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A Handbook To Using Retinol Serums In Your 20s & 30s

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What if you could stop the clock when it comes to skin ageing with a magical ingredient? Read ahead for everything you need to know about retinol.
A Handbook To Using Retinol Serums In Your 20s & 30s

We all make financial investments in our 20s and 30s to secure lofty savings that will help us in our old age. But monetary investments are not the only type of planning we need to think of – we also need to take care of our health and skin right from our 20s. This too, is an investment as we end up saving money. How? Let me explain.

Put simply, retinol serum uses include reducing signs of ageing, like wrinkles, and aiding in cell regeneration. This means, that if you start in your late 20s or early 30s, you don’t have to spend a lot on cosmetic essentials or surgeries later. Talk about girl-mathing!

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin A derivative with several benefits. According to a study, retinol resulted in a significant improvement in fine lines and wrinkles just after 12 weeks of usage. Even a 1% topical application of retinol is effective when you are incorporating the product in the preventive stages of your skin health journey. There are a slew of benefits to retinol when used properly, let’s see a few of them here.

Benefits Of Retinol

- Collagen Production: Retinol enters the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin, and improves skin elasticity and promotes collagen production for improved and quick skin regeneration.

- Reduces Signs Of Ageing: According to research, retinol shows promising results with respect to naturally aged skin, where it improves the appearance of fine wrinkles.

- Minimises Sun Damage: UV radiation depletes the ability of your skin to regenerate new cells and increases melanin production. This leads to dull, photoaged, and wrinkly skin, which can be reversed with the use of retinol.

- Diminishes dark spots: The exfoliating properties of retinol fight dark spots and hyperpigmentation of mature skin. This vitamin A improves skin health and fades dullness and tiredness of the skin.

How To Use Retinol?

1. Wash your face with a cleanser to start with a clean canvas. Make sure to pat dry your face, retinol is a strong and potent vitamin, and it can enter further into your skin if it is wet or damp, leading to side effects due to overexposure.

2. Take a pea-sized amount of the product and apply only to the target areas. You can also apply retinol to your body if you have dark spots, sun damage, or even stretch marks.

3. Apply it in upward circular motions for the product to settle in, and follow with a moisturiser to hydrate your skin as retinol tends to cause dryness.

4 .Avoid applying the product near your eyes or sensitive areas of the skin – this ingredient is strong and can cause irritation.

5. Always apply retinol at night, this vitamin A derivative doesn’t work well when in contact with the UV rays of the sun.

6. If you are in your 20s, use a product with a lower concentration of retinol and only once or twice a week. Using retinol in your 20s is for preventive purposes and using a small dose is ideal to prevent or reduce any damage.

7. If you are between the ages of 30–40, use a product with a slightly higher concentration to tackle the damage that is already done. This is the right time to start your anti-ageing skin health journey to revive your inner radiance as you reach the best years of your life.

Side Effects Of Retinol On The Face

Even though dermatologists recommend retinol as a prevention and cure, it is a harsh chemical and can have a few side effects on your skin, none that aren't manageable.

  • Retinol is a strong formula and hence you shouldn’t ideally mix it with other strong formulae, such as AHAs and BHAs such as glycolic acid, to avoid deteriorating your skin. You can alternate between retinol and glycolic acid to achieve healthy, glowing skin.
  • Retinol is also used to unclog large pores and reduce acne and pimples, but the effects take some time to show, in fact, it worsens your skin before it starts healing. Some skincare enthusiasts also called it ‘retinol purging’ where the skin breaks out before it starts clearing out.
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid retinol, as it gets absorbed into your bloodstream and can affect your children. Once you stop lactating, you can apply retinol on your stretch marks to fade them over time.

9 Anti-Ageing Retinol Serums

Although retinol comes in the form of creams, we recommend opting for serums. Serums penetrate your skin and offer the best effect a product can give. Here are our recommendations for the best anti-ageing retinol serums from Nykaa.

