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This Gentle ‘Replenishing’ Serum Is Saving Me From Prescription Retinol

To be quite honest, there aren’t many skin care products I finish. Between having reactive skin and the fact that testing products is my literal job, more often than not, once-used jars will make their way to my re-gift pile to make room for the newest launches. But not only did I finish my entire bottle of Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum, I almost shed a tear when I used the very last drop. 

Despite having chronic acne, my skin has always been dry and sensitive as well (possibly as a result of the drying acne products I’ve slathered on since I got my first period), making it a balancing act to get the moisture I need as well as treating my breakouts. That got even harder this winter when I was prescribed Epiduo, which uses prescription-strength retinol and benzoyl peroxide, for my acne. So far, it’s done a pretty good job of keeping breakouts under control, but it’s also turned my face into a tight, peeling, painful mess. 

Until I found the Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum, that is. Developed by Loretta Ciraldo, a dermatologist with more than 40 years of experience, the serum’s main purpose is to protect from environmental damage, using Lipochroman, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition to pollution, it also helps fight off free-radical damage from sunlight. Vitamin E and linoleic acid are also included to protect your skin barrier. Antioxidant serums are amazing at protecting your skin from environmental stress, which can lead to signs of aging down the line. But of them tend to focus on vitamin C, which unfortunately tends to irritate my skin, so I love that this one has a super-powered antioxidant with zero side effects. 

While the protection is great, the reason I fell in love with this serum is the texture. It’s quite a bit thicker than most of my other serums—almost like honey. Because of this, only a few drops cover my entire face and makes it feel instantly comforted, like a soft hug. This comforting feeling comes from glycerine, which is a humectant that draws water into your skin, and glycolipids, which replenish moisture loss and repair your skin barrier. 

It’s this barrier repair that has been so key in soothing my retinol-burned skin. No matter how flaky, red, or painful my skin looks and feels, just one application makes it feel bouncy and dewy. Not only does it feel better, but it instantly looks better too—suddenly, I have the glossy-gleamy skin of a Glossier model, not a 24-year-old acne patient. It doesn’t even matter what moisturizer I pat on top, my face feels hydrated and plump until I have to reapply at night, which is no small feat when your skin is flaking off. 

Not only did I finish my bottle, but I went ahead and ordered another one. I never want to be without it again. 

Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum


Dr. Loretta

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