How Retinol Helps To Even Discoloration

If you want your post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) to go away, you can use retinoids. Retinoids are considered a gold standard ingredient within dermatology. Retinoids are some of the best ingredients for active acne, acne scars, redness, inflammation, and dark pigment that acne leaves behind.  After a pimple fades, some people have red spots and others have dark spots, and retinoids can help with both presentations of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

There are many different forms or retinoids, and did you know that retinoids actually speed up the skin cell turnover process? Retinoids help to speed up that process, but it does take 30 or 60 days to work depending on the potency. And if you get something that’s potent enough, it can make your skin plumper in those deeper layers whilst reviewing a new layer of skin. For example. The Agency Future Formula is very potent, and has potential to accomplish these results. 

Agency Future Formula 

This formula is custom blended to Cassandra. But, hers had retinoic acid.

The INKEY List Retinol Serum -$12.99 


If you don’t want prescription options, you can get retinol, retinal, or retinoic acid esters over the counter. These are still very effective retinoids. They just take longer for your skin to convert into retinoic acid which is what your skin binds to. Afterward, you cellular turnover begins to speed up. 

Retinoids help your skin recreate new skin cells deep down in the dermis. They can help remodel the skin deep down within, and likewise, they help with things like acne scars, pigment, and active breakouts. Retinoids are amazing to have in your routine, but they are very photosensitive or light-sensitive. So, you shouldn’t necessarily use them during the day. However, some forms of retinoids are photostable like adapalene gel, and you can use them during the day. 

But, to get the most out of your money, retinoids are best used at night. The other thing you should be aware of is that retinoids are difficult to mix other things with. So, you want to avoid using it with benzoyl peroxide because the combination can be super irritating.


When using retinoids, you may go through a period of retinization. This is basically when your skin cell turnover rate is decreasing from 45 or 35 days down to 28 or 25. Because of this, you can bet that your skin is going to be a little bit red and irritated. To avoid this irritation, you’ll want to titrate. So, ask your prescribing physician or the professional that Agency matches you with how many times to apply it.

When you first use retinoids, you’ll want to start with a low amount and go slow. You can also layer it. Instead of putting it directly on the skin, you can put a moisturizer on first and then, put a prescription-strength retinoid on top of that. 

This slows down absorption into the skin and prevents it from being as irritating. Additionally, retinoids love water. So, if you apply a retinoid to damp skin, it’s going to penetrate, but that also means it can burn. So, for beginners, you won’t want to start with this. Apply it to dry skin, put a moisturizer on or even a vegan version of salimo jelly. Then, you can put a prescription-strength retinoid on top of that. This will slow down absorption into the skin and prevent irritation.

Retinoids do take longer to work than something like azelaic acid. They normally start working after 35 to 60 days, but once they start working, they can make your skin look brand new.