When to Apply Retinol in Skincare

Retinol is derived from vitamin A and it gives impressive benefits to your skin. This special ingredient works best on your skin when applied at night. It is a powerful ingredient that reduces wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, etc. from your skin. As far as the question is concerned that when do you apply retinol in the skincare routine, the answer is explained below in this article.

Importance of Retinol in Your Skincare routine

Retinol works wonderfully on your skin. This magic ingredient has a lot of benefits and thus it should be an integral part of your skincare routine. Here are some of the major reasons why it should be included in your daily skincare. Here we go:

  • Prevents wrinkles
  • Smooths out fine lines
  • Smooths wrinkles
  • Exfoliates dull skin
  • Makes skin brighter
  • Gives natural glow
  • Prevents oily skin
  • Reduces breakouts
  • Fades dark age spots
  • Fades sun spots
  • Prevents hyperpigmentation
  • Brightens dull complexion
  • Clogs large pores
  • Common skincare issues
  • Prevents acne
  • Prevents dullness

When to Apply Retinol

Retinol is highly sensitive to light. Therefore, it should always be used at night.

You might have noticed that retinol products come in dark packaging. This is because skin care products containing retinol are light-sensitive. And therefore, these should never be used in the morning.

Always use retinol at night before sleeping.

When to Add Retinol to your skincare routine

Incorporate retinol in your daily skincare regimen but also make sure to not disturb your normal cleansing or skincare routine. Add retinol to your skincare routine in such a way that it makes your skin look fresh and smooth. Here is where you should add retinol to your skincare:

Step 1: Cleanse your face

Step 2: Use Toner

Step 3: Apply Moisturizer

Step 4: Apply Retinol

Step 5: Finally finish with Face Oil

Retinol before or after moisturizer

For people who have sensitive skin, it is advised to use a moisturizer first, and then apply retinol or you can also go with mixing retinol with a moisturizer and then applying it onto your skin. Applying moisturizer first makes a barrier on your skin and in this way, retinol becomes gentle on your face and does not cause any damage. When your skin gets comfortable with using retinol directly, you no longer need to mix it up with moisturizers or any other products.

Retinol before or after serum

Most dermatologists recommend using retinol right after cleansing. This means you should use retinol before you apply anything to your skin be it a moisturizer or a serum.

The Right way of using retinol

Start gradually. Use a little amount of retinol. Apply it at night. Keep using it for a period of one week.

When your skin starts adjusting itself and becomes habitual of its daily use without any irritation, increase its use and start using it every other night for better results.


Retinol is an important ingredient that must be a part of your daily skincare regimen. The right time for the application of retinol is at night.

Add retinol to your skincare routine in such a way that it should be used right after you are done cleansing. Apply retinol before using any moisturizer or serum on your skin.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that you people have asked about the usage of retinol. We have tried our best to give you the most satisfactory answer to these.

Do you put retinol on before or after moisturizer?

Put retinol before using moisturizer. Apply it directly to your clean skin and apply moisturizer after that.

When should I use retinol in a routine?

Apply it twice a week. You can increase the usage from 2 to 3 days if your skin starts adjusting itself to retinol.

What should I use in addition to retinol?

You can also use hyaluronic acid, in addition to retinol.

Does retinol go on before or after serum?

Apply retinol directly after cleaning your face, before applying anything onto the skin. It should be used before using the serum on the face.

Should I use retinol every day?

If you are a beginner, then your skin might not have adjusted itself to retinol, but as soon as your skin gains tolerance to retinol, it is safe to use it every day.

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