What is the opinion of Reddit about the
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Remarkable Retinal Serum (1 Fl Oz) – Anti Aging Serum with Potent Vitamin A and Plant Stem Cells to help Reduce Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles?

A total of 6 reviews of this product on Reddit.

2 points


19th Oct 2018

Ahh, I’m glad you wrote a review on this! This is a product I’ve been eyeing – retinaldehyde is very interesting. I’m glad that it seems to last a while!

>but I’ve seen one new product that uses a much larger amount of 1.0% retinaldehyde (MyChelle Remarkably Retinal).

Oh, did you email them too? I didn’t want to press too much, but I thiiiink they’re using 1% “retinaldehyde + other stuff.” I really can’t see them using 1% straight retinal – even if that’s not an irritating concentration, there’s just no point in wasting that much money when the studies only cover up to 0.1%. There’s some discussion in this Amazon question (I know, I know) that suggests it may have 0.04%. I don’t know for sure either way, but I’d bet money on them not wasting money.

21 points


4th Oct 2018

From this list of product alternatives to Rodan + Fields:

REDEFINE Intensive Renewing Serum ($99 for 60 capsules) – retinal (retinaldehyde), unknown %

REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream ($78 for 30ml) – hyaluronic acid, vit A (retinyl palmitate), vit c (ascorbic acid), vit e

REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum ($56 for 60 capsules) – shea butter, peptides, vit e, tingling for lip plumping

REDEFINE Pore Minimizing Toner ($48 for 125ml) – PHAs (gentle chemical exfoliation), also has licorice root extract

REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream ($62 for 15ml)

REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask ($43 for 4.2oz) – kaolin clay with physical exfoliation

The retinaldehyde product (Intensive Renewing Serum) is a toughie as retinaldehyde is hella expensive. That said, the % in those capsules is unknown, and only 60 capsules??? Even for retinal, that’s pricey af. I think even if you sprung for the pricey alternatives like Osmosis, you’d end up having them last you longer than 2 months, and even then they’re less expensive than R+F. Like Osmosis ain’t cheap, R+F is spitting in our faces with that price.

If you’re looking for alternatives to retinaldehyde, you can also check out tretinoin (available by prescription only through your derm, YoDerm, or Curology.) Tret can be quite irritating, but if you start slow and take some care, you should be able to use it successfully. Curology specifically is known for giving low/gentle doses of tretinoin – that might be a good option for sensitive skin.

An OTC alternative would be retinol – weaker than retinal or tret, so it doesn’t pack quite the punch re: anti-aging, but it’s also suitable for sensitive skin. Alternatives include:

Whatever you decide on, check out

use retinoids the right way

how to survive tretinoin without molting

and Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging (a great overview of the available literature on various retinoids)

The rest of the Redefine line honestly don’t seem that special or interesting to me – get yourself a moisturizer you love (moisturizer HG thread, I really like CosRx Honey Ceramide Cream as a nice, gentle, velvety cream; I like CeraVe Baby Lotion as a fast & matte drying yet very moisturizing lotion); the toner is just a mildly exfoliating toner, probably moisturizing (hydrating toner recs); the lip serum is just like…yeah, find a lip product you like; and cleansing masks are a dime a dozen.

Obligatory r/antiMLM plug

7 points


31st Oct 2018

From this list of product alternatives to R+F (separated into 2 comments because I hit the character limit):


REDEFINE Intensive Renewing Serum ($99 for 60 capsules) – retinal (retinaldehyde), unknown %

REDEFINE Overnight Restorative Cream ($78 for 30ml) – hyaluronic acid, vit A (retinyl palmitate), vit c (ascorbic acid), vit e

REDEFINE Lip Renewing Serum ($56 for 60 capsules) – shea butter, peptides, vit e, tingling for lip plumping

REDEFINE Pore Minimizing Toner ($48 for 125ml) – PHAs (gentle chemical exfoliation), also has licorice root extract

REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream ($62 for 15ml)

REDEFINE Daily Cleansing Mask ($43 for 4.2oz) – kaolin clay with physical exfoliation

5 points


20th Aug 2018

>Stridex Red box – My only experience with pads was First Aid Beauty Radiance pads, and i could only use them every other day because they hurt my skin but that was before i knew my whole routine was stripping the heck out of my skin.

I think BHAs are a great option for pore congestion! While Stridex is tolerated by many people, I’d honestly probably go for something a bit gentler to start off with. Even though your skin sounds like it’s doing a heck of a lot better, it’d probably be a good idea to take it slow so you don’t undo all the progress you’ve made. Maybe CosRx Blackhead Liquid (4% betaine salicylate, suitable for sensitive skin) or Silk Naturals BHA Toner (2% salicylic acid, but without the menthol that can cause irritation in the Stridex.)

