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My esthetician, Ildi Pekar, suggested that I use some retinol on some areas that she has been working on with me— the lip lines around my mouth and the cross-hatching on my outer under eyes. I am cautious at best when it comes to retinol, but I have used Amarte’s Eyeconic with 3.8% retinol from time to time. Then I remembered a review by Truth In Aging community member, Kelly, of Sciote Advanced Retinol Crème ($64 in the shop) and decided to give it a try.
This is not only one of the best retinol creams I have tried, but has become an essential part of my regimen. Sciote Advanced Retinol Crème has 2% retinol, which is enough to be effective. Like Kelly, I have not found it at all irritating and I have been using it almost every evening for the past six weeks or so, on the top of my cheekbones, right under the eye and around my lips. Not only can I report that, like Kelly, I have found my skin become soft and velvety, but these pesky lines are visibly diminishing.
I think what works about the formula is the pairing of retinol with phospholipids and Hyalurosmooth. Retinol, or more properly, retinoic acid facilitates communication between cells, encouraging aging cells to continue their renewal process. Essentially, the cells' turnover rate increases, but you can have too much of a good thing. Long-term use can thin the skin and the short-term effects can be dryness and irritation. This is why I think it is smart to combine it with two ingredients that are incredibly hydrating, as demonstrated in Sciote’s formula.
Phospholipids have been referred to as a “second skin” due to their structure (maintained on application) and the fact that they attract and retain water. Meanwhile, Hyalurosmooth is Sciote’s favorite form of hyaluronic acid, a botanical alternative made of polysaccharides extracted from the seed of cassia angustifolia, an Indian plant. Hyalurosmooth forms a protective film on the skin that strongly binds water.
With an aloe base, the formula is mostly natural with some green tea, vitamin E and propolis (a kind of bee cement that is an emollient, as well as an anti-inflammatory). There are some synthetics, although they are relatively benign, such as pentylene glycol. The chosen preservative is, unfortunately, phenoxyethanol (an irritant and potential neurotoxin). The airless pump is mostly well-behaved and when it isn’t, responds to a sharp tap on the base.
Overall, this is an excellent product that I have no doubt I will buy again from a brand that is lining up some favorites in my bathroom.