By Emily Leighton
The concept of a retinol being key in achieving healthy skin was (like everything else in my skincare routine/life at this current time) introduced to me by Zoe Foster Blake of Go-To Skincare. I feel as though she deserves a personal thankyou for all of my good skin days because quite frankly, skin care is a goddam battlefield. Her frank approach towards products and ingredients has really encouraged me to slim the routine down to high quality basics.
As someone who has suffered from quite severe acne and, as a result, quite severe (not to mention persistent) scarring, the promises of a retinol were incredibly tempting. They speed up the skins renewal process, improve skin tone and texture and increases collagen production. All of those things gave me a whole lot of hope that some of my scars that have lingered for well over a year would disappear, or at the very least they would be less severe immediately after a breakout and the process wouldn’t be as tedious.
Now I didn’t start with this retinol, my first dabble was with Alpha-H’s 0.5% Retinol. This was a very mild introduction, which I think was a wise decision considering how up and down my skin can be. I certainly noticed a difference with this in terms of scarring and skin texture, but I did feel underwhelmed getting towards the end of the bottle. This is a slightly higher concentration and has absolutely exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend this over the Alpha-H. Because my skin was already accustomed to a retinol I immediately started using it nightly, however it is important to slowly introduce it into your routine if your skincare routine has previously been sans-retinol (I was lucky enough to experience no irritation with either).
The consistency of this is interesting; it’s essentially water in a bottle. I had read a lot of negative reviews in the sense of ease of application, particularly when dropped into the hand first and then patted on the face. I find it easier to fill the dropper, and apply and pat it in to each individual part before moving onto the next and holding it upwards in-between so no precious liquids sneak out in the interim. I normally do forehead & t-zone, cheek, cheek, chin. Zero wastage. This is done immediately after cleansing on dry skin, and before moisturising and oils. This does leave a mild residue but it’s the good kind; it makes your skin feel velvety and amazing – for lack of a better word.
Since using this, the physical feeling of my skin has changed dramatically. Little bumps are virtually if not completely gone and in general my skin looks less congested. Everything’s smoother and much much much less inflamed. While I do still get quite a bit of acne, I find that my skin doesn’t have that irritated rash (think allergic reaction to something) which I almost always had on my chin, which to be honest was almost worse than the acne itself in terms of self-esteem killers. That in itself has been such a weight off my shoulders and I absolutely attribute that to this product along with a few other changes.
Despite being $82 this is actually on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to some retinols. It’s important to keep in mind that serums/retinols are highly concentrated & potent, hence the often hefty price tag. Clearly since my recent skincare epiphany the focus is on quality not quantity and this fits the bill perfectly.