THE ORDINARY VS INKEY LIST: Retinol Two Ways
What is Retinol? Retinol, a derivative and milder form of prescription tretinoin, has been a holy grail ingredient in my quest to achieving smoother, tighter and firmer skin. A fat-soluble vitamin, retinol (Vit A), has some of the strongest research backing its claims of wrinkle reduction, cell turnover and other anti-aging properties. Common Usage Concerns ✨ Can be used AM and PM- there is no research that shows its harm upon sun exposure although it may increase photosensitivity and irritation to some. ✨ Can be used with other actives like niacinamide and vitamin C. Whether it causes skin irritation depends person by person. ✨ Should be phased out PRIOR to getting pregnant. Teratogenic. The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane 6.70 for 30ml Most retinols from The Ordinary and other skincare lines deliver Retinol in a oily “anhydrous” (water-free) suspension. Percentage depends on your skin tolerance but if you don’t have sensitive skin, you can go straight for the higher % rather than ease into the product. Just use fewer drops! I like that this is formulated with squalene (oil that acts like sebum), which kills two birds with one stone as the oil also acts as an ideal hydrating anti-oxidant for dry/combo skin types. This is a marginally cheaper and longer lasting product than the Inkey List’s retinol serum as 2-3 drops go a long way! It brings that glowy shine to the face, softens blackhead areas, and has completely halted more fine lines from growing on my face. THE inkey LIST - Retinol Serum 9.99 for 30ml More like a moisturizer method of delivery, this retinol is thicker in a oily lotion suspensión. It dispenses yellow and kind of smells like fish oil! The ingredients are impressive- has humectants, retinol and HPR (another derivative form of Vit A), Vit E and Squalene. So this has more goodies than TO’s oil suspension! On application, this dries way more matte than the Retinol 1%. It layers just fine with other serums. I am really appreciating how it blends effortlessly into my existing routine. The packaging is also way more leak-proof than the dropper application so it’s great for travel. For the extra couple bucks, I’d give this a shot if you’re looking for retinol and light moisturizer in one tube! Cheers 🥂
The Ordinary-Retinol 1% in Squalane
How to Use Retinoids Without Wrecking Your Skin
Retinoids are amazing. Whether you’re using adapalene (Differin) to treat acne, over-the-counter retinols to prevent signs of aging or correct hyperpigmentation, or plan to start tretinoin (Retin-A) for both, retinoids are exciting and have decades of research to back up their efficacy. But they can be a bit tricky- after all, almost anyone who turns to retinoids is warned of flaking, dryness, purging, redness, irritation... side effects galore. Except, it’s honestly pretty easy to avoid most of those. The purging is somewhat inevitable due to how retinoids work, but mixing retinol with an oil or applying an oil in the same routine can help stave off a lot (if not all) of the irritation, redness, flaking, and/or dryness. Oils help to fortify the skin barrier with fatty acids, as well as seal in the moisture from your hydrating serums and/or your moisturizer. I figured this tip out after accidentally forgetting to apply an oil (a usual part of my PM routine) with my tretinoin and immediately experienced flaking around my nose. Here are my favourite retinol+oil combos... The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane is my favourite over-the-counter retinol, melding two wonderful and simple ingredients: squalane and retinol. They offer three concentrations, beginning at 0.2%, then 0.5%, and finally 1%. I saw no irritation slowly making my way between the various concentrations, the squalane drying down to a lovely satin finish if you use in the AM before sunscreen. THE inkey LIST - Rosehip Oil applied after my Apostrophe Tretinoin has helped immensely- I didn’t notice any flaking/dryness until the night I forgot to apply it after my tret, which is impressive! I also haven’t experienced any redness or increased sensitivity, which I credit partly to this oil (also partly to my soothing serums). It’s already been helping with my acne and hyperpigmentation, as well as some tiny bumpy texture that has been persistently plaguing my forehead since before the beginning of my skincare journey years ago. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil applied after DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is a dream team combination for aging, dry skin- as well as a wonderful way to correct texture and tone! I can’t recommend this specific combination enough for helping with uneven texture and uneven tone. It lightened some of my dark spots and really helped smooth the orange peel texture on my chin, with the oil keeping a lot of the dryness at bay.
