Thursday, 11 August 2016

Fave Fives: Retinols (Vitamin A)


Hi Everyone! 
A much-requested start to the retinol discussion.  I’ll try and answer as many comments as possible but am about to go away for a week so please bear with. ☺
Before you start using retinols make sure you have a good SPF (I mean you should do that anyway, but especially when using retinols and even more so in summer!)

Products Discussed:
SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3%:

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift:
All territories:

Kate Somerville Retasphere Micro Peel:
All territories:

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil:

Pestle & Mortar Superstar:
All territories: http://bit.ly/2b86DLl

Zelens Treatment Drops Vitamin A:
All territories:

Ketrel Cream on Prescription only.


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Caroline Hirons c/o
Gleam Futures
6th Floor
60 Charlotte Street
London W1T 2NU
caroline@gleamfutures.com  (skincare queries cannot be answered at this address)

I sometimes (not always) use affiliate links. If you are happy to click on the link and support this blog in that way, thank you very much. If you would prefer not to, just google the brand and the item, it's all cool. :) For absolute clarity: I do not use affiliate links on products belonging to brands that I work with on a professional basis. 
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The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.



105 comments:

  1. I'd love a cheat sheet for prescription retin-a when you have the time, Caroline. Do you really have to wait 20 minutes after cleansing before use? And then wait another 20 minutes before another layer of skincare? Should there even be another layer of skincare or will this reduce the effectiveness of the retin-a? Thank you!!!

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    Replies
    1. I realize that of course we need to follow doctors instructions. But your wise guidance would still be great. If I wait 20 minutes after cleansing my face feels like it has dried up and is ready to fall off... As for using anything after retin-a - I don't want to lessen retin-a's effects.

      Delete
    2. This is exactly what I need to know. Can I layer over the Retin A, or under, or not at all?

      Delete
  2. I use the spanish version of Ketrel Cream (retirides) at 0.5% and i put Sunday Riley on top as i have noticed that it helps A LOT with irritation. Is this recomendable or i am messing up the concentration of my retin-a?? Thank ypu on advance! i love this vid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elena,
      Could you please tell me how much Retirides is in Spain and if it can be got over the counter with no prescription?
      Also does it come in 0.25, 0.5 and 1.0% strengths do you know?

      Many thanks! :)

      Delete
  3. I have sensitive fair skin so please could you recommend a retinol product.i am 50 years old and have only tried AVST 1 cream a few times.Is it better sometimes not to use a retinol for sensitive skin and maybe try a vitamin c product or something else instead?

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    Replies
    1. I am 50 with similar concerns and I use SR Luna oil mentioned with no problem. I would LOVE to try the Zelens. All his other products work like a dream and are gentle.

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    2. I use the Paula's Choice and have had no problems

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  4. Hi Caroline, how do i know which acids work and dont work with any particular retinol?

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  5. I've been using a vitamin a cream from health aid (via amazon) but it doesn't have a percentage on it. It's listed 6th on the inci list is it any good? or do i need higher? It's cheap as chips and i have noticed a tiny improvement in my skin. I'm 39 and have oily congested skin (that has improved A LOT since i took your advice-thank you :) )
    Sharron

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  6. Hi Caroline! Thanks for all the useful resources and advice! Can I know if i can use the Sunday Riley good genes + luna and BR P50 concurrently? say i use P50 for the AM and both the SR products in the PM? :)

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  7. Caroline! Thank you for your blog. I love it and I've been following it And your skin regime for a long time now. So I live in Moscow where we can get retinol cremes over the counter in drugstores (for ridiculously cheap price). There are Retin-A which is tretinoine and Retinoid creme which is isotretinoin. Both 0,05 % or 0,1 %. Is there any difference in these components? Thank you!

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  8. Such a great video, Caroline - thank you so much! Of course, I now have questions. I have Differin prescribed by my GP and use it in my pm routine where the serum would go, so cleanse x 2, tone x 2, Differin, oil (sometimes), moisturiser. Is this ok? Also, should I wait for the Differin to sink in before putting anything on top, or just dive in? Your hard work is much appciated by me and my formerly troublesome skin, so thanks again.

