The 411 on Retinoids + Dry Skin

The 411 on Retinoids + Dry Skin

What are retinoids and what do they do?

Retinol and retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, and they’re known as some of the most effective active skincare ingredients on the market for good reason. Retinoids speed up cellular turnover, so they can help fade hyperpigmentation and scarring, unclog pores, reduce fine lines, and more! Sounds great, right? However… 

Not all retinoids are created equal

There are many different types of Vitamin A derivatives out there, with widely varying performance, strength and side effects. One of the most common concerns about using retinol and retinoids is that they can cause dry, flakey skin or that they’re not good for people with dry skin. While it's true that some retinoids have drying side effects (especially retinol and tretinoin), the HPR retinoids in Aqua A are built different. 

Results without the side effects

The star ingredient in our Aqua A Retinoid Renewing Serum is Hydroxypinacolone retinoate (or HPR retinoid), which is highly effective while significantly less sensitizing to the skin. Aqua A is also formulated with kakadu plum oil, plumping ceramides, a potent blend of amino-acid rich oils, and moisturizing squalane – all of which really help to prevent any drying. (Head over to this blog post about Aqua A’s powerhouse formula for more info!)

The perfect winter retinoid

Winter can actually be one of the best times to start using retinoids, as we're typically inside more and less exposed to the sun. Since retinoids do sensitize skin to the sun, it's important to reduce excessive sun exposure when starting or practicing a retinoid routine. If you live in a climate where temps drop and your skin reacts to lower moisture in the air, opting for a lower-irritation retinoid — and one with additional moisturizing properties like Aqua A — is the best way to continue using a retinoid in the winter months.

Winter Retinoid Do’s & Don’ts

1. Don't forget to use SPF, even when it’s overcast! Protecting your skin while using retinoids is an every day thing, not just a sunny day thing.

2. Layer up! We're not just talking sweater weather — winter is the best time to use your nourishing serums and soothing moisturizers. Try adding a rich occlusive moisturizer as the last step in your evening routine to help soak up and lock in hydration.

3. Try the buffering technique if your skin is extra dry or sensitive! Aqua A is formulated with deeply nourishing ingredients that help prevent over-drying, and is intended to be applied as the first layer of skincare after cleansing. But people with really dry and/or sensitive skin may find that layering a gentle moisturizer under your retinoid can help prevent sensitization. This "buffering" slows down the absorption process of your retinoid, which can help reduce irritation.

4. Simplify your skincare! Try reducing the number of actives in your routine when you’re using a retinoid. You may find that using your retinoid 2-3x per week is all you need! PSA: winter is also the perfect time to practice skin cycling.

An Ultra-Moisturizing Winter Retinoid Ritual 

1. Cleanse with Pamplemousse

2. Hydrate with Bohemian Ruby

3. Treat with Aqua A

4. Moisturize with Mahina Elixir

5. Lock in moisture with Bless Balm

Keep Exploring
In Hawaii, we call the time spent causally chatting with dear friends Talk Story. Sharing what’s new and being there for the things that matter most. We invite you to join the Leahlani community as we explore skincare and much more.