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Just mention the word ‘retinol’ and you’ll get a spirited debate – some for and others against.  In years past I have used retin-A (tretinoin) to deal with acne and all the problems that it brings with it.  My dermatologist prescribed it with strict instructions that I carefully follow directions.  I began using the product slowly so my skin could build up a tolerance and over time realized a marked improvement in my acne and overall better skin.  Since that time it has evolved into cream, gel and liquid form in varying strengths.

Having used the earlier form of retin-A, I welcomed the chance to try a retinol in a different form to see how it measured up.  The Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol ($63 in the TIA shop; and also previously reviewed for TIA) uses retinol entrapped in molecular microsponges.  This is to enhance penetration and to allow a time-release delivery system.  It is important to note that this product is to be used only at night and you must wear a sunscreen during the day, as your skin’s sensitivity to light will be increased.

Although the directions are to apply before bed to a cleansed face 1-3 times per week (or as tolerated), I wanted to be sure to very gradually begin use, so I allowed five days between the first two applications then four days before the next application and then three days for subsequent applications.  Everyone’s skin is different, but for the best results build up slowly.  I only used it on one side of my face and it really did work well for me.  I didn’t experience any redness, irritation or flaking (as I did initially with retin-A, even with cautious use) and I do attribute that to gradual use, and most likely the improvement in the delivery system of the product.  It left my skin smooth and even toned. Interestingly, instead of drying my skin out, it actually hydrated it thanks to several moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, almond oil, beta-glucan(D), and ceramide-2.

I didn’t have to use this very long to see results – after seven weeks I saw an improvement and since this helps with cell turnover, I think using this product will not only improve skin appearance, but also probably enhance absorption of other products.

Ingredients: aqua (water), caprylic/capric triglyceride, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, allyl methacrylate crosspolymer, glyceryl stearate, stearic acid, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), polysorbate 60, stearyl alcohol, cyclohexasiloxane, retinol, sodium hyaluronate, dimethicone, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, cordyceps sinensis extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, trametes (coriolus) versicolor (mushroom) extract, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, beta glucan, ceramide 2, polysorbate 20, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, butylenes glycol, peg-60 almond glycerides, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, oleanolic acid, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, carbomer, triethanolamine, bht, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol.