From Beginners to Experts, Here’s How to Incorporate Retinol Into Your Skincare Routine

Chances are, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of using skincare products with Retinol in your skincare routine. This age-defying Vitamin A derivative is ready to join you in your skincare journey to help prevent signs of aging, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother-looking complexion. Help brighten, balance and firm the look of your skin with this night-owl antioxidant that works hard to help restore your glow while you sleep. While there’s so much buzz around this skincare superstar, how do you actually incorporate it into your weekly routine to experience the benefits for yourself? Keep reading to learn how to get started, or how to step up your Retinol skincare routine, with clean, clinical and luxurious products from COSMEDIX.

What is Retinol?

Retinol, part of the Retinoid family, is a multi-tasking Vitamin A derivative that absorbs deep into the skin to help address skin concerns and encourage healthy skin renewal for a brighter, firmer-looking complexion. Retinoids are known for having notable age-defying effects, but many forms can take skin a while to get used to; the Retinol formula is the happy medium of Retinoids, highly effective in helping address signs of aging while also suitable for routine use.

What are the benefits?

You should consider using the game-changing Vitamin A derivative if you’re interested in an ingredient that:

  • Helps minimize the appearance of common signs of aging
  • Helps brighten and balance the look of skin
  • Helps firm the appearance of skin for a youthful-looking complexion

Will it work for my skin?

While Retinol is a great option for many skin types, especially mature skin which can reap much of the age-defying, skin-firming benefits, it may be a bit much for sensitive or sun-damaged skin. Luckily, there is a gentle, plant-based alternative to Retinol called Bakuchiol that deeply conditions and hydrates the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more even skin tone and texture.

TRY: COSMEDIX Bakuchiol Complete Plant-Based Retinol Alternative Serum

Retinol for Beginners:

As with anything, less is more. Before you start using Retinol, know that it’s always a good idea to patch-test products, to start with use only a few times a week and to make sure you’re supplementing skin with a hydration-intensive SPF moisturizer in the morning, as Retinol may increase sun sensitivity.

Night Cream

We recommend beginning your Retinol journey with an indulgent, ultra-hydrating overnight cream for a gentle introduction into the purifying perks of Vitamin A.

Try: COSMEDIX Define Age-Defying Treatment

Start with the COSMEDIX Define Age-Defying Treatment, the multi-tasking, deeply conditioning overnight cream that helps promote a smoother-looking complexion while also helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other imperfections. It’s formulated with 2% AGP Retinol Complex and a skin-loving cocktail of Hydroxy Acids, which work together to gently exfoliate the skin and encourage healthy skin renewal for a smoother, brighter-looking complexion.

Apply to freshly cleansed and toned skin two times per week, working up as tolerated, as part of your nightly skincare routine. If further hydration is needed, follow with your favorite COSMEDIX moisturizer.

Next-Level Retinol:

If you’ve been using Retinol-infused night creams for a little while now and you want to up your game to even more age-defying benefits, we recommend incorporating a Retinol serum into your nighttime skincare routine.


Known for being jam-packed nutrient delivery systems, incorporating a serum into your daily skincare routine is an excellent way to provide a burst of hydration and show some love to your skin, especially when they’re formulated with Retinol.

TRY: COSMEDIX Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum

The COSMEDIX Clarity Serum is ideal for those who want to focus on rejuvenating the look of skin, drawing out pore-clogging impurities and helping to even the appearance of skin tone for a smoother-looking complexion. With Retinol and Salicylic Acid, this powerhouse serum is especially beneficial for acne-prone skin, helping to clarify the look of pores without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Plus, this best-selling Clarity serum is designed to soothe red, flaky skin with conditioning botanical skincare ingredients, like Willowherb, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera, making it a conditioning serum for your skincare routine.

At night, gently massage a dime-sized amount of Clarity serum into the skin after cleansing and toning. Follow with a hydrating serum like Reboot Overnight Hydration Complex or Surge Hyaluronic Acid Booster.

