Hello my lovelies! Welcome back to the blog!
Ever have one of those bad skincare months? I’m currently in the midst of one of those storms myself. Recently, I’ve been having a killer breakout that doesn’t seem to want to go away. For almost three weeks now, I’ve had some really bad cystic acne pop up all around my forehead and cheeks and it’s been driving me insane. I think it’s been due to an amalgam of reasons including stress, dehydration, more dairy in my diet, and hormones.
In order to combat this, I’ve turned to a new product that was sent to me by BrandBacker and OZ Naturals. For this past week I’ve been putting the OZ Naturals Retinol Serum to the test. If you recall, I previously reviewed the Age Defying Solar Shield from Oz Naturals, which you can see here. However, before we get started, here’s my standard disclaimer on working with brands.
This product is a serum. If you are unfamiliar with this type of skincare product, essentially this is a delivery agent for potent and effective skincare ingredients. For a more comprehensive breakdown on this type of product and other skincare, please see my Basic guide to skincare.
- Formula- This is a gel product. It is rose tinted in color but goes on to the skin clear. It is lightweight and very soothing to the skin. It absorbs quickly but leaves a bit of a tackiness behind. However, it isn’t a feeling that is unpleasant and it is usually gone within 20 minutes, if that. 4.5/5
- Ingredients- Aside from obviously the retinol, this serum contains plenty of other wonderful ingredients for the skin! The most beneficial active ingredients include hyaluronic acid, astaxanthin, and vitamin E. 5/5
- Retinol is a great ingredient for most skin types. It is an antioxidant, which is a large buzzword that we know is supposed to be good for us but no idea why. In a nutshell, antioxidants interrupts the damage that is caused by free-radicals. Chemistry 101 lesson: free radicals are molecules that are short one valence electron to make a pair. Antioxidants usually bond with this unpaired electron to neutralize the molecule, instead of the molecule bonding with some other element that will make it more harmful to the body. This process is what helps prevent aging to the skin as it reduces the damage to skin caused by these free-radicals. That’s the gist of it, but if you need a refresher in chem, you can click here. In addition, retinol “is broken down and converted into retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the compound that actually can affect skin cells and their behavior.” (Source) This ingredient also helps unclog pores, allowing for acne treatments to be better absorbed by the skin which has done miracles for me. Retinol is a very effective ingredient that can be used to treat psoriasis, warts, eczema, and supposedly 100 different skin ailments. For more info, WebMD has a great comprehensive article.
- Hyaluronic Acid is crucial for maintaining moisture and in turn providing plumpness and elasticity to the skin. Hyaluronic acid retains”1000 ml of water per gram” (Source) This ingredient also boosts cell turnover and production by aiding in tissue repair.
- Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that is found most commonly in fish and algae. It’s the pigment that gives salmon it’s pink color. This ingredient is also an antioxidant that helps prevent free-radical damage to cells. For more information see here.
- Vitamin E is another antioxidant and acts as protection from free-radicals when applied topically to the skin.
- The remaining ingredients in the product include Witch Hazel (a natural astringent great for toning the skin and reducing oil, ergo acne), Rose Hips (high in Vitamin C), Green Tea Leaf Extract (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), and Chamomile (calming agent).
- Scent- This is virtually scent free to me; if anything, there is perhaps a bit of a botanical under scent. 4.5/5
- Packaging- The product comes in a dark plastic bottle that is pretty much sealed off from air, as long as the cap is replaced properly. This is important since Retinol can chemically change when exposed to air and light, which contain oxygen that can mess with the free-radical inhibiting process. This comes with a pump and a cap that seals out the air, which you can interchange. The pump is great as you don’t have to expose the product to germs or the air. It also comes with a regular cap that screws on and off which can be put in place for travel to prevent spilling. The only downside is that glass packaging would probably be more preferable, however I understand that the plastic packaging is used to keep costs down. 4.5/5
- Effectiveness- In the week that I’ve been using this, it has dramatically improved my breakout. It helps reduce redness and inflammation in my spots and helps dry them out while keeping the rest of my skin hydrated. It hasn’t been a cure all, but it indeed has definitely helped. 5/5
- The most popular retinoids are at a minimum of $50 at least. The OZ Naturals serum is only $25!
- The ingredients in this are simple and 99.9% natural and 72% organic. I recognize all of them and they are all super beneficial. There are no fillers in here and it only contains the 7 ingredients listed above!
- Retinoids are are extremely beneficial and can be used for most skin types and ailments including psoriasis, acne, wrinkles, wart, eczema, rosacea and more!
- Both the retinol and hyaluronic acid are sourced from botanical sources making this product cruelty-free!
- The OZ Naturals serum contains the highest concentration of retinol that you can get without a prescription at 2.5%.
- Not so much a con, but a caution. Both retinol and hyaluronic acid absorb UVB rays but make skin sensitive to the sun’s rays so a sunscreen must be worn when using this product! I really enjoy using the OZ Naturals Age Defying Solar Shield under my makeup in the mornings. Not to plug the product, but because I actually prefer to use it this way than in the original context.
- Retinol is a very potent ingredient and can irritate sensitive skin types. This ingredient is not for everyone and you should do your own research or consult a dermatologist at your discretion. Please know that I am not a skincare professional, but I have done my own research for my personal use and for purposes of this post.
In the short amount of time that I’ve been using this product, I have really come to like it. It has seriously helped with the intense acne breakout I’ve had recently and it hasn’t made it worse. I am in disbelief in the quality and effectiveness of the ingredients in this. I love that I can recognize all the ingredients and that they all have super beneficial qualities. A little goes a long way, with this so even though there is only 1 fl. oz. of product, there is plenty here. The price is pretty fair for the amazing natural, partially organic, botanically sourced, and cruelty free components in this product. I highly recommend this as a beginner’s step into using retinoids for any skin conditions you may have from acne to anti-aging and beyond!
That’s a wrap for this week! I really hope that you found this review helpful and informative. Even if you aren’t interested in the product, I hope that breakdown of ingredients was beneficial to you. However, if you are interested in purchasing this product, you can do so on Amazon (also Prime eligiable!) and see the complete range of OZ Naturals skincare at oznaturals.com! What’s your game-changing skincare product? Leave me a comment below or using the following social media links!
All my love,
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