A couple tips if you're a retinol newbie: Ease into it and be sure to only use the product at night. "Start slowly, incorporating it into your evening regimen (sunlight deactivates retinoic acid so you can't use it during the day) every other day. This lets your skin gradually acclimate to the more potent level of the product. You can also mix it in with your usual moisturizer or facial oil to buffer the irritation (redness, flaking, etc.) that can often come along with using retinol. And if waxing is your go-to for hair removal, do not use a retinoid two to five days before and after getting a wax.
Another important thing to note when using an OTC or prescription retinoid is that you don't need too much. More is not better—a pea-size amount for your full face is all you need. It is also recommended to use your retinoid on the tops of your hands, your neck and your chest regularly, too to eliminate sun damage and spots.