THE FACE SHOP Dr Belmeur Red Pro-Retinol Serum Review

February 25, 2021

Hi guys! Today I'll be sharing all about THE FACE SHOP's brand new Dr Belmeur Red Pro-Retinol Serum

Before we get into the product, however, let's talk about Retinol first,

Retinol, better known as vitamin A, is a trendy ingredient that's been on the lips of all the beauty gurus and YouTubers. Hailed as the active ingredient that actually delivers results, retinol is a powerful ingredient that more and more people are incorporating into their routines.

While retinol is often used as a general term for topical products containing a vitamin A derivative, it's technically a type of retinoid, of which there are several variations that work at different levels. 

Retinoids work by increasing collagen production, as well as increasing the rate of skin cell turnover. They also help treat acne, blackheads, and clogged pores by reducing the stickiness of the cells that clog pores, as well as speeding up the rate at which the skin turns over and regenerates. Because of this, they are ideal for improving the skin's overall texture, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles, evening out skin tone, and decreasing pore size

- Source: Glamour

Why are retinoids so popular? Well, retinoids have long been considered the gold standard for antiaging and for treating acne. Not only do they increase the cellular turnover rate, they also help keep younger, plumper cells closer to the surface.

Retinol and retinyl palmitate are two available over-the-counter retinoids, with retinol being stronger and more effective than retinyl palmitate. These are both milder than prescription versions including tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapelene

Now then, what's the difference between over-the-counter retinoids like retinol and retinyl palmitate compared to prescription versions like tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapelene?

Retinol products on prescription are more powerful and work faster. Retinol in cosmetic products takes longer to work, but does give the same results over time. 

Prescription retinol increases the risk of skin irritation. These irritations can be so persistent for some that they can no longer use the product. Cosmetic products with retinol, on the other hand, have a lower risk of skin irritation.

Although the prescription ones are stronger, this does not mean they are better. It depends on your skin type, and it's also up to you to experiment and see how often you should use retinol for the most effective and attractive results.

Now that we've established what retinol is, let's talk about this product!

The all-new Dr. Belmeur Red Pro-Retinol Serum is the latest addition to THE FACE SHOP's Dr. Belmeur Line. 

Formulated with LG patented Pro-Retinol formula to deliver maximum anti-ageing and healing benefits, this serum is made up of Red Propolis, Pro-Retinol and Ceramide, providing intensive wrinkle care that is gentle on the skin.

Suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin, this all-in-one serum provides care that targets the 5 signs of skin ageing: wrinkles, saggy skin, pores, dry skin and uneven skin texture.

This product is current available in Malaysia as a set on THE FACE SHOP's store and e-store. Usually available at RM189.90, it is currently available for only RM170.91. The set contains the full-sized 50ml serum and a free 40ml Dr. Belmeur Cica Recovery Cream.

I searched it up and you cannot buy this serum on its own (even in Korea), but I think it's quite worth it. Compared to the other Belmeur serums/ampoules, the price is very similar. The fact that is has a free 40ml cream too doesn't hurt!

The serum itself comes packaged similarly to the original Cica Peptite Skin Repair Ampoule, just that it's in a red bottle:

As I got the set with the cream, both products came housed in a box:

Not much English descriptions on the box:

Definitely a stand out on your vanity, this little red bottle is definitely eye catching:

Compared to the Cica Peptite Skin Repair Ampoule, however, the new Dr Belmeur Red Pro-Retinol Serum comes with a pump instead of a dropper:

The free cream comes in a tube:

To view my previous review of the Dr. Belmeur Advanced Cica Recovery Cream, click here 

This product is paraben-free, sulfate-free and (although it has a lot of ingredients listed) actually contains minimal ingredients according to Skincarisma. The ingredients all have EWG ratings of either green or yellow, meaning they will not or are unlikely to irritate the skin.

Ingredient list: Water/​Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Squalane, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylic/​Capric Triglyceride, Panthenol, Sorbitan Stearate, Alanyl Glutamine, PEG-40 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Serine, Stearic Acid, Silica, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Butylene Glycol, Allantoin, Tromethamine, Tocopherol, PEG-100 Stearate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Glycosphingolipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Cedrol, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xanthan Gum, *Methoxy PEG-12 Retinamide, Alcohol Denat, Sodium Metabisulfite, Titanium Dioxide (Ci77891), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Mica, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Ceramide NP, Trisodium EDTA, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Caprylyl/​Capryl Glucoside, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Beta-Glucan, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Propolis Extract, Cholesterol, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, T-Butyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Citric Acid, Polyglyceryl-6 Oleate, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Extract, Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Sodium Surfactin, Retinol, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ceteth-3, Ceteth-5, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cetyl Phosphate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Citronellol, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol

Some notable effects of the ingredients in this product are:

Promotes Wound Healing: Panthenol
Acne-Fighting: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil & Retinol
Anti-Ageing: Ceramide, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinol
UV Protection: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate & Titanium Dioxide
Brightening: Retinol

I talked about the functions of retinol above, and how this serum features Pro-Retinol, Red Propolis and Ceramide, providing intensive wrinkle care that is gentle on the skin.

