FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is retinol?
It’s a type of vitamin A that is found in over-the-counter, non-prescription creams that can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production. It can be absorbed within the skin and when combined with certain enzymes, it can be converted into tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin A also known as retinoic acid. It does not require a prescription but it can deliver prescription like results with continued use. Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores.
Watch a informative video of Renée Rouleau talking about Advanced Resurfacing Serum here.
How does Advanced Resurfacing Serum differ from prescription retinoids like Retin-A or Renova?
Over-the-counter retinol is scientifically proven to mimic the benefits that a prescription retinoid offers, but it can be tolerated for those with sensitive skin. It will not give the harsh side effects like dryness, redness, peeling and irritation commonly associated with prescriptions.
You suggest using it by alternating with other serums at night. Why is that?
Your skin needs a variety of ingredients to achieve the best results. For example, when exercising, in order to achieve the best results for the body, you want to change it up and do a variety of workouts. Think of it like this, retinol is hard-hitting for aging, similar to say, kick boxing and will deliver great results for your body and muscles. However, sometimes you want to still hit it hard to get your body the results, but in a different way so as to work different muscles, so you might go for a run. For the skin, this would be an acid serum like AHA Smoothing Serum 17%. It’s exfoliating the skin and still delivering results, but in a different way. Then there are times when you want to go a little easier on your body. This might be a yoga or pilates class. You’ll still work up a sweat, but you’re working out your body differently. This is like a hydrating Peptide serum, such as Bio Radiance Night Serum, which will give results, but is less aggressive. Again, your skin needs a bit of everything, but for the best results, you want the Advanced Resurfacing Serum to be used about 75% of the nights. To see which serums are best for you, choose your skin type here or see our specialty serums here.
You suggest alternating it with other serums. What if I don’t want to purchase the other serums right now?
For best results, we do suggest using it as recommended by alternating with other serums, however if you can’t, just use moisturizer only (after cleansing and toning) on the other nights.
I use a serum and/or moisturizer that contains exfoliating acids. Can I use that underneath or over the Advanced Resurfacing Serum?
You can use any acid product like those with salicylic, lactic and glycolic however; you don’t want to use them at the same time as the retinol product to avoid a possible interference of active ingredients. If you use an acid-based cleanser (something that is put on and washed right off) such as our AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel, this is fine to use prior to application of Advanced Resurfacing Serum. You just don’t to layer an acid serum cream over or under the retinol product.
Can I use other branded (non-Renée Rouleau) serums along with Advanced Resurfacing Serum?
Yes. Just make sure it avoids these ingredients here.
Can I layer it with other serums?
No. It’s best to use other serums on alternate nights since each serum has a very specific purpose. You don’t want to dilute or interfere with any of the results from any of the serums.
Can I use it in the summer time?
Yes, but only if you are someone who avoids getting a tan and wears sunscreen (applied generously and often). If you expect to spend time out in the sun, it’s best to discontinue use a week beforehand and start back up when you’ll have less exposure. To protect the skin from damaging UV rays that will cause any anti-aging product not to work as effectively, you must protect your skin daily. Recommendation: ColoreScience Mineral Sunblock Powder SPF 50 dusted on over Daily Protection SPF 30 or Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 30.
Is your retinol stable?
In the last few years, new technologies have been developed to allow us to stabilize retinol by encapsulating it with inert materials. If a product uses this kind of technology (which ours does), then this product will be more effective. A product with 1% retinol that is not encapsulated may be less effective than a product with 0.4% retinol that is encapsulated. In addition, our packaging allows light and air to stay away from the product ensuring maximum stability and effectiveness.
What side effects might I experience?
Some may experience some slight dryness in the first month, but most will not experience any side effects, especially if you follow the recommended usage by alternating with a mild acid serum and hydrating serum for your skin type.
Can I use it if I have breakouts?
This formula may help with mild acne, but its primary use is to reduce large pores, wrinkles, brown spots and sun damage. If you are someone whose main concern is acne and breakouts, you’re better off using BHA Clarifying Serum or a prescription form of vitamin A. We suggest Advanced Resurfacing Serum for skin types #2, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9. It is not suggested for skin types #1 or #3 since the main focus for these skin types are on anti-acne, not so much anti-aging. Choose your skin type here.
