Let’s think of Vichy’s Lift Activ Advanced Concentrate as my retinol training wheels.
I received this lovely tube just before Christmas, and I was pretty excited about it. I had been thinking about working some retinol into my routine, since I’m in my mid-20’s (gasp). I know. So old.
Anyways, I wanted to add it, but I was little bit scared and unsure as I heard that skin can really react to retinol–making it red, flaky, sensitive and everything unfortunate before it gets better. Luckily, thanks to Vichy, I experienced none of these side effects. They’ve created a moisturizer (formulated with their LR2412) with what is supposed to be the highest concentration of retinol available in a non-perscription product (at 0.2%). You can either use this product on it’s own (but always with a sunscreen), or underneath a moisturizer. It is also supposed to be the first of it’s kind in that you can use it in the daytime (normally retinol products are used at bedtime because skin becomes more photosensitive). However, I’ve seen other brands claim to have this sort of stable retinol as well.
As I said, I wanted to work in some retinol not only for it’s anti-aging benefits, but also because retinol is proven to be a solution for acne-prone skin (which Dr. Sapra already explained to us). It resurfaces the face. You can experience breakouts for up to 8 weeks after you start using it because that is how long a pimple takes to fully form and come to the surface (fun fact, right? I learned that from my doctor). So be patient while retinol unclogs your pores for you–you can thank it later.
So, I started applying this non-greasy, serum-like cream to my skin every morning, on it’s own, and you know what? My skin started to get really clear! But, I was stupid, and my skin started to get dehydrated because I needed more hydration than it was providing. Plus, being a beauty blogger, I got distracted and started trying out other products, yada yada. Classic product junkie stuff. But, you should know, you CAN layer over another moisturizer if it’s the Vichy is not hydrating enough on it’s own. I would just let it sink in first.
So, it moved to the wayside for a little while. But then I came back to it, and used it in tandem with my Verso products (more on that to come), and my skin started to clear up again. Lines started to fill in.
However, since I suffer from hormonal acne, I was recently prescribed Differin at 0.1% retinol. I was super scared that my face was going to peel off, but because it was already used to the Vichy, I didn’t experience any side effects at all (no redness, flakiness, etc.), except for the purging. My face is definitely purging. But the pimples are clearing up quicker and not coming back or sticking around for weeks. And my under the skin bumps are quickly disappearing, and this is like, two weeks in.
So! Moral of the story. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced way to venture into the retinol game, but don’t want to have a peeling face, Lift Activ Advanced Concentrate is your product. Even if you’re like me, fairly young, no deep lines yet, this is an excellent way to prevent skin aging (also, it’s safe to use with any glycolic products, FYI). Retinol and sunscreen are really the only proven anti-aging ingredients that actually WORK, so this is something you should get behind if you don’t want to have a wrinkly face before you’re 50. It’s science.