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LÉ Blog

Retinal - Is it Better Than Retinol?

Retinaldehyde or retinal (with an A!) has become the latest, buzz-worthy retinoid on the market. Many seasoned retinoid users are honing in on the fact that in the process of retinoic acid synthesis, retinal would be the more efficient (aka more potent) cosmetic retinoid compared to retinol in getting those sweet anti-aging benefits. You might even hear retinal claims such as “10x more effective than retinol” or even “tretinoin strength without the tretinoin irritation.” Bold claims! While re...

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Retinol: The Tried-and-True Way to Putting Off Botox

Retinol has been a longtime fan favorite anti-aging molecule. And for good reason! As a cosmetic ingredient, retinol is one of the few that has decades of research and data behind its efficacy. In fact, this is why in our book, Skincare Decoded, we refer to this active as one the Big Four and stands alongside the champs, ascorbic acid, AHAs, and niacinamide. But, you’ve probably heard of the downside of retinol - flaking, shedding, redness, dryness. While it may sound intimidating, just a cou...

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How Helpful is Skincare for Redness? (aka. Erythema)

One of the budding categories in the “soothing” skincare realm is dedicated to tackling skin redness (aka. erythema). However, tackling redness isn’t very straightforward because the external culprit for causing redness can be incredibly diverse. In this guide, we’ll help explain what is erythema, the causes of erythema, and what skincare ingredients to target for your skin redness scenario. Let’s Breakdown Erythema The most stripped-down definition of skin erythema is the temporary reddening...

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Azelaic, Tranexamic, Kojic Acid... The Chemists' Best Hyperpigmentation Ingredients Guide

Uneven skin tone, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun spots, acne scars, melasma… it doesn’t matter what type of hyperpigmentation concern you have, this is one of THE most stubborn skin concerns to tackle. This is an arena where you don’t just need one single BEST ingredient, but a whole family of clinically validated hyperpigmentation-busting ingredients. So let’s go through some of the ingredients you’ll likely come across in your quest to brighten, even skin tone, and tac...

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Which Vitamin C Derivative is the Best For My Skin?

We have talked about the science behind vitamin C skincare, we have even tested a bunch of CE Ferulic dupes - yet there’s still more for us to cover in the vitamin C serum landscape. Vitamin C is actually a whole family of related molecules that all behave slightly differently. The OG vitamin C with the glitzy skin benefits that you often hear of is L-ascorbic acid. But since ascorbic acid is notoriously unstable in the presence of light, water, and air, many have turned to derivative compoun...

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Vitamin C: The Antioxidant Powerhouse

Vitamin C serums is probably one of the most popular products with countless new launches every year. Their lasting popularity make a lot of sense! Simply put, Vitamin C (specifically ascorbic acid) is one of the most validated actives in the skincare world for its clinical benefits. It has been proven to prevent free radical damage, brighten hyperpigmentation, and even boost collagen production. But given vitamin C’s popularity, it’s only gotten MORE difficult to choose the best vitamin C se...

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What's the deal with CBD serums & oils? - The 2023 edition

Back in fall 2019, we wrote a blog post on CBD in skincare when it was all the rage. During the early days of Covid lockdowns, it really felt like there was a new CBD miracle serum or oil every other week. Even now in spring of 2023, there are still a lot of questions and mystique around this ingredient. So it’s time to revisit CBD and see just what CBD does in skincare, if there are any new clinical studies that have come out on topical CBD, just who might benefit from CBD skincare, and how ...

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A Chemists' Guide to Navigating "Retinol Alternative" Skincare

Retinol’s popularity has only continued to grow in the past few years with no signs of slowing down. And for good reason! Of the actives out there, it comes with quite a resume of data behind it for reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even a little acne assistance. However, with that popularity comes a lot of confusion. Choosing the right retinol product can already be complicated, but on top of that, there’s a whole slew of “retinol alternatives” available on the market. In fact, if yo...

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Everything you need to know about silymarin in skincare

There’s an ingredient that's probbbaaabbbly not quite on your skincare radar yet - but we think it’s worth considering. The ingredient is called Silymarin (sih-lee-mae-rin), and comes from the extract of milk thistle. You'll find it on the ingredient list as "Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract", usually in a handful of clinical brands such as Skinceuticals, PCA Skin, and Dr. Dennis Gross…. And most recently our very own Mr. Reliable 2.0! Silymarin is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory pr...

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Our Double Play Retinol Clinical Testing Journey

We always talk a lot about the value of clinical tests in skincare and how helpful they can be in making a purchasing decision. Needless to say, we're doing celebratory dances over here because we finally completed our first clinical, designed with all the bells & whistles that we wanted. After 12 weeks of testing our Double Play Retinol Eye & Face Treatment, we’re excited to finally share the results. This has truly evolved into one of our more elaborate projects that took 2+ years to formul...

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Actives Pairings With Clinical Testing Behind Them

*Updated as of 5/17/2022 When you start dabbling in actives, you’ll easily fall into the rabbit hole of what you can and can’t layer. One of the complicated aspects of trying to figure out actives layering and why brands may not even be able to give clear answers is simply the fact it hasn’t gone through enough testing to truly know. Not to mention, the formulas these actives sit in can add another layer of complexity. The good thing is there are some active combinations that have been looked...

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