More shiny – the beloved internet brand known for its minimalist makeup, easy-to-use products and signature pastel pink packaging – recently launched its first retinol. I am a big fan of the brand Invisible Shield Sunscreen (it is totally weightless and smells good) and the irresistible Dotcoms Balm. And although I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Universal Pro-Retinol, I’d be lying if I said the launch wasn’t a surprise.
Retinol is one of those skin care products that dermis swear by, but also seemingly complicated if you’re new to the product, expensive, and can potentially increase your skin’s sensitivity (read more on the use of retinol here). I have used it during breakouts or when my skin is dull, but it has never been a part of my skin care for this reason. While retinol absolutely makes the skin brighter, plumper, and clearer, I personally experience stubborn spots and peeling. Eventually (once my skin clears up) I’ll give it up for a more hydrating serum or oil.
So you can tell I was more than curious to see if More shiny – a brand that I associate more with natural-looking makeup products and straightforward skin care – could really create a retinol on par with the (much) more expensive options of bigger skin care brands. Fortunately, I was able to test it for about a week, and let’s just say that Glossier’s Universal Pro-Retinol Already turned me into a nocturnal retinol enthusiast.
Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol is, according to the brand, designed to be used by just about everyone. If you’re wondering how this is possible, take a look at the key ingredient in universal pro-retinol: retinyl sunflower, a retinol derivative made from pure retinol and fatty acids from sunflower seeds. This is a new innovation in skin care that sets Universal Pro-Retinol apart from other retinol creams and serums. Not only has this combo been shown to improve skin issues such as fine lines, blemishes, dark spots, and overall texture, it’s also been found to be less irritating than other retinol creams.
Most retinol products will have concentrations of 0.25%, 0.3%, 0.5%, and 1%. Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol contains 0.5% Pro-Retinol. That’s (as the brand explains) a high enough percentage to reap the benefits while still being gentle enough for all skin types, even if you have drier or more sensitive skin.
Two other key ingredients in the formulation of the product are stevia extract and mondo herb root extract. Stevia extract, which comes from the leaves and stems of the stevia plant, is a naturally occurring retinol alternative that helps sunflower retinyl smooth your skin, especially when it comes to fine lines. Mondo Grass Root Extract works with other herbal humectants (i.e. something used to reduce moisture loss) to make the formula creamier, more hydrating, and most importantly, extremely gentle. for the skin. And on top of that, Universal Pro-Retinol is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated fragrance-free.
More shiny recommended using the Universal Pro-Retinol exclusively in your evening routine. After cleaning and pat-drying your face, the brand asks users to smooth a pea-sized amount of product onto their face and follow up with a moisturizer.
The first thing I noticed about the cream (which isn’t totally unusual for retinol creams) is the mildly medicinal smell. Although it is visible, it fades quickly and did not bother me at all during my skin care routine. Immediately after applying Universal Pro-Retinol, it was clear that it was not your everyday retinol cream; it’s much thicker and creamier. The consistency is lotion-like and almost smooth, as opposed to a finer or more watery texture that I’ve encountered before. And after application, my skin looked like it had already been hydrated; he was covered in dew, he was hydrated, and there was absolutely no burning.
Since my skin is quite used to the less potent retinol, I started (and continued) using Universal Pro-Retinol every other night. And I’m shocked to report that I didn’t experience any burning, irritation, or peeling. And while I’m only about a week away (and I certainly can’t talk about the long-term effects just yet – we’ll update this article after I’ve used the product for a bit longer), I don’t haven’t had a rash and my skin looks dewy, healthy and plumped. What more can you ask for?
I will absolutely be using this product for a few more months to see how my skin improves over time. Glossier’s own clinical test of the product revealed that 100% of participants saw a visible transformation in their skin after four weeks, although all of the product’s benefits should be apparent after three months of use. I’m especially excited to see if my dark spots will fade and my pores will shrink, two things that users who took part in the trial identified as improvements in their skin.
Some tips for use for those new to retinol. Glossier recommends starting by using Universal Pro-Retinol one or two nights a week and gradually increasing the frequency (you can eventually progress to night use). I say nightly use because you should only use a retinol cream like this in your evening skin care routine when your skin’s repair mechanisms and cell turnover are at their peak. Plus, retinoids are known to increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so you’ll want to stay out after applying it. But just as important, you’ll want to make sure you’re still wearing an SPF daily – Glossier’s Invisible Shield Sunscreen is a perfect option.
Retinol is also known to not mix well with several types of skin care products, from chemical exfoliators (like alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids) to some toners, benzoyl peroxide and even vitamin C. So , if you’re looking to incorporate a cream retinol like this, you’ll want to streamline your routine to focus on cleansing and moisturizing.
I totally agree with Glossier – this product would work for just about anyone looking for a retinol cream. While I can’t speak to the long-term effectiveness at this point in testing, I haven’t had any issues or complaints about the product so far. All of my experience so far has been nothing but positive and I am really looking forward to continuing to use this product for the months to come.
While the Universal Pro-Retinol would work great on those with oilier, acne-prone skin (and maybe those who are used to retinol creams or other stronger products), I highly recommend it for those with skin dry, sensitive skin and those new to retinol or general skin care. Because retinol doesn’t have to be combined with a plethora of other products (and isn’t part of a multi-step routine in general), it’s a great way to start a weekly skin care routine or night cream with a fabulous ingredient that improves your skin in countless ways.
The biggest draw for me of Universal Pro-Retinol is the texture and feel of the product on my skin. It is undeniably nourishing and hydrating, while being effective. As someone with chronically dry skin, I look for moisture in just about every skin care product I own. And finding an easy (and pleasant) retinol cream to incorporate into my nighttime dry skin routine is a game-changer.
It doesn’t even take the price into consideration. While the $ 35 price tag is the highest for the entire Glossier product line, it doesn’t come close to the extraordinarily high price tag of other similar retinol cream options – many cost double and even triple the price of Universal Pro -Retinol.
So I absolutely recommend this product. Especially at the price, it’s the perfect introduction to high quality, gentle yet effective skin care. And I feel like I’m not the only one calling the new Glossier launch their favorite retinol cream.