I've gotten to be of-a-certain age (30) where I've started to need anti-aging products that TREAT the signs and symptoms of aging, rather than the ones that PREVENT aging. Back in January, I noticed that I had started to rack up more than my fair share of sun spots, enlarged pores, dry/flaky patches, and wrinkles and launched my full-out war on aging.
Taken from a recent post, when looking to TREAT aging... "The three most well-studied anti-aging ingredients are...
Vitamin A, or retinoids
Vitamin B3, or Niacinamide/Nicotinamide
Vitamin C, or L-Ascorbic Acid, one of the most potent forms."
If you're not of-a-certain-age yet and want to read more about preventative anti-aging treatments, I included some tips in that post as well.
Today I'm going to be reviewing, actually no, more like raving and recommending, my current anti-aging line-up. TL;DR: the results are devastatingly pleasing to look at. We're talking Taye Diggs good.
CUROLOGY (formerly POCKETDERM) ANTI-AGING
|PocketDerm Anti-Aging + Free Chapstick with SPF!|
Curology is an online network of dermatologists from all over the U.S. They diagnose skin troubles, and prescribe prescription strength acne and anti-aging solutions for clients over the web.
HOW IT WORKS
At sign-up, you are asked to describe your skin concerns, and upload 3 high-quality photos of your face. A dermatologist will be assigned to your case, and will design a custom, prescription-strength solution for your skin troubles within 48 hours. While with Curology, you have access to your dermatologist at all times. You can ask them any question you like, but don't get too cheeky. ;)
Your specially-formulated treatment is sent to you once every 3 months. You can always pull forward, or push back the next shipment date.
Curology costs $19.95 every a month for a shipment of 30 ml of product.
If you sign up at this link, you can try Curology out with a free 1-month trial (you can cancel anytime during the first month).
MY PERSONALIZED FORMULA / INGREDIENTS LIST
Active Ingredients: Niacinamide (4%) , Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (5%), Tretinoin or Retinoic Acid (.012%)
Water, Glycerin, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Peg-100 Myristate, Sweet Almond Seed Oil, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Vitamin E Acetate (Tocopheryl acetate)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
Apply 1 to 2 pumps after (double) cleansing once daily at night. Since this is a water-heavy lotion-y formula, I layer it on after the watery essence / hydrating toner I am currently using.
The expiration date comes labeled on the back of the bottle.
I store this in my refrigerator.
Proceed with caution if you have very dry, or sensitive skin as Tretinoin/Retinoic Acid can be irritating. You may want to apply it less often, at first, until your skin adjusts to the product. You may experience a slight stinging sensation during application, and you may need to use a heavier moisturizing regimen after introducing this product.
Increase your diligence with sunscreen application as retinoids are photosensitizing. (You'll burn easier, plus there's no better way to erase anti-aging efforts than to expose yourself to the sun).
WHY I'M HOPELESSLY IN LOVE
This is one of those posts/reviews where I feel like I don't have to use my words as much, because ladies and gentlemen of the jury, there are some VISIBLE results.
Since starting Curology, I've seen major lightening of my sun spots, moles, and freckles, thanks to the Niacinamide in the formula.
I've also been relying on it to manage the visibility of my pores. I'm already on my second shipment of product, which came about 3-4 days after I had run out of my first shipment. The 3-4 days I wasn't using this product, my pores became more visible again. Apparently, the Retinoic Acid/Tretinoin is what I have to thank for maintaining my pores.
I already use a vitamin C serum with L-Ascorbic Acid, that I credit with the improvement in the texture of my skin, however, Curology definitely helps with its added boost of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, another form of vitamin C.
I haven't seen as drastic reduction in fine lines and wrinkles (one of the functions of Retinoic Acid/Tretinoin is to boost collagen production in the skin), but I don't feel it's made anything worse.
|This is not Photoshop magic, I don't even know how to Photoshop. Wait, why am I admitting this?|
I also absolutely LOVE the fact that I can ask my practitioner, Monica, any and all questions I have about my skin and my skincare routine.
ALTERNATIVES TO CUROLOGY (formerly POCKETDERM)
I'm sorry to report that Curology is not available outside of the U.S. I'm limited in my knowledge of international online dermatology networks. The best bet would be to ask your real-life dermatologist about Retinoic Acid/Tretinoin.
For those with very dry, or sensitive skin that would like to test-drive a milder form of retinoid, I would recommend the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid and Retinol Brightening Solution. But in case you are looking for better results, here's a little article on why retinol will never replace retinoic acid.
