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I’m well into my 30’s and it’s finally time to admit that my current skincare routine isn’t working as well as it probably did some years ago.  I’ve been using the same products in the same order for around 10 years but I’m ready to put my hands up and surrender to the fact that I probably should have updated or added to my list of ‘potions’ a while back. I chose to ignore the fact that ‘prevention is better than cure’ but I also live by the mantra ‘it’s never too late for anything’  – so here I am, ready to embrace the word that seems to be on almost everyone’s lips, ‘RETINOL’.


Before I slap on a load of what (I hope) will reverse those annoying little things called ‘fine lines and wrinkles’, I thought it best practice to speak to qualified dermatologist Dr. Sravya Tipirneni for some legitimate advice.


KR: What is Retinol?

Dr S: Retinol is a woman’s best friend – it is a vitamin A derivative and is the best anti-aging product on the market with the added benefit that it treats acne. Not only that but it also helps to even out skin tone and lighten dark pigmentation spots caused by too much sun exposure. It really gives your skin a power boost and brings it back to a more youthful state. These particular Retinols come in the form of creams, serums and emulsions.


KR: How does this ‘magic potion’ work?

Dr S: When applied to the skin it makes an entry into the dermis (the layer below the epidermis) and there it helps to neutralise free radicals and boosts the production of elastin and collagen – this creates a plumping effect which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores over a significant period of time. Retinol speeds up cell turn-over and is a great exfoliator, which removes dead skin cells, therefore tone and texture of the skin is also improved


KR: So how does it treat acne?

Dr S: I use it on my patients with acne because it keeps the pores unclogged and prevents the formation of commodores and blemishes. The added benefit is that Retinol balances the skin’s level of hydration really well – so if you have extremely oily acne-prone skin, the exfoliating effect helps to dry it out a little bringing a normal balance to it.


KR: How long will it take until I see changes to my skin?

Dr S: To see significant changes you do need to stick to a routine of using Retinol every day over the course of a few months – it’s a long-term product that works better over time.


KR: So how do I start off my Retinol regime?

Dr S: Like with most products, I would advise not to rush into using too much Retinol from day one. You need to give your skin time to habituate to the product and in a sense wean your skin to get used to it. Start with applying a low strength Retinol twice a week at night times – never EVER in the day, as it will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. After a few weeks build up to using it three times a week then I like to take a look at the skin myself and review the progress before building it up further.


KR: Any side effects I should be aware of?

Dr S: Contrary to any negative reviews you may have heard or read online, Retinol is very safe to use, but as I said before, the key is to start using it slowly and allowing your skin time to get used to it. If too much is used too soon then the common side effects can be redness and irritation of the skin such as dryness and peeling. In more severe cases you may experience some itchiness and patchiness. These side effects should clear up with a good moisturizer and will subside after a few weeks of regularly using Retinol.


KR: Is Retinol safe to use on all skin types?

Dr S: I would advise against using Retinol if you have eczema, rosacea or have experienced a past skin allergy to Retinol.


KR: What products can I use in conjunction with Retinol?

Dr S: Always cleanse and dry your face before use and on dry and sensitive skin you can use a hydrating moisturiser with a lot of hyaluronic acid in it and then apply the Retinol on top of it. On oily acne prone skin I would recommend skipping the moisturiser and applying the Retinol directly on your skin. On normal/ combination skin, I would advise to apply the Retinol followed by a serum or moisturiser on top. However, I wouldn’t recommend using Retinol in conjunction with Vitamin C, AHA’s or BHA’s as these are all chemical exfoliators and together they will be too harsh on the skin causing irritation. The MOST important thing is to always apply an SPF of 30 or higher during day light hours as Retinol will make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.



Dr. Sravya C Tipirneni,  MBBS  MD  D.V.L., AMPH (ISB)

Valedictorian & Class Representative AMPH 2019​
Indian School of Business

Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist

Columbia Asia Hospital – Whitefield
Bangalore, KA 560066 l India 


Email her at [email protected]            

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Teleconsultation and prescription are based on a provisional diagnosis and has its limitations as clinical physical examination cannot be not done and will be converted to a physical consultation if the consultant advises.



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Dot & Key: Time Reverse Retinol Serum 

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Kay Reynolds is a Stylist and Fashion Consultant from London, UK. She has worked for some of London’s biggest fashion stores in the areas of Womenswear Buying, Visual Merchandising and Design. Also a trained journalist she has been writing about all things fashion and style for a number of publications for many years. While in Bangalore she has been successfully building up her client list to whom she provides a personal styling service as well as styling for editorial and brand marketing purposes. Instagram: styledbykayrey Phone Number: 7676149408


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