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  9. Hi Caroline,

    Great video, thanks! A question from someone who's very used to strong retinol. I used Paula's Choice 1% for ages, but then have gone on to Dr Brandt's 2% (I know that it may not *really* be 2%, but anyway) but can't really tell the difference with the latter. What are your favourites for non-prescription but very strong retinols for people who are used to them?

    Thanks!

    Storm

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  10. July 20016? :)

    Great vlog btw...

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  11. How do the ingredients in Differin (Adapalene) gel compare to retinoic acid? The FDA recently approved OTC sales of Differin 0.1% gel in the US. I know the primary skin concern it is designed to treat is acne, but if I am concerned with both acne and anti-aging, would Differin be effective at both?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently so, I'm on differin and I'm told reliably it's better than over the counter. I'm trying to get tretinoin though which is much better. Xx

      Delete
  12. Thank you sooo much for this video, Caroline. I have a quick question though. Do you think is worth trying a mild retinol first, to see if the skin can take it? I am 40 plus with pigmentation but overall good skin. I have used the redermic eye cream and my eyes feel super sore ( of course I don't go near my eyes with the cream!) which makes me think I might be allergic. So thought about getting some retinol reface to try. what do you think?? what if I am allergic, are there any other options for me? thank you!!!

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  13. Hooray for this video! LOVED IT! I am 58 - so have obvious signs of ageing! Tried the Paula's Choice 1% but it quickly made me red & sore so stopped. Did I go in at too high a level? Should I expect the redness & grin & bare it? Wrinkles & loss of elasticity are the main problems. Thank you so much for all your help & advice!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I would go for 0.5% first and work up slowly

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    2. If you are new to retinols, go slowly. Sunday Riley Luna is very gentle. Here's some more info from Caroline on retinols: http://www.carolinehirons.com/2015/05/how-to-use-retinolvitamin-product.html

      Delete
  14. Very helpful. Thank you. You answered my primary question which is if I have a prescription retinoid, should I bother with OTC products and it appears the answer is no. One question I do have is if you should put a moisturizer on top of the prescription retinoid. I've tried it both ways and it seems that without gives better results but I could be wrong.

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  15. Hello Caroline, I am wondering whether you have ever tried Retinol & Lactic Resurfacing Treatment from PureCeuticals? Yes, it annoys me too that the name is so similar to SkinCeuticals, but the way this serum worked on my skin makes me mention it anyway. It's one of a couple of products that ever made me see the difference *the next morning*. My skin: soon-to-be on the other side of 30, former smoker, dull/dehydrated because I spend all my days in a lab with a) AC, b) no windows. Effects: my skin looks as if it got 20 hrs of sleep, if that makes sense. In any case, I'm wondering what you would say about this product, so I hope it ends up on your shopping list when you visit US next time :)

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  16. Loved the video, no nonsense as usual. Do you have a good product with niacinamide as main ingredient to reccomend? I can't seem to find one that doesn't contain petrolatum! Thanks :)

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  17. I'm watching the video now and listening about spending money on a dermatologist and get a prescription cream and I'm almost laughing. Here in Greece you don't need a prescription for a tretinoid cream and it's actually much much cheaper than any over the counter ones (it's around 6 euros?!). I know that because I used such a cream for those under the skin annoying spots that come with period...I did peel but didn't help with the spots.
    Now I'm trying LRP Redermic one and used it 3 times a week for 2-3 months. Didn't see any change so I'm realizing that I'm better off with the prescription cream which actually does work rather that seeking out serums and oils like Luna and Zelens which are far far more expensive!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anna,
      I'm a regular visitor to Greece.....could you tell me what I have to ask for at the pharmacy please??
      Thanks!!

      Delete
    2. Hi! Another Greek here hoping you don't mind..
      I use Airol -it was actually suggested to me by a derm- which is 0.05% tretinoin (pharmaceutical form of retinoic acid per wikipedia). I use a tiny amount every other night from time to time on clear dry skin followed by a heavier moisturiser/oil to counteract any side effects (I have mild rosacea) and so far so good.
      Hope it helps and have fun next time in Greece!

