When To Use Retinol in Your Skincare Routine

Retinol is one of the most talked-about ingredients in all skincare, and for a good reason. When it comes to anti-aging as well as evening out your skin tone and skin texture, Retinol is kind of a big deal.

If you’re wondering whether Retinol has a place in your skincare routine, we’ll fill you in. 

Why Use Retinol?

Retinol, Retinoids, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinaldehyde, and active ingredient Retinoic Acid are all in the Vitamin A family. However, the latter few are only available with a prescription from your dermatologist or doctor. 

As a derivative of Vitamin A, pure Retinol is beneficial for many important processes your skin needs to look bright and glowing and can help keep your complexion looking smooth and youthful. 

Retinol can also support your skin’s natural collagen production. Collagen is known to be a crucial protein in your skin that helps give it the firm, plump-looking appearance we tend to associate with young, dewy skin. 

As we get older, our body’s production of collagen slows, which is part of what causes your skin to age over time. So if you’re looking to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you may want to consider adding retinol to your pantheon of skin care products.

But Retinol isn’t only useful as an anti-aging measure. Retinol has a similar effect to Alpha Hydroxy Acids in its ability to help polish away dead surface skin cell buildup and stimulate surface skin cell turnover, which can help brighten your complexion and even out your skin tone overall. Whether you have dark spots or scars, Retinol may help.

This increased surface skin cell turnover rate is not just helpful for fading dark marks related to blemishes, but it can also help clear the blemishes themselves. Retinol can help clear out your pores and balance your skin’s oil production.

Retinol can be useful in addressing many age-related skincare concerns people have. As far as skincare ingredients go, a topical retinol serum can seem to do it all. However, it’s not all sunshine and roses with this supposed magical anti-aging treatment.

Does Retinol Have Any Side Effects?

The big caveat when it comes to working Synthetic Retinol into your skincare routine is that it can come with side effects

While the FDA approves Retinoids such as Tretinoin for addressing acne, synthetic over-the-counter Retinoids can be tough on the skin. 

When you first start using Synthetic Retinol, you may experience dryness, redness, and flaking, among other issues, as your skin adjusts to what can be a harsh ingredient.

Additionally, Synthetic Retinol makes your skin photosensitive. This means that your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun and its damaging UV rays. While you should already use an SPF 30 sunscreen lotion daily, you must be extremely diligent with sunscreen application when using Synthetic Retinol to avoid sun damage.

This combination of side effects is why we have two main suggestions for working Synthetic Retinol into your skincare routine. However, we always recommend Phyto-Retinol!

First, it’s best used in the evening, so there’s a little time between application and potential sun exposure. Second, it’s essential to introduce Synthetic Retinol into your routine gradually by limiting your usage to one or two nights a week at the start. 

You can build up your usage over time as your skin tolerates your Synthetic Retinol product better. It’s also crucial to moisturize when using Synthetic Retinol to help lessen its potential drying effects. 

We recommend a moisturizer with ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide that are known to soothe irritation, as well as a night cream for your under-eye area. Even still, some sensitive skin types may never tolerate Synthetic Retinol.

So although the effects of synthetic Retinol are great and backed by science, it can be a tricky little number to work into your routine. What’s the alternative if you want Retinol’s powerful anti-aging benefits without the downsides? Let’s take a look at Phyto-Retinol. 

What Is Phyto-Retinol?

Phyto-Retinol is a broad term used to describe plant-based forms of Retinol. Although they can include Vitamin A, Phyto-Retinols come from plant and fruit extracts rather than synthetic ones.

Even though they’re all-natural, Phyto-Retinols offer the same powerful benefits to your skin. Popular Phyto-Retinols include Provitamin A Carotenoids, which delivers Retinol’s benefits while known to strengthen the skin barrier, Rosehip Seed Oil, which improves the appearance of dark marks and contains Vitamin C, and Sea Fennel Extract, which is known to help balance collagen and sebum production.

If you have sensitive skin or you simply don’t want to risk the sensitizing effects of Synthetic Retinol, exploring Phyto-Retinol is a great option to get the glowing skin you want while skipping the downsides, like dryness, redness, and flaking.

Another benefit of Phyto-Retinol is that you can use it as part of your morning routine and evening routine, which means you can double down on its benefits. Unlike Synthetic Retinol, Phyto-Retinol doesn’t make your skin photosensitive, so it’s a powerful alternative to any part of your skincare routine. 

What Does a Skincare Routine with Phyto-Retinol Look Like?

Working Phyto-Retinol into your skincare routine is easy because using a Phyto-Retinol instead of a Synthetic Retinol removes a lot of guesswork! 

You don’t need to worry about easing it into your routine to build up your skin’s tolerance because this plant-based ingredient won’t cause irritation. You also don’t need to limit your usage to the evening because Phyto-Retinol doesn’t sensitize your skin or make it photosensitive. 

Here’s a simple but super effective skincare routine to show you how easy it is to make Phyto-Retinol part of your daily routine!

