To achieve a clear, even, youthful complexion, retinol is the ingredient to have in your skincare routine. Considered the gold standard in anti-aging, it targets collagen and elastin to help firm skin. It also helps boost skin cell turnover, which like a lot of things, slows down with age. This helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and visibly improve texture and radiance. The key to getting all these results with retinol, however, is using it consistently. And that is something that has proved to be difficult for me.
The downside of retinol is that it can cause irritation, dryness, and peeling skin. In the past, I’ve used a retinol product for a few days, only to give up when my sensitive, combination skin inevitably becomes dry and flaky. Still, I’ve been on the hunt for one I can have a long-term relationship with—my forever retinol. When StriVectin—a favorite brand in my skincare rotation—launched the Advanced Retinol Nightly Multi-Correct Serum, I was hopeful my search would come to an end.
One reason I gravitate towards StriVectin’s products is that the formulas are always science-backed and clinically proven. The Advanced Retinol Nightly Multi-Correct Serum has been shown to visibly improve fine lines, firmness, and texture starting seven days after nightly use. The question: Would it be effective and gentle on my skin? To find out, I decided to put it to the test for one month.
It doesn’t irritate my skin.
In addition to retinol, this formula contains ingredients to help hydrate and comfort skin, including polyglutamic acid, a humectant that’s more moisturizing than hyaluronic acid. Another key ingredient is ashwagandha, a botanical used to help visibly improve skin texture. And, like all StriVectin products, the serum contains NIA 114, a patented form of niacin/vitamin B3 that hydrates and strengthens the skin barrier. Bonus: NIA 114 has been clinically shown to improve the tolerability and enhance the performance of retinol.
The technology is legit.
This formula boasts an innovative retinol delivery system. While undetectable to the eye, it contains micro-sized sponges that have tiny nooks and crannies filled with retinol molecules. When applied on skin, the microscopic spheres dissolve and deliver a continuous, measured flow of potent retinol to help limit sensitivity and preserve the efficacy of the ingredient.
It delivers results.
The silky texture of the serum is lightweight and hydrating. I apply it on my face before topping it with a rich cream. I was surprised that after a week of nightly use, I experienced no irritation, redness, itchiness, or flaking. After a month, my pores look tighter, my fine lines appear softer, my complexion is smoother, and a few stubborn brown spots have visibly faded. My skin is downright luminous. Looks like I’ve finally found a retinol I can be faithful to for the long haul.
Gina Way is a writer and editor specializing in beauty, health, and lifestyle content. Her work—from beauty features to celebrity interviews—has been featured in _Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, O The Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, and Cosmopolitan, among others. She also writes digital content for The Cut, Well + Good, Refinery 29, & Vogue.