DRUNK ELEPHANT-A-Passioni Retinol Cream
My Tried and True Skincare Triad for $75/Yr
HONEST FEMME FINDS: I’ve been using the following products as my base skincare since 2017. If I had to give up all skincare products to be a minimalist monk, the three skincare ingredients I’d keep are Vitamin C, Retinol (Vit A), and SPF. Of course I’m cheating a little because the products I mention below are formulated with holy grail humectants, vitamins and oils such as HA, Aloe, Vit E, Squalene etc. Meera's Beauty - Vitamin C Serum 20% Hyaluronic Acid My Philosphy: Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) is a vitamin C derivative that is more stable than L-ascorbic acid, emulsified well in a aloe/hyalauronic acid-rich médium which is the method of application I prefer! Vitamin C is my most-used product, as I saw drastic improvements in brightening my skin after I started using it at least twice a day 4 years ago. As long as the Vit C derivative is 20%, getting the job done with HA, aloe and Vit E (has synergistic effects with Vit C), I am game. Because I go through about 8 Fl Oz per year, Meera’s Beauty was the best bang for my buck at 2 Fl Oz for only $12.95 on Amazon. Annual Cost: 4 bottles (2 Fl Oz) x $12.95 on Amazon Prime The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane My Philosophy: Retinol aka Vitamin A is one of the few ingredients that’s gone through clinical trials and shown to effectively reduce fine lines and increase cell turnover. Squalene, naturally produced in our cells, supposedly prevents trans epidermal water loss so why not kill two birds with one stone and use it as an solvent to my retinol? (I never understood using the Squalene alone but I do recognize the sensitivity people may have to retinol) I like retinol as an oil because I mix it with my watery vitamin C serum. 1-3 drops mixed in with 0.5ml C serum and an additional 1-2 drops of retinol directly onto the face in my problem areas- forehead fine lines and clogged nose pores. Annual Cost: 1 bottle (1 Fl Oz) x $6.70 on Deciem website Bioré - UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ My Philosophy: We all know we need some type of SPF and Biore is really the only one that feels comfortable enough for me to build into my skincare regimen. One of the only sunscreens that drys matte, feels light, leaves no white streaks, does not smell like sunscreen at all. All in all feels just like an everyday moisturizer and is great for applying under makeup if needed. Annual Cost: 1 bottle (5.4 FL Oz/155ml) x $17.55 on Amazon Prime (the one pictured is a smaller bottle) TOTAL Prices as of May 2020 Annual Price: $76.05 + Tax Of course, I spend way more on other accessory products simply because I love trying new things but having a set price for my base skincare routine helps create more room in my budget to splurge on new finds! Cheers to healthy skin 🥂
The Ordinary-Retinol 1% in Squalane
My Favourite Anti-Aging Products
“Anti-aging” is pretty much a marketing term. The only things that are going to have drastic results on deep wrinkles are office-only, like Botox and filler. But the best way to fight visible signs of aging is to prevent them and slow their arrival. • Sunscreen: There is legitimately not a single better way to protect your skin’s youth- and health! Sunscreen is so, so important, as windows do not block the aging UV rays and more studies show blue light from electronics also damages unprotected skin. UV rays not only cause/worsen wrinkles and fine lines, but also dark spots. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 is wonderful for dry skin (and/or winter use) and PAULA'S CHOICE - Youth-extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 is amazing for all skin types and those who wear makeup. • Retinol: 0.1% Tretinoin is the strongest retinoid you’re going to find and likely the best for fighting signs of aging- but for prevention, everyone probably doesn’t need that kind of strength. If you want to avoid a prescription, look to retinols, available in up to 1.0% concentration. Retinol increases collagen + elastin production and stimulates skin renewal, via increasing cell turnover. This helps to fade dark spots, improve plumpness, and lessen fine lines- plus it’s known to be helpful for some acne cases. I have been enjoying the gentleness of PAULA'S CHOICE - 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment combined with PAULA'S CHOICE - Retinol Super Antioxidant Serum (0.1% Retinol). I would recommend them for all skin types, though dry skin may appreciate The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane or another concentration. • Antioxidants: Antioxidants protect skin from environmental aggressors, like pollution and oxidative damage from free radicals. They soothe skin, help prevent fine lines, and can brighten skin, vitamin c being the most popular and well-known. DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum is a fantastic 15% l-ascorbic acid serum that lightens hyperpigmentation and dark spots significantly, but my sensitive skin prefers The Ordinary - Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
