How To Use Retin-A With Sensitive Skin

Retinoids are the baseline products 

for achieving truly beautiful skin.

They are Vitamin A derivatives that unclog pores, boost collagen to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, speed up cell turnover to even out skin tone and refine the texture of the skin.

Essentially they create softer, smoother, brighter, more luminous skin.

They are amazing.

I recently wrote about Retinoids and Retin-A,

and received many inquiries from around the world about how to work with Retin-A if your skin is sensitive. 

Here are six tips for using Retin-A if you have sensitive skin.

1. Start With A Very Gentle Formula

Typically the prescription formulas are stronger and feel more abrasive, so try starting with an over the counter formula. Look for one that says “For Sensitive Skin”. There are plenty of retinoids on the market that are combined with calming, anti inflammatory ingredients such as green tea extract, and humectants such as hyaluronic acids, which will hold moisture to the skin, making it less vulnerable to irritation.

(I use Nytamin-A from Estheceuticals it’s super effective but also super gentle.)

2. Use A Gentle Cleanser

When you start using retinoids you need to be extra gentle with your skin, starting with your cleanser.

Instead of a foaming cleanser or a cleanser with glycolic acid/salicylic acid/AHAs/BHAs etc, opt for a very gentle cleanser. I love cleansing oils and milk cleansers, both of which will dissolve makeup and really clean the skin without stripping it.

3. Get There Slowly.

Introduce your retinoid slowly and allow your skin to build up a tolerance to it. 

If you have a sensitive skin, or if you are experiencing any burning/stinging/flaking while using a retinoid, start by only using it every 4th day for a couple of weeks. Slowly work your way up to every 3rd day, then every 2nd day. The goal is to eventally be using it every night.

Typically prescription formulas are more abrasive than over the counter formulas.

4. Try Moisturizing First

This is for prescription formulas. If they still feel abrasive apply a thin layer of moisturizer first, but again make sure it is a simple moisturizer, with no salicylics/glycolics/AHAs/BHAs. 

Over the counter formulas typically have moisturizers already in them, so can skip this step.

5. Keep It Sheer.

Particularly if you are using a prescription Retin-A cream, use a light hand. 

Ideally start with a pea sized amount for the entire face. Normally that’s all you need anyway, but regardless, start with a very thin layer and give your skin a chance to get used to it.

6. Don’t Combine

When you are first starting a retinoid, or if you are experiencing any irritation, don’t use any other highly active products. This means no vitamin C serums, no glycolics or salicylics, no scrubs or peels until your skin has completely acclimated itself to the retinoid. You can add everything back in product by product once your skin has built up it’s tolerance to the retinoid.

Use A Retinoid ~ Retin-A ~ Nytamin A Therapy Cream

If you are not using  Retin-A or a skin care product with vitamin A in it, basically you need to purchase one immediately.

Retinoids are the gold standard in skin care when it comes to evening out your skin tone, reversing sun damage, shrinking pores, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and clearing your skin.

The fantastic thing about adding a retinoid to your skin care regime is that you can see a marked improvement in your skin, normally in as little as one week.

Retinoids (topical vitamin A skin products) are available by prescription from your dermatologist, or can be found in many over the counter formulations.

But there’s a catch.

Prescription formulations can cause considerable irritation, leaving your skin feeling prickly and vulnerable. Plenty of over the counter formulations have so little vitamin A in them, or are so compromised that you don’t really see any result. 

As such I had stopped using Retin-A’s, until recently.

I have recently changed all my skin care over to a new line called EstheCeuticals.
This line was developed by one of the nations pre-eminent teachers of laser skin treatment and technologies, who found a glaring hole in the skin care market for skin that had just been through any of the myriad laser or microneedling treatments.
Just so happens that products designed to work with just lasered skin work amazingly on non lasered skin too!

Part of my new skin care program included incorporating the company’s retinol product, Nyatmin A Therapy Cream.

EstheCeuticals Nytamin a Therapy Cream

At first I was hesitant to use it as I didn’t want to deal with the whole irritated skin situation, but I’m so glad I did as the product is just fantastic.

Nytamin A Therapy Cream



Nytamin A Therapy Cream has been designed to deliver all the documented benefits of a Vitamin A product without the irritation of a retinoic acid.
Added to the mix is Kinetin, which helps increase cell division and decrease skin water loss, and Niacinamide which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, rough patches and blotchiness. It also contains a native hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture.


Nytamin A Therapy Cream comes in a pump pack that dispenses the exact amount needed, eliminating any waste or over use.

What I have loved most is the immediate results. 
There was no irritation or sensitivity, no peeling or scaly skin, just smooth, glowing, gorgeous results, very very quickly.

You can purchase Nytamin A Therapy Cream from EstheCeuticals internationally or domestically in the USA from their online store.