Very good retinol, very effective but non-irritating (with once a week use). I initially applied it nightly but found that it dried my skin out - now I use it weekly, I apply it to my face, hands, and feet. The chemical exfoliation has definitely helped smooth out my skin texture. It's a bit on the expensive side at $65 a bottle but with weekly use it does last for months.
3.8 out of 5.
I've finished the 1 oz bottle, it took about 3 months. I took before and after photos. Overall the product did work in some aspects, and I do like it. However, I've no idea if this product works as well as cheaper, mass market alternatives. I've bought a Neutragena retinol serum and am starting it now. We shall see how they compare. Pros and Cons below.
PROS: I love the minimal ingredients. It's almost impossible to find another retinol product with so few ingredients. I love the watery feel and the fact that it absorbs right in with no after feel or film. It's super gentle, I never experienced any irritation or peeling. It absolutely worked in evening out my skin tone and minimizing sun spots and hyperpigmentation. I stopped using my AHA acids while using this product in order to get a true idea of what it could do. And with regard to evening and brightening skin tone - THIS STUFF WORKED. I noticed, my husband noticed, and pics don't lie.
CONS: It should be in a pump or other airtight container. The price I paid, $65 an ounce, is ridiculous, clearly paying for the brand name. It did ALMOST NOTHING for my fine lines/wrinkles. I was disappointed by that.
I'll update when I've finished the Neutragena serum comparison.
My skin: normal to dry, not sensitive, no acne or breakouts or other skin issues. I do have some fine lines and wrinkles as well as some sun damage/hyperpigmentation and uneven texture. I was looking to add a retinol product to my routine, to complement my regular use of AHAs. Based on reviews, I purchased this from PTR. I have taken a series of 'before pics'.
I don't have a problem with the packaging. I am accustomed to using a dropper. The product is quite what watery, but with care I had no issues. I simply dropped a few drops onto my forehead rubbed it in, and continued that way with my cheeks and the rest of my face. No spillage or wasting. The serum went on smooth, it's somewhat like a dry oil but it absorbs quickly for me. My skin felt smooth after application. It has caused me no irritation, flakiness or redness.
I made a profile specifically to tell everyone to buy this product! It has made a dramatic change in my skin. For the first time in my adult life, I can go a week without one pimple, and the blemishes that do appear are much quicker to heal. Post- inflammatory hyper pigmentation disappears in a few days (where it used to take months) and the fine lines in my forehead are smoothing out. Though it has a high retinol content for an OTC serum, I have experienced no irritation. It did dry out my skin when I used it everyday at first, so be sure to build up your tolerance.
Yes, it is expensive, and you have to be EXTREMELY careful not to knock over the bottle and waste the whole thing. But all of this is worth it as long as I don't have to slather myself in concealer. Also, I have heard some people mention that the non-airtight packaging diminishes the efficacy of the retinol. From what I understand, this retinol is micro-encapsulated, meaning that it is protected from destabilizing with exposure to the elements.
TLDR: THIS IS A MIRACLE WORKER!!!!
I'm on my 4th bottle. Works a treat - I have 32 year old skin that is STILL acne-prone and incredibly sensitive, and this stuff keeps things calm and relatively clear. (Relatively clear. It's part of a careful regimen!) I... guess it's helping with wrinkles? It's got a nice high microencapsulated retinol concentration, which is great, but it's hard to know for sure, so I'll just have to go by the research and guess that without it I'd be wrinklier than with it or something. With this product, I've never gone through the flaky-skin retinol adjustment phase that some people describe, which is good. That includes using it right up around my eyes too. Also good. Finally, I know this says PM, but with a lot of derm research now coming out and saying that it's actually okay to use retinol during the day as long as you're not in sunlight (because it would break down the retinol, rather than make you burn), I've occasionally used this on office days or whatever and it seems to be a decent Thing I Put On My Face. As in, it doesn't make me a grease monster and it's mostly sufficient at moisture (I might put a bit more stuff under my eyes or on dry patches or whatever).
Only con is price. At first I tried to eke this bottle out and I could go about six months or more on it, but then I read that the active ingredients in stuff like this lose their potency after three months or so. Boo. So now I wish they sold the same thing in like, 1/3 the size for 1/3 the price so I'm not trying to slather it on as much as possible, because I feel like a little goes a long way and I don't NEED to be slathering. Oh, and actually one more con, or word to the wise, whatever. On my 3rd bottle, I left it out on a shelf when the weather turned hot - like 80 degrees F inside the house or so - and it went bad. No biggie, because I was down to the last few uses anyway, but it definitely went bad; smelled like fish scales or something similarly manky. I should have put it in the fridge. You should too.