TRY: COSMEDIX Serum 16 Rapid Renewal Serum

For a burst of intense hydration, our fan-favorite Serum 16 serum is formulated with a highly potent and deeply penetrating form of LG-Retinex to hydrate and lock in moisture while also helping to address signs of aging and protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier function. This skin-loving serum helps smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and balance and firm the look of skin.

Retinol for Seasoned Pros:

If you’ve found Retinol to be your skincare savior and are looking to indulge in high-potency, clinical-grade products, COSMEDIX has just the line for you! The Spa-Exclusive COSMEDIX Elite Collection offers a variety of high-grade Retinol products that you should definitely pick up post-facial the next time you’re at the spa. Take a look at our Spa Finder to find the closest COSMEDIX Elite products to you.

Concentration Increase

TRY: COSMEDIX Elite* Refine RX Retinol Resurfacing Treatment

Help dramatically renew the look of skin with this unique and highly potent form of 1.5% pure Retinol, designed to help firm the appearance of skin and plump the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful-looking complexion. Refine RX also features the highest concentration of our exclusive AGP Retinol Complex (12%). This is perfect for those who have used Retinol for a long time and are looking for an even more potent Retinol-infused skincare product.

Since this is a mega-concentrated formula, only use after your skin has become accustomed to Refine Plus for 60-90 days. Apply a small amount to freshly cleansed and toned skin as tolerated every 1-3 nights, working up to nightly use. Follow with recommended moisturizer if needed. Protect your results by wearing sunscreen daily.

Targeted Treatment

TRY: COSMEDIX Elite Eye Doctor High-Potency Eye Treatment

The thin skin around the eyes is the most delicate on your face, making it easily susceptible to skin concerns like dark circles, crow’s feet and other imperfections. Eye Doctor is an age-defying, liquid crystal eye serum that’s formulated with Retinol, Spin Trap & Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Coconut Extract to help replenish the sensitive, tired eye skin with much-needed moisture for a revitalized, firmed-up look.

To apply, gently pat a pin-sized drop around the eye area during your nighttime routine.

*Discover COSMEDIX Elite, a spa and doctor’s office exclusive line of enhanced, anti-aging skincare. Sold at luxe spas around the world. Take a look at our Spa Finder to find the closest COSMEDIX Elite products to you.

Which COS Cleanser Is Best For Your Skin Type?

There’s no better way to wake ourselves up or wash the day off than with a gentle, indulgent cleanser to help remove dirt, excess oil, makeup and other impurities from our skin. This vital step in your daily skincare routine helps our skin rest and breathe to prepare for the day or night ahead. Keep reading to find out about the different types of cleansers we carry and how to integrate the cleanser or cleansers of your choice into your skincare routine.

Choosing the Right Cleanser

Chances are, we don’t have to tell you twice to use a cleanser—the feeling of clean, smooth skin and the clarified appearance of your complexion speak for themselves. Plus, cleansers help address the visible—dirt, oil, sweat—and invisible skin stressors, like environmental pollutants and bacteria, for a healthier-looking glow. The next step is choosing the right cleanser for your skin type. Being aware of the advantages of each type of face cleanser and of your skin’s tendencies will allow you to incorporate the cleanser that might have the biggest impact in your daily skincare routine.

Gel Cleansers

What it is: A gel cleanser is a gentle, water-based formula designed with skin-loving, mild-yet-powerful botanicals for a refreshing, deeply cleansing experience. Gel cleansers are typically lightweight and non-foaming, making them ideal for use by even the most sensitive skin.


  • Helps gently lift off dirt, oil and makeup while also penetrating deep into the skin to aid in drawing out pore-clogging impurities
  • Cleanses while helping to maintain skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • Helps soothe skin for a soft and hydrated feeling

Skin Type: A gel cleanser is an all-around favorite, but it is especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin.

