Skincare products with Retinol or Vitamin A appear to be quite a buzzword this year. Me? I’m happy about it. It means I have more choices across the board, and brands have to work harder to impress. Win for the consumer!
One I had been curious about was the Clinique Fresh Pressed Overnight Clinical™ Overnight Booster With Pure Vitamin A (Retinol). What a mouthful!
I’ll just call it the Clinique Fresh Pressed retinol, to keep things more concise.
When I heard about it, I was super curious. I am starting to incorporate products with Vitamin A (Retinol) into my skincare routine, so any new retinol product intrigues me.
I tested the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol over the past week, and here’s what I think. “But it’s only been a week!” I hear you say “Where’s your credibility?! Don’t you have to wait at least a month for results?”
The Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol – Why the packaging?
So, what is it really? Magic? You might wonder.
The Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol comes in packaging very similar to that of their Fresh Pressed Vitamin C serum. The concept is quite simple.
When you get a new tube of the Fresh Pressed Retinol (clearly marked in purple), you remove the silver seal and depress the purple bulb. This releases the Vitamin A liquid concentrate into the serum emulsion.
The intention behind this packaging is to ensure that you receive a fresh product each time. The ingredients are not premixed, so they are freshly activated each time when you’re ready to use it, and each tube is supposed to last you about 7 days, or 14 at maximum.
That is very clever, especially for the Vitamin C serum, an ingredient which is notoriously unstable. But when it comes to Vitamin A, I did wonder about why they had to go through this, when Vitamin A is quite commonly sold premixed, and appears to be fairly stable.
RELATED READING: Freshly pressed Vitamin C serum when you need it? READ HERE
Granted, premixed products will degrade on contact with air – most products do – but if they put it into airless packaging, you’d think it’d be better preserved.
What does the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol do?
Retinol or Vitamin A derivative products serve a skin cell renewal function, collagen production and fight free radicals. It is the only ingredient that is proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, plump up skin and smoothen skin. Alongside, it also helps some people clear up pigmentation caused by the sun and also clear up acne.
When using a retinol, there are a few things that you must take note of (especially if you are new to it):-
- You must use it at night – Retinol can make skin reactive to UV rays, so using at night is recommended
- You must wear high SPF sunscreen daily – aren’t you?!
- You may experience dryness and skin may flake – retinol does this and many people don’t realize it. For some, their skin flakes and then new skin is all wonderfully smooth. For others, they don’t experience anything so dramatic. If dryness or flakiness happens, stop and slow down.
- You must not use retinol together with exfoliators – This includes acids like glycolic or lactic acid, scrubs or anything abrasive. Don’t or your face may fall off
- You should not use retinol or any Vitamin A derivative if pregnant or breastfeeding
The Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol is supposed to penetrate deep into the skin, smoothening lines over time and improving skin tone.
The type of retinol used in the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol is listed as just ‘retinol’. I am given to understand that ‘retinol’ usually refers to Vitamin A1. This is then broken down by the body to retinal and retinoic acid, which are what works on the skin. It also contains 0.3% of retinol, which makes it higher than many introductory retinol serums. Some contain as low as 0.1% – not to say it’s bad, some people find it more irritating than others and need lower doses.
How to use the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol
I was on Day 6 of the Fresh Pressed Retinol when I realised that it was recommended that you mix it into your moisturiser. Ooops! 😛
All this time, I had been smearing it directly on my skin. How I’d use it is to shake it up, and pump out 2 pumps of the retinol into my palm. I can’t show you the texture, because there was too little for me to waste 😛 Each tube is just 6ml of product!
Texture is a rather liquid, creamy coloured emulsion with no discernible scent.
I then pick up product from my palm, deposit it on my skin using the 13 dot technique to ensure even distribution, then massage it into my dry skin, as part of my evening skincare routine. For this period, I do not mist my skin prior to applying the retinol, as I had read once before that retinol is more effective applied to dry skin.
When using a retinol serum as part of your skincare routine, use and apply more hydrating and moisturizing products. Retinol can be drying to the skin, and you can preempt the flakiness by employing the moisture sandwich technique, and also by using more emollient creams and oils on top.
If you read the instructions, and perhaps have more sensitive skin than I do, you can mix the Retinol serum into your moisturiser and apply it in one single step (Clinique recommends this for their Vitamin C serum too).
I prefer to layer because it gives me the impression I’m doing something more effective – I’m no scientist or chemist after all 😛
I must say that I did not experience any negative results. My skin was not dry (perhaps because I take care to really up my hydration and moisture, do not use foaming cleansers nor cleansing oils and am huge on moisture), it was not flaky and it did not peel In fact, it was pretty much business as usual.
I loved the results!
The results from just 7 days of using the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol serum have been impressive.
I must say that I did notice results almost immediately. The first night I used it, I woke up the next morning to noticeably smoother skin. You can tell when you wash your face in the morning. It’s that kind of smoothness that makes you not want to stop touching your face.
This smoothness and softness has been a key observation for me the past week. I cannot vouch for line smoothening as it’s only been 1 week and I don’t have significant lines to boast of. Also, I can’t vouch for firmer skin, as again, it’s just been a week.
But I can vouch for brighter, more even-toned, less reactive skin.
