This review took me a little longer to write than my normal beauty reviews because when I first tried it out, I absolutely hated it. I applied it only at night because retinol/retinoid products are known for drying out the skin and even causing redness in sensitive people like me. It made my skin smooth at first, but after a few days of usage, I would break out terribly in small, white pimples across my forehead and cheeks! My acne is typically in control; I get the occasional hormonal breakouts, but it's usually not a main skin concern for me. Once I stopped using the serum, the acne disappeared almost immediately, so I knew this was a product-related issue. I tried again a few weeks later and got the exact same results, which was frustrating. I was almost about to toss this serum once and for all, when, one day, I discovered the most amazing thing:
I realized I had been using the serum wrong.
For people with sensitive or acne-prone skin, retinol may be a little harsh for daily use, even if under heavy moisturizers and only in the evening. What I changed in my skincare routine gave me great results with no irritation!
The secret: I only apply this serum 1-2 times a week. I'm almost 100% sure the offending ingredient is pentylene glycol, since that is a common solvent in beauty products that irritates or causes breakouts. It's not a major problem for me because I do use another essence that contains propylene glycol (a similar ingredient); while I try to avoid it when I can, it is generally known to be safe, so I use it if I must. Only applying the serum a couple times a week discourages buildup of any comedogenic materials on the surface of the skin = no breakouts! Genius!
I am a huuuuge fan of Azure Naturals's other products (Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, Argan oil... they are my holy grails!) so it's no wonder I'm in love with this stuff too. I love what it does to make my skin smooth and wrinkle-free, and am comforted in knowing it is a great preventative anti-aging treatment since I don't quite fit into the "mature skin" category yet ;) This is the best stuff you can get for this quality and price, so I highly recommend. Just don't use it every day if you have sensitive skin like me!