since I'm only nineteen, I cannot say much for its wrinkle/fine line reducing properties. However, I mainly bought this to help combat breakouts and milia. realistically, its not an overnight or even fortnight miracle product. it took me a good solid month to see a reduction in milia and the breakouts. I can honestly say this, coupled with some other products has resulted in no breakouts for the past three months, (on the condition I dont scratch/pick/squeeze any part of my face). it has a liquid like consistency so you have to be careful when dispensing it. I initially started with 3drops on each cheek, one on the forehead and one on the chin area, but have reduced it to 2 drops on each cheek and 1 drop each on the forehead and chin. on initial application it leaves a smooth silky finish on the skin, non sticky or drying and it absorbes into the skin well. I sometimes don't put anything after, but I sometimes use the PTR glycolic acid moisturiser. the magic happens the next day, I usually wake up to 'plumped up' skin that feels wonderful. the effects last even after my morning wash. I follow up with a homemade green tea oil toner, clinique moisturising gel, sunscreen and on occasion some concealer. I usually use it once every 2 days, because I only use it to maintain my skin. a bottle lasts a reasonably long time, six months in and I have slightly more than half remaining. overall, its a lovely product but be realistic in your expectations, just give it some time.
I couldn't bring myself to toss a nearly full bottle of this product, so I gave it another chance. I'm so glad I did! I diligently applied moisturizer with SPF 30 the following day after each application after the past three nights and have had no problems with redness or irritation. All of the redness is gone, and my pores are back to normal, if not smaller! A couple of small hormonal pimples that had developed on my chin with my cycle are also quickly clearing up. The fine lines on my forehead are decreasing, and my skin looks great overall. Since the weather here has been getting warmer, I simply cleanse and tone my face, apply the serum and go to sleep. I find that I don't need a separate moisturizer over it, and a little goes a long way. As far as issues with the packaging and the dropper, I understand that it maintains the integrity of the product, so I won't complain about the bottle and the dropper if it keeps the retinol more stabilized. I am SO glad I gave this another chance. Use your SPF!
I decided to give this retinol serum a try after reading such rave reviews. Unfortunately, I won't be repurchasing this product. My skin is both combination (nose and chin are oily, rest is normal/dry) and sometimes reactive/sensitive, and products can be very hit or miss. I had been using retinol previously, but in a much more gentle formulation. I had my red nose pointed out to me today, and I was shocked to see just how red my face was as a whole, with a Rudolph nose. My pores also seemed enormous, which isn't a problem I've had in the past.
This is good.I've tried various retinol products.My problem? At 57 I need something I can use around eyes as this is where the lines are.This does not sting.It's reduced the crepiness around eyes without irritation.It's very watery on application but it does work.Leaves rest of skin poreless. Not at all greasy and absorbs well.So impressed.If you're looking for a retinol prescription free serum this is it.I can use this every night with no problems , but be careful, it is 1.5% retinol, so others may have to experiment a little to see how it suits.But believe me this is worth considering if you're like me,looking for a good anti aging serum as us more mature ladies and gents do. Go for it!!This IS one to try!
I've just started using this product a couple weeks ago. So far, it seems to be working. The liquid goes on smoothly and silkily. It does not burn or sting. I apply it nightly under a facial oil. It did leave my nose peeling for a little while, so I apply it with a light hand. I do not see any miracle effects or evening of the skin tone but the texture of my skin is definitely smoother and my breakouts are controlled. I would actually rate this 3.5 stars for the moment until I can see if there is a reduction in pigmentation.
Much like the STRIVECTIN products, ***this stuff works!*** (1) WHAT drew me to it was the 1.5% retinoI potency. And the fact that it is LISTED on the jar. I pair this with my strivectin cream and eye cream (mega peptides and it works!) and boy I get compliments on my skin which Im not used to getting! And even I can see the firming and improvements. (2) I'm SO GLAD THIS IS THIN (BUT IT DOES MOISTERIZE WITH SQUALINE) so it doesn't block the other antiagers that I put on top of it or mix with it. (3) And the fact that it moisturizes is wonderful!!!! How much better can you get with that??? Not ANY.
I'll keep this short, as there are plenty of other reviews describing various attributes of the product. I used an entire bottle and didn't notice enough difference in lines, brightness or sun damage to want to run out and repurchase.
Good points were: silky consistency, sinks in quickly, didn't burn, irritate or break me out as some other retinol products have, no flaking or dryness. Bad points: nothing terrible -- the annoying eye dropper delivery system and glass bottle, maybe. But mostly just that, for the money, I didn't notice any "wow" factor or improvement superior to what my Neutrogena anti-wrinkle night cream gives me. I did check on Paula's site and see that it's best for normal to dry skin and sometimes I can slide into the oily zone, so maybe that's why I noticed less effect. I suppose some day I'll splurge again because it's an intriguing product, but for now the cost is too high vs. the results.