      Delete
  18. have you ever tried shani darden's retinol repair? i've heard amazing things - http://www.shanidarden.com/retinol-reform.aspx

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    Replies
    1. I love this but so hard to get in the uk!

      Delete
  19. Thank you Caroline, this was very helpful, but im still concern about sensitivity. My skin is a mess - oily(and dry on top of cheeks at the same time, that's just perfect) but overall sensitive( may peel when irritated or dehydrated), from the list above which formula is the cleanest and safest for sensitive skin as a starter?
    I'm applauding you for this blog, without it i would still be using scrub on my face, so big THANKS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luna feels very hydrating & very soothing but works!

      Delete
  20. Hi Caroline,

    Sorry to bother you. Can you clarify if you can use Retinol at the same time as Azelac Acid at 20%?

    Could you possibly make a video recommending your top 5 Vitamin C serums please?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CE Ferulic by skinceuticals is usually top of all the lists!!

      Delete
  21. Hi Caroline,
    Loving these videos, they are much appreciated. Could you do one on Vit c serums, I'm never sure which ones are any good. Thank you

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  22. Hi Caroline,
    Loving these videos, much appreciated. If possible could you do one on Vit C serums. Many thanks

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  23. Hi. Great video. I also commented on Instagram. So sorry if you read twice :)
    I bought the Dr.Brandt Glow Overnight Serum, because in your review, I think you recommended people to buy this over the Luna....
    But now when it's not in your video I wonder if you've fallen out of love with it again?

    Best regards
    Micha

    ReplyDelete
  24. Using retinol from Skinmedica, I think they have some really nice products, would love to hear your thoughts. Looking forward to your review of Drunk elephant. ..speaking elephants Did I hear correctly that you lived in the south (USA) as a child? I am from Alabama , We love our tea here too, just iced ;)

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  25. I was put on retin-a when I was 12 for acne. I finally went off it when I hit 30 because I figured the acne was over. When I turned 35 I started using Paula's Choice 1% retinol serum for anti-aging. It's strength is roughly 0.020%, compared to the retin-a I was using at 0.25%. So it's a little weaker but it has so many other good ingredients, including emollients, that there is no redness, dryness, or peeling. Now that I am 40 I think maybe I should go back to a prescription but I have no visible signs of aging so I can't muster up the effort.

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  26. Hi Caroline,
    Thanks for the vid - great as always! I Wanted to share my prescription retinoid experience with readers if it's any help. I'm 37 and had severe melasma. It was getting to the point that I couldn't cover it with full coverage foundation and concealer. I tried most of the non-rx products you mentioned but didn't get any significant improvement. I had my first appointment with the dermatologist in April and started Ketrel and hydroquinone on 5 July, following a preparation programme. Five weeks later my melasma has virtually gone. I truly can't believe it. I've spent well over €1,000 in that time and I'd spend it all over again. I'm only sorry I didn't do it years ago. The downsides are that as you put it, my face has fallen off. Seriously, I can no longer wear black as I have facial dandruff. Also, I'm quite red all the time. I can't wear any makeup to cover this as it just makes the dryness so much worse. It's not fun, but I'm prepared to tough it out as my results are so good. I hope this was of use to your readers.

    Louise

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing Louise! I am planning to start a treatment for melasma next fall. What was the preparation programme about?

      Delete
  27. Thank you Caroline, love the video !
    I just started using la roche posay redermic R. What's your opinion on it, is it a good retinol product ?
    La roche posay also does an eyecream with retinol in the redermic range. I've always been too scared to use retinol around my eyes. Can retinol be used on such a sensitive area ?

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  28. Can you bring Vitamin A products up under the eye? Thanks!

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  29. Hi Caroline, love love love your blog. Thank you for this on Vitamin A/Retionol. You mentioned using the product right after you wash your face - does this mean without any toner? I know you also mentioned that the acid toners would be based on how it reacts to your skin but are there any that you definitely shouldn't use with retinol? Thank you!

