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Fight Aging With These Remarkable Retinol Products
Ready for Retinol
While we can't stop aging, we can decide how to react to the look of lines, wrinkles, and lackluster skin. At any age. Science and skin care technology -- along with increased awareness of diet, exercise, and hydration -- really allow us to harness control of how we appear on the outside.
At all retinoids' core are vitamin A derivatives made, in order of strength, bakuchiol, retinol/esters, retinols, gran-active retinols, and retinoic acid (Retin-A; Rx and branded tretinoins), the latter giving the most potent, immediate result strong enough to melt topical lines. Planning for your skin type and reactiveness is key, as side effects can include irritation, peeling, redness, and sun sensitivity. And yes. Sunscreen. Is. A. Must.
What I love about retinols is you can gauge their effectiveness quickly. And as a treatment, they play nicely with most any skin care line -- value-based and luxury. In other words, this might be where you may want to spend your money. Before retinols became the norm, I used pure Rx Retin-A under a $6 Fresh & Clear moisturizer with SPF 30. Aah...the '80s. My point is you can start young and use most OTC retinols without looking as if you're "under construction." Now made with multi-actives, skin-regenerating peptides, collagen boosters, and emollient buffers, retinols are no longer just for nighttime. If you're not certain, start with three nights a week for a month before you work up to 24/7.
Whether it's a department store, online chat, or customer service, never be afraid to ask questions regarding your protocol and when to change it up. So now we're ready. I've listed a handful of ageless retinol favorites, including a few nonretinol disruptors that really changed the face of aging. And yours.
A new gamechanger is Shiseido's Bio-Performance Skin Filler Serums with MolecuShift Technology to shrink hyaluronic acid molecules (going deeper into your skin) and reverts them to original size (post-application) to seriously fill, plump, and restore sunken skin and lines. Red clover and chai hu extracts (day/night duo, $295). Shiseido.com
All hail the OG! Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex. Born in 1982, this handful of serums-in-a-bottle is patented until 2033. With Chronolux Power Signal Technology, this scientific miracle keeps evolving ($110-$215). Perfectionist Pro Rapid Renewal Retinol Treatment is the ultimate modern complement to step up your game ($88). EsteeLauder.com
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare (with tester sizes and pro video pre-sales chat) is a staunch public informer on how to use skin care, including an innovative retinol and ferulic acid combo (plant leaf cells as an irritation buffer and retinol amplifier). I started with the Advanced Retinol + Ferulic series: Overnight Texture Renewal Peel pads ($5-$78), Texture Renewal Serum ($72), Overnight Wrinkle Treatment ($85), and Intense Wrinkle Cream($75). DrDennisGross.com
Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair series is an impressive value brand that delivers. Retinol Pro+ .5% Power Serum($40), Retinol Face Serum Capsules($35), Night Face Moisturizer With Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid($25), and Rapid Firming Peptide Contour Lift Face Cream($40). Neutrogena.com or CVS.com
Saint Jane Beauty
Saint Jane Beauty is artisanal science. Luxury Beauty Serum Calming Treatment ($125) and Sacred Sleep Overnight Repair($70). SaintJaneBeauty.com or Sephora.com
Summer Fridays launch: Midnight Ritual Retinol Renewal Serum($69). Sephora.com
Naturopathica's targeted duo for line and overall repair: Holy Basil & Retinol Ageless Night Oil($130) and Argan & Retinol Advanced Wrinkle Remedy Night Gel Cream($134). For exfoliation and ultra-hydration moments, try the Facial Cleansing & Exfoliating Brush($34) and Manuka Honey Whipped Oil($72). Naturopathica.com
Luzern's oxygen-infused line takes self-care to another level! Serum Absolut Firming Collagen Booster($215). Creme Nuit is a miraculous multifermentation (retinol+) broth creme ($325), or Emulsion 6 as a melting cleanser, mask, or glow oil ($120). LuzernLabs.com
Retinol forever! StriVectin wasn't only a retail first as a prescription-strength alternative to Retin-A, it marked the first time I saw lines out the door waiting to purchase. Advanced Retinol Nightly Multi-Correct Serum($99), Advanced Retinol Day to Night Duo($218), Super-C Retinol Brighten & Correct Vitamin C Serum($72). StriVectin.com
Origins offers a (new!) rich, matte, stay-put vegan retinol eye cream: Plantscription Wrinkle Correction Eye Cream($56). Origins.com
Clinique: Smart Night Clinical MD Multi-Dimensional Repair Treatment Retinol($73), Smart Clinical Repair Wrinkle Correcting Serum($71). Clinique.com or Macys.com
SkinCeuticals has dominated the treatment market for more than two decades. Retinol (.3, .5, and 1.0) ($70-$92), Tripeptide-R Neck Repair($126), and the botanical discoloration fixer Phyto +($87). SkinCeuticals.com
COSRX: a Korean value brand that packs a punch. The Retinol 0.5 Oil Super Vitamin E + Squalane($19). The Retinol 0.1 Cream (versus 1.0) is great for low-grade beginners ($19). Great for acne and smoothing rough skin is the Niacinamide 15 Serum ($17). COSRX.com
Super concentrated. Orveda perfects the "high art of self-care" with luxurious natural and bio-fermented actives that work with your skin's chemistry. Indulgent and results-oriented as it feels, the Holy Grail meets the "Orveda Glowy Trinity" with the Iron, Firm + Glow routine: The Healing Sap($150), no-rinse Ironing Effect Masque($330), and Firm Brew Botanical Cream($410). SaksFifthAvenue.com