Tretinoin has tremendous benefits for the skin when used correctly.
However, some people need to dilute its concentration to avoid the sensitivity and dryness that come as side effects. One of the more common suggestions is to use oils.
Can You Use Oils With Tretinoin
Yes, you can mix oil with tretinoin in your skincare routine. This helps to reduce the concentration of tretinoin being absorbed into your skin and prevent excess dryness.
The key is to know what kinds of oils you can use safely and when to use them to achieve the effect that you want.
The aim is to slow down and reduce the absorption of tretinoin into your skin and avoid or reduce the side effects while still achieving the benefits.
Related Article – How to Moisturize When Using Tretinoin – What to Do & Use
Did you know that you can use Tretinoin for Oily Skin – click here to learn How to Use, Benefits & Risks
How to Use Oils with Tretinoin
The correct way to use oils with tretinoin in your skincare routine is to use them either before or after applying tretinoin.
Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Choose a gentle oil that is suitable for your skin. Avoid oils that have exfoliating properties. Instead, choose one that is hydrating and gentle.
- Cleanse your skin well before applying your skincare. Clean pores perform better.
- Use a thin layer of oil first. This will be an experiment for you until you achieve the right routine for you.
- You can adjust how much oil you use depending on how your skin still reacts to the tretinoin and any visible differences in benefits.
- You may also adjust the amount of tretinoin you put on your skin. However, this too will be based on how your skin reacts in terms of side effects and benefits.
- If you choose to use the oil after applying tretinoin, wait a few minutes and then apply the oil over your tretinoin. This will keep your skin hydrated through the night and prevent much of the dryness associated with tretinoin.
- Stick to your routine for a few days to see the effects before switching up right away unless the side effects are too bad.
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5 Best Oils to Use with Tretinoin
Tretinoin famously causes dryness and irritation as side effects for the first few weeks of use. However, with the right pairing, some oils can effectively help with these side effects.
The best oils to use with tretinoin (either before or after) are:
1- Jojoba Oil
This oil is similar to human sebum, which means that it absorbs into your skin rather than sit on top of it and clog your pores.
Jojoba oil is deeply hydrating and great for sensitive skin. It is especially great at combating dryness and irritation caused by active ingredients like tretinoin.
The best jojoba oil to use is one that is organic and unrefined.
2- Watermelon Seed Oil
This oil is extremely moisturizing which helps to prevent dry patches. It is rich in linoleic acid, which dissolves excess sebum that frequently clogs pores. It is also anti-inflammatory to soothe irritation.
Watermelon seed oil is not as popular as other oils in skincare so be sure to use one that is as organic as possible.
3- Squalane Oil
This is a great oil to use with tretinoin. It is restorative, meaning that it helps to rebuild the cell structures in your skin that tretinoin breaks down during its treatment.
Squalane oil helps to restore your skin’s protective barrier while also delivering layers-deep hydration to prevent dryness and irritation. This oil is different from Squalene, so be careful not to confuse the two!
Click here to see the Timeless Skin Care Pure, Lightweight, Plant-Based Squalane Dry Oil on Amazon.
4- Hemp Seed Oil
Omega 3, 6, and 9 found in hemp seed oil are particularly potent for repairing the skin barrier and creating a seal over the skin to keep moisture in.
It is also a humectant which means that it attracts more moisture to the skin, preventing dryness. Its anti-inflammatory effects also help to reduce irritation from active ingredients like tretinoin. Its fatty acid content also helps to soothe inflamed skin.
While hemp (Cannabis Sativa) is prohibited on many online stores like amazon, this oil can be sourced from local pharmacies and stores that are permitted to stock and sell it.
5- Sunflower Seed Oil
This is a versatile carrier oil that plays well with almost any other ingredient in skincare. It is chock full of oleic acid, vitamin E, sesamol, and linoleic acid.
Sunflower seed oil is very hydrating, soothing, and anti-inflammatory which all help to reduce the dryness and irritation associated with tretinoin. It also works to strengthen your skin’s protective barrier.
Click here to get the PURA D’OR Organic, Pure Sunflower Seed Carrier Oil on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use vitamin C oil with tretinoin?
There is no problem with using both vitamin C and tretinoin in the same skincare routine. However, to avoid irritation, it is best to use them at different times.
For example, experts suggest that you use Vitamin C in the morning and tretinoin at night.
Smoother, more radiant skin could be the outcome of combining retinol and vitamin C (this doesn’t have to be done simultaneously). Retinol rejuvenates skin cells and increases collagen development, whilst vitamin C defends, safeguards, and supports collagen production.
Related Article: Tretinoin After Microneedling – When & How to Use
Can I use Rosehip oil with tretinoin?
While rosehip oil is a great hydrator with a soothing effect on the skin, it is not recommended to be used with tretinoin because of its high Vitamin A content.
You are already getting a ramped-up dose of vitamin A in your tretinoin. Adding more vitamin A can prove to be too much for your skin, especially if it is sensitive.
Can I use Argan oil with tretinoin?
Argan oil is not recommended to be used with tretinoin because it is a penetration enhancer.
This means that argan oil increases the amount of an ingredient that your skin can absorb.
While this is great for some ingredients, for others like tretinoin, that can cause dryness and irritation if too much gets into the skin at once, it can make your skin react badly.
Can I use Coconut oil with tretinoin?
Coconut oil keeps the skin soft and plump but it also exfoliates the top layer, which makes it unsuitable to be used with tretinoin.
Even though coconut oil is generally versatile, it does not hydrate the skin. Instead, it locks in whatever moisture is already there while also gently exfoliating the top layer of the skin.
Can I use Almond oil with tretinoin?
Almond oil is a great hydrator for your skin, but it has a high concentration of Vitamin A which makes it unsuitable to be used with tretinoin.
Again, you are already getting a ramped-up dose of vitamin A in your tretinoin. Adding more vitamin A can prove to be too much for your skin, especially if it is sensitive.
For more tips on using tretinoin on sensitive areas of the face, click here to read Tretinoin For Under Eye Circles & Wrinkles: What to Know.