As someone in their mid twenties, teetering on the edge of late twenties, the concept of aging scares the crap out of me. I’m sure many young women out there feel me on this. Aging is certainly inevitable, so my main concern is not to prevent aging but instead to age as gracefully as possible.
A hero anti-aging ingredient that has been used for many years is retinol.
What is Retinol?
Retinol is basically vitamin A that is applied topically on the skin. Vitamin A helps with the renewal of skin cells and is a resurfacing agent to reveal brighter, younger skin. The strongest form out there is called Retin-A. However, that is prescription only. You will be able to get it from a dermatologist, depending on whether your dermatologist feels it is necessary. The side effects are quite extreme as the skin is likely to turn red and peel. The skin will also be highly photo-sensitive and thus, SPF is absolutely mandatory when using retin-A or a retinol product.
Retinol is the over-the-counter version and is much less potent than Retin-A. But that does not mean that it is any less effective in terms of its resurfacing capabilities. Granted that the side-effects are far less severe, and results are more gradual. Retinol is used for many purposes besides anti-aging. Some claim that it can help with acne as it helps the skin regenerate at a rapid rate and pores are more likely to shrink and be less prone to clogging. There has been many recorded successes in Retin-A and retinol products, helping people suffering from acne. However, it is still very subjective to the individual’s skin type and reaction to the product. Therefore, it isn’t the answer to all acne woes.
Side-effects of Retinol
Going back to anti-aging, I wanted to try a retinol product to keep my skin looking clear and plump as I age into my late twenties. After a bit of reading up, I was a little worried on the side effects that were mentioned by people. Many experienced skin sensitivity, redness and peeling. The scariest ones are the ones who had allergic reactions to retinol, or experienced “skin purging” with cystic acne. At the same time, there are many who praise it to the heavens and say that the side-effects are worth it for the end result.
Best Product for an Anti-Aging Virgin
I present to you Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Brightening Solution. This is GODSEND for someone dipping their toes into the anti-aging skincare front. Dr Dennis Gross combines ferulic acid which is an amazing antioxidant with the resurfacing power of retinol to create the perfect facial cocktail. The ferulic acid helps brighten the skin, helping create a more even canvas while the retinol refines texture and helps the skin regenerate. This powerful cocktail is water-based, making it perfect for all skin types, even oily. It sinks in quickly and is an easy addition to your current skincare routine. This solution also has salicylic acid and glycolic acid to target troubled skin and help exfoliate.
I was initially really confused when I opened the package and saw some cotton pads that came along with it. I believe you can soak the cotton pads with the product for a more saturated and exfoliating application. But I ditched the the pads as I felt that it would waste too much product. And considering that this is expensive, I was not going to waste a drop!
After using it consistently for over 8 months, I am just about done with my bottle (30ml). I used it daily before my moisturiser and after my toner at night and made sure that I wore SPF in the morning. My skin is definitely more even toned, brighter and it helps clear acne scars a lot more quickly. It did not break me out at all, even with my acne-prone skin (THANK YOU, water-based formula), and I did not experience any of the side-effects that retinol products usually give.
*Keep in mind that I have been using AHAs and chemical exfoliants for many years to help combat my acne. So my skin might be more resilient than some.
I love this product so much! It really helps with the overall texture and appearance of my skin. My pores are less visible and my complexion is more luminous. However, if you are looking for a retinol product to help with acne, I don’t think this is a product for you as it did not help me clear up my acne break-outs. But what I can definitely vouch for is how bright and youthful my skin looked after using this product consistently. Thus, I think its perfect for retinol virgins!
The age of grace is upon us!