Test Divas: Santa Baby, some retinol if you please
Posted On December 20, 2018
By: Jana Manolakos
I’m just south of 60 and my skin is heading in the same southerly direction. It’s starting to show its age. Some might graciously call it the lovely patina of a life well lived. I call it lines and wrinkles, with a side of saggy jowls and bags under the eyes.
As a science writer and the oldest and curmudgeonly Test Diva, I like to look at the facts, proof that discoveries and products are living up to their claims. And in the cosmetics industry, there’s a ton of those claims, promising to reverse and prevent the signs of aging. So, I welcomed the opportunity to test an interesting product called Advanced Retinol Serum by Alchimie Forever. Its claim to fame? The company says it’s a powerful serum that combines two types of retinol with time-release technology for a gentler delivery system.
They suggested that I would see a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. A cocktail of powerful antioxidants including apple stem cell extract, edelweiss, and green tea would act to rejuvenate my skin by preventing and correcting sun damage. My skin, they said, would be calmed by Alchimie Forever’s signature ingredient: the European blueberry, in synergy with hydrating hyaluronic acid, jojoba, and collagen-boosting red clover – all of which would also help minimize side effects typically associated with retinol.
Retinol works. It’s seen as the ‘big gun’ of anti-aging solutions. But dermatologists will tell you that it must be taken with respect, as it tends to weaken the skin cells if overused. Alchimie says its product should be applied only two to three times per week. It contains a high concentration of retinol at 0.75% (pure retinol and retinol in time-release technology that releases it over a 24- to 48-hour period) and is formulated to mitigate retinol’s negative side effects, like flaking or redness.
So, one Sunday evening I set about doing just that – dabbed a pea sized amount on my finger, which spread quite smoothly and evenly over my face. I avoided my eye areas as instructed. Its pleasant, clean scent and the almost immediate feeling of silkiness on my skin was a delightful surprise to the cynic in me. I actually looked forward to repeating these steps a few days later. By week two, the smooth feeling of my skin continued. And then the ultimate proof by week four… I bumped into a friend who had not seen me in a month. Her first words to me: “Your skin looks amazing. Did you go on vacation?”
She was right. My skin glowed, looked younger, fine lines disappeared, and overall it looked healthier than it had in a very long time. Alchimie’s retinol serum is now on my Christmas wish list, and I’m really hoping Santa delivers!