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  30. Hi Caroline, sorry I know you are bombarded but I'm going to go ahead and add to it! I am also confused about which acids are ok to use with which vitamin A concentrations/varieties. I have recently bought Medik8 retinol as my first go at hopping on the retinol bandwagon. My acids are Liquid Gold and on the off nights Clarins Gentle Exfoliator. Would love to see a general cheat sheet with some advice about how different acid ingredients fit in with retinols. I'm also confused about what you mean when you say you can use acids "with" retinols - does that mean you can use them on the same night, one after the other? Or do you mean you can use them both within your overall skincare routine but not on the same night? I have started my retinol twice a week as recommended for 2 weeks, with the advice on the pack being to gradually up it to every night. Would you say it's a good idea to use vitamin A every night? Can you overdo it if you aren't having any adverse reactions? So many questions! Also (like others) keen to hear your vitamin C product recommendations, and where to fit them in a routine with acids & vitamin A! Bet you're glad you're back from holidays?! Thanks for all your hard work & advice for the rest of us. Sarah (from Sydney, Australia)

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    Replies
    1. Sarah, you virtually voiced each and everyone of the questions I had!!

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    2. My questions exactly replicated here, thanks. Please, please Caroline could you respond?

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    3. Good questions. I'm also interested in hearing your answer, Caroline! :) (Besides my question waaay down on the bottom of the page...)

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    4. Sarah, I was thinking of purchasing Medik8...has it been working well for you?

      Delete
  31. Hello, thanks for the video. I have good genes and Luna, but watching your review I think I should go for a prescription. If I do this, would I still use the Luna and/or Good Genes? I spend a bit on these so would prefer to use them if possible, but it may be too much? Thanks

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  32. Hi Caroline, thoughts on Environ? Would be good to know what acids don't go with retinols. Are there specific ones to avoid. When I bought BR P50 recently from Liberty the saleswoman was insistent that I did not use retinols with it at all. As in - she was prepared to not sell it to me if I said I did or would!?

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  33. Hello caroline,thank you for your video..i am 33 and i have started retinol..searching your blog,i ended up at dr.brandt..i bought it,do you think its strong to use for beginners?? I am worried now.please advise. Thank u xx

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  34. Great video and your hair looked fantastic!

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  35. Hi Caroline!

    As well, sorry to add to the list of questions. I have some about SPF (as I need to figure this out before I start with retinols haha):

    1) How does one reapply SPF throughout the day when wearing makeup?

    Maybe some others can answer also, but I cannot phantom that something I use in the morning will sort me for the rest of the work day, by the time I leave for lunch or head back home. What's the secret?!?

    2) Could you recommend any non-white SPFs that can then be reapplied throughout the day?

    I'm of a darker skin and it is such a pain to find SPFs. I have ordered various moisturisers, only to then find that they leave me with a white gleam after all, which has turned into such an expensive joke. I'm now really hesitant to try others that people have recommended (e.g. Alpha H's daily moisturiser), just because I don't know if it'll work on me :(.

    I ask because I struggle with pigmentation and I would love to properly clear it up, but I need to get my SPF game into action first! Just relying on my foundation won't cut it anymore I think.

    Thanks so much, as always!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you don't mind me answering mennenia. There are new spray SPFs for face now. Three that come to mind are Coola Make Up Setting Spray SPF 30 (available online through M & S), Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist (available through BeautyBay.com), and the new Bioderma Hydrabio Eau De Soin Spf30 (available through Feelunique.com). The first two are marketed as "setting sprays", whereas the Bioderma one, coming from a French brand, is marketed as a hydration spray. Although I would research them as it is a new thing and I am not very convinced that it is safe in terms of accidental sniffing! The only thing you can do I guess is just not inhale as you spray!

      As for a normal daily SPF cream I highly recommend Bioderma Photoderm AKN Mat Fluid SPF30, especially if you have combination/oily skin, it's broad-spectrum and really good one under makeup.

      Hope this helps with your questions :)

      Delete
    2. Hiya - if you've watched her most recent video on SPFs, I can definitely say that the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL she mentioned does NOT leave that gray cast. I prefer it over the Bioderma spray; it works, but it leaves my skin VERY tacky (me no likey!).