1. Cleanse

The first step in any skincare routine is ensuring you’re starting with a fresh palette. Cleanse your skin using our Ginger Turmeric Cleansing Balm. This cleanser is the ultimate when it comes to removing every trace of makeup, sunscreen, dirt, or impurities while leaving behind the moisture your skin needs to reach its potential.

Free from harsh surfactants like sulfates and full of biocompatible ingredients like Yucca Extract, Turmeric, and Ginger Root Oil, our Cleansing Balm is gentle on sensitive skin while still highly effective at washing away even waterproof mascara.

It uses the powerful yet gentle exfoliating abilities of Lactic Acid to slough off dead surface skin cells, clear your pores, and give your skin the refresh it needs — without irritation or potential skin barrier damage.

2. Serum

Once you’ve cleaned your skin and made sure it’s ready to absorb all of the goodness your other skincare products have to offer, your next step is serum. If fighting wrinkles, uneven skin tone, or overall dullness are priorities for you, we recommend our Chebula Active Serum.

This anti-aging serum will dramatically change how your skin looks today, tomorrow, and even years from now with a potent, multi-targeting breakthrough antioxidant: Chebula

Chebula is what’s known as a cascading antioxidant, which means that after fighting off a free radical, which, left unchecked, can lead to premature signs of aging, it takes on a new form and gets ready to fight off another free radical. 

Chebula Active Serum is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles by 22% after just six weeks, and a whopping 97% of women experienced a reduction in lines and wrinkles after just four weeks.*

So if you have a reunion, wedding, or vacay a couple of months away in your calendar, you have more than enough time to get your glow on!

3. Phyto-Retinol

After applying your choice of serum, you can move on to your Phyto-Retinol. This can work as part of your morning and evening routine, unlike Synthetic Retinol creams, which should be kept to your nighttime skincare routine. You only need a pea-sized amount.

Our microbiome-minded Phyto-Retinol Vitamin A Booster harnesses the innate intelligence of your skin to deliver powerful anti-aging benefits without sensitizing side effects. It’s perfectly dosed and packaged in vegan capsules which, once broken, help deliver Provitamin A Carotenoids to your skin.

When these Carotenoids contact your skin, they transform into your skin’s own potent retinoic acid, which is one of the most biocompatible kinds of retinoic acids. This retinoic acid fights signs of aging, including wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone, to deliver your most youthful-looking glow.

Just twist your capsule twice or use scissors to break open the capsule and pour the contents into the palm of your hand. Mix the contents in your hands and massage it onto your face, neck, and decollete. 

4. Hydrate

Although you don’t need to worry about our Phyto-Retinol Vitamin A Booster causing peeling or dry skin, it’s still important to keep your skin hydrated. If you struggle with skin conditions like eczema or rosacea or use other potentially drying ingredients like BHAs and AHAs, a good moisturizer is especially non-negotiable.

OurPure Radiance Oil is perfect for keeping your skin hydrated, even, and balanced. It’s formulated with an abundance of Seed Oils packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that deliver a wide range of benefits. 

It’s so good that Actress Logan Browning called it a “holy grail” product — so even if you’re loyal to cream moisturizers, it’s worth considering the switch to a product that would be, by her own admission, the product Logan would choose if she could only use one.

If your skin is extra-dry or sensitive, we recommend supplementing our Pure Radiance Oil with our Chebula Extreme Cream moisturizer. When applied after the oil, this cream moisturizer is clinically proven to fight 5 signs of aging and provides intense hydration all night long.

Chebula Extreme Cream is formulated without pore-clogging waxes that are ubiquitous in conventional moisturizers, allowing its anti-aging ingredients to sink into the skin to intensely nourish, moisturize, and help strengthen the skin barrier. 

Rich in ceramides and fatty acids, potent plant actives including Acerola Cherry, Calendula Oil, and Hyaluronic Acidwork to soothe skin and dramatically improve moisture levels. 

This moisturizing cream is also formulated with a Hydra-Cocktailof moisturizing ingredients like protein rejuvenators, humectants, fatty-acid-rich emollients, and breathable occlusives that lock moisture in. 

This formula is crafted with everything your skin needs to look smooth, soft, dewy, and supple!

In Conclusion

Retinol can be a powerful player in your anti-aging skincare lineup. It can also make a huge difference for all kinds of common skincare complaints, from breakouts to issues of discoloration and texture. But while Synthetic Retinol can work wonders, it comes with various unpleasant side effects, namely severe sensitization.

Phyto-Retinol has all the benefits with none of the downsides. So if you’re considering adding a Retinol to your skincare routine, choosing a Phyto-Retinol is the way to go if you want all of the glow with none of the drawbacks!

Looking for more ways to bring back that youthful glow? Explore the full Renew Anti-Aging collection here!

*Clinical results disclaimer: Based on a 6-week single blind comparative clinical study of 30 women aged 35-65 with twice daily use.


Retinoids in the Treatment of Skin Aging: An Overview of Clinical Efficacy and Safety | Clinical Interventions in Aging

Decreased Collagen Production in Chronologically Aged Skin | The American Journal of Pathology

Does Retinol Deserve the Hype? A Stanford Dermatologist Weighs In | Stanford Medicine