This serum also contains Serine (similar to the Vita Serine Tone Smoothing Serum). Serine is an amino acid that is more stable and safer than AHA. Its low-irritant peeling effect helps to gently remove accumulated dead skin cells, helping to prevent future moisture loss. The result is smoother skin, and smooth skin easily diffracts light, creating a more translucent, radiant effect.

This serum's scent is quite soft, pulling a bit citrusy to me. It's very faint, and it disappears once it's been applied.

The texture is creamy, and is unlike the type of serums I usually gravitate towards. I have a preference for runny/gel-like textures, and having a creamy-type serum was different for me. However, the texture is quite light once applied to the skin. It spreads well and has a slight cooling effect. It leaves a slightly dewy effect.

I usually use this product at night after toner and before moisturizer:

Cleanser - Toner - Serum - Moisturizer

I never use this during the day and I always make sure to wear SPF in the morning to protect my skin. You should always be wearing SPF anyway, but Retinol actually makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight, so do not use it during the day, avoid direct contact with the sun and always remember to protect your skin.

Since some of the toners I rotate contains AHA/BHA, I did some research on whether or not I can pair retinol with this serum. I found that it's okay to use retinol products  in combination with AHA or BHA. AHA and BHA help to exfoliate the dead cells on the skin surface and improve skin damaged by the sun. Retinol is an ingredient that ‘tells’ your skin cells how to repair themselves by creating new, healthy cells. For the best and most beautiful results, when it comes to anti-ageing and anti-wrinkles, it is therefore ideal to use an exfoliant and a product with retinol. 

But like with all products, always observe how your skin reacts to it (and the combinations you use). If this is your first time using retinols, I recommend doing what I did and using it every other night, first building up your tolerance to it. Once your skin gets used to it and responds well, you can then increase your usage and even combine it with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide (which helps against spots).

You can also use products containing retinol under your eyes, but do not apply it to your eyelids (as it may end up entering your eye/is dangerous).

If your skin becomes irritated or you experience any kind of flaking, redness or sensitivity, you can try to reduce the frequency or amount of product you use.

I've also read that it's best to use retinol products with other skincare products that contain antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients and various cell-communicating substances, like those with Niacinamide.

Although I read that it is safe to use it with AHA/BHA toners, I decided to be safe and not risk it. After cleansing, I started applying it to my skin (without toner), letting it absorb fully into my skin before following up with the free cream I got with the set. After around 2 weeks of alternate nights using it on bare skin, I then started using it with my toner/creating my usual moisture sandwich.

The squalane and other hydrating ingredients in this serum definitely helped as I read a lot of people experience dry skin when using retinol products (as retinol tends to be drying if used too regularly or introduced too harshly). The formula is quite nice and, paired with my gentle and slow introduction of the product to my skin, did not irritate or cause any dryness/flaking for me. This serum also contains a few essential oils at the ingredients list, and I did not experience any adverse effects from them.

For the results, I found that my skin felt smoother & softer after every use. I am now 24 and although I don't have any serious wrinkles and fine lines, I do take anti-ageing seriously. I can't say if it will have any visible effects on already existing lines, but I personally do feel like my skin feels stronger, softer and better after using this serum. My skin also looks very clear, and that's just with this serum and my introduction of using it with my usual AHA/BHA toner. Imagine the possibilities when combining it with other ingredients like Niacinamide! My clear skin may have been helped by the fact that I don't go out as much in this lockdown and I don't get much sun exposure, but I did notice that the small acne scars that I had pre-lockdown started fading nicely.

Packaging wise, the pump has been quite efficient and helpful. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get every last drop once I'm near the end, but at least in my month-plus of using it, I still find it quite efficient in dispersing product.

I definitely would! It's a nice, comfortable product that (thankfully) did not cause any irritations or breakouts like how I expected it to be. Retinol is a new ingredient that sounds great, but people always advise to be careful with it so I was a bit apprehensive. I like how this serum did not dry my skin out and instead left it feeling smooth and soft. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to try out a retinol product for the first time!

And that's it for this post! If you'd like to try this product out, you can get it from THE FACE SHOP today:

I hope you guys found this post helpful and informative.

See y'all in my next post!

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