a more comfortable retinol experience.
  1. Start Slow: Like a marathon, not a sprint. Begin by using retinol only a 1 to 3 times a week, and only at night. This gives your skin time to adapt and minimizes the likelihood of irritation. Once your skin is adjusted, slowly increase the frequency.
  1. Hydration is Key: Alongside retinol, make hydration your partner in crime. Applying a hydrating moisturizer after retinol helps lock in moisture and reduce potential dryness.
  1. Buffer for sensitive skin: Is your skin extra sensitive? Then using the Buffer method is the way to go for you! With the buffer method, you apply a hydrating layer to your skin before applying retinol. This can be done by applying the Hyaluronic Acid Toner for example, then applying the Retinol and finishing off with the Hydrating moisturizer. Applying an extra hydrating layer
  1. Sun Protection: This isn't optional – it's a must! Always wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher during the day. Retinol can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.

The Don'ts of Using Retinol:

  1. Overdoing it: Less is more when it comes to retinol. Applying too much or using it too frequently can lead to redness, peeling, and irritation. A little goes a long way!
  1. Mixing and Matching: Introducing too many active ingredients at once can overwhelm your skin. Avoid using retinol in combination with other potent products, especially in the beginning. Keep your routine simple, the Anti-aging Essentials set from Clay And Glow is perfect to start with!
  1. Timing Matters: Apply retinol at night. Using it in the morning can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight, and you don't want that.
  1. Avoid Delicate Areas: Keep retinol away from the delicate skin around your eyes and lips. These areas are more sensitive and prone to irritation.
  1. Ignoring Moisturizer: Retinol can be drying, especially initially. Skipping moisturizer can worsen this effect. Seal the deal with the Hydrating Moisturizer.
  1. Avoid when pregnant: Do not use retinol while pregnant or breastfeeding!
Retinol Night Serum

How to use Retinol in the Clay And Glow Routine – step by step

Step 1: Cleanse the face with the Triple AHA Cleanser. Is your skin extra sensitive? Then we recommend using the Foaming Micellar Makeup Remover as a cleanser.  

Step 2: Dry your face thoroughly.  

Step 3: Apply 3 to 4 drops of the Pure Retinol Night Serum and massage into the face. This serum is gentle enough to be used under the eyes, but we recommend avoiding the eyelids. 

Step 4: Let your skin absorb the product completely, follow up with the Hydrating Moisturizer

Build up the usage: start with 1 to 3 times a week. Once your skin is accustomed and responds well, you can gradually increase the frequency to once daily, at night before you go to bed. 

Always use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher during the day when using Retinol.


  • Retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight (UVA/UVB rays), always use a broad-spectrum SPF30 or higher during the day when using retinol.
  • Retinol can cause purging; this means that you can get some breakouts after starting using retinol. This is normal. Read more Retinol and Purging here.
  • Do NOT use the retinol serum in the same routine as a Vitamin C serum or exfoliants like BHA/AHA serums/toners. Do you want to continue using these ingredients? Then it is recommended to use, for example, the Vitamin C serum or BHA/AHA in the morning and the Retinol Serum in the evening. OR use the ingredients every other day: on one day the Retinol serum in the evening and on the other day the Vitamin C serum or BHA/AHA serum/toner. 
  • Use of an AHA cleanser is permitted in conjunction with use of the retinol, this will not cause skin irritation in most people. However, if your skin is sensitive we recommend using a mild cleanser like the Foaming Micellar Makeup Remover.

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