If you haven’t already tried and regularly use retinol, you’re not alone. Things quickly become confusing with questions like, is a prescription needed? What derivative is right for my type of skin? Is it really effective on fine lines? I was in the same boat, until I started investigating following a need to rework my skin regimen due to some visible changes (more freckles, fine crinkles and folds). Retinols are vitamin-A derivatives which dermatologists recommend for discolorations, lines, and to speed cell turnover. In prescription creams, retinoic acid is the active ingredient, but retinols are shown to be gentler and work just as well in many long term cases. Besides sunscreen, retinol is the gold-standard for anti-aging that medical experts swear by, so even minimalists should have this in their beauty lineup. For a great over-the-counter treatment, I highly recommend Dr. Brandt’s 2% Retinol Complex Serum and the 24/7 Retinol Eye Cream. This duo not only passes the test for effectiveness and comfort on skin when used correctly, but is a great “starter” for retinol, and is likely to continue as a happy complement to your beauty routine.
The serum is genius for combining the retinol complex with antioxidants from olive-fruit pulp, phospholipids, and lemon tree honey and has a time-release mechanism that allows it to work for hours. I love the initial tingle when it’s first applied so I know it’s working, but it’s very comfortable and lightweight to have on all night. The key is to pay attention to what your skin is saying. I have sensitive skin, so I limit my applications to 2-3 times a week. For others, this may become a nightly ritual. Retinol typically takes 12 weeks to show any signs of improvement, but I’ve noticed my skin becoming more firm and bright and lines are disappearing after about five weeks. Following the serum, I apply some rose water to calm my skin. Here’s a quick tip: apply the eye cream after you’re in bed in circular motions with your finger, so you can keep your eyes closed after applying it. Beauty sleep then becomes literal!
*Retinol should not be used if pregnant or breast-feeding