Since my acne journey started 11 years ago I’ve crossed paths with any and every medication combination you can imagine (except Accutane). I’ve tried adapalene, isotretinoin gel, tretinoin, tazarotene, benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, azelaic acid, and the list goes on, and on, and on. I had not however tried Retinaldehyde. I had given up on my retinoid journey because I was always left scarred and worse than before.
Back in April 2021, my skin was doing very well with only the occasional breakout around that time of the month. However, I did think that I should probably start using something to boost collagen production and prevent my skin from sagging or forming lines (my filler and botox need a desperate refill and I was influenced by TikTok dermatologists making me feel old). That’s when Sachi Skin’s Ursolic Acid & Retinal Overnight Reform entered the chat and I was very eager to begin my retinoid journey again. Fast-forward a few months, I did get a bit too eager (as always!) and decided to get a tretinoin prescription to go brute force which did not turn out as expected and I had a huge acne flare-up (aka purge) so, long-story-short, I stopped using any and all other retinoids and focused on using just the Sachi Skin Retinal because every time I used it, my skin would feel and look HAPPY!
WHAT IS IT?
A little bit about retinaldehyde: it’s a form of Vitamin A that has proven to have antimicrobial properties. As a retinoid, it promotes skin cell turnover, boosts collagen production, helps keep pores clear, and works to thicken the dermis.
Specifically, the Sachi Skin Retinal is at a 0.05% concentration as well as encapsulated. This cocktail of goodness also includes anti-inflammatory Liposomal Ursolic Acid, Tripeptides, Bakuchiol, Black Cumin Seed Oil, Holy Basil, 12 antioxidants including Glutathione, Superoxide Dismutase and Niacinamide, Rosehip and Carrot Root Extracts, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Milk Thistle (Silymarin), and Oat Oil.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
These ingredients are just IT. Everything in this formula is so intentional, not excessive, super potent, yet oh-so-very gentle. It targets everything from pigmentation, to elasticity, to acne, to fine lines. For me, I see an immediate brightening, plumping, and evenness the next day I wake up. I use it every other day now and there’s never irritation or side effects from using it.
I love how I can rely on it to keep my skin soothed but also treated with everything it needs to keep it going and to stay healthy and glowing. It’s the only retinoid I’ve kept in my routine for this long without issues or irritation. I don’t know if it’s because it’s encapsulated or because of the concentration or formulation of the ingredients but it just really works for me. My skin is happy!
HOW DO I USE IT?
I started using this once a week, then moved up to twice a week about a month later, and so on until I got to every other evening. I like to keep a night off from retinoids to use all my acids and other treatments which also really help my skin. I double-cleanse, make sure my skin is completely dry, then apply a pump of the retinal all over my face avoiding my eye area. After 30 minutes or so I use a layer of La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer. I like to use a simple moisturizer with Ceramides and repairing properties to help with my barrier. I also like the Cicaplast Baume, but it is a bit too heavy for me right now.
Skin health and progress are not linear at all for me, you can see that spots are appearing, there’s inflammation here and there, but as time goes on my skin feels and looks healthier and more at peace. I stopped using my prescription retinoid on July 20th. I’ve been using the Sachi Retinal since the beginning of April once or twice a week interchangeably with my prescription, and alone every other night starting July 21st.
WOULD I REPURCHASE?
This first bottle was sent to me as PR from Sachi for review purposes, but I would absolutely purchase this again and again. I do want to try other retinal products on the market, but I feel like this formula is particularly suitable to me and my skin needs because the combination of ingredients and the Ursolic Acid and Bakuchiol really help with any spots I have. I haven’t had new spots appear since I stopped using my prescription retinoid which is a huge win, but I am battling a lot of PIE and PIH as well as deep-set scarring.