Retinol is an effective and prevalent skincare ingredient widely used to stop ageing signs. However, K-beauty products usually don't include it.
Why? Because it's known to irritate, inflame, and sometimes even damage sensitive skin.
What is Retinol?
Usually, western beauty products add retinol to target wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots. Retinol is a synthesis derived from vitamin A and can help solve many skin problems. It's well-known for its capacity to stimulate cell regeneration.
One of its primary benefits is to remove dead skin cells to reveal healthy skin. Most dermatologists recommend it to control hyperpigmentation problems, like ageing and sun spots.
Additionally, retinol boosts collagen production, preventing and reversing wrinkles and fine lines. It can control sebum production. So, people with oily or acne-prone skin use it.
Even though retinol has many benefits, Korean skincare routines prefer less invasive products. There is an adjustment period when using retinol as it makes the skin's barrier thinner while increasing sensitivity. This can make including retinol in your K-beauty regimen challenging.
Please note that after the adjustment period, most people experience minimal side effects as it makes the skin more resilient.
Retinol can cause flakiness, dehydration, redness, and a burning sensation, which according to Korean skincare philosophy, are contradictory.
Koreans prefer to use natural, potent, and effective ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, Centella Asiatica, and Beta-Glucan, which are smoother on the skin.
Is it Possible to Incorporate Retinol into your K-Beauty Skincare Regimen?
Yes, it is.
It's possible to add skincare products that contain retinol to benefit your skin. There are some Korean retinol serums, ampoules, and creams you can try in your daily skincare routine.
Please note that prescription retinol is much more irritating than OTC products. But, both need an adjustment period to prevent skin issues. Use the lowest concentration possible, mainly if you have never used it.
Tips on How to Use Retinol Products Effectively
- In the beginning, you should slowly adapt your skin. It's best to start once per week and gradually increase usage.
- Use retinol products only at night.
- Retinol makes the skin more sensitive to harmful UV rays. So it's imperative to use a wide-broad sunscreen such as COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream daily.
- It's best to start using retinol products in Winter or Autumn when the sun isn't as intense as in Summer.
What to do if your Skin doesn't Tolerate Retinol?
If your skin can tolerate retinol, don't worry. Use Korean skincare products such as:
- COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream uses effective skincare ingredients to nourish dehydrated skin. It reduces ageing signs such as fine lines and wrinkles while boosting your skin's elasticity.
- ETUDE HOUSE Moistfull Collagen Cream helps the skin become bouncy and dewy. It contains 653,800ppm of Super Collagen Water's small-sized particles. This cream hydrates, nourishes, and revitalises skin.
- SOME BY MI Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream is a genuinely K-beauty miracle cream. It contains Yuja extract and niacinamide to make the skin healthier. This cream is free of harmful ingredients, so it's suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
- PURITO Centella Green Level Recovery Cream is an excellent option for strengthening skin without dryness. This K-beauty formula contains 50% cica extract, Centella Asiatica, and tiger grass to soothe and moisturise the skin.
Our Favorite K-Beauty Products with Retinol
Here are some of our favorite K-beauty products with retinol you can start using right now:
SULWHASOO Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Ex
The Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Ex is the perfect option for those people who want to stop ageing signs as it makes the skin look younger and softer.
It contains natural and potent ingredients such as ginseng, retinol, and Beta-Glucan to firm the skin around the face.
THE PLANT BASE Time Stop Collagen Ampoule
If your skin is tired and aged, this K-beauty ampoule is a must-have in your skincare routine. The formula contains natural mushroom extract, aloe vera, Gotu Kola, and Retinyl Palmitate. It provides the skin multiple benefits, including anti-wrinkle, firming, and anti-ageing.
BE THE SKIN Dark Spot Zero BHA+ Cream
The Dark Spot Zero BHA+ Cream is a 3-in-1 formula that diminishes dark spots, boosts skin regeneration, and prevents blemishes. It gently removes aged spots. The formula makes your skin look younger, flawless, and radiant.