Peter Thomas Roth

Retinol Treatments

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We’ve all heard horror stories about Retinol, here are some forms of Vitamin A (lowest strength to the strongest),  Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol Propionate,  Retinyl Linoleate, Retinol, Retinaldehyde, Adapalene, Tretinoin, Isotretinoin, and Tazarotene. The prescription strength retinol treatment has Retinoid acid. Basically a derivative of retinol which is super effective.

There is common misconception that retinols exfoliate the skin, in fact they go deeper into skin, enhance collagen production, aid with skin smoothing, evening out of pigmentation, helps with spots and future prevention of spots and addresses skin blotchiness.

Today there are three prescription-strength retinoids:

  • Tretinoin (brands include Atralin, Avita, Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Renova),
  • Tazarotene (Avage, Tazorac), and
  • Adapalene (Differin).

Many dermatologists find tazarotene stronger (and potentially more irritating) than tretinoin; adapalene is the gentlest but may be less effective.

In this post, I will not be delving into prescription products, instead will be covering various products and brands that offer retinol solutions without any dryness irritation and some added benefits of other ingredients.

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La Roche Posay Redermic R ($57) My first array in Retinol, and it was instant love. Enriched with Retinol and Retinyl Linoleate (15th and 16th ingredient in formulation) with a cream textured gel like consistency in a metal tube, with no exposure to air or light. Due to its mild strength and addition of Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, it doesn’t dry out skin and gradually does its job. I’d say if you’re starting with retinols I think LRP option is a safe bet as it’s gentler on skin and comparatively lower price point.

Auspect Clinical Pro A Serum is an Australian skincare brand. The formulation is enriched with Fireweed extract, Retinol, Lactic Acid, Kakadu Plum (one of my fav Aussie ingredient) housed in an opaque twist up pump action bottle designed to address skin resurfacing, even tone and firmer skin. I’ve used it multiple times, and it left my skin firm, under control (as far as spots are concerned), even toned and overall skin appeared wonderful. Did not experience any dryness or tightness or sensitivities (obviously wore sunscreen).

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM ($65) is the only Retinol solution I’ve come across with the least possible ingredient listing. The brand claims to have 1.5% retinol (third listed ingredient after Cyclopentasiloxane and Squalane) however I did not experience any dryness or flakiness. Slightly silicony texture but absorbs beautifully in the skin. Excellent for calming angry skin, and resurfacing skin tone and texture. Packaging is poor with see through glass bottle and pipette.

Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel – Retinol Glycolic Treatment ($90)  is a treatment peel in combination with Glycolic Acid (AHA). The formulation has Glycolic Acid listed as second ingredient with additions of Lactose, Glycerin, Arbutin, Plankton Extract, Opuntia Ficus-indica (Napol Cactus) Fruit Extract, Soybean Extract, Kelp Extract, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid,  Adenosine, Licorice Root Extract. Whilst all these are great additions, Retinol is listed as third last ingredient. I think the title of product is misleading in that the third last ingredient is prominently advertised. Nothing wrong with Glycolic peel but don’t shift focus by calling it Retinol and charging extra moolah for that. That aside, in my experience this product works better as stand alone after toning. If layered under an oil or moisturizer it does roll off the skin. Major kudos for packaging in a white opaque tube with a pump.

Colleen Rothschild Retinol Treatment ($65) is a relatively newer addition to my retinol familia. However one which makes me question why didn’t I look into this sooner. Retinol (listed as 4th ingredient), Retinyl Palmitate (listed as 5th ingredient), followed by thoughtful additions of Boswellia Serrata Gum Extract, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Bakuchiol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Plankton Extract, Lecithin, Glycine Soja Extract. The formula is light gel cream texture and absorbs instantly in skin. Can be wonderfully layered under or over any other skincare treats and yet doesn’t compromise its efficacy. I’ve used this 5 nights in a row as well and not noted any dryness or flakiness.
Dr Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum ($85) is an odd ball for me. The ingredient listing is heavy of Shea butter and other skin moisturizing ingredients and retinol pushed all the way at 16th place followed by more nourishing ingredient like Jojoba. Overall the formulation appears very heavy on emulsifiers and preservatives. Therefore the results on skin are at best mild. The “resurfacing” term could be very misleading. Although credit to be given where its due, excellent packaging in an opaque bottle, zero exposure to light and heat with pump mechanism.
Cosmedix Define Treatment with Hydroxy Acids and Retinol ($80) This brand I’ve always known of but never took a plunge with. The ingredients and reviews all were in favour of the brand and its products. Eventually I welcome Define treatment and I found myself head over heels.
Unlike Kate Somerville peel, Define is very clear and mentions AHA first which is corroborated with Lactic Acid as second ingredient, followed by Glycerin, Albumen, Retinol (AHAAAAA 5th ingredient – claims to have microencapsulated retinol complex), some more acids: Stearic Acid, Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Witch Hazel Water, Olive Fruit Oil, Aloe Leaf Juice, Sweet Almond Oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil, Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, Peach Kernel Oil. See this is why I love this product so much. No dryness, no sensitivity, no flakiness and overall noticeable improvement to skin with continued use. Texture and consistency of thick cream but once pushed into the skin absorbs seamlessly. On top if an oil or moisturizer is added no rolling or pilling either. Housed in a tube with limited exposure to light and humidity. This will definitely be repurchased.

