Signs The Retinoid In Your Skincare Routine Isn't Working For You

Retinoid products have boomed in popularity in recent years, with the market expected to grow to $1.79 billion by 2030 (via Grand View Research). Chances are, you've already tried retinoid products at least once or are planning to in the future. Retinol can even be used on your body. Either way, if you're into skincare, you've likely heard of this skincare routine staple before.


 While the product has been hailed for its ability to make your skin look picture-perfect, it still comes with its downsides. For some, the product doesn't mix well with their skin, while others find that it doesn't work at all. This downside can push people to stop using it — after all, who wants to use a product if it doesn't work? However, some of these irritating issues could have some simple fixes. So, what are some signs that the retinoid in your skincare routine isn't working for you? Below, we'll look at how you can identify such problems and adjust your skincare routine accordingly to rectify them.

Your retinoid is negatively impacting your skin

One of the most obvious signs that the retinoid in your skincare routine isn't working is irritated skin, Dr. Ewoma explained to Glamour: "It's very easy to overdose on retinol. When you do that, your skin just looks like sandpaper, and it might start peeling and flaking or feel irritated and look red." If you experience any of these effects, then you may need to reconsider how frequently you're using retinoids in your skincare routine. "Just because a product says [to] use it every day and every night doesn't mean that you should," Dr. Ewoma suggested. "Listen to what your skin can handle." 


To fix this issue, board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. recommends "[dialing] back to once-a-week use or [switching] to a weaker formulation" (via Exponent Beauty). However, if this doesn't work, your best option is to seek a professional opinion from an appropriately trained individual. This should help calm your skin down and return it to its former glory.

You don't see any changes on your skin

Another giveaway sign that your retinoids aren't working well in your skincare routine is if there are no changes to your skin at all, especially after weeks of use. Manish Shah, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon, explains why this may be in further detail: "If your product doesn't specify the percentage of retinol on the label, it usually means the concentration is weaker than 0.25 percent, which may not give you the full benefits" (via Everyday Health). This may indicate that you need to up the strength of your retinoids; however, you should increase the strength slowly rather than leaping to maximum strength immediately. This will ensure that your skin gets no nasty surprises. 


In addition to strength, you should also ensure that no other products in your skincare routine interfere with your retinoids. When it comes to applying your retinoids, you should make sure that you apply the product at night on a clean face. This way, you'll really be able to evaluate if the product is actually working or if any adjustments need to be made to your routine. And if retinoids still aren't working in your skincare routine, you could always try using Vaseline to reap skincare benefits instead.