Retinol Myths

Aug 3, 2020 | Trending Topics

Ever feel like you know something only to find out it was wrong all along? Just like you, I see things on social media or get advice from my bestie and I don’t fact check it before accepting it as truth. We don’t have time to research everything we hear, right? Well, I am about to save you some time  (and maybe even blow your mind) about some common myths concerning a skin care product we have all heard about and may even have a love hate relationship with.


This product is so valuable in skin care yet it is the #1 product my patients are afraid to use or have used and gave up on it due to misunderstanding of how the product works or how to use it.

This product is so important in any good skin care routine, that I want you to be well informed before giving up on it.


Have you guessed what it is yet?


If you guessed Retinol, you are correct!


In case you don’t know what Retinol is, I will break it down for you.

Retinol, regardless of if it is a cream, gel, or serum, is the workhorse of any anti-aging regimen. By increasing cell turnover, it prevents collagen loss, treats fine lines, and evens skin tone. In addition, it’s a potent antioxidant that helps to destroy free radicals, which develop in the skin as a result of sun, smoke, and pollution. (See why I want everyone I know using this stuff?)


So, know that you understand what Retinol is, let’s get into the common myths about it.

1.    You can’t use Retinol in the morning. It is perfectly ok to use Retinol in the morning, just apply sunscreen over it.

2.    You can’t combine Retinol with Vitamin C. A recent study revealed two important facts: not only did Retinol prove effective when paired with Vitamin C, but the two worked beautifully together to defend skin against environmental assault when applied under a sunscreen.

The concern about combining these ingredients is based on misconceptions about pH and acidity. Vitamin C, especially ascorbic acid, requires a low pH to remain stable—or no pH, if there isn’t any water in the formula. The result is a more acidic environment, but we know acidity doesn’t deactivate Retinol; after all, skin’s pH is naturally acidic and Retinol naturally occurs in skin.

3.    Retinol is an exfoliator. Sorry, this is simply not true.Retinol is an antioxidant. True, it can cause some peeling, which is why this myth perpetuates. If you experience peeling while using a retinol, try a lower concentration or use less frequently.

4.     The pH of AHA and BHA changes the effectiveness of retinol. There was one study that showed this to be true. However, this study was done on skin in a lab, not on real skin and the results could not be replicated.

You can use these acids along with retinol.

5.     You can’t use retinol with a leave on exfoliator. This is born from the belief that retinol is an exfoliator.

Research shows that using them together is actually beneficial.


Here are some tips to help reduce the risk of irritation and redness with retinol.

a.    Wash face and allow it to completely dry before applying. Wet skin absorbs more medication.

b.   Use a good quality moisturizer. I like moisturizers with hyaluronic acid or ceramides.

c.    Give your skin time to get used to using a retinol. Start by applying a pea sized amount to entire face and neck 1-2 nights a week then gradually add a night. If irritation occurs, lower the concentration you are using (you can always go back up when your skin adjusts) or use less often.


We want you to achieve perfect skin (whatever that means for you) and in order to do that, we believe you should understand the products that you use as well as the appropriate way to use them. No need to have hundreds of dollars’ worth of products you are not even using, right?!


Perfect Skin Code’s advanced microencapsulation technology in our 1% Retinol serum ensures its maximum potency. This technologically advanced approach protects the Retinol from degrading as soon as it is exposed.


When microencapsulated Retinol is applied to skin, its multi-layer liquid crystalline microsphere time-releases the active Retinol, which penetrates deep into the skin to deliver superior results. Microencapsulated Retinol also creates an invisible protective shield on the skin’s surface, which helps reduce moisture loss. (Think less dryness and irritation.)

We think Retinol serum is so important in any good skin care routine, that we designed ours with you in mind.


Stay tuned for more skin care tips and updates on the launch of our skin care products.


We are here to help you unlock the code to perfect skin!


Creator & CEO of Perfect Skin Code
Photo of Perfect Skin Code owner Kimberly Brown
Kimberly Brown

Perfect Skin Code was created by Kimberly Brown, a Physician Assistant in Dermatology, when she decided to create products for her patients who had trouble finding effective yet gentle skin care products.

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