Retinol is the entire Vitamin A molecule. When it is broken down into components, it is tretinoin or retinoic acid. Retinol is one of the few substances small enough to break through the top layers of the skin and enter the lower layers. It works by repairing the underneath layers of skin where the elastin and collagen reside. Retinol repairs some damage by smoothing out wrinkles, improving the elasticity of your skin and giving the complexion a healthy more youthful appearance. Use of retinol is not without problems. Peeling, flaky skin can be a problem, but there are ways to counteract this issue.
Use retinol lightly the first few days to see how your skin will react to the chemical compounds. Apply the bare minimum recommended. Your skin will need time to adjust to the product.
Skip the use of retinol every single day if peeling is a problem for you, recommends the Retinol Resource Center website. This peeling action is known as the retinoid effect. Peeling or flaking should not last more than a few days as your skin acclimates itself to the cream, serum or lotion. When peeling starts, switch to using the product every other night.
Apply sunscreen with at least 15 SPF daily, particularly when using a retinol product because the retinol will make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
Consult your dermatologist or skin care specialist if you experience discomfort or unusual amounts of redness, peeling or flaking. Your skin may be overly sensitive to the product.