I am so excited about using a retinol serum. I seem to get better results, especially because I can apply the serum under my normal moisturizing creams and control the strength.
I was afraid of using any type of retinol skin care product because I read it might make the skin more prone to sunlight damage. So could I possibly do more harm than good?
You see - I'm outdoors a lot and am not very diligent about wearing sunscreen.
So I thought retinol products would not be a good fit for me. Even though I read about the benefits of retinol based serums and creams for younger skin..... I was afraid to use them.
But I took the plunge and am so glad I did.
I found some over-the-counter retinols that are pretty effective for anti-wrinkle, anti-sagging properties!
And, for the most part, they’re not very expensive. The problem is after a period of time, skin begins to adjust to the retinol and results seem to plateau.
Eventually a stronger concentration of retinol is needed for continued improvement.
Since I’m not a fan of prescription retinoid creams - I could never seem to get past the side effects – I thought I’d do some research to see what other options are available.
I learned that layering retinol (vitamin A derived) serums under your favorite cream formulation can help kick start results.
During the summer months I used it alone because it didn't feel greasy or heavy. And in the winter I layered the serum under a deep moisturizer at night.
Once I knew my skin could handle a stronger retinol, I decided to layer another retinol product called:Green Cream Retinol - Level 3
I began to apply this retinol cream (only at night) on top of the serum for even more oomph!
In about five weeks, I began to see even more improvements in my skin tone.
It seemed brighter and smoother than before I began using the serum. Which really surprised me because I’ve been using the retinol serum for a while.
NOTE: Before you move up to a stronger retinol, make sure you’ve been using a retinol based product for at least 6-12 months and your skin has adjusted to this level.
Using two different retinols or a stronger one could cause skin irritation if your skin is not ready for it.
The best retinol product for you - really depends on your skin type and your needs. I like the two listed below and alternate between them during the change of seasons.........
Zenmed’s Retinol Booster - I chose this serum because it’s a simple and clean product with just a few key ingredients like antioxidants like vitamins D, E, CoQ10 and hyaluronic acid to help prevent dryness and irritation.
It contains a high amount of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) than most drugstore brands which is important for effectively shedding the upper dermal layers of the skin. And I can layer it under my current moisturizer if my skin is feeling dry.
Green Cream Retinol - is also a fairly potent retinol product and is very smooth, hydrating and creamy. This is a great product to try if your skin is on the dry side.
However, it was too creamy for me during the hot summer months. That's why I'm a fan of a serum.
If you feel your results have plateaued and are looking for something more intense, consider laying a retinol serum booster under your favorite retinol cream.
Start slowly at first – maybe a few times a week and monitor your progress. If all goes well, you can increase the frequency.
The beauty of serums is that they can be mixed or layered under favorite creams or moisturizers without leaving your face feeling heavy or greasy.
Important Note: Just make sure not to mix retinol with Benzoyl peroxide (used for acne) and alpha hydroxy acids because they might reduce the effectiveness of retinoids.
How do you know how much Vitamin A your favorite serum or cream contains? Check the label. The further down the list, the less retinol it contains.
So, if you decide to try a retinol serum – please drop me a line and share your results.
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