Here's How Long To Wait To Use Retinol After Microneedling

Getting cosmetic procedures and rejuvenations is a great way to help your skin look youthful, clear, and bright. Not only do processes like microneedling help boost collagen and elasticity, but they help fight the signs of aging at a cellular level, and they can also help with acne. Microneedling is done with small, thin needles that are quickly applied to the outermost layer of the skin. By creating tiny holes in this layer, the epidermis kicks into healing action and stimulates elastin and collagen production. Cleveland Clinic notes that unlike microdermabrasion, microneedling penetrates the skin deeper, so the results can be more effective when it comes to issues below the surface of the skin. 


Aftercare following microneedling is incredibly important and will make all the difference to how your skin heals and looks afterwards. You might be tempted to go back to your regular routine, but before reaching for the retinol, make sure you've waited the recommended amount of time. Serums, creams, and lotions could interfere with the healing process, or irritate sensitive skin. Patience is a virtue, and your complexion will thank you for reading this.

Hold off for 48 hours

Once your microneedling procedure is finished, the specialist will most likely send you home with care instructions. One of the most important of these is how long to wait before adding your skincare products back into the mix. Harsh ingredients and mixtures, especially ones that feature exfoliating properties, should be avoided right after getting microneedled. Scented products are also a big no, because they can irritate the skin and dry it out. Retinols shouldn't be used for at least 48 hours, according to Healthline. Two full days is the minimum amount of time to wait before you can use them, but always make sure your complexion looks and feels healed before applying.


Retinols are extremely potent, and they can cause dryness or irritation in all skin types. Because of their intense nature, skin that has just been damaged during microneedling will be too sensitive to come into contact with them. Hyaluronic acid is helpful in the healing process, but consult with your dermatologist about the timeline for using it to ensure it doesn't get in the way of your skin's recovery.

Aftercare tips

Sticking with gentle or all-natural products is the best way to go after a microneedling treatment. Some people might experience dryness as the skin heals, so The Blushing Bliss recommends using sulfate-free cleansers that also leave out potent chemicals. If you can find a hyaluronic acid cream, this can be beneficial to your complexion, as can hydrating moisturizers. Coconut oil and witch hazel are both more natural options that will help with dryness, discomfort, and cleansing needs. If using witch hazel, make sure to purchase a product that doesn't contain any alcohol and that has been diluted.


After the 48-hour period has passed, you can go back to applying your retinol as normal. If you notice irritation, talk to the dermatologist to make sure there isn't a reaction you should be concerned about. Microneedling offers a variety of benefits, but aftercare is important to ensure the results last longer and keep your skin happy, healthy, and thriving.