Best In Bizz

This serum from Minimalist has 0.3 pure retinol in squalane. Packed with antioxidants and 1% pure bakuchiol oil this product is ideal for beginners, it is not too harsh and transparent about the formulation to work on delicate young skin.

Nykaa Recommends:

Minimalist 0.3% Retinol Face Serum
Minimalist 0.3% Retinol Face Serum
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Best To Use In Your 20s

With 0.15% encapsulated retinol, allantoin, garcinia indica seed butter this night serum from Foxtail reduces wrinkles, causes zero purging, and reduces pores. This is a beginner-friendly formulation that offers preventative care.

Nykaa Recommends:

Foxtale 0.15% Encapsulated Retinol Night Serum
Foxtale 0.15% Encapsulated Retinol Night Serum
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Best To Use In Your 30s

The one that started it all, this retinol serum by Ordinary is perfect for all skin types, especially for slightly aged skin. It is 0.5% in squalane which can be a little harsh on your skin, so opt for a lower concentration and work your way up to this product to reduce signs of ageing.

Nykaa Recommends:

The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% In Squalane
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Best Budget Buy

Formulated with black tea extracts, antioxidants, and natural anti-ageing ingredients, this retinol serum from Mcaffeine is a steal deal and your skin shield against time. Renew skin vitality and reduce fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, and dark spots with regular use.

Nykaa Recommends:

MCaffeine Retinol 0.3% & Black Tea Complex™ Anti Aging Face Serum
MCaffeine Retinol 0.3% & Black Tea Complex™ Anti Aging Face Serum
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Best Luxury Buy

For years, Olay has been giving women the confidence they need as they age. Their power-packed formula and potent ingredients need no introduction. This retinol serum is infused with niacinamide, which provides 24 hours of hydration and protection, and retinol, which reaches 10 layers deep into your skin for a plumper, more youthful glow with every use.

Nykaa Recommends:

In-House Formulation

With 2% advanced retinol, 2% lactic acid, and 1% Australian caviar lime extract, this potent blend by our in-house brand Nykaa SKINRX prevents and reduces signs of ageing and renews skin vitality. It's an age-defence formula that has garnered a lot of love from the users.

Nykaa Recommends:

Nykaa SkinRX 2% Advanced Retinol Night Face Serum
Nykaa SkinRX 2% Advanced Retinol Night Face Serum
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Crowd Favourite

This Derma Co. retinol serum is a crowd-pleaser like no other. Formulated with retinol, vitamin C, and glycerin it is a gentle formulation that hydrates, evens out skin tone, brightens, offers gentle exfoliation, and brings out spotless skin damaged due to ageing.

Nykaa Recommends:

The Derma Co. 0.3% Retinol Face Serum
The Derma Co. 0.3% Retinol Face Serum
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Travel-Friendly

This retinol serum infused with ceramides is a fragrance-free formula that visibly diminishes lines, and wrinkles, improves skin texture, and reduces pores and the appearance of age spots and pigmentation. Not just that, this luxurious serum comes in convenient travel-appropriate capsules for mess-free packing and application.

Nykaa Recommends:

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
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Trust-Worthy Formulation

Made with vitamin C, rosehip, red algae extract, and the star ingredient – retinol, this night serum by Dr. Sheth’s boosts collagen production, fades dark spots, and restores your skin for a youthful, bouncy glow.

Nykaa Recommends:

 Dr. Sheth's Rosehip & Retinol Serum
Dr. Sheth's Rosehip & Retinol Serum
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FAQs

When should I start using retinol?

After the age of 23, you can start using retinol as a preventative measure to avoid early signs of ageing in your 30s. It reduces sun damage, improves skin health, and minimises pores.

Why is retinol used at night?

Retinol makes your skin sensitive to UV rays and can lose effectiveness and cause irritation under sunlight. Hence, it is ideal to use retinol at night for complete absorption and benefit.

What can I mix retinol with?

You can mix hydrating and non-actives such as niacinamide, ceramides, and vitamin C, vitamin E. Mixing retinol with active ingredients such as AHAs and BHAs is not recommended.

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