If you really think about it, skincare is similar to dating. Hear me out. You can’t judge a product by its cute packaging; you have to get to know it over time before deciding if it’s the right fit. Did it work with your lifestyle, make sense financially, cause you irritation, or make you feel like the best version of yourself? These are all the questions I ask myself when deciding if a product should become a permanent fixture in my routine, especially a retinol product.
When it comes to defense against fine lines, wrinkles, and texture and maintaining a healthy glow, there’s no skincare ingredient more lauded than retinol (which is an over-the-counter form of Retin-A). It’s used in topical skincare products to brighten, promote skin renewal, and boost collagen. On paper, you can say it truly does it all. So what’s the catch? There’s usually an adjustment period, meaning people have to slowly incorporate it into their routines. Otherwise, they might experience flakiness, dryness, and irritation, a cocktail of problems enough to scare off first-time users. But then there are brands like StriVectin that create products like the Advanced Retinol Nightly Renewal Moistuizer ($79) that give people what they want: all the things they love about retinol and nothing they don’t.
I consider it a little tube of magic—the new era of retinol, if you will. It’s made with six standout ingredients, including retinol and retinal, both powerhouse wrinkle busters, and NIA-114™, StriVectin’s patented form of niacin that makes retinol more effective and helps limit irritation. These ingredients combine to make the formula gentle enough to use nightly from the start. (See more about the ingredients above.) That’s right. No trial period necessary, no irritation, just real results.
Since I know you’re probably thinking that it’s too good to be true, I reached out to four women—award-winning skin expert Dominique Baker, Who What Wear senior editor Kristen Nichols, Who What Wear Senior Director of Branded Content Natalie Cantell, and board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Libby—to test the product for a month and share their honest experience with us. Some have used retinol before; others haven’t. Did their skin act up? Improve? Or stay the same? Keep scrolling to find out for yourself.