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Alex at I Heart Beauty has phenomenal skin. Every time I see her I ask what it is she’s doing, and she always preaches the power of a decent retinol, then every time I promise myself I’ll get regular with retinol in my routine and it never happens. Then, during an Obagi consultation last year when I was getting itchy feet with my routine (it was working so well, so I couldn’t change it, but I’m a skincare junkie!) the guys at Rita Rakus recommended I try an entry-level Obagi retinol and I have never looked back – what a superstar skincare ingredient it is! With that in mind, I’ve put together a little list of a few different ways you can introduce a retinol into your routine:
I may as well start with the Obagi Tretinoin Cream, since I’ve just mentioned it. This is the one that started it all for me and this is very much proof that you don’t need a high percentage to make drastic changes, as this is just 0.025% which is a very small percentage if you consider it goes all the way up to 1%. This particular product is recommended especially if you’re acne-prone, but I didn’t find it made my skin more dry or problematic, quite the opposite. Annoyingly you can’t purchase this without visiting a clinician, so find your nearest one here – link.
One of the things I get asked about most of all is eye cream, which is a shame as it’s not really something I often use. Having said that, I’ve recently been swayed by the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream, because I really love the idea of using a retinol around the eye area – I’m hopeful it’ll do the same thing for my eye area that it has achieved for the rest of my face! It’s very early days, but this eye cream feels great to use and sits really well under make-up, so I will be continuing with it.
If you want to ease yourself in and see how your skin tolerates retinol, the Pixi Retinol Tonic might be the place for you to start. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I can’t imagine a retinol toner will do that much when it comes to the levels of skincare transformation a retinol can achieve, but this is a lovely product that smells of jasmine and contains peptides to work alongside the retinol, so if you’re a fan of toners (I really, really am) then why not use one that works a little bit harder?
The Exuviance Super Retinol Concentrate is another good option for easing yourself in, but this one is a lot more powerful than a toner. Containing 1% Encapsulated Retinol, this is a slow-release formula that won’t overwhelm your skin, but you’ll still reap the benefits of such a powerful concentration. It feels silky and lightweight, so it works really well in any kind of routine and at the moment I am using this every other day with the Obagi one to keep my skin guessing and give it a chance to accept an increase of dosage.
Patchology are a brand that are really new to me, but I find them really interesting! I don’t really know how to describe them succinctly, other than to say that they are fun and a bit scattered, with lots of gems to be found amongst their sheet masks and eye patches, but more of that in another post. The Patchology Restoring Night Cloudmasque is a lovely product packed-full of peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol, making it the sort of product that makes a really noticeable difference to skin after just one use. It’s an overnight treatment that’s pleasant to use and particularly great for pre-events.
I try really, really hard to be strict and regimented with my thorough skincare routine, as I really believe the results speak for themselves…but I also have many days when I just can’t face a long-winded routine, so that’s when Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil comes into play. I can cleanse, tone and use this beautiful night oil and wake-up to beautifully glowing skin the following morning. This is a wonderful way of introducing skin to retinol as it’s so light and gentle, yet the results are obvious. The oil itself is also lovely and nourishing, so it’s that full-on post-facial glow you get, which is worth the slightly alarming blue tinge your skin gets immediately after application…This is my favourite Sunday Riley product by a mile, and I used to use it sporadically when I was more spot-prone with no issues, so I recommend to all.
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