Retinol is still considered the gold standard in skin anti-ageing, so most dermatologists recommend the use of a retinol product from the age of 30. However, I’m intimidated by the concept of prescription creams and prefer to stick with a gentler, over the counter version for the time being. Enter SkinMedica Retinol Complex 1.0%. It is a high-strength retinol lotion that is suitable for normal to dry or combination skin and, in addition to retinol it contains outstanding antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients and repairing agents. That means you can get some impressive results with an over-the-counter product that is really pleasant to use.
SkinMedica claims this will enhance skin tone, texture, and resiliency while diminishing lines and wrinkles. And it’s true. However, due to the strength of this product you do need to go slow. Follow the usage instructions and pay close attention to how your skin responds, adjusting application frequency as needed. And of course, it’s essential to wear a sunblock every day to keep the skin protected. I used this twice a week to begin with and then built up to four times a week which seems appropriate for me. I did get some initial ‘purging’ – which means a big old pimple, although who knows, maybe that was just on its way. I didn’t get any flakiness, dryness or redness and the lotion is very pleasant to use – a relief as you do hear some horror stories of the skin adjusting to retinol use. One of the biggest pluses was that it seemed to help reduce my pore size – a major benefit for me as I had noticed they have been getting larger and are often congested.
As with all retinol products, do not use it if you are pregnant, lactating or planning to become pregnant. Mild redness, peeling and irritation are common side effects until the skin transitions and you absolutely must use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week following.
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