PAULA'S CHOICE-0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment
My Adapalene / Rerinol Journey
I just took a look through my camera roll, and I'm sure glad I did. I always think products aren't working, but these photos are the proof that retinol works. I started out the first month just using the The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane to get my skin acclimated to retinol. I did 2x a week followed by every other day, and then daily as I started ramping up to using DIFFERIN - 0.1% Adapalene Acne Treatment Gel Pump Then, I held off using the Ordinary serum all over my face and just switched to a small amount of Differin on my really bad spots. I used it sparingly for a week, then started working up to using it on larger areas. After about a month on Differin I could easily use both products, all over my face and not just on my oily areas. As you can see the area below my ear has cleared up so much I dont usually use Differin much there anymore. It even cleared up a sybacious cyst (a hard shell that can fill and expand over the course of years. ). I've had for over twenty years on my earlobe. If broken up, these cysts can spread around an area making them hard to remove. I had this one surgically removed once and it came back even worse. This used to be a very lumpy area with lots going on beneath the surface as a result. It's now dry and smooth. While I have still gotten some new bad pimples, in general everything heals much quicker now that I'm on retinol. I find my zits slip the dark purple hyperpigmentation phase and fade off from red inflammation. I really didnt have much sensitivity using Retinol. On occasion, to this day I will feel an itchy burning, but nothing too bad and it doesnt appear too red. I have sensitive skin and a lot of products make me red and itchy, and I actually found this much easier to use than Salicylic acid. It's important to test patch any retinol products. On occasion I also had peeling in the beginning, but mostly just on my really bad problem areas which seemed necessary to dry them out. I wouldn't say I experienced any dryness in general. Of course I also used daily sunscreen and I held off on Vitamin C for the first two months as that's an ingredient I am more sensitive to. Now I can use both if I want to, but often alternate days. I try not to use any of these daily, especially if I don't have any big problem areas I'm working on. I always fear abusing a product and it losing its effectiveness. Once my squalane bottle is gone I will probably get a stronger serum from The Ordinary to replace it as this is a pretty gentle formula.
DIFFERIN-0.1% Adapalene Acne Treatment Gel Pump
Currently all The Ordinary Products I have.
These are all The Ordinary products that I have at the moment. I am currently only using The Ordinary - Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and The Ordinary - Retinol 1% in Squalane. When I first got The Ordinary - Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5and The Ordinary - Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%I was super excited because I heard great things about these products and it seemed like these products could do a lot to help my skin. Then unfortunately when I used them, my skin became dry and irritated, it was super uncomfortable and it hurt to put any type of product on certain parts of my face. I wanted to keep using them but I’m scared that my skin will become like that again, my skin has good moisture right now but my acne is not doing well. I repurchased The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which at first I loved when I used my first bottle, however when I purchased my second bottle which was the 60mL because the 30mL was out of stock, it wasn’t the same. Again, disappointed but maybe I’m using it wrong? I’m not sure anymore. I used to use the The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solutionand The Ordinary - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solutionbut these products were so controversial. The Glycolic Acid didn’t really do anything to my skin but I felt like I was using it wrong. Then the AHA Peeling Solution was pretty good at first, but then it became itchy and it stung. I only could keep it on for five minutes and I stopped using that eventually. Please help me and let me know what products would work for me. I have oily to dry combination skin, I have a lot of dark spots, enlarged pores, cystic acne and small acne bumps.
The Ordinary-AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
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