Will it help smooth out indentations in my skin from acne scars?
Yes. With long term use, Advanced Resurfacing Serum will help to create a smoother texture to the skin so indents in the skin from acne, large pores or chicken pox scars will appear less noticeable.
Can I use it if I’m pregnant?
No, retinol should not be used while pregnant. You can substitute our AHA Smoothing Serum 10% or AHA Smoothing Serum 17% while pregnant or breastfeeding.
How does this differ from other over-the-counter retinol products?
When choosing a retinol product, it’s not just about the percentage used.
The benefits of Advanced Resurfacing Serum include:
- time-released formula (a slower release prevents irritation, while retinol receptors are engaged for 8 hours while you sleep)
- microencapsulated in a liposome (to ensure retinol stays stable and effective)
- a lightweight gel formula ensures it gets absorbed immediately by the skin
- greaseless and non-pore clogging
- soothing ingredients like mugwort, algae and licorice ensure the skin stays calm
- smoother, younger-looking skin each day
Can I use it in conjunction with a prescription retinoid?
Yes, but not together on the same night. Check with your doctor, but if you’re currently using a prescription retinoid and find it too irritating, you can safely alternate nights with Advanced Resurfacing Serum to lessen the side effects from the prescription, while still delivering results.
How long will it take for me to see results?
Like all retinol products, the true anti-wrinkle results are not immediate but you may notice the skin looking brighter and smoother soon after starting. Depending on the severity of sun damage, you should start seeing improvement within 4-8 weeks and the longer you use it, the better results you'll see. According to a 2007 study published in The Archives of Dermatology, 36 participants age 80 and older applied a formula with 0.4 percent retinol (same percentage as Advanced Resurfacing Serum) to one arm up to three times a week. After 24 weeks, these participants had dramatic improvements in their skin that were clearly visible to the naked eye. So if those over age 80 can see a difference, where the signs of aging have dramatically set in, certainly younger skin types will see results even faster.
Can I use it if I have rosacea?
Yes, this formula can be tolerated well by those who have been diagnosed with mild rosacea but you may want to introduce it to your skin more slowly, starting with only 2-3 nights a week for the first month.
Should I use moisturizer on top of it?
For normal and dry skin types, applying moisturizer on top is suggested. If you have oily and combination skin, you may find it’s not necessary to use moisturizer on top—especially in the summer. Listen to your skin to determine if moisturizer is needed. Advanced Resurfacing Serum does offer protective hydration for oily skin types.
Do I have to wait 30 minutes before applying moisturizer?
No, it is not necessary to wait 30 minutes before applying moisturizer (as is recommended for those using prescription retinoids). We do suggest waiting three minutes before applying a light coat of moisturizer.
What age should I start using it to prevent wrinkles?
Age 30 is when the signs of aging begin to show and acne is less of a concern so this age may be a good time to start. But do know, it's never too late to get results from a well-formulated retinol product like Advanced Resurfacing Serum. If you have wrinkles, no matter what your age, you will still get the skin smoothing results.
How long does a bottle last?
On average (and when used as suggested) a bottle should last about 4-6 weeks.
Should this product be used day or night?
This product is only to be used in the evening. In the daytime, a well-formulated skin lightening vitamin C product like Vitamin C&E Treatment should be used in the daytime with sunscreen layered generously on top.
How long should I use it?
For life! To get the best results from this product, you must use it regularly and as directed. Using it only occasionally will not deliver the true results.
Can I use other exfoliating products when I’m using this product?
Yes, it’s best to use a gentle facial scrub a few times a week, as well as a mild acid serum for your skin type once a week. By giving your skin surface exfoliation, this will enhance the effects of the product causing it to be absorbed deeper within the skin. Should you get any mild dryness when using Advanced Resurfacing Serum, exfoliation will also help keep that under control.
VIDEO: Renée Rouleau talks about Advanced Resurfacing Serum. Watch now here.