by Allison Marks

by Allison Marks

Clean Retinol Products that Don’t Require a Prescription

I have good news, you don’t need a prescription to reap the full benefits of retinol and there are clean, effective products available. Retinoids are a gold-standard skincare ingredient because of their scientifically proven benefits of slowing the decline of the skin through improving collagen production and preventing breakouts. I find many of my clients stop using prescription forms of retinol, due to the side effects and therefore never reap its full benefits. I prefer over-the-counter retinol because it’s weaker than prescription-strength options, which can be well tolerated by most skin types without side effects. Many conventional prescription and non-prescription retinoids are stabilized with toxic preservatives, BHT and parabens but there are wonderfully effective, clean options.

The two retinol products currently found in my beauty cabinet are Luzern Laboratories Force de Vie Creme Nuit. It’s rich and buttery, leaving the skin soft and hydrated. I also love Luzern’s Serum Absolut Rehydrate Oil as it contains Rosehip oil which is a natural derivative of vitamin A. Both deliver results sans irritation and the dreaded flakiness.  Tata Harper Retinoic Facial Oil and Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum are also top choices that I keep in rotation.

Retinol Usage & Tips:

*Apply only at night after cleansing and drying skin. Applying to damp skin can create irritation or dryness.

*Wear sun protection daily. *Avoid sunscreen with the ingredient retinyl palmitate as it is best to avoid retinol in the presence of sunlight. Retinol can increase photosensitivity so it’s essential to wear SPF, plus you want to protect the fresh new baby skin cells now at the surface.

*Check with your doctor before using if you are pregnant or nursing as high doses of vitamin A could affect the unborn child.

*Add vitamin C daily as studies have shown repeated topical use of retinol coupled with vitamin C may lessen signs of photo aged skin. I recommend using a vitamin C serum under moisturizer daily for its brightening and antioxidant properties.


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