How I Started My Anti-Aging Skincare Routine

For the past few years, I’ve been much more concerned with skincare than ever before. Years in the sun and late nights took a toll on my skin, but it wasn’t until after my daughter was born and I turned 32 that I really started to notice my wrinkles looking deeper and the overall worn-out appearance of my skin. Since then, I have been determined to develop a skincare routine that not only prevents further damage, but also helps to repair and combat the signs of aging. Because I don’t wear much makeup on a regular basis except for concealer and mascara, I understand the importance of keeping my skin healthy. When my skin looks healthier and younger, it helps me feel more confident and better about myself.  I’m all for aging naturally, but I also believe in doing what I can to keep my skin looking and feeling good.

Becoming a mom and juggling the balance of working several jobs and maintaining a household leaves me almost no time for myself. I look forward to my evening routine before I get ready for bed because sometimes I don’t even get 10 minutes in the morning—unless I set an alarm for 6 a.m. (most days I’d rather just sleep). So, I’ve been on the hunt for products that are really going to work. There are millions of anti-aging products on the market now and it’s easy to get lost and feel overwhelmed by the options. For a while, I’ve been thinking about trying a Retinol-based product, I have friends that swear by them and everything you read says they are the only over-the-counter products that can really target wrinkles. I also know they can be harsh on skin. I had a friend whose forehead was red and peeling for weeks after she started using a product with Retinol! When I learned that First Aid Beauty (a brand I’ve been using for years) was coming out with a Retinol Serum, I knew I wanted to try it. First Aid Beauty is known for creating products designed specifically for sensitive skin—and that’s exactly what they’ve done with the Retinol Serum and Resurfacing Liquid. Before I dive into my experience trying these two products, I thought I’d share the Q&A that I sent over to the team before I started using the products. It might help answer some of your questions about Retinol-based products.


When is the best time to use Retinol?
Use the Retinol Serum at night only.

Do I (or can I) apply a moisturizer after?
Always follow with moisturizer. to help mitigate dryness. We like Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum along with Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream.

Why is Retinol an important ingredient in an anti-aging routine?
Retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, is a gold standard ingredient in anti-aging because it encourages skin cell turnover. As you get older, your skin cell turnover happens less frequently, so Retinol helps speed up that process. It’s been proven to help diminish fine lines, age spots and wrinkles.

I started using these products about a month ago, and I found both the Retinol Serum and Resurfacing Liquid to be extremely gentle. In fact, I experienced NO peeling or redness even after my first use of the Retinol Serum! It has 0.25% Pure Concentrate and is also formulated with First Aid Beauty’s Skin Saver Complex, which contains Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C and E, Aloe, Colloidal Oatmeal, Allantoin and Ceramides to soothe and nourish the skin, and delivers results with no irritation. What’s more, it’s designed for beginner Retinol users like myself and I’d highly recommend it to anyone wanting to use a Retinol-based product for the first time. After two weeks, I noticed my skin felt softer and had a more even tone. I saw the biggest difference on my forehead. I use the product in the evenings after I wash my face and before I put on my moisturizer. I started using it every other night for the first week and am now using it nightly. Keep in mind, this particular product is for nighttime-use only.

I also tried using the Resurfacing Liquid at the same time. It’s a different formula from the Retinol, and contains 10% AHA. I think of this as a leave-on peel. It helps smooth, brighten and even the appearance of dull-looking skin, and it really works! To start, I’m using this every other day (and plan on increasing to daily after a few weeks) in the mornings after I wash my face. It’s a really gentle, soothing formula and I did not experience any peeling or redness. It’s gentle enough for everyday use, just make sure to follow it with a sunscreen.

While makeup can hide imperfections on the skin, it’s what’s under the makeup that really counts. I’ve found that both products are perfect for preventing and treating aging skin, and keeping my skin looking and feeling its best!

This post is in partnership with First Aid Beauty. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting brands that help support us.

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Author: Caitlin Kruse

  • One thing to note with retinol: Daily SPF is always a must, but it’s especially important when you’re using retinol to protect sensitized skin from the sun!

  • The Retinol seems to me like it would barely be effective, since it appears as the 9th ingredient in the full ingredients list for that product. You’d be better off spending slightly more money on a product where Retinol appears as the 1st or 2nd ingredient in the ingredients list.

  • The sponsored content has gotten out of control… I’ve been following you guys since you’re inception and I feel like the spiraling has finally gotten to a point where I can’t read this anymore without assuming you’ve been paid to say all these nice things about one brand while leaving out what you’re really using when you go home at night. Please bring back original content!!!

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