As someone with acne-prone skin, I’m really picky about what ingredients I put on my face. I don’t want to use anything that’s going to trigger a sudden flare-up or irritate my already sensitive complexion, which is something that can potentially happen when you try retinol for the first time. While it's true that the vitamin A derivative is derm-recommended and creates smoother, clearer and fresher looking skin over time, it's not a one-size-fits-all ingredient.
And even if your skin can handle the powerful ingredient, you still will likely want to take it slow when you're first incorporating it into your routine. And you'll want to be mindful of which retinol products you start with, which is why we're excited to see RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Wrinkle Night Serum ($25) currently on sale. It's a retinol newbie favorite (for reasons we'll get into in a second), and we love recommending it even when it's not nearly 25 percent off.
The RoC Retinol Correction serum is one of several OTC-retinoids that can help yield much more predictable results for your skin. According to board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, it’s one of the safest and beginner-friendly formulations on the market for first-time retinol users.
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
“These capsules contain a stabilized form of retinol in a non-irritating formula,” says Dr. Zeichner. “They can be used daily, even in people with sensitive skin. Plus it delivers the right amount of product to use, since it comes in a single use capsule.”
Each bottle comes with 30 small tablets packed with RoC’s special blend of retinol to help improve your skin's elasticity, fine lines, and discoloration. Vitamin E is also added into the mix to make the formula less drying. FYI, vitamin E is a super hydrating antioxidant that can strengthen your skin barrier and protect against free radicals. All you have to do pop open the capsule and pour the formula right onto you skin at night, and you're good to go. Plus, it's pretty lightweight and easy to apply, according to reviewers.
“I’m over 65, so I take anti-aging skin care very seriously,” one five-star reviewer writes. “I have always had positive experiences with RoC products, and this serum is no exception. The capsule releases the perfect dose for my face, neck and the back of my hands. It is a light oil that my skin drinks in , and honestly, most people look at me and think I’m 10 years younger than my real age. It does make my skin smoother, more luminous, and less lined.”
Another reviewer notes how nourishing the formula felt on their skin: "Since starting to use these little pearls I have definitely seen an improvement in the appearance of fine lines. And, it's just the perfect amount to cover my face for the night—feels like I'm 'feeding' my skin."
A little bit of retinol 101: Retinol's main job is to stimulate collagen production and increase the rate at which your body replaces older skin cells with new, healthy cells. But while your skin is waiting on those new, healthier cells to arrive, it can occasionally become irritated, dry and itchy in the process. Additionally, you might experience “skin purging,” something that happens when excess oil, dirt and buried debris from your pores also comes to the surface as part of this mass exfoliation process. This means that you might experience more breakouts before skin clears up, unfortunately. It does get better, though!
While every skin may react differently to retinoids, it's generally a good idea to introduce retinol into your skin care slowly to see how your skin adjusts before using repeatedly. And if you're pregnant, it's advised that you avoid retinols in general.
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