      Delete
  36. Hi Caroline,
    Another great video. Following your advice, I've seen a big improvement in my skin! About Luna, I'm confused about the quantity to use - it says a couple of drops but trying to smear (drag!) this across my face is a bit of a struggle. Would you say a dropper-full per application? I'm not sure if that's too much. I've had Luna for ages but it's like I've barely used it, and I probably use it once or twice a week. All advice welcome - thank you!
    Sarah

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    Replies
    1. You can try one drop on forehead & one on each cheek, then massage in! A dropper full is WAY too much!

      Delete
  37. So how do you buy the Retinol 0.3? The link you gave just takes you to the scientific information, not to the purchase of it. Thanks.

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  38. I'm astonished you don't mention Verso. Is there a specific reason for not recommending it?

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  39. Hi Caroline
    Excellent blog. I'm 46 and was v interested in this. I am luckily blessed with good genes so have only in the last coup!e of years felt I wanted to step up the regime. You have got me hooked on balm cleansers many thanks. I have been using a serum called retriderm 1% I did start with the 0.5 and am tollerating it well. Is this one that has crossed your radar?

    Ingredients list was readily available!

    Water, Soluble Collagen, Polysorbate 20, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Retinol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Octoxynol-9, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Quaternium-15, Yellow No 5.

    Are these inexpensive retinols a good bet? I'm not in a position like many of your readers/viewers able to justify a massive spend.
    Keep up the good work and if my work lottery syndicate ever comes up trumps I'll be booking in with you for a facial.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Caroline, sorry to harrass but can you clarify if you use a retinol after night cleanse, can you use a serum or moisturiser afterwards? Can you also suggest some good dermatologists? Any in N Ireland if at allposs , but happy with London, Dublin, York Leeds or Newcastle. Also when are you taking bookings again?.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a hydrating serum or one with peptides would be fine. And a moisturiser should be ok

      Delete
  41. Thank you for this in-depth yet totally understandable presentation :)

    Quick question: would you recommend using an over-the-counter vit A product (I have Redermic R) while using AZELAIC acid (I have a 20% prescription cream that i use every night). I'm 30 and have.. rosacea :-/

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  42. Hi Caroline, thank you for this post.

    I am currently using Deciem's Retin-oil as recommended by Brandon when he did that very informative Q&A ages ago. This is my first ever retinol, so how does it compare to others in its price range (e.g. the LRP one)? It's so gentle that I am doubting its potency, but all said, I like it and its a lovely product. Suitable for a 30 year old?

    Thanks in advance x

    ReplyDelete
  43. What do you think about the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol brightening solution?
    I've been using it for a couple of months now and I'm happy with it - although I haven't noticed any difference to my skin - it applies nicely and is not aggressive at all.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thank you, Caroline!

    Reading the above comments, it's clear that many people have been using products that they like, but are not necessarily giving them the results they're seeking. I've been one of them, and have invested a ton of money in various products in the hopes that they will deal with my hyperpigmentation. I truly appreciate that you have made it very clear that none of the products that you showed are going to be as efficacious as my going to the dermatologist and having this dealt with by a professional. I find your honesty admirable, and I can't thank you enough. I'm sixty, in the US, and guilty of not using SPF until this past year. As an older woman, I know that many of the products out there are for younger people who are looking to avoid what I now have, and I appreciate that a lot of these products are helpful for them. Thanks to you, I have a really good skin care routine, and also thanks to you I will now incorporate going to the dermatologist into my routine.

    I do have a subject I'd like to see you mention, and it seems that perhaps others here are curious about it as well: when should you expect to see results from the products you're using? I've bought a lot of serums over the past couple of years, and can't honestly say they're made a major difference, but perhaps I'd have more issues had I not been using them!

