retrieve cream for anti-aging
Anti-Aging Creams

ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?

ReTrieve Cream is used for those with dry and sun-damaged skin. It uses an acid form of Vitamin A as the main ingredient to help give back a youthful look by regrowing the outer layer of skin on the face.

How ReTrieve CreamWorksRetrieve Cream Review

ReTrieve Cream main ingredient is called tretinoin, which is the acid form of Vitamin A and is available by prescription only.

It works on the skin by helping to regulate the growth and regeneration of the outer layer of skin on those who have dry or sun-damaged skin. It is not meant to be used as a daily cream but only used for a few days at a time.

Read more about how retinol works works to help you look younger.

Retrieve Cream Ingredients

Retrieve Cream includes the following ingredients along with tretinoin; cetyl alcohol, isopropyl palmitate, glyceryl stearate, sorbitan stearate, polysorbate, disodium edetate, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, methyl and propyl hydroxybenzoates, diazolidinylurea, propylene glycol and water.

ReTrieve Cream Benefits

  • It helps remove damage by shedding the skin and helps cellular turnover
  • There is a website on the Internet has explained about the product and its side effects thoroughly
  • You only use a small amount daily

ReTrieve Cream Drawbacks

  • There are a lot of side effects associated with ReTrieve Cream, including extreme sun sensitivity and flaking skin
  • Not everyone may use this product due to the strength of it
  • It can only be purchased with a prescription
  • Not recommended for sensitive skin

Where to Buy ReTrieve Cream

ReTrieve Cream can only be purchased through a doctor or online with a prescription.

Recommendation & Alternative

ReTrieve Cream seems to be a very potent product and will help you if you have severely dry or sun-damaged skin.

There was no data posted about any clinical studies performed on ReTrieve Cream, though it is to be assumed there have been studies performed if you can only purchase this product with a prescription.

There are a lot of side effects and a lot of warnings if you are using this product, which causes a lot of people to not be able to use ReTrieve Cream such as dry flaking skin, redness, rashes, itchiness and sun sensitivity.

If this cream is prescribed to you by your doctor, read all of the information on it carefully before you apply it to your skin. It is supposed to be used sparingly for the first few days and then as your skin gets used to it, it can be left on for longer.

An alternative to ReTrieve cream would be Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel – which contains glycolic acid. It does a great job resurfacing the skin in a more gentle manner if you can’t tolerate Retrieve cream.

Have You Used ReTrieve Cream? Leave Your Review Below!

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ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
5 out of 5 stars

Jul 10, 2018 by 
Karen shaw

Hi.....I have been using this cream for at least 8 years and I highly recommend it.... I’m 60 years of age and have been told constantly I look in my early 40s I have no wrinkles I keep out of the sun which is important when using this cream and always use a sunblock.

ReTrieve Cream

ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
4 out of 5 stars

Jun 23, 2018 by 

I have been prescribed this cream for a sunspot. I have been using for approx. 5 weeks now and almost gone. Also using for sun damage on my décolletage and it is working like a dream. I don't use every night but at lease 3-4 times per week. I really love this cream.


ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
1 out of 5 stars

Feb 07, 2018 by 

I have acne nd pigmented skin from ladt 6-7 years.. now m using retrieve cream from 1 month...I have no sign of improvement..even lokks more ugly face.. what should I do???

Retrieve cream

ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
5 out of 5 stars

Mar 19, 2017 by 

I've been using retrieve as a night cream for 4 yrs at least, maybe longer. I love it, my skin is better than before I started using it, I am nearly wrinkle free and my skin is so clear. I'm 56 & fell my skin looks much younger due to this cream. I am vigilant about using broad spectrum una and uvb cream every day of the year and I reapply after exercise, summer, winter, always.

Retrieve cream

ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
5 out of 5 stars

Aug 30, 2016 by 

I am approaching 60 and have been using Retrieve cream daily for over two years. My skin has never been finer nor clearer and is more youthful than it was a decade ago.

Great for me.....

ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?
5 out of 5 stars

Apr 30, 2016 by 
Alison PIKE

I was prescribed ReTrieve Cream for Rocasea . I had been taking Minomycin ( antibiotic ) daily for a few years which is not advised long term. 8 months ago I decided to stop the antibiotic and try the ReTrieve. It has been a great success for me , I have had no acne in 8 months. I am extremely careful with this product due to possible side effects, fortunately for me - none. My skin looks fantastic and I am constantly being told so. ??

