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. :)