Retinol, which is a derivative of Vitamin A, is one of the most popular and effective skincare ingredients available today. This powerful ingredient is known for its ability to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. However, when used without research or the right advice retinol can also lead to irritating and drying skin, leading to flakiness and redness. That's where the retinol sandwiching method comes in.
Not all skincare trends are right for everyone, but this is one we can get behind! We want to best advise you on how to practise the sandwiching method safely and help you decide whether or not it’s right for you, and identify the top benefits for your skin.
The benefits of using Retinol
- Reduces fine lines and wrinkles: Retinol is one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients available. It works by encouraging skin cell turnover, which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Improves skin texture: Retinol helps exfoliate the skin, which can improve the overall texture and tone of your skin.
- Reduces hyperpigmentation: Retinol can help reduce the appearance of age spots, sunspots, and other types of hyperpigmentation.
- Prevents acne: Retinol helps unclog pores and reduce inflammation, which can help prevent acne breakouts.
- Minimises pore size: Retinol can help minimise the appearance of pores, making your skin appear smoother and more even.
- Boosts skin's natural defences: Retinol has antioxidant properties which can help boost the skin's natural defences against environmental stressors, such as pollution and UV rays.
What is the Retinol Sandwiching Method?
The retinol sandwiching method is a skincare technique that involves applying moisturiser before and after using retinol. This helps to reduce the chances of irritation and dryness caused by retinol while still reaping its benefits. The idea is that the moisturiser acts as a buffer, protecting the skin from the harsh effects of retinol while still allowing it to penetrate the skin and work its magic.
How did Retinol Sandwiching become popular?
Retinol sandwiching has been around for several years but gained popularity recently with its rise on social media and influencers sharing it in their skincare routines. Many skin care professionals and bloggers now recommend it as a way to reduce the irritation and dryness caused by retinol. Whether you are just starting out with retinol or have more sensitive skin, we want to make sure you are fully informed before giving it a go.
A step-by-step guide to Retinol Sandwiching
The retinol sandwiching method is relatively simple and can be incorporated into your skincare routine in a few easy steps:
Step 1: Start with clean skin. Remove all makeup and cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser. If you usually use an exfoliant after cleansing, skip this step.
We’d recommend Medik8 Calmwise Soothing Foaming Cleanser which supports the skin barrier and promotes healing.
Step 2: Apply a moisturiser to your face. Use a moisturiser that is appropriate for your skin type and that contains no active ingredients. Avoid moisturisers that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), or any other exfoliants.
We’d recommend CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion for its simple ingredients and super hydrating formula.
Step 3: Wait for the moisturiser to absorb into your skin. This should take about five minutes.
Step 4: Apply your retinol. Follow the instructions or on your Renude dashboard and use only the recommended amount.
Step 5: Wait for the retinol to absorb into your skin. This should take another five or so minutes.
Step 6: Apply another layer of moisturiser to your face. This will help to lock in the retinol and provide extra hydration to your skin.
As a general guideline, it's best to start using retinol sandwiching once or twice a week on non-consecutive days and gradually increase the frequency over time. However, if you experience any redness, irritation, or dryness, it's essential to reduce the frequency or stop using this method altogether until your skin has healed or you’ve consulted a Renude aesthetician.
Tips on Retinol Sandwiching
While the retinol sandwiching method can help to reduce irritation and dryness, it's still essential to practise it safely. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Start slowly. If you're new to using retinol, start with a lower concentration and use it once or twice a week. Gradually increase the frequency and concentration as your skin adjusts.
- Use only the recommended amount of retinol. Overuse can lead to irritation and dryness.
- Avoid using other exfoliating products such as acids while using retinol. This can increase the risk of irritation and dryness.
- Use sunscreen during the day. Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it's important to protect it with sunscreen.
The amount of retinol you should use for retinol sandwiching depends on the concentration of the product you're using. Overusing retinol can lead to irritation and dryness, and in some cases burning.
Always listen to your skin and adjust your retinol sandwiching routine accordingly. If you're uncertain about how often to use retinol sandwiching or have any concerns about your skin's reaction, it's best to consult with a skincare professional.
Who should be cautious when trying Retinol?
While retinol can be beneficial for many people, some individuals should be cautious in using it. These include:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women: Retinol can be harmful to the fetus or infant, so it's best to avoid it during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Individuals with very sensitive skin: Those with sensitive skin may be more prone to irritation and dryness when using retinol, so it's extra important to start slowly and patch test before incorporating it into your routine.
- Those using other active ingredients: If you're using other active ingredients such as vitamin C or AHAs, it's essential to be cautious when introducing retinol. These ingredients can increase the risk of irritation and dryness when used together.
The retinol sandwiching method is a popular skincare technique that can help reduce the irritation and dryness caused by retinol while still allowing it to work its magic. By following the steps outlined in this post and practising it safely, you can incorporate retinol into your skincare routine and enjoy its many benefits. Remember to start slowly, use only the recommended amount of retinol, and consult with a skincare professional if you have any concerns or questions.
For further and more personal skincare advice, you can speak to a Renude aesthetician for guidance on your own skincare routine. Take our quick skin quiz to get started today.