‘Anti-aging’ is such a love-hate term, you want to use it but you also wish you didn’t have to.

Retinol for skin is one of the most popular anti-aging ingredients out there with most of the anti-aging products having it as a primary ingredient.

But did you know that this powerful ingredient marketed as an anti-aging miracle has a lot more to offer?

In this blog, we will delve into the basic understanding of retinol, its uses, and what beneficial combos it can offer!

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, which converts into retinoic acid when it interacts with certain enzymes present in the skin. Retinol is a popular skincare ingredient due to the wide range of benefits it has to offer.

Benefits of retinol serum for skin

It can boost collagen production.

  • It is one of the best serum for aging skin
  • It stimulates the rate of cell turnover.
  • It can help in fading dark spots and pigmentation.
  • It has a brightening effect on the skin

How to use retinol?

Retinol should be slowly incorporated into your routine. Start by using a low concentration, once or twice a week, and then increase the frequency if required.

Use sandwich method which is to apply a layer of moisturizer before and after applying your retinol serum to prevent irritation.

How to use retinol for under eyes?

Retinol is a potent anti-aging ingredient which makes it beneficial for the skin surrounding the eyes. This skin is thinner and gentle as compared to the rest of the skin, hence it’s more susceptible to signs of aging. Using Retinol around the eyes may help prevent darkness, wrinkles, and fine lines. The best way to use retinol around the eyes is by using Retinol eye cream. It’s best to apply retinol at night.

Who can use retinol?

Due to its anti-aging properties, Retinol is generally recommended for people above twenty five years of age. But, due to the many other skin benefits it has, it has been used by people of all ages to treat specific conditions such as acne and hyperpigmentation.

As for the skin types, bad news for those with dry skin types- Retinol may be irritating and drying for those with dry skin and sensitive skin types. But fear not, there’s always a way around it, using a low concentration once or twice a week paired with a good moisturiser can be a safe way to use retinol in your routine. People with extremely sensitive skin types, or those suffering from skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea should steer clear from Retinol to avoid irritation.

What to/not to use with retinol?

As many benefits this ingredient has for the skin, it also has many negative interactions with other ingredients.

Retinol should not be used with

  • AHAs/BHAs-

    AHAs, BHAs, and Retinol have a similar effect on the skin, they work by removing surface-level dead skin cells and unclogging the pores. Using all of these in your routine can prove to be extremely harsh and can strip moisture off the skin which could result in redness, irritation, and peeling of the skin.
  • Benzoyl peroxide-

    Benzoyl Peroxide and Retinol cancel each other’s action, so the two cannot be used together.
  • Vitamin C-

    Retinol and Vitamin C are both active with different benefits on the skin. Using the two together could lead to irritation and could affect the potency of both ingredients. Before you reconsider using Retinol because you just can’t say goodbye to your favourite Vitamin C serum yet, Vitamin C and Retinol can be used at different times of the day. Since Retinol can only be used in the night and Vitamin C works best in the morning, the two can be included in your routine together at separate times of the day.

Retinol can safely be used with-

  • Niacinamide-

    This holy-grail ingredient, when paired with Retinol, can help minimize the side effects and provide a better result.
  • Peptide:

    Retinol and peptide serum is combination of two potent ingredients so it gives a hydrated, plump and younger looking skin with consistent use by exfoliating the skin and stimulating collagen production
  • Hyaluronic acid-

    Hyaluronic acid can be used with Retinol to avoid any dryness that may be caused by it.

Side effects of retinol

Retinol is a potent ingredient, so it needs to be used carefully to avoid any side effects. The side effects associated with Retinol are dryness, redness,purging, irritation, and peeling of the skin. Retinol can also aggravate certain skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. It may also cause photosensitivity, stinging, discoloration, and flushing of the skin.


Retinol is a potent anti-aging ingredient with many other benefits to offer. While it’s advised to start using this ingredient to tackle signs of aging, it can be safely used by anyone as long as it’s used correctly.

Keep the do’s and don’ts in mind and reap the many benefits this ingredient has to offer!



Yes, Retinol can be used under the eyes. The skin around the eyes is thin and absorbs ingredients faster, so it’s important to use a retinol formulated specifically for the skin around the eye which is the product with low concentration of retinol.


It is recommended to start using retinol once or twice a week, only at night time. If required, the frequency of usage can be increased over time.


No, it is advisable to avoid using Retinol and Vitamin C in the same routine. They can be incorporated into your routine at different times of the day.


Retinol takes a few weeks to show results, changes may be visible within 10 weeks of usage while it may even take up to 12 weeks to see significant results.