How to build a nighttime skincare routine using retinol

In partnership with
La Roche Posay
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Retinol doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s how you can slot it into your bedtime skincare routine…

If you’ve so much as dipped your toe in the skincare pool over the last few years you’ll know that retinol is held up as the holy grail of ingredients.

You may also be wary of how to add it into your own skincare routine without irritating your face.

That’s why we’ve compiled the comprehensive guide on how to do just that. 

Here’s your seven step nighttime routine to take you from retinol rookie to skincare pro. 

  • 1. Cleanse

    In case you’d missed the double cleanse memo, before you head to the sink it’s a good idea to grab a make-up pad.

    Go for an eco-friendly alternative to single-use cotton like biodegradable organic cotton and bamboo rounds. 

    Next, soak it in micellar water and swipe it over your face and neck. This first cleanse will dissolve make-up and impurities, paving the way for your deep cleanse.

  • 2. Cleanse again

    You’ve got rid of most of the day’s make-up, so now it’s time for the second cleanse. 

    This time you should opt for an unscented milk cleanser and massage it into your skin with your fingertips. 

    This cleanse is important for going deeper into the pores to remove impurities and pollution particles as well as sloughing away dead skin cells. 

    Wipe the cleanser off and pat your face dry and you’re ready for step three.

  • 3. Tone

    If you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts, you’ll want to consider adding a toner to your routine. 

    The solution helps to reduce excess oil and reduce pores - think of it as a primer for moisturising half of your skincare routine. 

    To use it, sprinkle some toner into your hands and dab it onto your face.

  • 4. Work the eyes

    The skin around your eyes is more sensitive than the rest of your face, so it makes sense for it to need special treatment. 

    Choose a hydrating eye cream and make sure you gently press it into the skin around your eyes with your ring finger.

    Avoid pulling or rubbing the skin - remember it’s more delicate and needs a soft touch.

  • 5. Time for retinol

    Now for the important bit. 

    If you’re still not sure why everyone raves about retinol, it’s all to do with the ingredient’s ability to speed up cell turnover in your skin, which in turn smooths and evens it.

    Consultant Dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall advises slowly introducing retinol by using it twice a week for the first week.

    “I would then add an extra one to two nights per week until you can tolerate it daily,” she explains.

    Apply three drops of a soothing retinol like La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum and massage it into your face.

    The formula uses vitamin B3 and hydrating glycerin to complement the active retinol ingredient and help your skin feel firm, soft and plump.

  • 6. Moisturise

    Now that you’ve applied your active ingredient (that’s your retinol) it’s time to moisturise. 

    Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid to help keep your skin plump and radiant and avoid moisturisers that are too heavy.

  • 7. Don't forget SPF

    Retinol should form part of your nighttime routine as opposed to your morning one because the ingredient can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.

    That means you should make sure you’re applying a high SPF during the day.

Work retinol into your skincare routine with La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum.