Yes, being in the sun feels wonderful on my face (especially on a lawn chair with a glass of rosé in hand). But as summer draws to a close each year, I always start to think about how to make it up to my skin (maybe I will send myself a jade roller with an apology note?) after a season of the great outdoors. It’s not only the sun – but also heat, humidity, sweat mingled with sunblock, chlorine from the pool and other conditions that can create damage in the form of lines and wrinkles, dry skin, dark spots, enlarged pores – well, all the things I’d like to prevent or delay as much as I can going into my 40s.
It seems safe to say everyone’s skin could use a boost after a summer of sun – and my skincare magic of choice is retinoids. My dermatologist had talked to me about retinoids before, but I never found a product that didn’t irritate my skin so I sort of wrote them off. HOWEVER, if you find a serum that is great for sensitive skin YET super effective AND not drying (spoiler alert: Tireless Retinoid Night Serum by Care Skincare) it is a true skincare game-changer.
Here are the basics: retinoids are really referring to Vitamin A, and the compounds derived from that vitamin – which are the key ingredient to some of the more effective anti-aging creams and serums around. You have to use them consistently, but if you do – well – you’re looking at brighter, healthier looking skin and visibly reduced dark spots and pores (my pain point for years). Retinoids also work at a much more profound level by affecting gene expression and causing enhanced collagen production. By increasing cell turnover, retinoids refresh the skin’s surface more quickly. The skin usually sheds every 28 days, but with a retinoid treatment, cell turnover will occur faster. And retinoids work wonders, for all ages – 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief, retinoid skincare can be used year-round (even during the summer) with a proper daily application SPF of 30 or higher. Note: don’t skimp on your sunblock, you want to use enough product (my sources say a tablespoon’s worth) so your face and neck are fully protected. Per Care Skincare Head of Innovation Debbie D’Aquino, retinoids may even have the ability to stop photo-aging before it starts. They’ve been shown to prevent the rise of collagenase — the enzyme that breaks down collagen — after UV exposure.
Something to note – skin can feel more delicate after summer, so it’s important to choose your retinoid skincare carefully. As I mentioned before, Care’s Tireless Retinoid Night Serum doesn’t irritate my skin in the slightest. Debbie tells me it’s due to Granactive Retinoid,™️ a delivery system for the active ingredient hydroxypinacolone retinoate (HPR) – which delivers transformative results but produces little to no irritation. Pro tip: always make sure your skin is dry before applying a retinoid serum (if your skin is wet, that might actually create irritation). And if your skin does feel super sensitive, you can apply moisturizer first, wait for it to absorb, and then add a few drops of serum. It’s also important that your serum contain other skin-healthy ingredients too – for example, Tireless Serum has super hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, Alpha-Arbutin to help decrease the appearance of dark spots, Caffeine with powerful antioxidants to firm and brighten, and plant-based Squalane Oil to soothe skin. A last thought from Debbie: not all products – especially retinoid products – are created equal. “Strength, purity of the ingredients, stability of the formula, the method of delivery, and even the packaging of the product – all of these factors play an important role when choosing your product.”
I love summer, but I’m looking forward to the cooler weather that fall brings (plus all things pumpkin spice) and going a little deeper into self-care in as we make the transition. For me, a skin re-start looks like this: consistent skincare 2x a day (keep it simple, and it’s easier to make it happen), lots of water and green tea to drink, a Deep Moisture Fix Hydrating Water Cream five-minute mask every so often (my favorite to restore and plump up skin), plenty of SPF (I wear 50 every day rain or shine) and Tireless Retinoid Night Serum each night for the glow factor. My kids are finally sleeping better at night after 7 years which began this summer (knock on wood – make that maple, elm, and birch) so I’m finally getting a little beauty rest too!
Photography credits: second photo by Ricardo Resende
Once an Estée Lauder Marketing Executive, Michelle is now a Care Skincare Staff Writer and a big fan of their simple approach to skincare. She lives with her husband and two small children, who keep her busy 23/7.