4.2 5.0 6 6 Hi.....I have been using this cream for at least 8 years and I highly recommend it.... I’m 60 years of age and have been told constantly I look in my early 40s I have no wrinkles ReTrieve Cream Review – How Strong Is It?

User Questions and Answers

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User Questions and Answers

Q: Is retin A the same as Retrieve cream. Which is safer to use. -Giulia Locampo

A: Giulia, Retin-A (tretinoin) is the ingredient found within Retrieve cream. You would need a prescription for Retrieve Cream. There may be other "brand names" of prescription strength Retin-A products that your Dr. could prescribe to you; Retrieve is just one brand of it. But to answer your question, they are both one in the same. You have to be very careful in the sun if you decide to go this route, it makes your skin extremely photo sensitive.

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Q: I have been using retrieve 0.05% cream for 8 months,since moving to Sydney from the states where I always used retinols for anti-aging.I have noticed no difference in my skin.No tingle,no exfoliation or peeling.I have light hyper-pigmentation on my left side of my face,no change.I thought maybe I had a "bad Batch"( maybe not kept at the right temperature) so I had my Dr.. give me a new prescription,and bought the product at a different pharmacy.That was months ago,same results.Is there a reason I am not having same results? Thank you for your time. -jEANNIE

A: Jeannie, that's frustrating. 8+ months is a LONG time to give a product a chance to work. What did your Dr. say? Do you also wear a daily SPF of at least 50? If you get any sun, it could negate the effects of it, but that's just a guess (especially regarding the dark spots on your cheek). If I were you, I would spend $200 on an IPL photofacial. This is intense pulsed light, and not laser so it's not as severe. It'll zap the dark spots and they'll flake off within about ten days.   You could continue using the retinol if you think it's helping in other areas, but if not I would try something else. Maybe you would do better with a glycolic product or some other alphahydroxy product. Another thing you could do is visit a salon or spa where they sell Image Skincare, and get a consultation with their skin care specialist. They have some GREAT products that are stronger strengths than what you can buy in a store. I love their products. Just visit the Image Skincare website and use their map locator to find a spa nearby who sells it. Get a facial and let them recommend which line you should use for your skin.  Rachel

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Q: After applying Retrieve can you apply your normal face cream or serum on top of it? -Barbara

A: Barbara, I wouldn't apply a serum on top of Retrieve but you should be OK using moisturizing on top of it. I haven't personally tried this product but I know it's a Retin A product so you have to be very careful in the sun. Definitely apply spf on top if you're going to be outside.

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5 out of 7 people found this question helpful.

Q: Is Retrieve cream the same as Retin A. How do you compare the two. -Julia

A: Julia, Retrieve is just a brand name of Retin-A, same thing. You'll need an RX from a Dr. Good luck! Rachel

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2 out of 2 people found this question helpful.

Q: I m 26 years old,I have freckles problems,have dry skin.should I use retrieve cream? -Faiza

A: Faiza, a Dr. has to prescribe Retrieve cream because it's prescription strength vitamin A (Retinol). I know retinol can make your skin flaky so I'm not sure if it's good for dry skin. If you want to try something non-prescription with no hydroquinone either, I recommend Illuminatural 6i. Thanks for your question! Rachel

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6 out of 11 people found this question helpful.

Q: I have a sunspot on my nose. Could I use ReTrieve cream on that area. -Joy

A: Joy, personally I wouldn't use Retrieve cream. Another lady just emailed me about the ingredients the other day so we did further research and found that it contains nasty parabens and formaldehyde. That stuff is prescribed by Dr.'s for really bad sun damage. If you just have a spot, I would use a much more gentle skin lightener, like Illuminatural 6i.

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3 out of 5 people found this question helpful.

Q: Is it ok to use moisturising cream after the retrieve cream every night? -Maryse

A: Yes, it's fine to use something over it if you need more moisture, just allow the Retrieve to absorb for a few minutes before applying. Rachel

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1 out of 1 people found this question helpful.