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Eye creams with retinol are by far the most effective and results are visible sooner. From the picture above I guess needless to say but Dr Dennis Gross range of Ferulic+Retinol is my preferred choice.
La Roche Posay Redermic R ($46.95) is a fabulous eye gel cream enriched with Glycerin, Caffeine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinol, Retinyl Linoleate, Adenosine. Easily the most used eye cream for me with visible results. Smooths and tightens the skin around eyes.
Cane+Austin Glycolic Treatment Eye Cream ($105) is the priciest option on this list, comparable to any other face serum in terms of price. But the inci list may or may not justify the pricing. Glycolic Acid, Kelp Extract, Camellia, Green Tea Polyphenols, Retinol, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone (bioflavinoid), Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytonadione (Vitamin K), Milk Thistle Fruit Extract, Indian Gooseberry Fruit Extract,  Ascorbic acid, Arnica Montana Powder. The packaging is wonderful with a pump and no exposure to light or air. Absorbs nicely in skin, and helps with fine lines near the eye. Still cannot justify the price point.
Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic+Retinol Eye Cream ($68) possibly my fave texture and consistency in eye cream. So creamy, whipped and not as rich to cause any milia. The inci list tickles my soul with some acids (amino, ferule, gallic, ellagic,glycolic, lactic), retinol, caffeine, algae, sodium hyaluronate, lipids, and skin moisturizers, this is a definite repurchase for me however the Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic+Retinol Eye Serum ($68) is my preferred choice. The light gel texture is amazing, and feels like nothing on skin. Absorbs beautifully and within a week I had noticeable results. The fine lines under my eyes were less visible/deep, and overall skin appeared taut. Some of the ingredients in this formulation include Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ferulic Acid, Retinol, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Morus Nigra Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Quercetin, Caffeine, Ubiquinone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Panthenol.

Hylamide SubQ Eyes ($35) is a unique one, in that, on application I experience a slight tingle. Now I’m all for tingle on skin however near eyes it makes me uncomfortable (just personal preference). This is much raved eye serum however for me, this is my least preferred eye serum. Not impressed with inci list, not impressed with feel on skin and not impressed with results either.

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In my experience, my absolute favourite and most reliable products for retinol are Dr Dennis Gross’s Ferulic + Retinol range. Started my journey with their Brightening solution but soon fell in love with rest of the range.

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid & Retinol Brightening Solution ($88) Repurchased this product for its effectiveness with acne scars (including any extraction scars), dark spots, and sun damage. Jam-packed with Ferulic Acid, Retinol, Licorice Root Extract, Bearberry Extract, Arbutin, Mulberry Leaf Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, among others.

I have a detailed post comparing the Brightening Solution and Overnight Serum (click on link) where I take deeper dive with ingredients and expected outcomes. As for the Wrinkle Recovery Pads, are wonderful weekly or bi-weekly boosted treatment for the skin.

Some say its best to dive into prescription strength retinols, I beg to differ unless you have a serious skin concern which warrants that. Over the counter skincare products do a fine job at daily maintenance with added benefits of other ingredients. However it can argued both ways and not one is right or wrong. It’s what works best for you and your skin. Now that’s just my two cents on the topic.

HHW.com

xx

Repurchases & Back Ups

As a part of blogging and micro blogging, I’m fortunate to try new products, however there are some products I’ve continually repurchased and restored the “stash” for an apocalypse. This post may come as no surprise to regulars as they would have seen the products time and again.

The post intends to round up most of the repurchases, backups, trusted products in compromised dire situations (dramatic much!).

THE JOY OF MY LIFE: CLEANSERS

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Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm – Simple, effective and now synonymous with Must-Have. Gorgeous smelling buttery balm, that melts in an oil and dissolves all war paint. Take it off with steaming cloth and you’re officially at gateway Heaven.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Softening Cleansing Gel – annoyingly discontinued by The Body Shop, so I’ve stocked well considering TBS website is clearing at $7.25! Just as fabulous as Emma Hardie balm at a fraction of a price.

Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm – perfect second cleanse or morning cleanse or aromatherapy-esque massage. Slightly waxier in texture but on contact with skin its Lush.

Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm – my beloved travel companion. Only brand (until Sarah Chapman) who did cleansing balm in a pump bottle and ticks all the  requisites of good cleansing balm. Detailed review on Rodial balms….click here.

MY REASON TO LIVE – ACIDS

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Alpha H Liquid Gold – my first ever Acid product, loaded with Glycolic acid, operates at pH level of 2.5 and super effective.

Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads – claims to be at 20% but operates at higher pH of 5, very gentle on skin and all round worker (not limited to exfoliation) for days when skin needs a pick me up.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel – Two words. Travel BFF. I’m willing to leave the Man at home on a holiday, but not these acid pads. Conveniently packaged with a punch of acids and genuinely gives you holiday glow!.

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Bravura London Lactic Acid 10% & Salicylic Acid 2% Peel – peel, serum, spot treatment, acid tone, or part of Triple Mask routine (explained here). This is as Versatile as you’d like it to be. Solid, basic, effective acid – must have in an acid arsenal.

My detailed review on these peels….click here.

ESSENCE OF LIFE – TONERS

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La Roche Posay Serozinc – so simple yet so effective. My review on Serozinc can be found here.

Kama Ayurveda Toning Mists (Rose and Mogra) – I wish I had come across this brand sooner.

The steam distilled face toning mists, not only smell divine but also soothe irritated skin. Always keep least one as a back up and one specifically for travel.

SOUL SEARCHERS – SERUMS

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Sunday Riley Good Genes – Unneutralized Lactic Acid at 40% that gives major light bulb glow the following morning. The key with this product is Use Wisely, not abuse it. This will always remain in my stash when I need glow before an event or need to slap my skin to some form of radiance.

Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic+Retinol Brightening Solution – may it be ‘breakout’ville, or post breakout ‘scar’ville, this serum is plain fabulous for addressing scaring, uneven skintone, irritated or inflamed skin. Also used as a spot treatment on that bastard that left a scar.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – all round, good skin in a bottle. Hydrates, plumps, calms, soothes…..literally Good Skin in a Bottle.

Indeed Labs Hydraluron – essential dose of hydration, my skin just binges on this stuff. Instantly see the difference in skin.

A guide to All Serums….Click Here.

FACIAL OILS THAT GIVE ME BLISSFUL FEELS

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The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum in Oil – Must Have. Calms my angry spotty skin, hydrates, fakes my sleeping pattern. Light texture, immediately absorbs. My detailed review here.

Aesop Fabulous Face Oil – Smells amazing, absorbs instantly, excellent for combo skin. My detailed review here.

Goodness Chia Seed Oil – Cold Pressed Chia Seed Oil (excellent source of fatty acids and omegas), fabulous on its own or mixed with any other oil, mask or cleanser (read, majorly versatile here). Does a fab job with just 2 ingredients : Chia Seed & Meadowfoam Oil.

Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Facial Elixir – Decadent oil with incredible ingredients where I only need  a drop or two, can be mixed with Chia Seed Oil and massage in the skin to glory. My detailed review here.

For a snapshot on ALL facial oils used….Click Here.

CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT A LIP BALM

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Nuxe-Rêve de Miel this should come as no surprise, I’m almost married to this balm.

Lucas Papaw Ointment – this is my childhood in a tub and tube and it aint going anywhere at all.

Follow my Lip Balm Trail …..Click Here.

DISASTER RECOVERY PRODUCTS – BREAKOUT HELPERS

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Effaclar Duo, K and AI – with the slightest indication that my skin is going to rise in a battle, I will bring the ‘A’ team out to settle matters.

Duo on spots – always with me (travel, purse, home, side table….every where).

K is for overall calmness and Salicylic acid helps sort the situation.

AI is again for spots specifically when I know that bastard will leave me a scar.

LUSH TREATS – MASK

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Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask – honey is such a fabulous ingredient, although I feel its very underrated for what it offers. This mask is such a stellar product, calms, purifies, hydrates, plumps….this time I will call it Good Skin in a Tube.

Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask – in my opinion, the stand out product of Aesop. Used as spot treatment or an overall cleanse, fabulous. The only clay mask where I don’t need a chisel to break through.

I’d love to know what are your backups and repurchased products? What do you rely on in a major situation or an emergency? Who are your fall backs and trusted souls?

HHW.com

xx