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. I think I will go see a dermatologist for a prescription then. It is way easier in Germany than in the UK, thankfully.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Caroline
    Have you come across SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector? I'm 31 with pigmentation across my forehead + cheekbones. I went to a local skin clinic who've recommended it over a retinol, but I can't find much info online. Would love a review + what I can use it with? Thanks

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  48. Thank you Caroline
    What is the strongest OTC vit A product you would recommend please? Skinceuticals 1.0? Paula's Choice

    Same on Vit C serums pretty please :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Caroline
    Brilliant as always, straight to the point thank you! I'd really like to know a few things:
    Which SPFs do you recommend as a strong one for day time use? I live in Dubai and its sunny about 360 days a year, I still want the benefits of retinol but need to take precautions all day and every day.

    I've read that Vitamin C is also good to use when using retinol .....can you make some recommendations for the routine that should sit alongside retinol use and products that you'd recommend.

    You mention on and off use - do you use every second night for a few weeks or a few months? How do you know when its done its job? Do you use it under your eyes or apply around them missing them out? Do you go down your neck or just below the jawline?

    Basic questions but would love to know more around the use of the retinol product.

    As always THANK YOU! Big kiss from the sandpit! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a top 5 SPF post on here.
      Ole Henriksen Truth serum is a pretty good Vit C product. Also see Skinceuticals.
      And always go down to the cleavage for all skincare (and sunscreen) !

      Delete
    2. Also, sunscreen for HANDS! Always protect your hands!!!

      Delete
  50. I'd also like your thoughts on both Environ products and their facials? Also, would it be beneficial to take vitamin A supplements too?

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  51. I'd also like to know about Environ products and facials. Also, is it worth taking a vitamin A supplement?

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  52. Dear Caroline, loving your fab five video! This one was really clear for me and super helpful - thank you.
    Just to reiterate one other area of confusion....I think also mentioned above; Vitamin C serum's? My questions are:
    What's the buzz around vit c and also the controversy in certain levels in the product and it's stability etc?
    Cab you get both hydralauric acid AND vit c together in a serum?
    Can and should you use a vitC serum alongside a retinoI?
    Could you do a fab five for vitC please and address its importance, when and how to place in the face routine and where to choose it over other key ingredients in treatment products.
    Eternally grateful xx

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  53. Dear Caroline, at which stage am I supposed to use retinoid oils like Luna? Lovely Greetings :)

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  54. Hi Caroline

    Just wondered if you could advise - I have some broken capillaries (at some point I will get IPL to treat them on my checks and my nose) can't seem to find a definitive answer - would using something like Luna or Zelens a couple of time a week make them any worse?

    Thanks

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  55. Hi Caroline,
    I know the question i'm about to ask is not really pertinent with this video but i got hooked on Sunday Riley's Luna and landed on sephora.com today only to discover they've launched two new products in the US:
    Martian Water-Gel Toner and UFO treatment oil; you got a hunch on when the same will be available in Europe?

    Thank you very much for your precious time and advice.
    Francesca

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  56. Hi Caroline, Great post - super helpful! I've been trying (and failing) to find a dermatologist, are you able to recommend one? Or point me in the right direction via an approved body? Thanks so much!

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  57. Hi Caroline,

    I am curious as to how you feel Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol fusion pm compares to Zelens vitamin a drops since they are both time-released Retinol products. Would you recommend?

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  58. Love this information, thank you! In the US and have my prescription retinoid and my questions are: it's going to cause irritation, flaking, etc., yes, but I've been told to ease into it by one derm, and to push through and keep using it every night by another. What's your opinion? And on that note, when do we say, ok, this isn't working (months of breakouts, serious redness or peeling) vs. what we can reasonably expect to piss us off before the good stuff happens?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to add, I'm 45 and do already use retinols once or twice a week (Paula's Choice or Luna) and have used retinoids in the past and gotten to the sweet spot, but that was 20 years ago and I was more acne-prone. Now I'm just combo, chin and peri-oral area freaks out easily. Melasma. Lovely.

      Delete
    2. Hi Mary, I don't know if this any help, but by coincidence I was recently browsing the website of Environ, a skincare company started by a South African plastic surgeon. They use a lot of vitamin actives in their products and the advice is to start low and go slow with Vitamin A products. In fact, they use a system whereby their creams containing Vitamin A are labelled from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) and they advise using at least 2 to 3 containers of each level before progressing to the next highest. By that logic I think it would be at least a year before you were using the highest amount of Vit A. This all sounded logical to me and I imagine you could get the benefits of Retinol without the bad reactions, but obviously patience is required and you have to keep the regime up, or start again at a lower level if you stop using the products. So I imagine this would be the same with prescription products.

