Did anyone else start using retinol only to wake up one day looking like Two-Face? Cause SAME. Retinol can be a real bitch, especially if you don't know how to use it properly. But even if you do know what you're doing, it can still trash your face around. But in a good way!
That's because it takes time for your skin to adjust to this powerful ingredient. It's important to remember that retinol is a real heavy-lifter - so knowing exactly how much to use it, and when to use it, is crucial. But even if you're doing everything right (ahem...not slapping it on like your hyaluronic acids and using SPF always), know that it can take a while for your skin to get used to it.
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And while the timing is different for everyone, the side effects are just as broad and can range from redness and flaking to dry skin, irritation and full-on skin purging (read: a reaction to an active ingredient causing your skin to break out).
This, friends, is what the Internet calls the "retinoid uglies." Cute!
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And because no two skin types are the same, everyone is going to have a different experience. So, we hit up a group of women who have each experienced the 'uglies' and asked them about what it was like, and their tips for getting through it.
Tell us...how bad was it? "My skin flaked off like crazy and was red and itchy. I used a small amount of prescription retinol every three days. I kept at it and then after six weeks, it just stopped the extreme shedding. Now my skin is great, and I have started using it every second day."
What did you do? I found the thing that helped is not to exfoliate with a cream as that made it worse as the skin is shedding. It is very tempting though. I ended up buying a Foreo Luna (the small one used for travel) and used that morning and night. It removed the skin that was coming off without any irritation."