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Should You Use Retinol Daily? We Ask Our Skincare Agony Aunt Dr Sonia

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Dr Sonia Khorana is a GP with a special interest in dermatology and Live That Glow’s own skincare agony aunt. She is passionate about helping people feel confident in their own skin.  Here, she advises a reader concerned about how often to use retinol.

Should you use retinol every day? Or does it depend on your skin type?

Dr Sonia says:

If you’re new to this anti-aging hero – there’s a method to how often to use retinol.

Retinol increases skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen and elastin production but it does come with some side effects. Side effects include peeling, dryness, redness, sensitivity, irritation and skin purging.

This is why it’s important to build up both the frequency of your retinol application and the potency of the formula itself rather than using it every day straight away.

When you’re starting out, I would recommend applying a pea sized amount 1-2 times in the evenings and then gradually build up over several weeks. Once your skin has adapted to retinol by building up gradually, you can then apply it daily.

Sensitive skin types may need a bit longer to get up to daily use – think of it more as a marathon versus a sprint.


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Dr Sonia is an Aesthetic Doctor and Laser Specialist who is also a GP with a special interest in dermatology, offering laser and dermatology consultations at UK-based clinics, MediZen and Kat & Co. She discusses the holistic needs of patients linked to their appearance on her Instagram @dermgp and is Live That Glow's resident skincare agony aunt, answering readers' questions on all things skin related.

Education: University of Liverpool Medical School and Queen Mary University, London

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