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    3. Thanks, Maggie. That would be my thinking, too. I've done okay with lower percentages but struggled a bit with .05. I found it hard to believe that pushing through mad peeling, chin breakouts, and sore redness could be wise, but once or twice a week is agonizingly slow. I guess listen to your skin and expect some of the above, but know when to step away for a few days. And Caroline, if you're still reading this far, can/should I still try to use an acid in the am when I'm normalized? Loads of SPF, of course.

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  59. Hi Caroline thanks for the blog and video. I've been using Indeed Labs Retinol Resurface at night as my serum then followed with a night oil (after cleanse/liquid exfoliate/toner). Is that OK? X

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  60. Hair is looking fab Caroline!

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  61. I love watching your videos! You are soooo informative and your sassy personality cracks me up. If you ever felt like it, I would absolutely love a skincare routine tutorial. This video mentions that you can use some acids with your retinols, and you talk about vitamin c a bit, but I am a little confused on the order of it all. Can you use vitamin A products the same night as a vitamin c serum and other acids? I remember in your acids video you talked about the pixie glow tonic pads. Can something like that be used in conjunction with a retinol product or do they need to be used on different nights? I think a video of your step by step skincare routine would make a lot of my confusion go away!

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  62. Vitamin C in the daytime and retinol at night.
    I use the glow tonic and BR's P50 & use it this way:
    Daytime: Glow tonic -> Vitamin C
    Night time: P50 -> retinol

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  63. Thanks for this video. I have prescription .05 tretinoin cream, which I use most nights without any irritation. Is there more benefit to getting a higher strength? I've heard yes and no, so confused on that point. I sometimes use my retin-A and then layer Luna on top with Good Genes to top it all of. Not sure if that's bad.....

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  64. Hello Caroline,
    Do you know Dermaceutic Active Retinol 0,5%?
    I would love some advice about the products and especially Have your opinion about the composition : Aqua (Water), Diglycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Panthenol, Retinol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Cholesterol, Zinc PCA, Manganese PCA, Magnesium PCA, Sodium PCA, Sphingolipids, Phospholipids, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Trideceth-9, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Disodium EDTA, T-Butyl Alcohol, BHT, Potassium Sorbate, BHA, CI 14700, CI 60730.
    Thank you!

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  65. Does an OTC retinol go on after your acid so?

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  67. Thank you so much for that, Caroline. Do you have any views on Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol treatment? It seems to be a lot of retinol for the money - is it a good buy? (Thanks for mentioning fake products, who knew in skincare???)
    Thank you for your reply,
    Angela

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  68. Hi Caroline! Nee here but in love! Can you use retin-a at night (the us version of ketrel) and peter thomas roth max correction pads as an acid toner in the morning?? Please help!

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  69. Hi Caroline,

    Could you please review Indeed Labs Retinol Resurface as well? I know you're a fan of Hydraluron, so I was wondering if their retinol product is as good as this one.

    Thanks!

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  70. I only discovered retinol/vit A products recently from watching your brilliant videos with the lovely Dr Sam. I had/have a huge acne breakout (the worst I've ever had) and bought TriAcnéal by Avene as a starting point as it contains retinaldehyde. I think it's definitely - slowly - reducing the little marks left behind by some of the more monsterous spots. Great discussion.

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  71. could you please suggest if estee lauder advanced night repair serum should go before retinol or after... thank you

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  72. Would LOVE to see a review of this, (and the rest of the Ordinaries range). It seems to good to be true, but I've never had anything disappointing from Deciem.. http://ordinaries.com/product/rdn-advanced-retinoid-2pct-30ml

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  73. I have a question about using a moisturizer after retinol.....should you or should you not? I'm using a .05 non prescription retinol and my face is peeling.. I was told this is normal and should NOT use moisterizer because it would defeat the purpose.

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