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The Skin Saint’s Guide to Retinol

You probably see Retinol being talked about a lot in beauty blogs, social media, and listed on many skincare ingredients. But do you know what the big deal is, how to use it right, and if it’s right for your skin? Your Skin Saint is here to give you the breakdown of all the amazing things retinol can do for you and how to use it properly!

The Skin Saint Blogs Bloomfield Hills

Retinol is an Anti‑Aging Must Have

First off, let’s take a look at what retinol/retinoids are!

Retinol is made from Vitamin A. When applied, the molecules go deep into your skin to do a lot of amazing things for your skin!

  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Boosts production of elastin and collagen
  • Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Treats acne and acne scarring
  • Stimulates cell turnover
  • Assists brightening and radiance of the skin

Including a Retinoid in your regimen is a necessity for all skin types (except Rosacea, compromised skin), all ethnicities, and all skin conditions.  

Below is my guide on the essential ingredients you must have for an all encompassing anti‑aging regimen, including your retinoid. 

An anti‑aging must have! 

Retinol Strength Matters!

Different strengths of retinoids are good for different types of skin.

Retinyl‑palmitate has the lowest strength, followed by Retinol. For more moderate strengths, try Retinaldehyde or Retinal and for the highest strength, try Tretinoin or Retin‑A. All are available over the counter except for Tretinoin or Retin‑A. For higher prescription strengths try Adapalene and highest strengths try Tazarotene or Isotretinoin.

For beginners to retinol or those with sensitive skin, I recommend my Retinol Renewal Pads 0.25%. These miracle workers reduce melanin production as well as fine lines and wrinkles, and are great for younger or more sensitive skin. 

If you’re looking for something a bit stronger for more corrective work, try out my Tretinol Renewal Serum 0.5%. This serum has AMAZING anti‑aging benefits, is great for those with moderate sun damage, and mild to moderate breakouts. 

For the strongest Retinoid, try my Tretinol Renewal Serum 1%, which dramatically brightens the skin, helps acne reduces wrinkles, and helps elasticity. Read to join the big leagues? Try my Tretinol Renewal Serum 1% to dramatically help with pigmentation, melasma, elasticity, acne, lines and wrinkles. 

My skin wouldn’t be this good without it! Find my products at! 

Best Ingredients to Combine with Retinoids

Retinol is great on it’s own, but why not get even more from it?!

Combine these three powerful skincare ingredients with your retinol at night for even more amazing results.


These are amino acids that act as messengers to the skin. They trigger skin cells to build collagen and elastin for a younger complexion. They can also improve the function of your skin barrier, reduce wrinkles, ease inflammation, and improve skin elasticity.


Also known as Vitamin B3. This ingredient helps your skin barrier and improves skin texture including enlarged pores. It has hydrating properties, brightens the skin, prevents signs of aging and reduces acne. 

Hyaluronic Acid

This substance helps your skin retain water and keep your tissues hydrated. It promotes healthier, more youthful and plump skin, reducing fine lines and dehydration. When you use it, you’ll notice your skin is instantly smoother and plumper from all the hydration!

How to Layer with Retinol

It might not seem like such a big deal, but the order you apply your skincare products is actually really important. Apply the smallest molecular weights first, and use the right combination of ingredients. You want to make sure all of the actives you’re using absorb properly so you get the most out of the products you’re using, especially your Retinol! 

Layer your nighttime anti‑aging serums like this 👇

  1. Niacinamide – Apply Needle‑Free Filler Serum prior to your Retinoid for increased collagen production and less irritation.
  2. Retinol/Retinoids – Apply Tretinol Renewal Serum for protection against environmental damage, help with fine lines and wrinkles, and to clear your skin. Wait 5‑15 minutes before applying a moisturizer on top.
  3. Lightener – Apply Phyto‑Fade Serum for lighter and brighter skin. You can mix half and half with your Retinoid, or apply it on top mixed with a moisturizer.

Want to try any of these out? Head over to!

Don’t Mix These with Retinol!

Since we covered what skincare ingredients to combine with your retinol, here are three to AVOID mixing with it at the same time! Not all skincare ingredients play nice together.

Salicylic Acid ‑ Using the two together can result in overdrying the skin and even make your acne worse than if you were to use them separately.

Vitamin C ‑ Retinol and Vitamin C have different pH environments so they make each other less effective when used together (in most cases). They are also both active ingredients, which is why they’re better used at different times of the day. 

Benzoyl Peroxide ‑ Retinol and benzoyl peroxide both have amazing acne‑fighting powers but when used together, they basically cancel each other out and increase irritation. Nobody wants that!

Don’t skip out on these ingredients completely! Just use them in the morning and your retinol at night. You’ll get all the benefits and none of the negative effects of mixing them!

Alternatives to Retinoids 

Retinol is amazing but it’s best used at night and can cause skin sensitivity. I still recommend using it BUT if you’re looking for some alternatives, here are my top 5 favorites!

Try these ingredients instead:

  • Glycolic Acid ‑ Exfoliates the skin, reduces fine line and wrinkles and fades hyperpigmentation.
  • Bakuchiol ‑ Plumps, brightens and evens skin tone
  • Niacinamide ‑ Protects against sun damage, minimizes pores & redness, regulates oil
  • Mandelic Acid ‑ Improves skin texture and accelerates cellular turnover
  • Azelaic Acid ‑ Smooths, brightens and clears the skin

"Best of the Best"

FACE Beauty Science | Oakland County MI
FACE Beauty Science | Oakland County MI

Learn to Love Retinol!

Ready to see how amazing retinol is? Head over to to try out these products:

I just know you’ll love them! And of course, if you have any questions, send me a DM. I’m always here for you! 

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