NEXT UP, THE PAULA'S CHOICE C15 SUPER BOOSTER SERUM
Paula's Choice is a skincare brand launched by skincare guru Paula Begoun. Her vision for the brand was to formulate products with effective ingredients, based on peer-reviewed, and generally accepted skincare research findings. She does many different products, from basic moisturizers to targeted treatments for acne and aging.
I was looking for a new vitamin C serum to try, hot off the heels of a more expensive, but also lovely serum I had been using. In case you're wondering, it was the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, reviewed here.
WHY I BOUGHT IT / A MINI VITAMIN C SERUM BUYING GUIDE
I chose the Paula's Choice serum because...
1. It contains the most potent form of vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid, sometimes called L-Ascorbic Acid (L-AA).
2. L-AA is notoriously unstable, and needs to be formulated at the correct pH (within 2.5 to 3.5). The Paula's Choice is formulated correctly with a pH of 3.
3. Again, since L-AA is so unstable, it is important to me that the formula contain Ferulic Acid, and some form of Vitamin E, in this case Tocopherol Acetate. These help stabilize the product.
4. It contains enough of the L-AA to provide a boost to the collagen producing function of your skin cells, but not too much as to be irritating. L-AA serums work best in an anti-aging capacity between 10% and 20% of the formula. 10% is the minimum needed to see any effects, while 20% is around the max absorbed by the skin. Results start attenuating at around this point.
5. The price. It was cheaper than my last love, the Drunk Elephant. I have this habit where even if I know that higher prices don't guarantee a product is better, I like to start off with the expensive option, to have a basis for comparision. I then start working my way through more affordable options, eventually designating the one that gives similar results at a lower price point, my "holy grail". Is that weird? Does anyone else do that?
6. It was also a big plus to me that there is no alcohol in the formula as my dry skin tends to complain when I use something with alcohol high on the ingredients list.
Water, Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C/antioxidant), Ethoxydiglycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), PPG-26 Buteth-26 (emulsifier), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (thickener), Tocopherol (vitamin E/antioxidant), Ferulic Acid (antioxidant), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredient), Acetyl Octapeptide-3 (cell-communicating ingredient), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Panthenol (skin conditioning agent), Sodium Metabisulfite (stabilizer/antioxidant), Triethanolamine (pH adjuster), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).
It's a thin, clear serum (when freshly opened) that has no discernible smell. It feels ever so slightly greasy, due to the castor oil and potentially the panthenol. It absorbs quickly on freshly cleansed skin.
It comes packaged in a bottle, with a lid, and a dropper. I keep the lid on the product, and store the bottle and the dropper in the box it came in. They also go in my refrigerator.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE
Apply once daily after cleansing, and a pH-adjusting toner if you use one. I choose to apply it in the mornings.
Use until you run out of product, or until the product has "oxidized" (turned). You'll know when this is the case when the serum turns dark yellow. Using pale yellow serums have been fine on my skin, but Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).
I'VE ALSO FALLEN FOR THIS ONE
I credit this serum with doing most of the work on lightening my sun spots and evening out my skin's texture, as shown in the results photo above.
HERE'S HOW TO GO GET YOU SOME
This product is available at Paula's Choice for $48 / 0.67 ounces. If you are a first time purchaser at Paula's Choice, you can use this referral link for $10 off your first purchase.
So that's it for this installment of anti-aging solutions.
Some other great ways to treat aging, are to use exfoliators, and to keep your skin hydrated. I'll be putting together a list of my top products in those categories in the future.
Do you use anti-aging products? What has or has not worked for you?
Also, I'm not sure if you're finding me for the first time, or if you're familiar with this blog. I keep my updated skincare routine on my About Me page. My August skincare routine post is live right now!
Did you know that you can subscribe to this blog on Bloglovin' or Feedly via my sidebar to read my upcoming reviews and posts?
Current Cleansing Lineup - Innisfree Sea Salt Perfect Cleanser, Skinfood Honey Black Tea Cleansing Balm
Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence vs. Missha FTE Mist
Scinic Propolis Ampoule vs Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Serum vs Banila Co Miss Flower and Mr Honey Essence Oil
HOT Like Fiyah Ingredients
AB in the Kitchen - Beauty Foods & DIY Masks
Skincare Rules of Thumb, When to Splurge vs. When to Skimp