So we all know I love retinol! Why? It’s proven time and time again via lots of clinical studies to boost your skin’s collagen production while speeding up cellular turnover to firm your skin while diminishing the look of wrinkles.
While you can find retinol in several skin care products, you don’t find it in high concentrations all that often. In fact, you can’t currently just grab a top-notch retinol product at Clicks. This is because if you don’t use it properly your skin can react via redness and flaking and that’s not a good look. In this case, the average tannie who’s used to throwing Cheap Ass Brand into her trolley would then have a big ole freak out and the mass market companies don’t want that. They’d much rather have everyone buy a jar of bullshit Boswelloxia or Snail Gel Crappotelia that’s essentially the equivalent of putting body lotion on your face and have you go ‘ Golly, this smells lovely!’ or ‘Yay! My skin just drinks it up!’ They don’t trust Ms tannie to have the know-how to use potent anti-agers and rightfully so. The majority of women out there are seeking ‘luxe’ brands and pretty packaging spouting pseudo science as opposed to the right actives as they’re not educated about which ones – and in what concentration – can actually work like a boss for their skin.
But ja, rant aside, if you are looking for an optimal skin care system with a focus on anti-ageing you’ll want something that contains retinol in it. Not piss willy retinyl palmitate. You want proper retinol. And this is where something like Exuviance’s new Super Retinol Concentrate comes in.
While like it sounds like a small amount, 1% retinol is pretty potent, but if you’re a newbie to this ingredient don’t be put off. As Exuviance’s retinol is micro-encapsulated, it breaks down in your skin to become 0,2 % retinol. This makes it an ideal retinol product for first time users. Why they don’t put this (the fact that it’s effectively 0,2%) on their packaging is frustrating as those expecting something super strong won’t get it. Then, to confound the issue further, Exuviance’s sister brand, NeoStrata have a new, very powerful product that states it contains 0,5% retinol (which is correct in terms of what’s delivered into your skin) but then it’s easy to incorrectly assume that Exuviance is more potent when it’s not. I guess the lesson here is to buy your products and get your recommendations from a proper derm or reputable store that makes it explicitly clear in regards to the net effect retinol you’re getting.
Anyway, back to Exuviance! Aside from the 0,2% retinol it delivers, you’re also getting antioxidant collagen-boosting vitamin E and acetyl glucosamine. The latter, according to Exuviance, works together with retinol to boost its efficacy further while studies have also shown it’s got skin lightening properties and can help your skin repair itself. Other notables in the mix? Bisabol to soothe and good ole glycerin to hydrate.
I’ve been using it at night for three weeks every second night and have really enjoyed it. I like that it’s unscented and a little really does go a long way. It’s also done a nice job of fast-fading a dark spot I had on my chin, a mark left behind by an epic pimple. The only negative is that it’s got a helluva lot of silicone in it which gives it great ‘spreadability’ but my oily skin isn’t a fan*. If, however, you’re a fan of silky-feeling silicone-based textures or have a drier skin type this probably isn’t going to bother you.
Another biggie working in Exuviance’s favour is the fantastic price point. R855 might sound scary but for a retinol product you probably won’t be using every day this is very good.
Most aesthetic clinics and salons will have Exuviance on their shelve but you can also buy the brand via Dermastore.co.za. Founded by a local dermatologist, Dermastore ships nationally and include free samples with your order. I also liked that my little pakkie included a customised note with very detailed instructions on how to use the product. At first I thought they’d whipped this up just for me as part of the press drop experience but as it turns out they do the same for all orders.
*There aren’t any studies that I can find that substantiate that silicone causes break outs or suffocate your skin. This is just a personal preference of mine. I just feel like when I use silicone-heavy products on my face the oil mixing with it as the day goes on and things start to feel swampy and I have to reach for oil-blotting tissues every two hours as opposed once or twice.