I’ve always been a little bit suss on retinol.
Despite its reputation as one of the best anti-ageing ingredients in the skin care game, the fact that I have skin that becomes easily sensitised if I hurl too many hardball actives at it means that I’ve never wholeheartedly welcomed it into my routine.
I’d settled instead for refreshing my complexion with gentle chemical exfoliants like LHAs and PHAs, and a bucketload of hyaluronic acid. Truth be told, I thought I’d sworn off retinol serums altogether.
But that was until innisfree’s latest retinol range landed at my door…
What’s the deal?
Comprised of the innisfree Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule ($54 at innisfree) and innisfree Retinol Cica Ampoule Focusing Patch ($18 at innisfree), the retinol-infused pair intrigued me, because as well as boasting a potent serving of retinol, they also contained a low-irritant complex.
Named “Jeju Cica Liposomlogy™”, this mouthful of an ingredient is comprised of centella asiatica, hyaluronic acid and ceramides that help to soothe skin and strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier.
The combination of this innovative complex and retinol claims to treat everything from breakouts, acne, large pores and uneven texture, while maintaining hydration levels and soothing skin.
The innisfree Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule doesn’t look like much in the bottle to be perfectly honest.
The serum texture is lightweight and cooling to apply, but there isn’t any kind of tingling or physical sensation that would indicate it’s working overtime to slough away dead skin cells and rejuvenate the complexion.
I took this as a positive sign that it wouldn’t irritate my dry and sensitive skin and I was correct in making that assumption – my skin simply felt hydrated and refreshed post-application.
This was extra impressive considering I used the ampoule in my morning AND evening skin care routines, alongside a slew of other hydrating, antioxidant-rich formulas (of course).
As for the innisfree Retinol Cica Ampoule Focusing Patch? I won’t lie, these didn’t impress me as much.
Take it from me: you’re going to want to apply these to clean, dry skin or wipe the intended treatment area clean of any skin care prior to application.
The instructions implied that I could slap on a patch after applying my skin care but it literally fell off of my face. The more you know.
After the frustration of wasting a few stickers, I successfully adhered a patch to a dark spot that had been left on my skin after an overzealous pimple popping sesh.
The patented micro-needle technology is said to deliver the same retinol and Jeju Cica Liposomlogy™ complex deep into the skin.
I didn’t notice any immediate results after removing the patch except for a slight lightening to the area that it was applied to. But a few days later it became evident that the dark spot I had treated was indeed fading.
My skin hasn’t been the only subject of recent beauty experimentations.
I started trialling the innisfree Retinol Cica Repair range right before I jetted off to Brisbane for a bleached hair transformation with EdwardsAndCo and Redken, and now (to explain the elephant in the room re: my after photos) I am very, very blonde. It’s been a busy two weeks, let’s just put it that way. But back to my face…
The most notable change I’ve seen in my skin after incorporating these two retinol products into my routine is just how fresh and dewy my complexion looks.
My skin tone has evened and I’ve noticed a reduction in texture and potential breakouts too.
But what I am most happy about is the fact that I have been able to achieve these results without compromising my skin’s hydration or protective barrier.
The final verdict
If you’re new to retinol or just a bit sensitive to traditional retinol serum formulas, I would definitely suggest giving the innisfree Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule a go.
It’s gentle on skin, while still delivering considerably speedy results.
However, while I will gladly sing the praises of the ampoule, the focusing patches are a bit meh by comparison.
If lightening your dark spots is on your to-do list, I would opt for a dedicated dark spot serum in lieu of purchasing a sheet of these skin care stickers.
Love to hear what we think about all things new? Check out our Milk Makeup RISE Mascara Review.
Main image credit: supplied by innisfree
Briar is a Content Producer at BEAUTYcrew. She is a self-professed skin care obsessive, always on the hunt for the perfect mascara, and can't go past a plumping lipgloss.