Vitamin A and C powerhouse mix!
Because Clinique packages the Vitamin A together with the Vitamin C, I used the Vitamin C serum in the morning.
I used this combination for a week straight as directed. Retinol at night, Vitamin C in the day. It is wonderful!
My skin has been feeling incredibly smooth, and even looks brighter. It certainly feels stronger, and doesn’t redden so easily even in the heat. My skin just looks clearer and brighter. This, considering I thought quite little about the Fresh Pressed Vitamin C serum before.
Coupled together with the Retinol serum, it is quite a powerhouse combination. I suppose this is why Clinique sold them together. Together, they may even be better than when used separately.
But there was a problem.
Why is it only a 7 day package?!
Like the Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin C serum, the Retinol serum is packaged for optimum freshness when used within 7 days. This means that one tube lasts you yes, just 7 days.
I can safely attest to the fact that using 2 pumps every night will bring you to just 7 days. I am writing this on Day 8, and there is a smidge left in the bottle which I will endeavour to squeeze out, but it is really otherwise empty.
By contrast, the Vitamin C serum is still going strong and I envisage it going strong for a few days more (the tube has 8ml vs 6ml of retinol). Clinique says that you can take it to 14 days, but not more, because it will oxidise thereafter. There is some truth in that. You will notice the oxidization and change in colour by then.
You could stretch out the Retinol serum as well, by using it on alternate nights, instead of daily. This way, you will end off together with the Vitamin C serum, and for some, this could be less irritating to the skin. I wanted to test it out to see if it might irritate, which is why I slapped it on each night. Just call me “PB the Guinea Pig” 😛
For me however, I am now on Day 8, sitting here thinking “So, what’s next?” Because if I’m to be serious, it is far too expensive for me to buy the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol serum when I can get another that can easily last me 2 months.
It could cost more, but I get more bang for my buck, and I enjoy the benefits for a longer period. As it stands, I’m done with my trial set, and ready to move on, without really seeing the full benefits. I feel this to be rather a disservice both to Clinique, and to their consumer.
I do think they should rethink this concept, or at least sell the Retinol serum on its own, in a pack of 4 perhaps, to ensure you have a fresh supply throughout the month.
Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin A Retinol Serum not sold separately
The general rule is not to use Vitamin A and C together.
So why does Clinique sell the Fresh Pressed Retinol serum ONLY with the Vitamin C serum? The Retinol is not sold separately, which bum and bugs the hell out of me.
From my perspective, I think it was because they wanted consumers to understand that you need both Vitamin C and Vitamin A in your skincare routine. That is something I wholeheartedly support.
But on the flipside, this forces consumers like me, to rethink a purchase. I already use a Vitamin C serum daily, but the truth is, the Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin C serum is not my favourite. The Fresh Pressed Retinol serum is decent, I feel, for I did notice results during my 1 week using it, and it was not irritating, which is good.
As it stands, I must say that while I thoroughly enjoyed my week with the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol serum, I am hard-pressed to continue because I’m not big on their Vitamin C serum and not about to spring for it just to get the retinol.
So, moving on then. Lots more to experiment with. Next! 😛
IN A NUTSHELL
The Clinique Fresh Pressed Clinical Overnight Booster with pure Vitamin A (Retinol) serum is in one word, a retinol serum. It contains 0.3% retinol which is a decent amount for those who want a little more than just a starter product, but may want to work their way up to the 1%. It is fragrance-free, guaranteed fresh, as you mix it only when you want to use it, and has a comfortable, lightweight emulsion texture that sinks right into the skin without residue. It is very nice, except that one tube only lasts you 7 days (14 days at max if you use it on alternate nights) and it is only sold with the Vitamin C serum. While they both work very well together (used separately, not together) I prefer being allowed to choose my own Vitamin C, not have it rammed down my throat, thanks 😛
Freshly mixed product each time
Portable and handy for travel
Not irritating (for me)
Makes my skin feel and look smoother and softer
Used together with a Vitamin C serum in the day, my skin looks brighter and more even toned and generally better
Vitamin A is not sold separately
7 days is too short to notice significant benefits
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who wants a portable, handy duo pack of Vitamin C and A serums, Anyone who wants to try a Vitamin A serum without the long term commitment
PRICE: RM178 | £30 | US$39.50 for a 7-day duo pack of Vitamin C and A serums
For those interested, this is the ingredient list for the Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol serum.
Ingredients: Water, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Methyl Trimethicone, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polysilicone-11, Methyl Gluceth-20, Retinol, Salicylic Acid, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Flower Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Gellidiella Acerosa Extract, Cholesterol, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Caffeine, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’S Wort) Extract, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Plankton Extract, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Micrococcus Lysate, Hypnea Musciformis (Algae) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Whey Protein\Lactis Protein\Protéine Du Petit-Lait, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Peg-8, Xanthan Gum, Calcium Chloride, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Lecithin, Sodium Citrate, Disodium Edta, Bht, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol.
Does this Clinique Fresh Pressed Retinol serum interest you?
I think it’s quite good, on its own. But because of how it’s sold and packaged, I’m also ready to move on. There are another 2 brands in the Estee Lauder Group introducing retinol serums – Origins and Estee Lauder – so guess who’s itching to have a go? 😛