when to start retinol products

How long before my wedding should I start retinol products?

by Bryce Gruber

Start now.

“How long before my wedding should I start retinol products,” you ask? If you’re not already knee-deep in retinoids, the time to start may be now, and that’s because the best effects of retinol-based products could take months to show up.

“Ideally you would start six to nine months before the wedding,” says Doris Day, MD, and New York City dermatologist of when to start retinol-based skincare. “This gives your skin time to adapt to it and for collagen production to kick in and help even out skin tone and smooth any lines.”

clear skin

The author of Beyond Beautiful explains that it’s not about a percentage or strength listed on a product’s label, either, and simply put, not all over the counter products are created equal. “It’s next to impossible to know the percentage or what that means in a formulation. The best is to see your dermatologist to come up with a plan of best products for you, from over the counter to cosmeceutical to prescription products and the best products to use with them to minimize irritation and optimize benefits.”

“If you’re wondering why you even need to start retinol to begin with, it’s because it’s amongst the few clinically proven ingredients to treat the signs of aging. As far as science-backed anti-aging products go, retinol-enhanced skincare is probably your best bet. Just don’t go overboard with retinol in the summer, because combining it with added sun exposure can lead to unwanted irritation, redness, and the opposite of good skin. Leave it off your honeymoon packing list for now, but continue to use it with your pre-wedding Botox and other doctor-approved treatments.

“The goal is to avoid redness and flaking by using moisturizers and other calming products along with it,” says Day. “Otherwise the redness and flaking can last from weeks to months. It also helps to start every other day and build up slowly.”

For an easy entry into starting retinol, try 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm. It features mostly organic ingredients, and a thick, hydrating balm-style delivery that’s great for dry skin and entry-level retinol use.

start retinol

For a retinol die-hards, try over the counter Algenist Elevate Advanced Retinol Serum, an easily layered vegan retinol serum that can be paired with richer balms and oils during chilly, dry months, and with lighter gel formula moisturizers when the going gets hot.

vegan retinol by algenist

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