While vitamin C and sunscreen products tend to get a lot of praise, retinol is another skin care essential that receives plenty of buzz within the skincare space—this form of vitamin A softens fine lines, inhibits redness, and corrects dark spots. So yes, in short, it’s basically the miracle worker those Instagram memes told you it was. However, while dermatologist-prescribed retinol (aka prescription-strength) tends to be most effective, over-the-counter retinol products (which can vastly vary in price depending on the brand and retailer) are arguably just as efficacious these days —they too improve skin tone and tighten sagging skin with continued use. Though, luxury brands tend to get the spotlight for the effectiveness, while budget skincare sits second fiddle.
But, more than willing to shed my prejudices against cheaper retinol products, I decided to give the LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream for Face a try. After all, since this cream currently has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, with a whopping 28,136 reviews to boot, I figured it was definitely a must-see for this budget retinol skeptic.
LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream for Face
Once it arrived at my doorstep, I decided to use this retinol cream in lieu of the pricey retinol serum I usually use twice a week. Besides, since retinol is the main ingredient of both products, I figured it wouldn’t hinder any of the progress I already made with my serum.
To my surprise, my experience with this cream has been nothing short of a pleasant. Not only did it absorb quickly into my skin (without causing irritation, may I add), but I find that it outclasses my pricier serum in every way. Need more details?
Yes, my luxury retinol serum does leave my skin velvety-smooth, but it also manages to transfer a sticky texture onto my skin. This can be annoying at times, especially when I apply it right before bedtime, and have a bad case of ‘sticky pillow’ as a result. Instead, when using the LilyAna retinol cream, my skin felt plump and hydrated (thanks to added hyaluronic acid) immediately, without the frustrating, greasy feeling I normally experience when using a serum.
Second, so far, the spot-busting action from this budget retinol is next level. Don’t get me wrong, my pricier serum does a pretty good job in keeping spots from completely taking over my face. However, this cream seems to work almost instantly, as a small and stubborn red spot on my upper right cheek I've been trying to get with my pricier serum for awhile now seemed to vanish after using it twice.
Nevertheless, time will tell to see if this retinol cream becomes my main squeeze, as it’s worth noting that it does take at least four to six weeks for any skin care product to yield results. However, since it’s only been smooth sailing with this budget retinol cream so far, I can guarantee that I’ll be parting ways from my go-to luxury retinol serum once the bottle is empty.
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