I wonder if an AHA would be a better choice? I’m not sure – it kinda depends on the type of pore congestion (I’d go for an AHA if it’s closed comedomes), plus AHAs are a better option for texture. But if it’s not closed comedomes, it’s probably a toss-up between AHA vs BHA for clogged pores. Go with whatever interests you more, but then you’ve got a backup ingredient to check out if the first one doesn’t work out.

>Differin Gel – On one hand this feels extreme because i dont have Acne, but ive been noticing some aging starting to creep in

So I’m not totally sure how adapalene stacks up re: anti-aging. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging doesn’t have a heck of a lot to say about it, and while that review is a bit old, I haven’t seen much more come out about it lately. Iirc, someone who did more research than I did found that the company that makes adapalene started some anti-aging studies but then dropped it. That…doesn’t really look good. In the absence of studies, I’d opt for tretinoin, retinaldehyde (more tolerated than tret but still quite effective), or even retinol (super tolerated, quite a few steps down.)

The issue with tret and retinal is cost & accessibility. Tret is prescription only and your options include your derm (insurance may not cover tret for anti-aging unless your derm wordsmiths the reason), yoderm, and curology. For retinal, you can get it OTC, but the options are a bit pricey:

Honestly, between BHA, AHA, and a retinoid, I think it’s a bit of a toss-up.


  • Pros: works quickly, great for certain types of congested pores, well tolerated, affordable and accessible

  • Cons: no anti-aging benefits, won’t impact texture


  • Pros: great for certain types of congested pores, will help with texture, some studies show anti-aging benefit, affordable and accessible

  • Cons: not as effective for anti-aging as retinoids


  • Pros: great for clogged pores, anti-aging

  • Cons: can be harsh (go for retinal over tret, go for slow-release “micro”), can take a while to start working, cost and accessibility

Personally, I’d go for a mild BHA or AHA since you should still be concerned about sensitivity. CosRx Blackhead Liquid for BHA, maybe Stratia Soft Touch AHA (10% mandelic acid), one of Garden of Wisdom’s mandelic acid products, or Silk Naturals AHA Toner (8% lactic acid) for AHA. Between BHA and AHA, go for whatever sounds better or throw a dart 🙂

5 points


25th Dec 2018

>Avene makes some retinal products, but they only contain tiny amounts of it (0.1%) whereas the MyChelle serum has 1% retinal

1% retinaldehyde is a lot, and it’s highly unlikely that MyChelle actually contains 1% retinal (at least, I hope they don’t!) 0.02% – 0.1% is a normal range for facial retinaldehyde, with 0.1% being quite strong.

The only study I could find on high concentrations of retinaldehyde was the one you linked – Topical Retinaldehyde on Human Skin: Biologic Effects and Tolerance (pdf full-text). It looked at 0.05% and 0.1% on the face, and 0.5%, and 1% on the body. Apparently 0.1% and 0.05% were well tolerated on facial skin, while 1% was tolerated by ~69% of patients who used it on the body. 0.5% (used on body) was tolerated slightly better. However, 31% of patients using 1% on the body ended up with grades 2-3 irritation that led to stopping the treatment.

So 1% retinal would be hell to use on the face. Mychelle’s serum does claim to use an “Advanced serum with exclusive and patented IconicA® (Retinal).” I’m absolutely shit at finding out ingredients for patented products, but I did find:

  • this anti-aging serum – “IconicA® (Cyclodextrin, Cloudberry Seed Oil, Retinal (Retinaldehyde) – performs closest to Retinoic Acid in a cosmetic topical, providing the ultimate wrinkle reduction and prevention properties to skin while being the least irritating Vitamin A making it perfect for all skin types. Cloudberry Seed Oil is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants.”

  • and this one – “IconicA (Retinal/Retinaldehyde) 2.5% converted into 0.1% Retinaldehyde”

  • ingredient info – “A Patent Pending, proprietary complex of Cyclodextrin, Cloudberry Seed Oil, Retinal (Retinaldehyde)”

So they’re likely using 1% IconicA, which contains x% of retinal. There’s some discussion on this amazon listing guessing at 0.04% retinal, which makes sense looking at that second bullet point above.

0.04% retinal is still a pretty dang good concentration though!

1 point


24th Aug 2018

> Honestly you taking all that time to help me out and write such a detailed answer almost brought a tear to my eye. The world truly is a beautiful place, thank you so much <3.

reddit is the best and you’re the best <3

> Like that the Snail Mucin and Hydrating Toner kind of fill the same roll and that one of them is enough. Which one of those two would you think is the best?

Honestly, whichever! And you can totally use both of them at the same time or alternated each day or whatever – while they fill the same general role, there could definitely be an additional benefit for using both! Whatever feels right to you 🙂

I sometimes use multiple hydrating toners, but generally only in the PM when I’m just lounging around and can get away with the bit of shine that additional hydrating/moisturizing products bring. In the AM, I stick to one or none. Play around with it and see what works for you!

>I really like the Niacinamide 10% and 1% Zinc. What is your thoughts on it and would that be a good choice if I wanted to fight blackheads/enlarged pores?

I’ve tried TO’s Niacinamide and I enjoyed it, but found that it was a bit thick and pilled/bunched up when I applied moisturizer over it. I didn’t see much benefit for what I was using it for (fading hyperpigmentation, treating general redness) so I ended up not repurchasing, but your mileage may vary!

I don’t think Niacinamide is a very good choice for blackheads – for blackheads or sebaceous filaments, I think consistent cleansing, oil cleansing, BHAs, and occasional clay masks are better options.

For treating enlarged pores though, I’m not sure! Some studies suggest that it can be a good treatment, and imo it’s a great non-irritating ingredient to try out for that! Large pores can be super hard to treat so I wouldn’t expect miracles, but it’s definitely worth a shot 🙂

>I don’t use makeup (maybe concealer if I’m going out and got a pimple that is red) so there is no real product to remove, would that mean that the oil cleanser is pointless? I really like how it feels though

Oil cleansers can also help remove water-resistant sunscreen (not sure if your sunscreen is or not, most sunscreens are fine with just regular cleansing) and they’re also good for blackheads and sebaceous filaments, so I’d say keep using it! Especially if you enjoy it 🙂

Personally, I’d skip the AM one if you’re trying to streamline your routine – one PM oil cleanse should be enough for blackheads. (And honestly, I like oil cleansing to remove sunscreen even if it’s not water-proof, I just feel like it helps.)

>Also is Niacinamide considered an acid? Does it make you sun-sensitive like a BHA or AHA?

Nope and nope! It’s not an active, it doesn’t make you sensitive to the sun, it shouldn’t be irritating. Just an all around nice ingredient that plays well with others and can do some good stuff for treating hyperpigmentation, general redness, maybe help control oil, and maybe help with enlarged pores.

>Also I don’t have a lot of anti aging concerns (YET XD) so is exfoliating daily a bit overkill?

Maybe, maybe not! You have adapalene and benzoyl peroxide in there, which generally don’t fall under the ‘chemical exfoliant’ category (even though they can increase cell turnover and stuff, skincare terms can be…hazy and weird.) So for chemical exfoliants, I’m talkin AHA & BHA. AHAs may have some anti-aging benefit, but whether or not it’s worth introducing them is up to you! I’m going to include a quick bullet point list at the end for what BHAs & AHAs (chemical exfoliants) do, along with one for retinoids – that might help compare and contrast them a bit

>Also I heard that Retinols are really good for a lot of things. But I also read that it’s more for mature skin?

Yo retinoids are like…the gods of skincare actives. They’re the absolute gold standard for both acne treatment and anti-aging, and at least as far as anti-aging is concerned, they really have no equal other than sunscreen.

You already have adapalene in your Epiduo, which is a retinoid buuuUUuuut the thing is, it might not be a good anti-aging retinoid. It’s a synthetic retinoid designed to target acne with minimal (as far as retinoids go) irritation, but it may have lost some of the anti-aging benefit. The reason I say ‘may’ is because there haven’t been a lot of studies on it. I will say that someone who dug deeper into the research than I did found that the company that makes adapalene started some studies on anti-aging, but didn’t complete them, which…doesn’t look too good. In the absence of further data, I’d go for a different retinoid for anti-aging purposes.

If you’re seeing good results with the Epiduo, I’d stick with that for now, but there are two retinoids I’d like to mention as alternatives to adapalene:

Anyway, I’d say stick with the Epiduo for now since it seems to be working well, but consider tretinoin as an option as it’s proven for both aging and acne.

>But I also read that it’s more for mature skin?

Prevention is better than treatment, but also I think it’s worth taking things slow and casually introducing anti-aging ingredients. I think it’s important to have a healthy view of aging in general, and taking it slow can play a part in that. There’s nothing wrong with using retinoids early on (check out Does your skin become resistant to products over time? and Does exfoliating make you run out of skin? for some answers to common arguments against using retinoids until you hit X age), but you’ve already got sunscreen in there, which is the biggest thing in your control for anti-aging (I say ‘in your control’ because genetics are the biggest factor)

>what is ‘ L-AA ‘?

Ahh sorry, I kind of just threw a bunch of acronyms at you for vitamin C with no explanation! Vitamin C has multiple types, of which L-AA (ascorbic acid) seems to be the most well known and well studied. L-AA can help fade hyperpigmentation, may help even skin tone, is a decent ‘extra’ for anti-aging, and some other stuff that’s escaping me right now. It is most effective at a low pH (I think ~2-3), so you generally want to apply it early on in your routine if it is water based (most are.) That way you’re not potentially messing up the ideal pH by layering it over other products with different pH levels.

There are also derivatives like sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), MAP, and..a whole slew of other ones I’m not as familiar with. They tend to work best at a relatively higher pH (~5-6), which fits in nicely with most other skincare products, so they can be applied later on in your routine with your other serums/right before moisturizer.

Since I’m not an expert on vitamin C really, Vitamin C: L-AA vs the derivatives provides a really good overview 🙂

(continued below because I type too much)