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Difference Between Retinol Before Serum and Retinol After Serum

The importance of serums in skincare routines has become popular across the globe. While many people with oily skins may lean more on moisturizers as opposed to serums, people with dry skin may need to use both serums and moisturizers in their skincare routines. Serums have active ingredients that nourish the skin not to mention the ability to provide anti-aging properties, brightening and preventing acne. Many people may also prefer serums as they absorb quickly into the skin, making it easier to use other products thereafter. People who incorporate retinol into their skincare routines may, however, have a difficult time determining whether to use retinol before or after serums. 

Retinol before serum

This is the use of retinol before a serum. This may especially be useful for people with sensitive skin as it reduces irritation. While retinol offers the skin a myriad of benefits, it should be applied on dry skin as opposed to damp or wet skin as this only makes the skin absorb more than required, hence causing irritation. 

Retinol after serum

Common in people with very sensitive skin, this is the use of retinol after a serum. Using retinol after serum reduces the potency of retinol hence preventing or reducing the chances of irritation. It is best to use retinol at night as opposed to during the day as it makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays

Similarities between Retinol before serum and Retinol after serum

  • Both are effective for different skin types

Differences between Retinol before serum and Retinol after serum

Skincare routine

Retinol before serum is the use of retinol before a serum. On the other hand, retinol after serum is the use of retinol after a serum. 

Effect on retinol potency

While retinol before serum does not affect the potency of retinol, retinol after serum reduces the potency of retinol. 

Skin benefits

Retinol before serum benefits people with non-sensitive skin that is not prone to irritation. On the other hand, retinol after serum benefits people with sensitive skin as it reduces the efficacy of retinol, reducing the chances of irritation. 

Retinol before serum vs. Retinol after serum: comparison Table

Summary of Retinol before serum and Retinol after serum

While the benefits of retinol to the skin cannot be ignored, users, especially first-time users should note that retinol can irritate the skin when used too frequently. As such, one should start with a low percentage formula as well as apply a pea-size amount. Also, the amount should be increased overtime to give the skin a chance to acclimate. Although side effects such as dryness, mild irritation and sun sensitivity are normal, adverse side effects such as burning, redness and intense flaking are not. It is also advisable to wear retinol at night. Since it makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays, it is advisable to always wear SPF. 

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References :

[0]Schuppli M. & Orfanos C. Retinoids: Advances in Basic Research and Therapy. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vePrCAAAQBAJ&pg=PA111&dq=Difference+between+Retinol+before+serum+and+Retinol+after+serum&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjo-uCt8r3sAhVj9OAKHRtHBQ8Q6AEwAHoECAUQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Retinol%20before%20serum%20and%20Retinol%20after%20serum&f=false

[1]Gerald F. Combs. The Vitamins. Academic Press, 2012. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=Whu_zOWPaTQC&pg=PA131&dq=Difference+between+Retinol+before+serum+and+Retinol+after+serum&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjo-uCt8r3sAhVj9OAKHRtHBQ8Q6AEwBHoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20Retinol%20before%20serum%20and%20Retinol%20after%20serum&f=false

[2]Ashton Acton. Retinoids—Advances in Research and Application: 2013 Edition: ScholarlyBrief. ScholarlyEditions, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=uwXP0LDLj-wC&pg=PA14&dq=the+use+of++Retinol+before+serum+and+Retinol+after+serum&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiko4ev873sAhXS8OAKHU0LC4gQ6AEwA3oECAMQAg#v=onepage&q=the%20use%20of%20%20Retinol%20before%20serum%20and%20Retinol%20after%20serum&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/8572/16165142903_ac14c230e9_b.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://static.openfoodfacts.org/images/products/843/601/431/4567/front_en.5.full.jpg

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