Retinol can help with a lot of skin and facial issues, but most people need to ease their way into it.

Retinol, or Vitamin A, is a skincare ingredient that can do great things for your skin at any age. Retinoids work by boosting collagen, increasing circulation, and stimulating cell turnover. The result is reduction of fine lines, elimination of acne, reduction of age spots, and improved skin tone.

However, retinol can be harsh on your skin, causing irritation, redness, and peeling. The best way to get the benefits of retinol is to start small and work your way up.

Pixi Retinol Tonic

Courtesy Christa Emmer

Retinol Tonic

A tonic is a simple way to introduce your skin to retinol without overdoing it. Retinol Tonic by Pixi is made with jasmine, rosemary, and evening primrose. The retinol is dispensed through a time-release method, gradually shrinking pores and rejuvenating skin. Use it in the morning and the evening before serum and/or moisturizer. The tonic is available at drug stores and at for $18. 

Retinol Oil

This natural ingredient-based oil is the best way to step up your exposure to retinoids. Made with blue tansy, avocado, and chia seed oils, Sleeping Night Oil by Sunday Riley is a soothing, nighttime retinol treatment. A trans-retinoic acid ester complex plumps skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and reduces age spots and dullness. The blue oil turns clear when applied to the skin. Find it for $55 at

The Ordinary Retinol Serum

Retinol Serum

For more dramatic results, itโ€™s time to move on the concentrated retinol serum. Start on the lower end with a .01 to .05 percent formula until your skin gets used to it. Skincare brand The Ordinary makes products with simple ingredients in basic packaging, creating affordable, effective treatments. Start with Retinol 0.5% in Squalane, a low-dose retinoid in a base of a high-moisture oil found naturally in the human body. This serum comes in different percentages and will accelerate your retinol results for just $5.80. Find it at beauty retailers and

Do you have any advice or suggestions for a retinol routine? Tell us in the comments!