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Are Retinoids Safe for Oily + Combo Skin?

The straightforward answer to this skincare query is yes — retinoids are absolutely safe to use if you have oily or combination skin. In fact, retinoids can be especially great for oily and combo skin types for a few different reasons. 

By Kaleigh Fasanella, she/her

Curious about the new Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum and whether it’ll work with your skin? If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve wondered whether retinoids are safe for oily and combo skin, and the straightforward answer to this skincare query is yes — retinoids are absolutely safe to use if you have oily or combination skin. In fact, according to Jacob Tomas dél Rosario, Youth To The People’s Director of Field Sales + Education, retinoids can be especially great for oily and combo skin types for a few different reasons. Now let’s dive into them, shall we? 

For starters, retinoids are not only known to help to speed up the production of new skin cells, but also aid in mitigating the retention of bacteria that can eventually lead to congestion in oily and acne-prone skin. 

“Retinoids aid in reducing the overall buildup of bacteria, tissue, and dead skin cells that cause excess sebum production and clogged pores,” explains del Rosario. “By controlling oil and removing buildup, retinoids can help with balancing the skin and softening texture, which can also reduce visible pore size.”

So, to quickly recap: retinoids can help control oil, and mitigate congestion-causing bacteria and diminish overall congestion. Pretty rad, right? This all leads to clearer, less textured skin and visibly smaller pores. 

Then comes the Youth Serum, a vegan retinal serum formulated with .15% retinaldehyde (aka the most potent non-prescription retinoid available), 5% niacinamide, ceramides, vitamin E, and squalane. 

“The Youth Serum also contains 5% niacinamide which is specifically well-known for minimizing the visible size of pores as it helps with overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands,” explains del Rosario. “Additionally, this formula is great for oily and combo skin types because it contains adaptogens like ashwagandha and our mushroom complex to help with decreasing the skin’s overall stress response.”

With any skin type, del Rosario stresses the importance of slowly incorporating a retinal serum into your routine in order to let your skin adapt. 

“Oily and combo skin tends to be a bit thicker than dry skin, but you should always baby step it by using your retinoid just once or twice a week at first, then building up to every other night,” says del Rosario. “Ultimately, the combination of .15% retinaldehyde and the secondary supportive ingredients in the Youth Serum will help to strengthen the skin and your protective lipid barrier, which in turn will help to diminish the chance any negative side effects.” 

What’s more: pairing your retinoid with soothing and hydrating products can further help decrease the chances of experience the sensitivity and irriation associated with retinoids. The Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum and the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask are both foolproof options that calm, nourish, and supremely hydrate the skin. Additionally, you can’t go wrong with a few drops of Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil for added nourishment and a boost of antioxidants.

Written by Kaleigh Fasanella for Youth To The People




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Superfood Cleanser Refill
Superfood Cleanser
Superfood Cleanser 2 oz. Travel Size
Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum
Triple Peptide + Cactus Oasis Serum
15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil
Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
Mandelic Acid + Superfood Unity Exfoliant
Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask
Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial