RADIANCE Retinol: Everything You Need to Know

We spent two years formulating this delicious, natural Retinol serum to be effective and regenerative for even the most sensitive of skin types and conditions. Truly some of the most effective and proven allies against both acne and maturing skin are vitamin A derivates from Retinol. It has been shown to regenerate epidermal function quickly through cellular turnover, while simultaneously boosting collagen production and repairing the photodamage that causes rapid skin maturation. However it is worth noting, that the type of Retinol used (as in any ingredient) really matters!

In Radiance, we only use microencapsulated Retinol, which is the safe Vitamin A derivative because it converts in skin receptors to retinoic acid (some other forms of topical Retinol do not make this conversion). Once converted, retinoic acid stimulates quicker cellular turnover (a kind of natural exfoliation) which leads to a massive uptake in collagen production and the lightening of discoloration. The lightening occurs due to older, pigmented skin cells being turned out and new cells replacing them. This same pathway of conversion works to fill and plump the scarring that manifests from acne. This exfoliation will also churn out the pathogenic bacteria that clog pores (hence the wonders it can do for stubborn acne). Over time, Retinol retextures and resurfaces the skin’s barrier for a completely new experience in function and feel. When used in tandem with Alchemy (our universal skin serum designed to do the same), the results are delicious!

We have suspended a 2.5% Retinol ratio with many other highly nourishing and synergistic plant micronutrients to quench the skin and promote resiliency. Ceramides, Rosehip Seed Oil, Carrot Oil, Vitamin E and Coq10 are just a few. Together, these ingredients work for you to deeply nourish the skin’s barrier, increase adaptive functioning, even out tone, brighten, and soften texture continually over time.

We also highly recommend using Radiance in tandem daily with Clarity (Clarity in the morning and Radiance in the evening) because of how Retinol and Vitamin C work in synchronous ways. They are different ingredients, yet have an affinity for unparalleled epidermal protection, nourishment, and regeneration. It is our belief at Moon + Rock that age defying resilience is enhanced by a ritual encounter with the time-tested Vitamin C and Retinol. That being said, proper sleep, hydration, diet, and stress management are the foundation. Self love is the mortar that binds it all!

It is also worth noting that the word “retinol” can sometimes come highly loaded, especially in the wellness space for those wanting only the best and cleanest of ingredients for their precious bodies (we identify with that!).

Let’s touch on some Retinol myths, shall we?

First ) There is a belief that Retinol is only necessary for “aging” skin, or for non-sensitive skin types. This could not be further from the truth! Rather, this belief is due to mainstream marketing that has woven the narrative around Retinol can do and targeted it at maturing skin. There has also been a damaging narrative woven around “aging” that we aren’t on board with, but that’s another topic for another day. In reality, every skin type can benefit from the influences of Retinol, with the exception of those who are presently pregnant and/or breastfeeding.

❖ Second ) Sometimes, there is an initial adjustment period when using Retinol for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. This adjustment may look like increased sensitivity to environmental elements and heat, slight redness or peeling. This is due to the cellular turnover that has been stimulated and so to avoid this, we recommend beginning your use with Radiance every few nights, working up to every other night, and then working up to every night over the course of a few weeks. This should bypass any adjustment symptoms. Most folks experience smoothness, brightness and hydration immediately with Radiance, however it may also take between six to eight weeks to see significant changes in skin texture and function. Patience is the virtue with all new skin ritual additions, and it sometimes takes a good month for the skin adjust to powerful ingredients such as Retinol — skin cells cycle in a 28 day pattern. 

❖ Third ) There is a popular, prominent belief that Retinol will make us more photosensitive. Au contraire — retinoids do not actually cause to photosensitivity, but what they can do is thin the top layers of the skin which may increase susceptibility to sunburn. This effect is completely preventable by using Retinol only at night, and if out in the sun for long periods of time, or under a high UV index, use sun protection through natural zinc oxide sunscreen and a hat. Retinol also degrades when exposed to the Sun, so to get the most bang for your buck, it should be used at night anyways.

❖ Fourth ) There is a belief that pure plant oils, such as Rosehip Seed, provide the same influence as retinoic acid, but they are different retinoid compounds that interact with the skin in different ways (Rosehip Seed contains trans-retinoic acid, still wonderful, just different). This claim of similarity is made because of the fact that any vitamin A derivate can be associated with the term “retinol”, even though they all convert differently. Ultimately, retinoic acid influences cellular turnover in both the dermis and the epidermis the most effectively.

Some other wonderful ingredients in Radiance to take note of —

✺ Ceramides  These are the mortar between the bricks (skin cells) holding the protective lipid layer of the skin intact. Ceramides help the stratum corneum (topmost layer of skin) do its job by keeping precious moisture in and pathogens that cause collaged comedos (pores) out. Acneic and aging skin needs more lipid love than ever, and as we supplement these topically, we can greatly minimize scarring and wrinkles while brining in textural softness along the way.

✺ Vitamin E  The ultra barrier booster! Vit E keeps skin lipids sealed, smooth, and protected. A protected epidermal barrier is crucial for healthy skin, as cracks (from dryness, to pimples, to environmental influence) cause damage and inflamed comedos. Vit E accelerates wound healing with fat-soluble antioxidant power. 

✺ Rosehip Seed Oil  High in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and K, delicious Rosehip Seed Oil benefits all skin types by regenerating cell turnover, brightening and evening out time, boosting collagen production and maintaining elasticity. Its high concentration of linoleic acid (omega-6) makes it particularly wonderful for acneic skin. Not only that, but it is one of the most divine and uplifting aromas of all time!

✺ Coq10  As one of the most fundamental antioxidants, Coq10 is a kind of fat-soluble quinone compound found in every cell of the human body and is vital in energy production of cells. When applied topically, it is known to repair damage and fight free radicals caused by UV radiation at the cellular level. It evens out skin tone by blocking tyrosinase, which helps with the production of melanin.

How do we suggest using Radiance?

We suggest massaging 1-2 pumps of Radiance into face and neck in the evening only, after using Atone Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Allow Radiance to penetrate for a minute, then apply Alchemy Universal Serum. For those who are presently pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, a perfect alternative to Retinol at night is our Clarity Vitamin C Serum.

If this is your first time using Retinol, or first time using it in a while, we suggest starting with using Radiance every few nights, working up to every other night, then every night over the course of a few weeks to bypass any adjustment symptoms.

Explore Radiance here!

⚘ ❖ In our mission to cut single use plastics, all of our serums, including Radiance, come in a reusable cloth bag and recycled paper envelope. Through your support of Moon + Rock skincare, one dollar per product sale will also be donated to One Tree Planted to root one new tree being somewhere on our Mother Earth where it is needed most. Our serums are always bottled in biophotonic Miron violetglass to protect the potency of the plant extracts inside. Radiance and its contents are completely recyclable! At the end of its life, please give it a loving home in your city's recycling bin, or better yet, reuse it!