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Getting off the retinoid rollercoaster

25 February 2019

I have tried my fair share of retinoids over the years – off and on.

Usually, I’d seek out a dermatologist and he or she would prescribe a cream containing tretinoin.

And for a while I’d have hopes of reversing the damage caused by the sun and my ever-busy sebaceous glands.

Oily skin is a blessing and a curse. I have virtually no laugh lines after 50 years of good humour, but the flipside is enlarged pores, a dull surface and acne scarring.

Retinoids speed up cell renewal. And, yes, I did notice my skin soften and brighten initially using the prescribed stuff.

But as the weeks and months wore on, my skin would become redder and drier. Eventually, I’d fall out of love with the prescribed cream and switch to something over-the-counter instead.

Then years later, I’d become frustrated by the pharmacy products and seek a referral to another dermatologist.

The older I got, the more uneasy I felt about the retinoid rollercoaster I was on.

For starters, there was the long list of warnings inside the box the cream came in.

And I had to declare my retinoid use whenever I had my brows done, in case the wax removed a few layers of skin (what an off-putting thought!).

Plus, I began to wonder just how long this cell renewal business could go on. Was it endless, or was I wrecking my skin? Would I pay for my vanity in later life?

Then a year ago, at age 49, I stumbled upon the Simplicité range quite by accident.

Robin had read something I’d written online and tracked me down to ask whether I could write a blog post for her. Naturally, I had to try the range first.

The first product to win me over was the Plant Gel Cleanser. I was amazed to find it worked more efficiently to clean my skin of oil and make-up than any cleanser I’d known. Yet it was so gentle that my skin didn’t feel it had been stripped of its protective layer.

Exfoliation is key to generating cell turnover. So, I added the One Step Exfoliating Cleanser (which I use as the second part of my evening double cleanse) and once or twice a week I’ll use the Rosehip and Lavender Complexion Refiner – a mask that sets before being rubbed off.

Freshly exfoliated skin will soak up the goodness of what is applied next. A tiny amount of Sage Face Oil mixed with a squirt of Hydrating Floral Toning Lotion and applied straight after a shower makes my face feel supple and youthful. I lock in that moisture with Oil Controlled Day Creme and top with sunscreen.

And I’m ready for my day, smelling earthy and naturally fragrant like I’ve been plucked from the garden.

Most of all, I feel like I’ve been kind to myself.

The carefully sourced (medicinal grade), organic ingredients in Simplicité's range have a wholesome integrity you can feel and smell straight away. 

I still have to avoid the sun, but only because I live in Queensland and it’s the skin cancer capital of the world. Not because I’m trying to cheat the inevitability of ageing with punishing formulas.

Twelve months later, my skin has a glow I haven’t seen for 30 years.

Sharon Doyle, 50
Brisbane QLD 

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