Hands up if retinol is making your skin all red and flaky.
It’s driving you crazy. You know that retinol is the best thing to get rid of wrinkles. But, your skin just doesn’t get along with it. Or maybe you just crave a shorter adjustment phase. Why do you have to suffer for a month before it finally starts working its magic?
Retinol is tricky like that. But, there are other members of its family that works just as well AND without the irritation. Let me introduce you to retinaldehyde, the key ingredient in Beautyproof YoungMe Dragone D’Or Super Stimulator.
Retinaldehyde is a form of vitamin A. It’s just one step away from retinoic acid (pure form of vitamin A) and retinol, so your body can easily convert it into both:
Retinyl palmitate > Retinol > Retinaldehyde > Retinoic acid
Just like other retinoids, retinaldehyde is effective against wrinkles, dark spots and acne:
- A 1999 study found that retinaldehyde “has many of the properties of tretinoin in its beneficial effects on photoaging”. It reduces UVA damage, boosts collagen and repairs elastin fibers.
- A 2005 study confirms its collagen-boosting abilities and suggests retinaldehyde works even better when paired with other antioxidants (no one likes to play alone).
- A 2013 study proves it’s just as good at fading dark spots. It works by reducing melanin concentration in the skin.
- A 2002 study discovered its has powerful antibacterial properties that kill P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne.
- A 2014 study paired it with glycolic acid and noted this combo is effective at treating mild to moderate acne even during the sun exposure period – without irritating skin.
But is it gentler than other forms of vitamin A, such as retinol and retinoic acid? Once again, science says yes!
Don’t get me wrong. Retinaldehyde is powerful. You still need to introduce it into your skincare routine gently: twice a week, at night, will do the trick.
But, it’s much gentler than retinol. I know women who found retinol too harsh for their skin, so they switched to retinaldehyde. Their wrinkles got a little bit smaller and the irritation disappeared!
Niacinamide is another skincare hero. This smart form of vitamin B3 does everything. EVERYTHING, I tell you:
- It hydrates skin: it’s more effective than petrolatum at preventing water loss
- It lightens skin: it brihgtens the complexion and reduces dark spots, blotchiness (redness) and sallowness (yellowing)
- It helps reduce wrinkles: preliminary research shows it can boost the production of skin-firming collagen
- It soothes skin: it alleviates the symptoms of rosacea and irritations
- It treats acne: its effects are similar to those of 1% clindamycin gel
Told you, it could do everything!
Related: Spotlight on Niacinamide
We can’t talk about fighting wrinkles without giving antioxidants their due. These little molecules patrol the body every single day looking for free radicals to destroy.
Once they’re neutralized, they can’t form premature wrinkles or give you dark spots. The more antioxidants your skin has, the more free radicals it destroys, the better and slower it ages.
This serum has its fair share of antioxidants, including Cloud Berry Seed Oil (a rich source of vitamin C), red algae and cranberry extract.
Let’s Put It To The Test: Personal Use & Opinion
Beautyproof YoungMe Dragon D’Or Super Stimulator is the fanciest serum I’ve ever used: it’s gold! It’s super pretty and makes me feel like a princess every time I use it. 🙂
Its texture is lightweight (but not runny) and sinks into my skin immediately. My skin is used to retinol so I cheated and applied this every night instead of twice a week. Guess what? No irritation! Not even a tiny little flaky patch.
(If you’re new to retinol, I still recommend you start slowly. It’s tempting to go overboard with these powerful activates but your skin needs time to get used to them. But with retinaldehyde the transition period should be shorter.)
My skin is looking very good, too. I don’t have any acne or dark spots to tackle, but I’ve noticed the texture of my skin is getting smoother and the few fine lines around my eyes appear smaller.
I only have one small complaint about this serum. I wish it didn’t have citrus oils like bergamot and grapefruit cos they can cause contact dermatitis in some people. I’m not of them, but I’d thought I’d point it out in case you are.
If you have sensitive skin that can’t handle retinol or would simply like something that works faster and more gently, this is IT.
Price & Availability: $87.00 at Beautyproof
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Gluconolactone, Carnitine (L), Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloud Berry) Seed Oil, Retinal (Retinaldehyde), Porphyra Umbilicalis (Red Algae) Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lecithin, Bisabolol (L-alpha), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Michelia Alba (Magnolia) Flower Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Pentylene Glycol, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Sodium Lactate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Cyclodextrin, Alcohol, Mica, Maltodextrin, Sodium Benzoate
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