Considering a stronger retinoid? Do this 3-step check before moving to Superstar+

Uplevelling your retinoid routine with a higher concentration can feel scary. What strength should I choose? Will a higher concentration cause redness and peeling? How will it affect the rest of my routine?

It’s definitely not just about grabbing the next bottle off the shelf with a bigger number on it. You want to make sure your skin is ready, and that it’s absolutely the right decision for your skincare goals. But with the sea of information surrounding retinoids, that can feel easier said than done.

To help you make the right decision for your skin, we’ve distilled it into a simple 3-step check. This will allow you to assess whether your skin is ready for an upgrade in retinoid strength.

Have you been using your current retinoid, such as Superstar, for at least 3 months on a daily basis? This timeframe allows your skin to fully adjust to the retinoid and gives you a clear baseline to judge its effects. Anything less than this, hold off. Jumping the gun and increasing strength too early can risk irritation or even set back your progress.

This may include excessive dryness, redness, or peeling, indicating your skin still needs time to adapt to the current retinoid level. If your skin has adapted well, showing no negative reactions, it’s a good indicator that you might be ready to consider a higher concentration.

If you’ve been using your current strength for at least 12 weeks, and your skin has adapted well, the next check is to monitor results.   Have you noticed your results plateauing? If the initial improvements in skin texture, tone, oiliness, or brightness have stabilised, it might be time for a more potent formulation to continue making progress towards your skincare goals. Think about what you’re aiming to achieve with your retinoid usage. Are you looking for more significant improvements in clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation or radiance? If your current results have plateaued, and you want deeper benefits, moving up to a higher concentration could be the right move.

The best way to increase retinoid strength

The ideal way to increase retinoid concentration in your skincare routine is to shift to a product with a higher percentage of the same type of retinoid. For instance, if you’re currently using Superstar, which contains 0.2% Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (HPR), moving up to Superstar+ at 1% HPR, is low-stress for your skin, because the formulations are identical apart from a higher retinoid concentration.

This means that despite the significant increase in potency, the transition from Superstar to Superstar+ results in very little increased irritation potential. This makes stepping up to Superstar+ from Superstar incredibly easy for your skin.

Here are the most commonly asked questions about increasing retinoid strength in your routine:

Even though Superstar+ is designed to be suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin, higher concentrations of retinoids are more potent and may cause irritation. Introduce the new strength gradually, and monitor your skin’s reaction.

Start by applying the higher concentration once or twice a week, replacing your current retinoid application. Gradually increase usage as your skin adapts, paying close attention to its tolerance.

Generally, yes, but adjustments may be necessary. Consider reducing the use of potentially harsh ingredients like exfoliants until your skin adjusts to the stronger retinoid.

Some initial purging or peeling is normal. If it becomes persistent, reduce the frequency of application or switch back to a lower concentration temporarily.

Higher concentrations might yield improvements sooner, but patience is essential. Allow a few months to assess the true impact on your skin.

Deciding to increase the strength of your retinoid is a significant step in enhancing your skincare routine. Armed with a simple 3-step check, you’re now equipped to make an informed decision about whether your skin is ready for Superstar+. Remember, the goal is to achieve your skincare objectives without overwhelming your skin. By gradually introducing Superstar+ and monitoring your skin’s response, you can enjoy the benefits of a higher concentration retinoid with minimal risk of irritation.

The transition from Superstar to Superstar+ is designed to be seamless, thanks to the careful formulation that increases potency while keeping irritation low. 

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