How to Use Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid Together

How to Use Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid Together

OK, we’ll save the suspense on this one: retinol and hyaluronic acid are about as perfect a skincare duo as you could ever find. Think Batman and Robin, Lucy and Ethel, peanut butter and jel . . . well, you get the idea! Not only can you use retinol and hyaluronic acid together, you should, as their respective benefits complement each other perfectly. That’s why, in this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of retinol and hyaluronic acid and how to use them together for optimum effect.


Main Takeaways: Not only can retinol and hyaluronic acid be used together, they are highly effective when used in the same skincare routine!

Good to Know: Although they do different things, retinol and hyaluronic acid compliment, rather than clash with each other when it comes to skincare.

Recommended Products: Just Dew It Hydrating Serum, Eyes Eyes Baby Anti-Aging Eye Cream, Youth Fairy Retinol Moisturizer, H2 Oh Yeah Hydrating Moisturizer and Crème de la Cream Brightening Moisturizer.


Looking for the perfect retinol moisturizer? We've got you covered.

Shop Our Retinol Moisturizer

Benefits of Retinol

Chances are if you haven’t already incorporated retinol into your skincare routine, you’ve at least heard of it. Retinol, for those who don’t know, is a somewhat more gentle form of retinoids, a form of vitamin A. Retinoids are often available via prescription and are quite potent, while retinol is found mostly in over-the-counter products.

If you’ve used retinol before, you might have experienced a little flaking, which leads many people to think that retinol is an exfoliant. In fact, it is not, and that flaking is usually just a sign that your skin is adapting to the new ingredient, plus the fact that it increases cell turnover (more on that later). This causes many to believe their skin is sensitive or allergic to retinol; but it really is a common side effect of this active ingredient. Although not an exfoliant, retinol does have a lot of great skin-smoothing benefits that you can’t get from a simple exfoliant. Let's talk about some of the major benefits of using retinol in your skincare routine:

  • Retinol stimulates collagen production - As we age, the collagen our body produces slows down significantly, resulting in loss of firmness in the skin. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, “When applied topically, any deficiency in collagen that exists in the skin is partially improved.”
  • Retinol helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles - Because retinol is known to stimulate collagen production, it can help firm the skin and minimize the appearance of existing fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in a more youthful look over time.
  • Retinol protects skin from environmental stressors that irritate it - If you’ve read our blogs before, you know what fans we are of antioxidants. Although we can’t see them, there are actually electrons in the environment that are trying to steal more electrons from your skin. This can be seriously damaging to skin which is why antioxidants are so crucial--they come around like a superhero and protect the skin from the free radicals that damage your skin.
  • Retinol increases cell turnover - When applied consistently, retinol helps clear away dull and dead skin, revealing a brighter, smoother, more even tone. Look for a silky smooth retinol serum or moisturizer to add a fresh and natural glow to your complexion without the use of abrasive beads or a granular exfoliant.
  • Retinol helps fight dark spots - Thanks to increased cell turnover that reveals newer, brighter skin, retinol also helps fade the look of age spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation that are often considered signs of aging.
  • Retinol helps smooth skin - This is also a benefit of increased cell turnover. While you might experience some flaking when you first start using retinol (this is your old skin shedding itself to reveal new skin underneath), this results in smoother skin.
  • Retinol helps unclog pores - The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology states that “retinoids also act as comedolytic agents and work by unclogging blocked pores.” Comedolytic agents inhibit the formation of comedones, which are blemishes that form when oil and skin cells become trapped in the pore.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

If you’ve read even a few of our blogs, you know that we are wild about hyaluronic acid! It is found naturally in our bodies, keeping our skin and joints lubricated. As we age, we lose hyaluronic acid in our bodies, so it’s super beneficial to restore it to our skin!

A type of sugar molecule that helps skin retain water, it belongs in the Skin Care Ingredients Hall of Fame! While that doesn’t actually exist, the benefits of hyaluronic acid are very real as we discuss here:

  • Hyaluronic Acid helps skin retain moisture - If hyaluronic acid is known for one thing in particular, it’s its ability to help skin retain hydration in the skin. All kinds of things can help deprive the body of the water it needs, but in addition to helping hydrate the skin, hyaluronic acid helps keep it there!
  • Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant - This means that it finds moisture in the skin and helps pull it up to the surface, making it a great choice for those with dry skin! HA is known to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water.
  • Hyaluronic Acid helps give skin a dewy look - Looking for a dewy glow to your skin? Hyaluronic acid can help you attain it by restoring the moisture and hydration to your skin!
  • Hyaluronic Acid helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles - One of the greatest benefits of hyaluronic acid’s ability to restore moisture to the skin is that in doing so, it helps plump the skin, which will diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Hyaluronic Acid is great for dry skin - If you have dry skin (or even if your skin just becomes dryer when the seasons change), we encourage you to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine. It is a hydration super hero and works for even sensitive dry skin.

How to Use Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid Together

So the question is: can you use retinol and hyaluronic acid together? As we said above, absolutely! It’s as easy as finding skincare products that include these ingredients and properly incorporating them in your skincare routine.

The great thing about using retinol and hyaluronic acid together is that hyaluronic acid helps calm the skin down after retinol use. As we said, retinol can often take some time to get used to — you might even see some peeling at first. Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate and soothe the skin as it gets used to retinol. Here is a super easy way to use both in your skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse your skin thoroughly with a gentle cleanser, such as So Clean!
  2. Spritz on a hydrating toner to balance and hydrate your skin. We love Rose and Shine rosewater toner.
  3. Apply a hydrating serum that includes hyaluronic acid; we are quite partial to Just Dew It!
  4. Treat the delicate skin around the eyes with a hyaluronic acid-infused eye cream, like Eyes Eyes Baby.
  5. Finish by sealing it all in and giving your skin a gentle dose of retinol with Youth Fairy retinol moisturizer.

Since all skin is different, it’s important to listen to what yours is telling you and adjust accordingly. For example, you might want to start out using retinol products only once every other day or double up on the hyaluronic acid while your skin gets used to the retinol. For example, we recommend using Youth Fairy Retinol Moisturizer every other evening at the beginning. Depending on how your skin reacts, you can use it one time daily when your skin adjusts.

On the days and times you are not using a retinol moisturizer, we recommend a different moisturizer. Both H2 Oh Yeah hydrating moisturizer and Crème de la Cream brightening moisturizer feature hyaluronic acid to keep your skin plump and well-hydrated. Use one of these options for your last step, as outlined above. It's really as simple as that. So don’t hesitate- your skin will thank you when you add these ingredients to your daily skincare regimen!