TRY: Benefit Clean Gentle Cleanser

Exfoliating Cleanser

What it is: “Exfoliation” often brings to mind face scrubs, which are great (and see “Scrub Cleanser” on this list to read more about those), but this section is dedicated to the chemical exfoliant, the multi-tasking cleanser that uses a gentle exfoliating acid to wash away dead skin and help reveal a brighter-looking complexion underneath.


  • Exfoliates congested skin for a smoother-looking complexion
  • Helps restore and balance skin by removing excess oil and shine
  • Skin is left feeling rejuvenated and refreshed

Skin Type: Exfoliating cleansers can be a helpful addition to many skincare routines, but is especially beneficial for those with oily skin.

TRY: Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser

Cream Cleanser

What it is: A cream-based cleanser is often geared towards hydrating and conditioning the skin, containing emollients and antioxidants that help remove impurities from the skin while providing a moisture boost to help create a more refined-looking complexion.


  • Rich lather cleanses away makeup and other pore-clogging impurities
  • Boosts skin hydration to dry skin for a softer, fresher-looking complexion
  • Creamy formula helps deliver moisture deep within the skin

Skin Type: While gentle enough for use by all skin types, a cream cleanser is an ideal choice for those with mature skin, as they help boost hydration to deeply condition the skin.

TRY: Crystal Cleanse Hydrating Liquid Crystal Cleansing Cream

Foaming Cleanser

What it is: Our skin feels so renewed after washing with the air-light, frothy lather of a foaming cleanser. Usually formulated with skincare superstars like Salicylic Acid to help those with acne-prone skin, foaming cleansers help remove makeup, excess oil, sweat and other daily impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture barrier.


  • Foamy lather helps gently lift off daily impurities for a clearer-looking complexion
  • Ingredients like Salicylic Acid exfoliate the skin for smoother-looking skin
  • Helps soothe and comfort skin

Skin Type: A foaming cleanser is a great choice for those with acne-prone skin, teenagers or those with oily skin.

TRY: Clarify Salicylic Acid Foaming Cleanser

Oil Cleanser

What it is: It might seem counterintuitive to cleanse your face with oil, but an oil cleanser and its unique composition can actually help purify the skin and balance out oil production. Sometimes, when skin gets moisture-deprived, it tricks itself into thinking it’s not producing enough oil, so it produces even more. An oil cleanser is designed to use good-for-your-skin, conditioning oils as a method of removing daily pore-clogging impurities for a smoother-looking complexion.


  • Helps remove makeup and other impurities while helping maintain the skin’s natural moisture levels
  • Helps purify the appearance of skin for a clearer-looking complexion
  • Conditioning oils help provide the skin with radiance-boosting ingredients

Skin Type: An oil cleanser can be especially beneficial for those with dry skin.

TRY: Purity Solution Deep Cleansing Oil

Want to double up? Try Clean & Condition, our 2-Step Double Cleanse Duo that features our top-rated Gentle Cleanser Benefit Clean along with hydrating Purity Solution Nourishing Deep Cleansing Oil for cleaner skin that’s also deeply conditioned.

Powdered Exfoliating Cleanser

What it is: An alternative to chemical exfoliation, a scrub cleanser utilizes physical exfoliation to gently polish away dead skin, makeup and other buildup for a smoother-looking complexion. Whether you opt for a liquid scrub cleanser or a loose scrub that you combine with water or another cleanser, this face cleanser category helps restore a natural-looking glow to the skin.


  • Deeply cleanses skin to aid in removal of makeup, dead skin and other daily impurities for a brighter-looking complexion
  • Helps reduce the appearance of skin concerns like dark spots
  • Helps smooth and even the appearance of skin tone and texture

Skin Type: The scrub cleanser is a renewing must for your skincare routine, and is ideal for those with normal, combination and oily skin types.

TRY: Purity Detox Scrub