Recently I decided to incorporate a retinol into my routine as I'm looking to ramp up my anti-aging skincare, and given that fellow dry skinned ladies had given this a good review, I felt safe giving it a try.
I should note that I have extremely dry yet not sensitive skin, prone to hormonal breakouts., and very pink cheeks (possibly mild rosacea). My skin typically requires a pretty extreme amount of moisturisers, constantly flakes off, and is often tight and painful.
I've been using this for a month now, and I absolutely LOVE it.
I intend to move up to the 1% eventually, and will most likely continue using Skinceuticals as thus far I've had such a positive experience. Because my skin isn't sensitive I decided to just launch right into use, so I began to (and continue to) apply every other night.
The first week of use I noticed an immediate effect on my fine lines around my eyes, mouth, and the furrow between my brows, which have seemingly disappeared. My pores on my nose and cheeks are also less noticeable, but the best change was that my skin felt so much more moisturised. I don't know how to best explain it - my skin felt dry to the touch, but much softer, not painful, and I didn't need to use anywhere near as much moisturiser as I typically do. Additionally, my the redness in my cheeks has reduced.
The second week I experienced some of what other reviewers have shared - I had some LIGHT flaking - almost more a very gentle "peeling" and actually not as extreme as my usual skin flaking, and some light purging. Purging as well as the "peeling" I experienced was very minimal - my skin seemed to purge very quickly i.e. something would rise to the surface very soon after application and be nearly gone by the next day, nothing cystic or extreme. During the second week I also began applying the retinol to my neck and decolletage without any issue - it seems neither of those areas (on me) were sensitive, and I didn't experience any peeling, purging, or indeed any effects from application there.
The third week and continuing use I have experienced less peeling, less purging, and continue to see excellent results with regards to my lines, pores, and general moisture and evenness in my skin. I expect my skin will see less and less peeling with continued use, but I will be sure to update this review if anything dramatically changes.
A few things of note:
I've found that the .5% hasn't done much yet for the lines on my forehead. It has definitely lessened them, but hasn't eliminated them as it seemingly has done for the fine lines around my mouth and eyes. I expect the 1% will be more effective for this area, and eventually when I start using it I will write a detailed review.
As another reviewer said, I also find that my skin is happier the less products I use when I apply this. I thoroughly cleanse my skin before application, apply the retinol, and that's it. In the morning I do a gentle cleanse, apply my sunscreen, and a moisturiser. This system for me seems to keep my skin the clearest and happiest.
As for the particulars, I actually got a better deal buying many small samples of this instead of a full size bottle. The samples come in small squeeze tubes, so they're quite hygienic and it's easy to control the amount that comes out. I THOUGHT that Skinceuticals had changed the packaging of the full size to a tube, but I could be wrong. If the packaging is something that truly frustrates you however, I'd suggest buying samples like I did. Although it's not necessarily a cheap product, I find that a little goes a long way, and for me considering that and the good it has done for my skin, I personally consider it a fairly cost effective product.
I notice no smell, and feel no sensation upon application - no burning, stinging, tightness, dryness or anything else.
At this point, I can say I absolutely love this formula - it is working brilliantly for my skin thus far and I will continue to use it until I am finished with my supply and I purchase the 1%.
I have been using this for about five months now, and I am just SO in love with it! I'm still working my way through my .5% tubes, and my skin has just improved so much - SO much softer, more moisturised, even, and no sign of my fine lines. I just wanted to write this wee update to note that my "symptoms" (that is the light "peeling and purging") that I experienced stopped for me after about the second month of use. I am still so impressed with this formula, and I look forward to eventually trying the 1%!