Can your skin get used to Retinol?

Hi Dr Allen, I was wondering if the skin could become immune to the effects of a cream, for example Retinol? Thank you.


Hi there. Thanks so much for this great question. Your skin can certainly adapt to a product. A cream containing retinol for example, once the product has got the skin cell turn over to speed up and the skin has improved to that level or percentage of retinol, that product will simply maintain your results if you continue to use it. This is why most companies have “steps or levels” of retinol creams so that when your skin has become used to the first level, you can then step up to a stronger level. Topical products can only take you as far as what their active ingredients can do. This is also why it is so important for you to investigate the potency of your topical creams and serums. How much of the active ingredients are in that bottle and at what concentration? Because your skin adapts to products after prolonged use, it is a good idea to introduce new serums and other actives from time to time “cycle your skin care”, if you will. I hope that answers your question.

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