by Tienlyn Jacobson


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You know how when you go see a facialist, they as you what your skincare concerns are? Well let me put it this way - whenever they ask me, my answer is about 5-10 minutes long. Because I'm basically concerned with everything - from breakouts and clogged pores, to uneven skintone and discoloration, to fine lines and wrinkles, and now that I live in the desert, dry skin as well. 

You'd think that this laundry list of issues would be attacked with a bevy of ingredients and products - a routine that would end up taking at least a few hours of each day. But luckily, I was introduced to one ingredient that pretty much addresses all these issues and then some. And let me tell you, it completely changed my skin - and my life. And if you haven't guessed yet by the title of the post, that ingredient is retinol.

I've found a lot of brands that use retinol really well in their products, including Cosmedix and Amarte amongst others, but my latest obsession is the Kate Somerville Retinol Collection. 

Remember how I said retinol addresses all my issues? Well that's why I love this line - because it puts it in almost every product so you really get to reap the benefits no matter what step of your routine you're in. Below are what I'm using right now, a few tips, and what you can expect when you use them. And if your skincare concerns are anything like mine, you might find that retinol will change your life too...

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment: I realized it's a little odd to start a whole post on why I love retinol with a product that doesn't have any retinol in it, but I've used this on and off for a while now and I absolutely adore it! I use it as a moisturizer in the morning to help combat fine lines and wrinkles as well as skin discoloration. I wanted to include it because you really only need to apply retinol 1x a day for its full effects, and this is a great additional product to add in while using other retinol products.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol: I use this at night and unless it's the driest season in the desert, I've found that I don't necessarily need an additional moisturizer (when I'm not in the desert, I really don't need any other moisturizer besides this) It accelerates a healthy cell turnover, which in turn improves elasticity in the skin, and reduces appearance of pigmentation. Bonus - it includes two types of natural bioretinols (babchi edible seed and spanish needle extracts) that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

+Retinol Firming Eye Cream: I've always thought it was funny that a lot of people apply seriously effective ingredients to your skin but then opt for an eye cream that doesn't do the same. This eye cream, however, contains a blend of retinol types that are supremely effective, but are a little extra gentle for your delicate eye tissue. Crows feet and skin discolorations have met their match... 

RetAsphere Micro Peel: This baby means serious business! Not only does it contain retasphere, which is a smart release carrier system that protects the retinol and allows it to melt evenly into your skin, but it also contains 10% glycolic acid, which helps with serious exfoliation. Expect fresh, brighter skin, with more elasticity and fewer lines - plus, if you tend to break out or get clogged pores like me, this little number is a huge help. Use it every other night for best effects. 

RetAsphere 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream: This also has the retasphere carrier system, which helps you get all the benefits of the retinol. I like to use it when I'm not using the RetAsphere Micro Peel as I tend to have somewhat sensitive skin, but to be honest, none of the products really aggravate my skin whatsoever. One thing I really noticed is that with continued use, your pores start to get less noticeable and your overall skin tone looks a lot more even. Plus, it really helps keep breakouts at bay while moisturizing. Not a bad combo!

Some tips on retinol: 

- Make sure to use sunscreen when using retinol products

- Start with one product and see how you like it before adding another

- If you have skin sensitivity, you can always alternate using these every other day for essentially the exact same effect (plus, you'll save money!) as retinol tends to work loooong after it's applied and delivered into the skin. 

If you have only one of the following concerns: enlarged pores, breakouts, clogged pores, fine lines and wrinkles, skin discoloration, uneven skin texture, dry patches  then retinol really could be a huge help. My favorite thing about it is that I don't need a different product for every skin concern, because retinol basically takes care of all of them at the same time. So while a retinol product might be a little more expensive, it could actually end up saving you money overall. 

Do you use retinol? What are your favorite ingredients for skincare?