Where to purchase: Available from the Trinny London Website: LINK.
Price: £62 / $75.34
Made in: The United Kingdom
What is it?: A highly active Retinal Serum containing Niacinamide that works to reduce fine lines and decongest the skin. This is meant to re-texturise the skin and improve skin softness, without aggrevating or irritating the skin too much.
- This is also meant to clarify the skin (reduce congestion) through Niacinamide and Retinal’s ability to resurface the skin.
- This is also meant to: Smooth the skin and reduce the look of marks.
Supposedly Good for: All skin types, especially 25+ years.
What I think: I have Oily-Combo Skin, and I can use this as a moisturiser, so Dry skins would very much enjoy this, Normal Skins and Combination Skins. I do think although this contains Niacinamide, Oily Skins may have trouble especially in the summer months, due to the near-oily texture of this.
NOTE: For a Stronger Formula / For aged 45+ especially, The Overnight Sensation Retinal Serum is recommended: HERE.
Cruelty Free?: Yes
How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months.
Packaging: A plastic, airtight tube that you twist from the bottom to lift up the head of this product and pump product out. There is also a refill available you can slot right into the base. I also enjoy this airtight packaging which helps keep the active ingredients fresher and more potent for as long as possible.
Directions: Apply one pump onto the face after cleansing. Avoid the eye area. Apply x2 a week and build up resistance so you can use nightly. Ease up on use if the skin becomes irritated. You must be consistent to get the best results and make sure you use SPF when using a retinoid. Do not use if pregnant / breastfeeding.
Note: Trinny London do state that the formulation is yellow (due to the high amount of active retinal) and to avoid any colour transferring onto your pillows, let this sink in before heading to bed. However, I have done this numerous times and this has still transferred onto my pillow (might not be an issue for everyone).
How I use it: I use this product as instructed. Although it has been a few months, I still use this 1-2x a week as I alternate this with Adapalene use (and I really try to avoid making my skin peel). And this hasn’t irritated my skin (because I space out uses diligently), so I can continue to use it. Due to my Oily-Combo and Sensitive Skin, I use this as a Moisturiser as this has a cream texture, and make sure not to coincide with other actives (it does mean this is slightly used as a buffer, hence why I can avoid potential irritation). Because I also include the neck, there is no way 1 pump would cover both the face and neck, so I use two pumps (which increases the chance I’m sure, for staining my pillow but it’s necessary to cover all the skin I need covered).
- 0.15% Retinal (i.e. Retinaldehyde) – 0.15%: This is the step between Retinoid Acid + Retinol, so it’s > than Retinol. I.e. Retinoic Acid (Used in the Skin) <– Retinal <– Retinol. Hence why this is a potent serum that works and should be spaced out.
- (Probably between 2-5%) Niacinamide (Brightening / Skin-barrier reinforcing / Anti-Blemish + also works well with Retinoids as it helps increase effectiveness),
Other Key Ingredients: Lactic Acid (an Exfoliant but also used as a pH buffer). Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate – A Derivative of Azelaic Acid (Skin brightening and Skin Soothing + Anti-blemish). Honeysuckle Flower Extract (Soothing).
Note: Retinal Reduces Wrinkles and roughness of the skin. Retinal is better tolerated than Tretinoin (so if you’re nervous about using prescription Retinols, then this could be a good alternative!).
Full Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Propanediol, Coco-Caprylate, Cyclodextrin, Undecane, Tridecane, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Chlorella Vulgaris (Plankton) Extract, Azelamidopropyl Dimethyl Amine, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Retinal, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Butylene Glycol, Glutathione, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Glucose, Tocopherol, Sodium Phytate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Benzyl Alcohol.
NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE
Texture: Hopefully you can see the texture of this serum from the pictures, and how it looks more like a lightweight cream than a typical serum. It’s not a liquid cream (doesn’t run down the hand). This feels SO similar to the Innisfree Olive Eye Cream.
Sticky?: Not sticky or tacky as this is an emollient cream.
Greasy?: ALMOST. This is close to feeling oily + greasy (it could be in hot and humid weather). This has a ”melted butter”-type feeling on the skin, but without the heaviness of usual suspects like Shea Butter. This feels more moisturising than it is oily.
Balls up?: No.
- As you can see, this has a potent yellow tint to it. And this product does tint my skin even after rubbing it in. My sister says I look orange but I think I look yellow.
- Hopefully you can see that this is lightweight, and has a ”melted butter” type feeling. It really glides over the skin easily (not a silicone-type feeling).
Comparison: No Product (Left) vs Product (Right)
Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: Yes, due to the inclusion of Niacinamide + Lactic acid etc.
Summer or Winter?: Might be uncomfortable for Oily Skins in the Summer, but a nice moisturiser in the winter. Dry skins could enjoy this all-year-round as it’s lightweight and emollient.
- As you can see, this is a bright yellow cream (serum) that smoothly spreads along the skin. It’s not sticky but does stain the skin slightly yellow and is moisturising. Hopefully you can see this is very emollient (almost oily-feeling) without being too thick.
Fragrance?: Fragrance + EO Free. Also, this doesn’t smell of anything.
Good Under Makeup?: Might be a bit too emollient under makeup, especially for oily skins (could interfere with foundation).
How long have I been using this?: 2-3 Months.
Will I use until Completion?: Yes.
How Long will that take?: Another 2-3 Months.
The Effect?: This product is meant to moisturise the skin, retexturise it, help with fine lines and marks and decongest. It has definitely helped with all the above. Immediately: The skin feels moisturised. Long-term, as I’ve been using this consistently without overdoing it; I’ve enjoyed using this product to help especially with congestion. I didn’t notice any breakouts or that this ”ruined” my skin. I would still caution people to make sure to use this sparingly and build tolerance, to avoid the effect of peeling skin.
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What I like:
- Fragrance + EO Free
- Did not irritate/damage my skin
- Thin / Lightweight Texture
- Airtight packaging (to try + ensure efficacy)
- Not sticky
What I don’t like:
- Yellow colour (Doesn’t go away + Stains my pillows)
Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4 (nearly a 3.9)/5 – I’m not a fan of the yellow staining my face and my pillow, and I do wish the % of Retinal included was specified. But I like everything else about this product, and also love Retinal being paired with Niacinamide, alongside an Azelaic Acid Derivative to help with dark marks. I do think this serum is effective and is slowly yet surely doing what it has said on the tube, but I do find the texture of this more suitable for me in the dry and winter months. The Overnight Sensation is recommended to more mature skins (ages 45+) and I think this is a great Retinal-based product to include in your well-ageing routine (aged 25+), especially if you know you will enjoy the texture and feel of this product (and don’t mind the yellow!).
Would I repurchase?: I would for use in the Winter. I do think I’d find this uncomfortable to wear in the Summer months.
Dupe?: The Mae Love – Moonlight Retinal Super Serum is a cheaper, close alternative and also contains Retinal (LINK), however it does contain Essential Oils.
- Another alternative is the Allies of Skin Retinal + Peptides Overnight Mask (LINK) but this also contains Essential Oils.
- A K-beauty Dupe is the AHC Youth Focus Emulsion: Contains Retinal and is also Fragrance + Essential Oil Free (LINK).
My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.
Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.
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