I’m still quite wary of retinol, even though I’ve always used minimal strength products. I read too many horror stories and fret that my sensitive skin will react badly to it and flake or become inflamed. This, of course, might happen if you use the wrong strength before your skin has acclimatised to it, it’s a potent substance.
Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, has always been hailed as a ‘miraculous’ anti-ageing ingredient. I should have incorporated it into my skincare routine twenty odd years ago, but I was wrinkle-free back then – where is that pesky time machine? I was always a bit hazy about the specifics and it’s only in the past few years that I’ve done the research, which I recommend you do too.
Retinol has several effects. Firstly, it increases cell production in the top layer of skin, so it helps to pep up the skin. Cells look smoother and skin looks younger.
It also has a positive effect on collagen production, because skin uses retinoic acid when it produces collagen. As a result, skin looks plumper. Also, it helps to reduce pigmentation that comes with sun damage.
Mervyn Patterson, Cosmetic Dermatologist
The higher the strength of retinol you choose, the faster you’ll see results. However, you need to gradually build up a tolerance to it. If you have sensitive skin, you might never be able to stray from an entry-level of 0.01% – 0.03% strength. The good news is that while results may take longer, they will come!
This was the case when I bought Elizabeth Arden’s Retinol Ceramide Line Erasing Night Serum Capsules.
- Visibly diminishes lines & wrinkles
- Improves skin texture and tone
- Improves radiance & clarity
- Minimises the look of pores
- Diminishes appearance of age spots and discolourations
- Moisturises skin; non-drying formula
HOW TO USE
To open capsules – gently twist tab around twice and squeeze onto fingertips. Smooth serum over the face and neck each night before your moisturiser.
- Suitable for all skin types
- Key ingredients: Retinol, Ceramides, Youth-Restoring Peptides, Avocado, Sunflower Seed, Olive Oils
- Does not contain: Preservatives, fragrance
I have just cracked open my fourth jar. The first two contained 30 capsules, then, when I thought I could see a slight change after just one month, I bought two 60 capsule jars. Come week six and I definitely saw something different, I’d had more than a few ‘good skin’ days in a row.
Now, in my fifth month, I see more even coloured skin tone – huge for me because I’m naturally quite flushed, and I’ve also noticed an improvement in smoother skin texture, foundation looks better now as well as it’s sitting on a more even surface.
I find there is just enough serum in each capsule. The serum contains silicone, which might not be everyone’s favourite ingredient but it helps the serum to glide smoothly over the face and neck. As a personal choice, I don’t apply any skincare on the sides of my neck, just down the middle part. I didn’t experience any signs of redness, irritation or dryness.
But, there is something I only noticed yesterday when I was applying foundation – I slap on a full face of makeup once a week because I was forgetting how to do it. I caught sight of myself in harsh sunlight with an over bronzed orange face and sinister dark eyebrows. Anyway, here’s the biggie, pores on either side of my nose have more or less disappeared.
Pores go through changes as we age, they can often appear bigger because the skin loses elasticity and as everything migrates south, pores look stretched. You can ‘clean’ pores of course, but you can’t open and close them, so I didn’t take much notice of the bold claims above –minimises the look of pores, but yes, they have minimised, a lot.
This is quite a huge thing if you think about it, even in a magnifying mirror I just can’t see them, the skin looks the same as elsewhere on my face. If you think about it, when you apply skincare, you usually start each side of your nose, so it makes sense that this area might get the highest concentration of product.
This led me to the query of what percentage of retinol is in these capsules? The kicker is – not much. I found the ingredient list and out of 27 ingredients (most of which are unpronounceable) retinol is fourth from the bottom. This is a very mild shot of retinol, but over time it does seem to work.
ALWAYS USE A HIGH SPF SUNSCREEN THE NEXT DAY
Retinol breaks down in sunlight and loses efficacy which is why it is recommended that is applied at night. The jury’s out on whether retinol makes skin photosensitive to sunlight, but that doesn’t matter because you should always be using 30SPF (at the very least) every single day anyway, sunny or not. It’s daylight screen, not sunscreen.
START EARLY, START SMALL
It’s an expensive start, but I consider the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Line Erasing Night Serum Capsules a gentle introduction to retinol for those with sensitive skin, a chance to dip your toe in the water and see what all the hype is about.
The beauty market is flooded with over the counter retinol products vying for your attention and your purse, but a starter retinol doesn’t have to be expensive. The INKEY List sells a 30ml tube of a low percentage Retinol Serum for £9.99, it has some great reviews on Look Fantastic. *
The Ordinary is still producing quality skincare with short ingredient lists at a fraction of the price of other companies. I personally didn’t get on with their Retinol 0.2% in Squalane, I found it too oily and probably gave up on it too quickly but their formulas are frequently improved and updated.
The Elizabeth Arden capsules are expensive, but I’m paying for gentleness and convenience, twisting open a capsule containing an exact measured dose is easy and something you would remember to do each night. It’s fast and hygienic, plus the jar is plastic so taking it away with me on my imaginary holiday would be a doddle. I may eventually move to a higher strength but will take my time for now.
AllBeauty sells the capsules for the lowest price by far. I paid £89.00 for two jars of 60 capsules in November (£44.50 each), but I see now they’ve shot up (tut tut) to £47.95. Expensive, but still the cheapest on the net from a reputable company.
In contrast, the Elizabeth Arden website is selling a jar of just 30 capsules for £45.00.
Elizabeth Arden – Retinol Ceramide Line Erasing Night Serum Capsules £47.95 for 60 at AllBeauty *