Talking about discovering my first wrinkle, the comment that changed my entire skincare regimen, and how to make your face as soft as a baby's bottom.
If there was ever a time when you secretly felt pride after being told you look older than your age, slap yourself.
If you've ever thought, "Skincare regimen? What's that?" – slap yourself.
And if you're sitting there, rolling your eyes at what's shaping up to be another lecture, you too ought to slap yourself.
Now, wasn't that fun?!
Just kidding – please don't tell me you actually did what I told you.
Truth be told, there once was a time when I too was a naive teenager who thought looking older than my age gave me some sort of advantage in life.
That stage was short-lived, as one fateful day in my very early 20's, I discovered my very first wrinkle – and by "wrinkle" I'm referring to the massive crease between my eyebrows for which I blame my permanently scowling face that goes hand-in-hand with my highly sarcastic nature.
Soon after came the awkward questions, like, "Are you not feeling well today?" when I'd forgo wearing makeup, the backhanded compliments, "Oh, you actually look rested for a change!" when I did wear makeup, and my personal favorite, the indirect insults from loved ones, like "What are those funny little holes on your nose? They look like freckles!" spoken by none other than my then-boyfriend, now-husband (sad but true story!).
But to be honest, I'm not even mad – at least not at the aforementioned offenders. I am, however, furious at myself – for thinking that my skin would magically maintain the freshness and softness of a baby's bottom despite the amount of junk I've applied to it for the past, oh I don't know, twenty-six years.
It's no secret that the last comment has sent me on a downward spiral of finding a pore minimizer that would work miracles in my daily struggle of masking those "funny little holes" that have taken up permanent residence atop my nose, cheeks and chin. So when the good people at StriVectin reached out about the possibility of me reviewing the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner, I couldn't agree fast enough.
If nothing else, I told myself, I'm all about sampling a product before paying $99 for a 1.7-ounce tube.
And so I began applying the cream as if my life depended on it – once in the morning and once in the evening. I must admit my hesitancy to apply retinol on my already sensitive skin, but I was pleasantly surprised that I had zero negative reactions to the chemicals.
StriVectin uses the more stable form of retinol – known as retinal palmitate – in its products, but that is common among high-end skincare brands. What really sets the Strivectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner apart from the pack is the brand's patented NIA-114 technology, which, when mixed with retinol, helps convert retinol into reinoic acid faster while limiting the irritating side effects common to retinol use.
The brand recommends using the Pore Refiner as the very last step of your skincare regimen, so after washing my face, I apply a light moisturizer with SPF 30, followed by the StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner. I rarely use moisturizers with such high sunscreen content, but because of the retinol, I figured it's better to be safe than sorry (growing wiser by the minute, let me tell you).
Almost immediately, I detected a difference. If nothing else, my face became lighter and smoother, and after applying makeup, the result was a matte, nearly flawless finish despite the oiliness of the sunscreen.
Now, nearly two weeks later, my skin feels softer, looks strangely more plump, I feel pregnant (totally kidding, but people do occasionally comment on my luminous face, so that counts for something, right?). Even if my pores are not completely erased (I'm thinking it may take divine intervention for them to disappear altogether), I am happy to report that they have, in fact, reduced in size.
Because each application requires no more than two quick pumps, the product is worth the $99 investment, as it will last at least three or four months. It's available at Macy's, Bloomingdale's or ULTA, where for a limited time only you can receive a free gift with your purchase!
What are some of your favorite pore minimizers? I’m curious to know if there are other 20-something-year-olds using retinol products?
Go on, now. Tell me all your beauty secrets in the comments section.