With summer winding down, there’s no better time to ramp up your retinol. While not
completely necessary, switching to a stronger retinol is a good idea if you plan to start a
chemical peel series this fall, or if you’ve stopped seeing changes in your skin with your
And while stronger retinol can mean better results, there are some anticipated reactions
that come with it. Here’s how you can push past the flaky phase and get one step closer
to your skin goals.
The 72 Hour Rule
When switching to a stronger retinol, it’s best to start using it slowly. We recommend
every third day to start, increasing usage gradually as your skin can tolerate.
Just remember–retinol only stays in your system for 72 hours. So if you’re using it any
less than that, your skin has to start the acclimation process all over again, meaning
you’re not likely to get past that dry, irritated phase.
Stronger Skin Barrier
To reduce irritation, you’ll most likely want to start using a moisturizer that restores your
skin barrier. We have several options at Boss Gal, but a few of our faves are:
Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore
ZO Skin Health Hydrating Creme
SkinBetter Science Trio
Don’t Skip Exfoliation
It’s a common myth that retinol is exfoliating the skin. While it is increasing cell turnover,
those dead, flaky skin cells won’t go anywhere on their own. As long as your skin isn’t
feeling too irritated, we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times per week to slough away dead
skin and encourage new cells to make their way to the surface. We love Exfoliating Polish by ZO Skin Health for a safe, effective product.
Ready to up your retinol game? Book a consult and let our Skin Bosses point you in the right