Studio portrait of woman dropping retinol serum on her cheek
Is It A Red Flag If Retinol Is Making Your Skin Peel?
It's common for new retinol users to experience peeling and flaking of the skin. This side effect can lead newbies to wonder if they should discontinue use.
Dermatologist Dr. Elaine Cook says skin peeling and redness shouldn’t raise concerns. Instead, she suggests pushing past the symptoms until your skin can build up a tolerance.
The peeling effects will stop after about two months, but you should start with a low dose to see how your skin reacts.
Retinol makes your skin more sun-sensitive, so slather on sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30. Then, reapply throughout the day and keep your skin hydrated with a moisturizer.
Never use benzoyl peroxide (an acne-fighting antiseptic) with retinol because this may compromise retinol’s positive effects and further irritate the skin.