What is Retinization? How to use a product with retinol

Posted on by Ersin Koseoglu

Retinoids are a great treatment for anti-aging, wrinkles, age/sun spots, discoloration, acne and scars, melasma and acne. It may take about 3-6 months to see results, but the first side effects begin to subside after the 4th week.

If you're new to retinoids and your skin is peeling and flaking, that's not a sign to stop. On the contrary, it is a sign that retinoids are working and treatment should be continued.

What is Retinization?

Retinization is the transitional period when the skin tries to adapt to a retinoid treatment. During this time, the skin may become irritated, causing dryness, scaling, redness or burning/stinging sensations, acne breakouts, or an increase in acne breakouts. These symptoms begin to decrease after the 4th week. It should continue to be used without quitting.

Yes, it seems counterintuitive to continue using a product that causes redness, irritation, flaking, and peeling—because these are all signs that a product isn't working. But this is not true for retinoids, it is the opposite for retinoids.

In the first weeks of retinoid treatment, the skin may peel, itch, dry and flake off. All this is a sign that the retinoid is working.

When you use retinoid, your skin cells start to behave differently.

To achieve smoother, brighter, more vibrant skin, your skin needs to accelerate the rate at which it creates new skin cells.

Therefore, one of the first steps in the retinization process is to quickly get rid of the dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin surface and are not removed. It can cause peeling, flaking and dryness.

This is a temporary process. Your skin will get used to the retinization process over time.

How long does the retinization process take?

Although this process varies from person to person, it can take between 2 and 6 weeks. While some people do not experience the retinization process, others may.

How can side effects be minimized?

To minimize retinization side effects, the skin should be accustomed to using retinoids gradually, starting from the lowest dose.

For first-time retinoid users, prolonging the acclimation period is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin.

You can get your skin used to using retinoids by starting with twice a week and increasing the frequency of use as your skin gets used to it.

Buffer method or sandwich method

The “buffer method” can also be used to minimize side effects. This method allows your skin to adapt to the process slowly without irritation. The method recommends applying moisturizer or Hyaluronic Acid Serum before the retinoid. Then you can end the routine with Retinoid and moisturizer again.

Example routine to the sandwich method:


1. step: AHA/BHA Exfoliating Gentle Cleansing Gel

2. step: Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier or Peptide + Hyaluronic Acid Serum

3. step: Niacinamide Serum

4. step: Skin Rescue Moisturiser

5. step: Invisible Physical Sunscreen


1. step: AHA/BHA Exfoliating Gentle Cleansing Gel

2. step: Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier or Peptide + Hyaluronic Acid Serum

3. step: Retical Smart CompleX4 Serum

5. step: Skin Rescue Moisturiser

6.step: Multivitamin Extra Firming Eye Treatment

It can be started with a low concentration

The higher the retinoid concentration, the more severe the retinization side effects can be. The recommended usage is to start with a low dose and gradually increase the retinoid concentration as the skin gets used to it.

Patience is the key to treatment

Using a product that makes your skin worse as soon as you start using it can be discouraging. But with retinoids, things tend to get worse before they get better. This should not be forgotten.

Using retinoids takes patience and persistence. It can take months to start seeing good results, this should definitely not be forgotten. Retinoid makes skin so beautiful that after a few months, you can have the best skin you've ever had.

Professional tips for the retinization process

  • Use serums and moisturizers rich in ceramides, peptides, hyaluronic acid, prebiotics - these help strengthen the skin barrier.

Peptide + Hyaluronic Acid Serum (contains peptide and hyaluronic acid)

Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier (contains hyaluronic acid, ceramide, prebiotic)

Skin Rescue Moisturiser (contains prebiotics and peptide)

  • Use topical niacinamide (vitamin B3). Niacinamide has been proven to help reduce retinoid irritation. Niacinamide Serum can be used in the day care routine.
  • Sunscreen must be used during the day. Retinoids can make the skin more sensitive to light. Sunscreens formulated with 100% mineral filters prevent sensitization. Invisible Physical Sunscreen is ideal.
  • If you experience too much irritation, stop using retinoids and see a doctor. Support the skin with products that strengthen the skin barrier and nourish the skin. Give your skin some time to heal.
  • Use products that do not contain perfume (fragrance), ethyl alcohol and harsh chemicals that may cause irritation.