Care and Tips

Why does skin peel when we use retinol?

Why does skin peel when we use retinol?

Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is one of the most popular and effective ingredients in skin care. It is commonly used in creams and serums to treat acne, wrinkles and other skin problems. However, one of the main complications that can occur when using retinol is flaking or peeling of the skin. Why does this happen? In this article, we will discuss the causes of skin peeling when using retinol and how we can manage this side effect.

What is retinol and how does it work on the skin?

Retinol, also known as vitamin A, is a powerful ingredient that stimulates cell turnover and promotes collagen production in the skin. This helps reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture and fight acne. When applied to the skin, retinol is converted into retinoic acid, which is the active form and acts on cellular regeneration processes.

Retinol skin peeling process

Although retinol has many benefits for the skin, its use can cause irritation and flaking in some people. This is due to retinol's ability to speed up the cell turnover process, which can cause dead skin cells to disappear faster than normal. This process can lead to the appearance of dry, flaky, dehydrated skin.

Factors that influence skin peeling with retinol

Skin peeling when using retinol can be influenced by several factors, such as product concentration, frequency of use, skin type and individual sensitivity. People with sensitive or dry skin tend to experience more flaking when using retinol, while those with oily skin may have a less pronounced response.

Tips to Prevent Skin Peeling with Retinol

If you experience skin peeling while using retinol, there are steps you can take to minimize this side effect and more comfortably experience the benefits of retinol:

1. Start with a low concentration of retinol

If you are new to using retinol, it is advisable to start with a low concentration of the product and gradually increase the intensity as your skin adapts. This can help reduce irritation and flaking.

2. Apply retinol sparingly

Avoid using large amounts of retinol on your skin, as this can increase irritation and flaking. Apply a thin, even layer of product to enjoy the benefits without exacerbating the side effects.

3. Hydrate your skin well

Peeling skin is usually due to moisture loss, so it's important to keep your skin well hydrated when using retinol. Use a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type and apply an additional layer if you notice dryness or flaking.

Treatment of peeling skin with retinol

If you already experience flaking skin when using retinol, there are some strategies you can follow to alleviate this discomfort and speed up your skin's recovery:

1. Reduce the frequency of retinol use

If the peeling is excessive, consider reducing the frequency of application of retinol or alternating its use with other gentle, non-irritating products. This will allow your skin to recover and reduce irritation.

2. Apply a soothing mask

Using a soothing and nourishing facial mask can help relieve skin irritation and flaking. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, cucumber or calendula that are gentle and help restore moisture to the skin.

3. Consult a dermatologist

If peeling persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist. A professional will be able to assess your skin, recommend specific products, and adjust your skin care routine to minimize irritation and improve the health of your skin.


In conclusion, peeling skin when using retinol is a common side effect that can occur due to the acceleration of the cell turnover process. However, by following a few tips and strategies, it is possible to minimize this side effect and enjoy the benefits of retinol on your skin safely and effectively. Always remember to adjust your skincare routine according to your skin's individual needs and consult a professional if you experience persistent issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *