There are a couple of basic facts anyone will tell you about retinol. One, it’s the most proven anti-ageing ingredient you can buy. Two, you need patience while waiting for those results to kick in. But now a new retinol formula has launched which promises visible results on fine lines after as little as FIVE uses – so what’s the difference, and does it actually work?
The product in question is Kiehl’s Retinol Fast Release Wrinkle-Reducing Night Serum, £68 here, which claims to penetrate up to 15 layers deep into the skin, bringing fresh, youthful cells to the surface at top speed. As well as promising initial effects in record time, Kiehl’s say that in an eight week consumer study, 100% of testers saw a reduction in wrinkles, “including deep-set and stubborn wrinkles”. Yep, the ones we’d really love to get rid of.
That said, it’s not just as simple as slapping on a serum and seeing lines magically retreat. Retinol can have an irritating effect on skin at first, and Kiehl’s does say that this powerful 0.3% formula is designed for experienced users. With that in mind, we sent it to some seasoned retinol users to try – here’s what they had to say about it.
Tester Allison F told us: “This is THE best retinol serum I've used. After five days of use I could see a change to my skin tone. My skin specifically across my cheek area was smooth and appeared more youthful. After several weeks’ use my skin is definitely more radiant. It has a nice glow under makeup. I’m working in a new team and several people have commented on how youthful my skin looks for my age. I will 100% be buying this again. I love it!” 5/5
It also wowed Nutan G who told us: “My skin texture has seen a smoothing effect, more even looking. The skin also feels lighter and bouncier, if that makes sense. I am also seeing some wrinkles get smoothed out, after four weeks of consistent use. It has been a complete pleasure to use. Since it is a retinol, I have ensured I have kept up my SPF. I will be repurchasing this as I cannot imagine not using it now.” 5/5
And tester Taryn C thought it even out-performed medical-grade products she’d tried: “I have used a prescription retinol for over a year, but this has been a game changer in a much shorter space of time. The deeper frown line between my eyes looks far less obvious. My hyperpigmentation has noticeably reduced. I was told by more than one person that my skin was looking fantastic and had I had any work done! My skin is glowing and I feel fabulous!” 5/5
Our testers also told us they liked the serum’s “mix it yourself” formula. Before using it for the first time, users have to release a pure retinol powder into a serum base, which is meant to ensure the product is freshly activated and effective. Taryn told us: “I loved the originality of mixing the serum myself, and the window on the side of the tube makes it easy to see the quantity remaining,” and Nutan reckoned it was “very practical, stylish and easy”.
Overall our verdict is that this new speedy retinol does live up to the hype and well worth trying if your skin is already used to the ingredient. And if it’s not, don’t worry because our testers have also found a host of other recommended retinols – here – including ones ideal as starter formulas.
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