Expert Advice

Good Timing for Retinol+ Ramp-Up

When should I start an OPULUS Beauty Labs’ Retinol+ Ramp-Up regimen? What is retinization? How long does it take retinol to work?

By Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, Board-certified Dermatologist

One of the most common questions my patients ask me is "When should I start using retinol?" But for me, the more important question patients should be asking is "How do I stay consistent with retinol?"

That's because the answer to the first question is easy: Whatever your age, the time to start retinol is whenever you wish to treat or prevent lines and wrinkles along with uneven pigment, age spots, rough texture, large pores, general laxity, post-blemish traces or occasional breakouts. Or maybe your skin is just looking a little blah. In other words, the time to begin is now.

Staying consistent with retinol is a problem many people face. Retinol gives great results, but many people give up before they start seeing results, because they find it tricky to use.

Retinoids (of which retinol is a valued family member) have long been some of my top favorite topical ingredients because of their extraordinary multitasking ability. They refine the look of skin unevenness and also actually help thicken and fortify it structurally. Technically, a robust retinol routine accelerates skin cell turnover as well as triggers production of new collagen and elastin, the springy connective tissues that give skin its youthful resiliency. So why do people have trouble being consistent with retinol?

In my experience it’s usually for these reasons:

1) Your skin has to gradually build up tolerance to retinol—a process called retinization

2) You need to figure out the right concentration, and schedule nights on and nights off

3) You will not see results immediately—it will take about 4 to 12 weeks.

Retinization Is a Thing

Retinization is the process where the new-to-retinoids skin builds up tolerance, over 4-12 weeks. You have to gradually work up to stronger concentrations over time. So when I begin a patient on any retinoid, I start them on a milder concentration to gauge their tolerance, and build it up from there.

You also need to take time off; in the beginning you can’t use retinol every night. Instead, you should focus on retinol treatment one night, and using a calming moisturizer on the alternate night.

OPULUS Beauty Labs has simplified this and done all the work for you.

They designed the Retinol+ Collection and Ramp-Up Regimens to gradually increase the concentration of retinol as your skin’s tolerance builds. This gradual increase process is called titration. Each Regimen consists of 28 Opoule™ Treatments that are clearly laid out for 4 weeks of nighttime treatment.

What makes it really easy is that these regimens also sequence in a calming and comforting RHR Overnight Mask for the ‘nights off’ with ingredients such as allantoin, hyaluronic acid, peptides to restore the skin barrier, hydrate and renew.

You use one Opoule Treatment each night. It’s that simple.

There are three treatment Regimens. Regimen 1 includes a concentration of .025% retinol. Regimen 2 is .05% retinol and Regimen 3 is .1% retinol. If you’re new to retinol start with Regimen 1. If you’re pre-conditioned, start with Regimen 2, and ramp-up from there.

Another benefit comes from the Activator. When the Opoule Treatment is placed in the Activator, it’s thermally blended for an enhanced absorption. The Opulus™ Activator is also novel, because it freshly blends and delivers enough for complete application including face, neck and decolletage—areas often exposed to environment damage.

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I always say that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is collagen... But if you stick with your retinol program, it will happen.

Taking Its Own Good Time

It’s very common after a few weeks for my patients on retinol to feel frustrated because they’re not seeing any results. I tell them, “Don’t lose your patience! Just because you can’t see anything just yet doesn’t mean it’s not working under the skin. Trust me, it is working. Keep going and stay consistent.”

I always say that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is collagen. It took X number of years for the skin to accumulate what damage it has, so it follows that even the best regimen in the world is not going to able to rejuvenate it overnight. But if you stick with your retinol program, it will happen.

Everybody’s skin is different so it’s impossible to give a blanket statement as to when improvements will manifest. But most of my patients on retinol begin to notice results from 8 to 12 weeks with progressive improvement after that. If they keep with it, after 6 months thei skin quality improvement is remarkable–smoother texture, more even pigment and increased elasticity.

New Moms and Nursing

Though retinol is remarkable for all kinds of skin conditions, the time you should NOT use it is if you are pregnant or nursing. Once your baby is weaned, you can return to your OPULUS Retinol Regimen although, depending how long you took a break, you may need to start with Regimen 1 and gradually ramp up again. Soon enough, your skin will spring back in evenness, smoothness and firmness.

Stick With It

I’ve seen it again and again that with a consistent retinol program there will come a day when you and everyone else will really see the difference. It’s just a matter of sticking with it.

- Marnie Nussbaum, MD, FAAD is a board-certified New York-based dermatologist and brand ambassador for OPULUS Beauty Labs.

Ramp-Up Night Time Rejuvenation

Retinol+ Night Cream Regimens are the first of its kind skincare system developed for planned and easy retinization.

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