Using Too Much Retinol? Side Effects of Retinol Serums

Retinol can improve the appearances of fine lines, deep wrinkles and is an essential part of a skin care regimen to help, collagen-depleted skin. Retinol becomes more effective with continued use. Retinol is also effective with sun damaged skin, blemishes, acne, and age spots. People who use retinol may experience mild tingling or redness - this is normal as it is the old skin cells dying, and the retinol stimulating the production of new skin cells.

before and after pictures of using retinol

What is Retinol?

Retinol is simply another name for Vitamin A. It’s a type of retinoid, the family of chemical compounds related to vitamin A. Other retinoids include retinoic acid (also known as tretinoin), retinyl palmitate, and retinaldehyde, all of which can be found in skincare products. Tretinoin is the active ingredient in Retin-A, the prescription acne cream, while adapalene, another retinoid, is the active ingredient in Differin Gel. When retinol and other retinoids come into contact with skin, enzymes in the body convert the retinol into retinoic acid, the active form of the vitamin. This is the “special sauce” that goes to work on the skin cells in helpful ways.

Side effects of Retinol:

  • Dry skin
  • Peeling
  • Sensitivity to exfoliation.

Have I Used Too Much Retinol?

Redness, irritation, inflammation, and raised patches of skin are a sign that you are using too strong of a concentration. If you are experiencing any of these complications, you will need to give your skin time to heal.

Recommended Retinol Products:

These are some products that contain a strong concentration of retinol, but are gentle enough to be used by sensitive skin. They DO work, however! Do not let the “sensitive” designation fool you. They still contain retinol and are effective, but they are also hydrating and moisturizing which most retinol serums are not.

Somaluxe Renewal Serum

retinol serum
The best retinol serum with hyaluronic acid

This is the best retinol serum because you can see the effects after one week AND it works on sensitive skin, without leaving you red and irritated. You only need a little bit: two pumps, actually. The serum absorbs well and I can feel it all soak in in about 30 seconds. There is a slight tingling, but it’s definitely not a burning like I get with other retinol products. I can use this twice a day and it does not make my face extra red with rosacea or anything like that!


Creme De La Mer

Although this is the most expensive retinol product on this list, it is one of my favorites. I just do not like the price. What I like about Creme de La Mer is that unlike most retinol serums, it is VERY moisturizing! The product smells fresh and gives a bit of a reddish glow as I feel the retinol working in my skin. Though I saw results in about one week after using, I can’t realistically (and unfortunately) afford to use it all the time!

InstaNatural Retinol Serum

This is the most affordable retinol serum I have found, and I am glad I did because for the price it works pretty well! As you know, I have tried so many creams and spent a lot of money on them so when I find affordable products that actually work, I am STOKED to continue to use it. The InstaNaturals Retinol Serum is light and absorbs really well into my skin. I really enjoyed the citrus smell and was grateful there was no chemical smell. However, I definitely need to follow up with a moisturizer after using this serum, because it’s not moisturizing like the Lady Soma Renewal Serum or the Creme de La Mer.

Overall, I suggest you use retinol. Retinol does make skin glow by creating this reddish tint to it (dead skin cells dying and new skin cells formulating). This is what microdermabrasion looks like, only you apply this instead to avoid pricey procedures or harsh effects. Working to keep my skin looking good and fresh, retinol is a must in my daily skin care routine. I do take some days off from retinol because you don’t always want to be “burning” your skin. I use the word “burning” loosely, because these retinol products don’t really burn, they just have like a tingling exfoliation sensation.

Retinol products can do double duty against (1) acne and (2) wrinkles. Some retinoids are harsher than others. Pure retinoic acid applied directly to the skin can cause irritation. If you have sensitive skin, retinol is milder and equally effective alternative. Using a pure retinol, you reduce the instances of irritation while still getting the benefits of retinoic acid. All in all, the Lady Soma Renewal Serum is the best retinol serum, moisturizing, and affordable. If you can afford the high price tag, Creme de La Mer could be your thing. The InstaNatural Retinol Serum is most affordable BUT I highly recommend using a moisturizer following it immediately, so that could add up.

Leave a Reply