Think of the products in your skincare routine: They’re probably not unlike the clothes hanging in your closet. Hear us out—you’ve got different products for each season, products that are trendy, products you wear for special occasions, and finally, your everyday essentials.
Then, of course, there’s the LBD, otherwise known as the little black dress. The LBD is timeless, chic, and versatile. It’s flattering and always in style—the perfect piece to have when you’re in a pinch. You might not wear it every day, but the LBD guarantees you’ll look flawless and fabulous no matter what last-minute event pops up on your social calendar.
Just like every wardrobe needs an LBD, every skincare routine needs one, too! Can you guess what ours is? Read on to find out the must-have item in our skincare “wardrobe.”
Meet Retinol: The LBD of Your Skincare Routine
Like your favorite little black dress, retinol is a staple that just about everyone should own. An over-the-counter (i.e., milder) version of retinoid, retinol is derived from vitamin A and is primarily used to treat signs of aging as well as acne. Other benefits of retinol include the treatment of:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sunspots and other signs of sun damage
- Uneven texture
- Clogged pores
How Retinol Works
Unlike many topical treatments, retinol goes beyond the surface to penetrate deeper into the dermis, or the second layer of skin. Once it reaches this deeper level, the retinol works by increasing collagen production along with the rate of skin cell turnover.
It also neutralizes free radicals, the unstable molecules that can cause damage to your skin’s DNA. All of this combined creates the anti-aging “plumping” effect that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
How to Incorporate Retinol Into Your Skincare Routine
Now that you know what retinol is and how it works, here are a few tips for incorporating the LBD of skincare into your routine.
- Pick your product.
Retinol can be found in a variety of concentrations and products including lotions, gels, serums, and creams, and it’s really up to personal preference when making your selection. Not sure where to start? We recommend the Retinol Complex .25 from Skin Medica. This particular anti-aging treatment is great for enhancing skin tone, texture, and resiliency. It also includes something called PhytoShield™ Complex, which is an antioxidant complex designed to further enhance skin texture and minimize irritation.
- Ease into it.
Retinol can cause irritation—especially for those with sensitive skin—so it’s best to start with a lower percentage, around 0.05%, and aim to use between 2-3 days per week. From there, you can gradually increase the percentage and frequency of use. If you’re new to retinol, you can expect some dryness, redness, and peeling to occur. Follow the application of your retinol with a moisturizer or night cream with hyaluronic acid to help soothe dry skin.
- Apply in the evenings.
While you can use retinol during the day, it makes more sense to let this product work its magic overnight. If you’re looking for something to boost anti-aging in the AM, a good vitamin C serum can go hand-in-hand with your PM retinol routine. Why? Vitamin C works to protect your skin from free radical damage, while retinol repairs and builds collagen. Together, they make quite the team! Try OVME Boost Antioxidant + Vitamin C Serum for light, bright, and hydrated skin.
- Don’t forget your SPF.
Wearing sunscreen daily is important enough as it is, but you definitely won’t want to skip the SPF when using retinol—even if you’re only applying it at night. That’s because, in addition to causing some irritation, retinol can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. We suggest the Total Defense + Repair SPF 34, which is a hypoallergenic sunscreen that’s perfect for everyday wear.
FAQs About Using Retinol in Your Skincare Routine
Still have lingering questions about using the LBD of skincare? We’ve got you covered. Here’s everything else you need to know about retinol.
Is retinol safe to use?
For the most part, yes! Retinol is safe and FDA-approved for over-the-counter use. Always read the instructions carefully, and consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. Retinol is not recommended for those who are pregnant or those with eczema.
What if I need a stronger version of retinol?
If you’ve been using retinol for a while and you feel like the results aren’t quite what they could be, it might be time for a prescription-strength product. Talk to your dermatologist to see what they recommend for your skin type and condition.
What other products can I add to my anti-aging skincare routine?
Retinol is great on its own, but if you’re looking for an added boost, we love an undereye treatment like DEJ EYE to visibly reduce the appearance of sagging, wrinkles, redness, and hooding around the eye area and eyelid. We also recommend supplementing your skincare routine with the TNS+ Advanced Serum, an award-winning growth factor and antioxidant combo that improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, and texture.
I’m concerned about sun damage. Will retinol help?
Yes, retinol can absolutely help reduce the appearance of sun damage. If your damage is beyond the help of topical treatments, however, we recommend that you book an appointment with OVME for a skin analysis. We’ll take a look at both the visible and non-visible aspects of your skin with our special scanner to assess the health and condition of your skin. From there, we can recommend the right treatment for you!
In the end, having the LBD of skincare in your repertoire can help significantly improve the health and appearance of your skin. By selecting the right retinol, applying at the right frequency, and pairing with complementing products, you’ll start to see a noticeable difference.
Much like your closet, if your skincare routine doesn’t contain a little black dress.