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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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Adapalene - Can You Use it for Anti-Aging?...like Tretinoin?

If your goal is effective skincare, you’ll probably be pretty familiar with the world of retinoids. This family of molecules has a long, rich history of clinical testing to showcase their efficacy in treating a wide range of skin concerns from acne to anti-aging. However, choosing the right retinoid for your skin can quickly become pretty confusing. Every retinoid can come with their own quirks, target percentages, and benefits. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the acne superstar, a...

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Tretinoin - Is it Bad for Skin Long Term?

Tretinoin is by far the most famous retinoid of the Vitamin A category and for good reason. It has a prevalent history of use plus a long long history of validation for multiple benefits including acne, anti-aging, and hyperpigmentation. However, much like any other popular skincare ingredient, with its fame comes a few areas of confusion. Tretinoin beginners may find themselves asking questions like, is using tretinoin long term actually bad for me?. Am I still purging? Or is this concentrat...

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Which 10% Azelaic Acid Product is Right For Me?

Azelaic acid is one of those hot ingredients with data showcasing its ability to help tackle major skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, acne, and even rosacea. However, the challenge with this ingredient is that in order to achieve these benefits you’ll need a LOT of it in your skincare (read: major formula challenges for chemists). The other difficulty is that it’s also regulated so you typically would need a prescription to get those higher concentrations (15-20%) and won’t be able to p...

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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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Chemists' Guide to Patch Testing Skincare at Home

One of the main “Chemists’ Skincare Commandments” we tout is that with any new product, we all should patch test, patch test, patch test! We know all too well that the skincare industry is never short of new, exciting, glitzy products to add to our skincare routine. As we integrate new products into our daily routines, the importance of understanding how skin reacts cannot be overstated. There are so many of us (yes, that’s us included) can get carried away, and if you’re not careful, you mig...

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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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The Chemists' Occlusives Guide - Should You Be Slugging?

In the past couple of years, “slugging” has become one of the biggest social media skincare trends that seemingly is here to stay. The term has been coined by the interwebs as the process of masking your entire face with an occlusive balm to seal in your moisturizer step for optimal hydration. While the method of slugging might not be for every skin type, the operative word here is occlusive. Occlusives are a fundamental category of moisturizing ingredients that are an essential component to ...

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The Chemists' Exfoliation Guide for All Skin Types

Back in the day, St. Ives Apricot scrub was probably the poster child for exfoliation. Even today, most people probably associate exfoliation with those amber scrubby beads. But! Since then, the entire exfoliation category has gotten a glow-up. Now you can choose from a wide range of exfoliating cleansers, serums, masks, sticks, pads, etc all with different strengths and efficacy levels to boot. So let’s take a closer look at why you should exfoliate, how to shop for the right exfoliant, what...

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The Chemists' Guide to Home Peels

Chemical peels are great for stubborn skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. It used to be a treatment you can get exclusively at professional medspas and dermatology offices, but now there is a whole category of skincare products you can choose from that claim to be at-home versions of peels. So how do these home peels stack up against the professional peels? Can they actually target hyperpigmentation and fine lines like professional peels? How do you shop for the...

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