Let's Talk About Retinoids

For the sake of transparency, it is important to note that I did receive products from Dear Brightly in exchange for my completely honest opinion and review of their product. All opinions shared in this post and related content are entirely my own and reflect my personal thoughts on their product.

Get 10% off your personalized retinoid service at Dear Brightly with code: GLOWLIKEAGIRL

Let’s Talk About Retinoids

Hi babes!

So today's post is a long one, but I'm so excited to share it with you all! You see, as a woman in my 20's, I'm no stranger to the conversation surrounding retinoids. One person tells me that I should be using it and I turnaround and someone else is sharing the rumors they've heard about these potent topicals. So today, I want to break down what retinoid is, how they work and who should be using them. I also want to introduce you to Dear Brightly, a telemedicine service that aims to make personalized topicals more accessible than traditional dermatologist prescribed.


What are retinoids?

Retinoids are actually a chemical class which many skin products contain. Retinoids are scientifically proven to help fight signs of aging and acne. In fact, retinoids have over 40 years of scientific research proving it's efficacy and long term benefits. Y'all can't argue with science.

So then you start throwing retin-A and retinol into the mix and things get a little confusing. I know, I did a ridiculous amount of research before trying retinoid serum and before writing this post because I just couldn't figure it all out!

Breaking it down - retinol is the less potent, over-the-counter version. Retinoids are POTENT, and because it is truly working your skin, there is a tingle after application. A tingle which most people would categorize under "irritating" if they've never used a strong skin care product before. So companies started using less retinoids in serums, creating retinols, serving an over-the-counter market.

How do you use retinoids?

Y'all. Retinoids are easy as 1, 2, 3...4, 5. :) Yup! 5 steps that easily integrate into your nightly skin routine.

  1. Wash your face, girl! (To quote the amazing Rachel Hollis) So you should *obvs* be doing this already and if you aren't... START. Go ahead and wash your face really, really well and the dry it off.

  2. Pump out a dime sized amount of retinoid on your fingers. (SEE? This is so easy!)

  3. Go ahead and dab it all over your face. Cheeks, chin, forehead. Now smooth it around just like you do with any other serum.

  4. Follow up with an oil-free moisturizer (I use Kate Somerville Oil-Free Moisturizer -- my fav moisturizer I've ever tried!) So this step is incredibly important because it helps prevent these potent topicals from drying out your skin. Shop oil-free moisturizers here!

  5. Get some beauty sleep. (My personal favorite step. :) )

It's seriously that easy! Retinoid serum integrated perfectly into my nighttime skin routine with just an added 30 seconds.

Remember! Retinoids are potent, so I suggest slowly integrating them into your nighttime routine. I started using them once a week for a couple of weeks, then upped it to twice a week before finally using my serum every night. Also, if you have acne prone skin, be aware that it may get worse before it gets better due to the way retinoids work. THIS IS NORMAL - DON'T FREAK OUT!

Why I started using retinoids

I'd like to say that I started using retinoids because "they," the experts, say that you should begin using them in your mid to late 20s. However, due to the inconvenient nature of getting personalized retinoids from a dermatologist (9 - 5 appointment times when you're working full-time, blogging part time, volunteering part time and running a household is nearly impossible, amirite?), I have been putting this off.

When Dear Brightly reached out to me about trying their product, I was so excited! Embarrassing confession, "Hi, my name is Chelsea and I suffer from adult acne and uneven skin tone." I've been riding the coat tails of full coverage foundation for as long as I remember to cover up the problem instead of treatment. THEN, to really set me over the edge, I started getting crows feet. UGH, AGING.

So, because of Dear Brightly's convenience and my skin's obvious cries for help fighting acne and photoaging, I started the quick and easy process of integrating retinoids into my skincare routine.

Meet Dear Brightly, Your New Best Friend

Dear Brightly is my skin's, and my schedule's, new best friend.

Get 10% off your personalized retinoids with code: GLOWLIKEAGIRL

Dear Brightly is a telemedicine service that connects you with board certified skin experts to determine a personalized retinoid serum for your skin concerns.

Because it means telemedicine, that means no waiting rooms, no driving to make an inconvenient appointment, no major copays. IT. IS. AMAZING. I'm all about convenience and oftentimes, as terrible as it sounds, important things that require appointments end up getting pushed to the side because of how busy my schedule already is. So when Dear Brightly reached out to me, I knew that it was a match made in heaven.

Dear Brightly makes the process of getting personalized retinoid serum unbelievably convenient! I simply filled out a form about my skin online (at a time that was convenient for me!) and sent photos of my skin from all angles. Then my doctor submitted my prescription and within a short time frame, I received my first bottle of serum!

Not only was Dear Brightly easy, it also is way cheaper than going to a dermatologist. You pay a one time fee of $99 for a 3-month supply. And, as your skin concerns evolve, so can your prescription! Just log into you account and start up a consultation with your dedicated skin expert! Learn more about the process here!

AND.THE.BOTTLE. Y'all the packaging is so cute! It looks absolutely perfect sitting alongside my other skin care favs on my vanity. Plus, the pump is easy to use and ensures you aren't pumping out too much.

So... if you are a woman in your mid- to late-20s, use my code, GLOWLIKEAGIRL to get 10% off your first order of personalized retinoid serum to start tackling skin concerns like photoaging, wrinkles and acne. I truly believe that the best approach is being proactive about our skin health. So take a few minutes and learn more about the convenient and personalized Dear Brightly service. Your skin will thank you in about 4 - 6 months. :)


Life Update: April 2019

Hi hunni bunnies.

It’s been a while since I provided a life update, and things have been crazy lately, so I wanted to pop on and just let you know where things are in life.

Ya’ll, I have been blessed with all the reasons to be stressed lately. Things have really kicked off in multiple areas of life and while I feel so unbelievably blessed to have so much going on, I’ve also had consistent stress breakouts and multiple stress cries lately. It’s been tough and I’ve needed a lot of mental health days when there aren’t a lot of days to spare.

Work Update:

Many of my repeat readers know that this blog is just a side gig for me. I actually work full-time as a social media marketer for a marketing agency.

I.LOVE.MY.JOB. When I’m asked if I my end goal of this blog is for it to be full-time, I say absolutely not. Why? Because I truly love what I do day in and out, and want to continue with my career. If you would have asked me a year ago (lol before I even launched), I was lost in my career - not in love with what I was doing. And then I made a switch in May and I couldn’t be happier.

That being said, holy crap! My accounts have been BOOMING. #BlessedAndStressed Work has been super busy and constantly go, go, go, preventing me from popping on Insta throughout the day to say hi to ya’ll.

And sometimes, after a busy day, the last thing that I want to do is get back online to work on a blog post or edit photos. But that’s the name of the game.

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Wedding Planning Update:

Secret time: I have been neglecting wedding planning. Which absolutely terrifies me… with just over 4 months left until the big day, I know there is still so much to do!

However, we do have the majority of our wedding vendors locked down (YAY). But I definitely need to lock down hair and makeup and some of those fun “extras.”

Secret time: Unfortunately, this is probably the thing in life that has been causing the most stress, which honestly makes me so sad. Everyone has always said that I was going to be such a good bride - that I’d have everything done and planned right away, that things would go smoothly and look perfect. But here’s the problem - I only get to do this once. And I keep second guessing EVERYTHING. And then there’s the budget. While I am a flashier person and like all the extras, Logan isn’t. So everything we spend on, I ask myself “Is this worth it?” which has caused a lot more second guessing and ultimately inaction.

My goal for May is to be more invested in wedding planning because, like I said, I only get to do this once. And more than anything, I want to enjoy this stage of life with my boo.

Well… that was tough to put on the proverbial paper.

Blogging Update:

Things with this blog have really taken steps forward. In just under 3 months, I’ll have been blogging for a year which is so crazy.

Instagram is a highlight reel, ya’ll. It doesn’t show all the hard work that I put in each day to get that one post out. I spend ~3 hours on this blog every.single.day on top of my job, volunteering, wedding planning and life. Some nights, that means I am up until 1 am finalizing edits to a post or getting the photos blog ready.

On top of it, Insta has been hating my content lately? Like WTF. Some days, this gets frustrating, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to. But here we are, Insta not allowing even a 16th of my Instagram followers see my posts. And as annoyed as I am, I know that blaming “the big bad algorithm” isn’t going to do anything.

However, I am seeing that hard work paying off through brand collabs and a growing audience! Which is so encouraging. So THANK YOU for being here, reading this and supporting me and this blog.

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Overall life update: things are good, stressful, but good! And I know I haven’t been posting as consistently as I should be on here, after all this is my owned space. But I’m taking stock of life and the commitments that I’ve made to determine what is feeding my soul and what isn’t so I can dedicate more time and effort to you all and this brand.

Anyways, that’s where everything is and what’s all going on. Thanks for reading this rambling on, practically a journal entry. Love you bunches for being here.