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  • Gary Conroy

Using Retinol in the Summer

We all love Retinol for its anti-ageing benefits, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about when and how to use it. Some of your clients might be cautious about Retinol due to its potential for skin dryness, irritation, and increased sensitivity when not used correctly or in excessive amounts. Even keen users of Retinol might believe that it should be avoided during the summer months. Let's debunk this misconception.


Retinol is a potent compound that yields remarkable transformations for the skin. Nevertheless, improper usage can cause excessive skin shedding and sensitivity. Consequently, Retinol has acquired a reputation for being a harsh ingredient. As a result, many of your clients might be increasingly cautious and refrain from using it during the summer months, which means they are also losing out on the incredible benefits of Retinol for part of the year.


Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative used in skincare for its anti-aging effects. It boosts cell turnover, collagen production, and reduces signs of ageing including wrinkles and pigmentation. It improves skin texture, minimises pores, and enhances tone. No wonder it has earned a reputation as one of the hero anti-ageing ingredients. To get the best results, your clients need to use Retinol all year round.


It should go without saying that broad-spectrum sunscreen and antioxidants are crucial in any skincare routine, but this is particularly true when using Retinol during the summer months. This will help to minimise potential side effects from Retinol, ensuring optimal protection and care for the skin, especially during sun-exposed periods. They will also protect against harmful rays and free radicals.


Here is our step-by-step guide to introduce Retinol slowly and gently as part of your clients’ skincare routine:

  1. Start with a lower concentration: Start your client on Recover which contains 0.5% Retinol, and then gradually titrate them to R+ which contains 1% Retinol.

  2. Patch test: Test a small area for sensitivity.

  3. Apply at night: Use Retinol in the evening to avoid sun sensitivity.

  4. Cleanse: Tell patients to use Prepare: Gentle Cleanser to prep their skin before applying Retinol.

  5. Start with less frequency: Advise clients to use every other night or twice a week, and slowly increase usage as tolerated.

  6. Monitor for reactions: Watch for irritation and adjust usage accordingly.

  7. Pair with broad spectrum sunscreen and antioxidants: Use Protect 50 broad-spectrum sunscreen and C20: Maximum Strength Vitamin C serum during the day.

  8. Be patient: Advise that results take time, and consistent use is important.


If your clients are already using Retinol, remind them to diligently apply broad-spectrum sunscreen and seek shade during the day so they can continue using it at night-time. To mitigate environmental factors, they can lower the Retinol concentration, or skip a day between usage.


You can download full clinical evidence for Recover and R+ in the Academy section of the 5 Squirrels eShop: www.skincarerebels.com

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