Q: What if any product is best to help The results, when using ReTrieve which I use at night. -Sue

A: Hi Sue, thanks for your question. Since Retrieve cream is a very potent prescription strength vitamin A cream, I would use something "inactive" and very nourishing, hydrating and non-irritating. I would recommend Beautycounter's Nourishing Night Cream. I've been using this line for the past five months and every product I've tried, I have loved.  I especially love the Nourishing line because it's so gentle, made with organic coconut oil, aloe and green tea which helps calm the skin.  Retrieve cream increases the cell turnover and exfoliates so you need to protect that skin with moisture. I think this cream would be perfect to pair with Retrieve. Let me know if you have questions once you browse that link. Thank you! Rachel

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Q: Hii m lady 30 yrs old and Have acne prone pigmented skin from last 6-7 years... I used many products nd medicines, nothing worked... Now m using Retrieve cream from last1 month,,, No change in skin,even looks more ugly...more pimples nd red skin... feeling so disppointed... what should I do??? Can I use natural aloevera at daytym????Thnks -Jasveer

A: Jasveer, I would talk to the Dr. who prescribed you the Retrieve cream - you did get by a prescription right? I know sometimes it takes time, or gets worse before better. The skin has a natural 28 day cycle of regeneration, so after a month you're just now shedding the entire set of skin cells on your face so new, fresh skin should start emerging. I'm not sure if aloe is best for acne, as it can be kind of sticky. I would use something gentle with no harsh or active chemicals like Beautycounter Nourishing moisturizer. It's fabulous, and will give you the hydration you need after using the retin-a Retrieve cream at night. Good luck! Rachel

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Q: I have oily skin can I use it. -Zeenat

A: Zeenat, this is a prescription Retin A cream, you have to see a dermatologist to see if it's right for you. Rachel

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Q: hi im 49 years old and I'm looking for a really good cream that will help with my neck and jowls also for mouth area, will this product help!! -Janine

A: Hi Janine, you'll need a prescription to try the Retrieve cream, I personally am not a huge fan of retinol, it makes my skin super sensitive and red/flaky. For an overall tightening cream and anti-aging treatment, I do still very much love Lifecell and you can read my review there. It's a membership product but worth every penny. I think I've used it on and off (more on) for more than 6 years now.... Thanks! Rachel

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Q: If you have fraxal treatment do you still need to use retrieve -Elizabeth

A: Elizabeth, Fraxal is a very deep treatment, and Retrive cream contains  a high concentration of retinol and you need a prescription. I wouldn't think the skin would be able to tolerate retinol for a long time after fraxal, until the skin completely heals. I would use something soothing that cuts redness like Kollagen Intensiv which will build the collagen back up in your skin and repair it after such an intense treatment. Good luck! ~Rachel

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Q: I have freckles problems,should I use retrieve cream? -Kiran

A: Kiran, you'd have to see a Dermatologist to see if this cream is right for you, it's by prescription only. A natural choice would be Beautycounter's Brightening collection. This is what I use for sun spots and to give my face an all over lighter complexion. Probably a lot less expensive than a Dr. visit and a prescription as well :) Rachel

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Q: Can you use this product along with having beauty treatments, basic hands-on Facials? Skin Deep is the products that I will be using. Look forward to your response. -Zarnia

A: Zarnia, hi, Retrieve is a prescription grade cream so you'd want to ask the Dr. this, but after just a general facial I don't see why it would be a problem. You would definitely not want to use it after any aggressive skin treatments like micro dermabrasion, chemical peels, micro needling, or microblading. And I may wait a day to use after a facial since your skin may be sensitive. Thank you, Rachel

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Q: Hi.can u plz tell about retrieve i hve wrinkles and fine lines under eyes.I m 25 yrs old.. -Pragya

A: Pragya, thanks for your question. Retrieve cream is only available by prescription by a Dr. since it is straight Retinol and it usually causes redness and flaking as well as making your skin really sensitive to sun. You would also need to use an SPF when you go outside.  It's rather strong and doubt you need it at 25 :) Something I think you would love is Skinception's AHA toner, it's really great to increases cell turnover and improves collagen production. Pairing it with Kollagen Intensiv (which has a bit of retinol) is a really nice combo, and you can use it under your eyes so you don't necessarily need a separate eye cream. You can read my review here of using them together or visit the Skinception Anti-aging store to check it out. Thanks! Rachel

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Q: I have a tube of ReTrieve cream preccribed for me in 2016,which I have not used for some time/Would it be safe to use ? -ruth

A: ruth, it's likely very old by now and definitely past the expiration. I would not use it.

