Is Retinol for ME?

Retinol has become a buzz word in the world of skincare. There are definitely a lot of questions about retinol and when is the best time to use it. Retinol has so many benefits and is definitely a staple in my personal skincare routine. It works great in conjunction with other products for a multi-faceted approach to treating the skin. 

Let’s talk details about retinol & see if retinol is right for YOU! 

What Is Retinol ?

Retinol is a naturally occurring Vitamin A derivative and also a medical-grade acid. A one-stop-shop, do-it-all type of product! Retinol helps improve collagen production, provides natural plumpness to the skin, and can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. I recommend anyone over the age of 25 consider incorporating a medical-grade retinol into your skincare regimen. A good place to start would be a gentle cleanser, Retinol and a moisturizer. Incorporating an acid (such as Retinol) is really going to be the product that brings CHANGE in your skin. 

Retinol works by increasing skin cell turnover. It encourages dead skin cells to fall away from the skin, which stimulates the regeneration of new skin cells. As we age, the skin cell turnover process slowly declines, so a product like retinol can help a woman in her 40s have the same rate of skin cell turnover as a woman in her 20s! Who wouldn’t want that?! This process leaves the skin more tight, bright, fresh, and YOUTHFUL. Retinol also helps to cure acne, lighten and erase pigmentation, reduce pores, and fight fine lines and wrinkles. This is everything you could ask from a product, really!

How Is Retinol Different From Retin-A?

Retinol and Retin-A are both considered retinoids and they both derive from vitamin A. The difference is in the depth and the speed. 

Retin-A is the more purified form in which case it penetrates immediately and into deeper layers of your skin to repair instantly. Due to its strength, Retin-A requires a prescription and can be harsh on the skin if not used properly.

Retinol takes a slower, more gentle approach. Retinol will gradually penetrate and repair the skin over time. What makes our RFA Forever Young Retinol so special is that it is formulated 

RFA Medical Grade Retinol vs. Drugstore Retinol

Over-the-counter skin care products are designed to sit on the surface of the skin and be suitable for the majority of the population. For this reason, the concentration of the active ingredient in these products is relatively low. These products are often filled with many “fillers” that are not only unnecessary, but can also be very irritating to the skin. So although it may seem like a more affordable option, over-the-counter products are typically less expensive because they contain lower quality ingredients, which in turn sacrifices how effective the skin care product really is.

Medical grade skincare products, like RFA Skincare products, contain the most active, potent ingredients. This means it will have a higher content of the active ingredient AND include the purest form of that ingredient. This means the molecule size, per product, is scientifically determined to allow optimal penetration and absorption into the skin. These products are supported by scientific research and are specifically formulated for best results. 

It simple terms… you definitely get what you pay for here!

How to Start Using Retinol In Your Skin Care Regimen

With medical grade products a little goes a long way. If you are new to Retinol you’ll want to start off slow and incorporate the product gradually. I recommend using retinol 2-3x per week to start. As your skin begins to tolerate the product, you can gradually increase the frequency of use over time. 

It can take the skin anywhere from 4-6 weeks to become acclimated to retinol, and during this time, it is normal to experience dryness, flakiness, or mild redness. The retinol is helping to exfoliate all of the “junk” up and out of the skin. This is shedding of those dead skin cells and unclogging pores. This is what I call the “purging” process and you can read more about that on my blog here: Tips for Experiencing Skin Purging. This is a good thing!!! It is completely normal and an important part of the process. This is how the product is going to get your skin looking more fresh, clear, and bright!

Let’s Get Started Today!

At Racquel Aesthetics & RFA Skincare we have three products to offer that contain Retinol in order to fit the needs of all of our patients. For those who are new to Retinol and just getting and/or have sensitive, dry skin, I highly recommend our Lux Cream. This powerful retexturizing cream contains a gentle retinoid, 5 brighteners, TCA, & Vitamin C & E.

Apply Lux Cream 2-3x per week at bedtime.

Our Forever Young Retinol 50/100 would be great for those with more mature skin or those familiar with using a Retinol. Apply Retinol 2-3x per week at bedtime 

Forever Young Retinol 50 = Medium Strength 

Forever Young Retinol 100 = Maximum Strength

If you’re not sure where to start, we can help you! At RFA we create complimentary, custom skincare regimens for our clients. Our skincare professionals are going to take the guesswork out for you by assessing your skin and educating you about which products would be best for you. The best part is we are able to do this via email and in the convenience of your own home! 

If you would like to start achieving your best skin today, complete the form here: Request A Skin Consultation Here . Based on your answers, we will send back a plan that fits your needs! 



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8 thoughts on “Is Retinol for ME?”

  1. I just want to make sure that I’m understanding this correctly. I have sensitive/dry skin/ with mild rosacea. Are you saying not to moisturize when I use the pads? Can I use my Hyaluronic serum or anything else?? Thanks!

  2. If you have sensitive/dry/rosacea I would suggest using a moisturizer or HA serum on top. You can always try it without once you are better adjust to the retinol. I hope this helps!

    1. .25% in the pads and .6% in the cream. These are medical grade so you know you are getting the true potency. I love the pads because I can use them regularly without getting too dry! I like to alternate the retinol pads with the Koji Pads nightly. Let me know if you need any help!

  3. I just started using the retinol and was unsure about moisturizing after. I usually use epionce lotion at night. Is that okay to use after the retinol application?

    1. I would start by using the retinol pads every other night with no moisturizer on top. On the “off” nights you can moisturize. If you are super sensitive or dry you can moisturize on top, but the pads will be most potent if you do not.

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Racquel Frisella

Board Certified Nurse Practitioner & Aesthetic Specialist based in Saint Louis, Missouri

I work as a cosmetic injector and skincare specialist with 12 years of experience in the Aesthetic Industry. I see patients both in-office at Racquel Aesthetics for treatments as well as online for customized, complimentary skincare plans. I focus heavily on preventative and corrective injections, treatments, and skincare.  My career is my passion and I love to help people feel like the very best version of themselves. I am a wife and a mother of 3 beautiful children under the age of 3. I love all things beauty, fashion, and fitness. I am creating this site as a place to share my expertise on beauty, anti-aging, and skin while also giving a glimpse into my lifestyle as a mom, wife and lover of fitness!  


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