Want a Stronger, but Nonirritating Retinol? This Refillable Cream Is for You

Want a Stronger, but Nonirritating Retinol? This Refillable Cream Is for You featured image
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Retinol remains the gold standard to combat visible signs of aging, but it can be a trick ingredient to work into your skin-care regimen. Which concentration do you use, and how often do you use it? Fig.1 (Claire Holt and Phoebe Tonkin are investors and partners) makes it easy to follow an effective retinol protocol with its three-step retinol system. The brand’s Retinol Night Cream Level 3 is a great option for anyone who is looking to up the ante in their retinol game, but without risk for irritation. Here’s what makes it so good.

The Benefits

The “pro” level in the brand’s three-step retinol system, this vegan, fragrance-free formula contains 0.6-percent encapsulated retinol, which means it gets slowly released into the skin so that it’s more tolerable. Though it’s a higher concentration of retinol, the fact that it is encapsulated helps minimize sensitivity and makes it much more skin-friendly. In addition to retinol, the formula contains bioactive peptides, which contribute to its several benefits. These include stimulating collagen production and cell turnover, which improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Other perks include a brighter skin tone (bye-bye dark spots) and the unclogging of congested pores. In fact, it’s great for those with acne-prone skin. Retinoic acid was actually introduced in dermatology in the 1940s as a treatment for patients suffering from breakouts.

The lightweight cream is hydrating, too, thanks to an ultra-nourishing base infused with glycerin and squalane. The brand says the cream provides 24-hour moisturization that supports the skin barrier. It also allows the retinol to work harder without irritation. In clinical trials, third-party studies confirm that users saw softer, smoother and healthier-looking skin in as little as four weeks.

Developed by Harvard dermatologist Dr. Courtney Rubin, Fig.1’s retinol system lets users graduate from Level 1 (0.15-percent) to Level 3 (0.6 percent retinol) over time. You can customize your routine depending on your specific skin needs. The airless pump packaging protects the cream and its active ingredients from exposure to air and light. The brand even fills its bottles under a nitrogen blanket to prevent exposure to air that could decrease the potency of active ingredients. The cream is also refillable, and the refill for this formula is $57 (a $5 discount). You can also subscribe to receive this product every two or four months for 10-percent off.

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Key Ingredients

Encapsulated retinol, bioactive peptides and squalane

How to Use It

If you’ve already used Fig.1’s Level 1 and Level 2 Retinol Creams and you’re looking for more retinol power, this is your next step. It’s best to always starting low and slow with retinol. However, this is also a great product for any advanced retinol user who are familiar with the ingredient and looking for a stronger option. Start by using it just one or two nights a week, and see how your skin reacts. You can also mix a pump of the cream with your moisturizer. This will dilute the retinol a little bit and help you ease in that way.

According to the brand, your face should not be overly dry, red or irritated after using retinol. “If you experience anything along those lines, dial back your use of No. 3 and introduce it more slowly over time.” Once your skin adjusts, you can increase your frequency. Note: As is the case with any retinol product, avoid the ingredient if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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