Retinol is a fat-soluble form of vitamin A which is widely used in the treatment of acne and aging skin. Retinol helps to speed up the process by which the skin exfoliates, or sheds the dead cells, and also stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. Although there are many benefits of retinol, there are also some side effects, the severity of which depends on the strength of the retinol and how often it is used. Side effects can include stinging, itchiness, scaling or flaking, redness, and even minor burns. Minor burns caused by retinol are fairly easy to treat and should heal quickly.
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Wash the burned area twice a day with a mild moisturizing cleanser and water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel, preferably with one that is made from soft cotton fibers.
Apply a light fragrance-free moisturizer, or aloe vera gel, to the area after each cleanse. Products containing fragrances can further irritate the skin and cause even more redness and discomfort. Avoid using any heavy creams or lotions until the area is completely healed.
Apply a mild hydrocortisone cream to the area burned by retinol one to two times per day to reduce inflammation.
Cool the burned area by applying a cold wet cloth to it for approximately five minutes.
Avoid using any harsh soaps, detergents, or cosmetics until the area burned by retinol cream has healed.