I wanted to share my current retinoid night time routine because it’s such a challenging time of year for using potent actives and I find myself struggling a bit with my prescription retinoid, given my fickle skin’s needs. Redness and dryness can so easily lead to service interruption.

There are some easy solutions to this so I thought it would be a good time to review them as I know many of you face this same challenge.

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This is the simple but highly effective hack that solves the issue in at least 70% of my patients. You apply a layer of an occlusive moisturiser before applying your retinoid at night; immediately after cleansing is best to lock in hydration. Something based on shea or mineral oil is good.

Layer on a Duvet

Tuck your retinoid in by applying another layer of moisturiser over the top - the duvet effect. This is best done once your retinoid has been applied. Take care not to move your retinoid around onto delicate areas like the lips and lids when you do this.

Step down

This might feel like failure. It isn’t. If you’ve been using tretinoin 0.05% in autumn, it’s perfectly ok to step down to 0.025% in colder weather. I‘ve recently found myself leaning on Flawless Nightly Serum - it has a balancing effect because it has the calming combination of azelaic acid and niacinamide built into the formula. This soothes inflamed bumps and redness whilst brightening and firming skin. And it’s utterly convenient as it’s one easy layer without the hassle of layering.

In the end, what’s important is that you find a way to keep going, ideally every day as this leads to the best results. Little and often is the key to a successful retinoid habit, after all.