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Q: Can you have dermal fillers while using retrievr -Jo

A: Hi Jo, yes Retrieve cream is a prescription of tretinoin (brand name is Retin-A). If you're going to get fillers, just take a week or so off of the cream so that your face isn't sensitive at all for the injections, then I'd wait another week or so and let any prick marks from the injections heal before you apply the tretinoin again. Also, if you've never used a tretinoin cream, it's best to start with a lower percentage. I started with .025% I think the Retrieve brand here in my review is a higher % at .05%. You have to start really slowly with tretinion and allow your skin to adjust. Good luck! xo Rachel

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Q: When using ReTrieve as a night cream, is it used as a stand alone product or are other skin care products also used. I have only just commenced using it. -Prue

A: Prue, you'll definitely want something else to use on the nights you don't use the Retrieve cream, something very gentle and non active like Beautycounter's Nourishing Night Cream. Retrieve is very strong and you shouldn't use it every night. Maybe use it every other night to start and see how you tolerate it. I can't use retinol products, they give me a rash and make me super sensitive to the sun and cause redness. If you find the Retrieve is too strong for your skin or it doesn't agree, try the Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel (you can read my review there). It has AHA's and BHA's but no retinol. You may do better with a glycolic product such as this if you don't get the anti-aging results you were hoping for. My skin loves AHA's! Most people tolerate it very well, but the same can't be said for a cream like Retrieve. Good luck! Rachel

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Q: Many years ago I used retrieved cream . my skin look younger and people would ask me what I used. I stopped using it 9 year ago . But 3 years ago I started to develop rosacea .I was taken prescription tablets only to work for a week and than the rosacea would get worse. In March I ask my dr can retrieve cream help and I would like to try it as I can't stand the burning sensation in my skin any more .after 5 days rosacea was starting to go away now in may I have no rosacea and my skin is looking healthy again I have before and after pic but not sure if I can show -Tracey

A: Hi Tracey, thanks for your feedback, that's great to know it worked well for you even with rosacea. Retinoids can be very irritating for some, and I have a lot of redness in my skin so have to be careful.

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Q: I am using hydroquinone 4% and retrieve. Am I able to use to use retrieve daily like a moisturiser. -Marlene

A: Hi Marlene, wow that's a strong combo. Are you treating hyper pigmentation? I can't use hydroquinone, it makes me break out in an itchy rash. Since Retrieve is a prescription cream, you'd want to follow your Dr.'s recommendations on that. For some people it's too much to use everyday as it can make the skin peel and become very sensitive, especially in the sun you'll want to be careful and use a high SPF (like 50). I would probably alternate something very benign and hydrating, something to sooth the skin just to take a break from all those chemicals and put back some moisture. Beautycounter's Nourishing Night Cream would be a great choice and there is nothing toxic or irritating in it. Good luck! Rachel

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Q: what do you call sparingly? do i apply just to the sunspots or over the whole face? thank you -JANICE

A: a thin layer over your entire face, avoiding your eye area.

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Q: How often should you use the retrieve cream -Leanne

A: Leanne, Retrieve is a prescription medication and it depends how sensitive your skin is. It contains retinol which can cause a lot of dryness and redness. If you decide to try it, it may be something you have to use just a few times a week. It may be too strong to use every night. Check out Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel. It's an awesome product for refining the skin and contains glycolic acid. I do much better with glycolic vs retinol. Retinol makes me red and itchy, and no RX needed. Good luck! Rachel

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Q: I was given retrieve to use for Rosacea, and stopped as wasn't too sure if you can take it everyday. Can this be used everyday and is it best used as a nite cream wash off in the morning? Also is formaldehyde an ingredient? -Sue

A: Hi Sue, this cream is only sold by Prescription, did you Dr. give you instructions? Some people are very sensitive to retina-A, and with rosacea I'm sure your skin is probably sensitive. It's best to start slowly, maybe every other night to see how you do and work up to using nightly. I don't see formaldehyde as an ingredient, should be listed on the packaging if you want to double check. You may want to use something very soothing such as a Rosacea relief cream in the mornings after having something so harsh on your face at night. Best of luck to you! Rachel

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Q: Hi I have been using this product for a while and everytime I use I get flaky skin, especially around my chin area.. I understand this is normal, but then do u stop using it as it's done its job or continue ty -Lucy

A: Hi Lucy, if you're having that effect, don't use it every night. Use it a few times per week or every other night and see if that helps. It does make your skin sensitive.. if you still have that reaction even using once or twice a week, I would reconsider using it - because that's not our desired result! Be sure and use a super gentle hydrating moisturizer in between using the retinol - my best suggestion is using something like Kollagen Intensiv. I love this one! I've used it for years with great result. Always sad when it runs out. xo Rachel

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Q: Will this help with white spots on shins and bottoms of legs ... from sun exposure? I think may be igh spots and I like to stop them Getting worse and reduce them I tan easily and been told got Mediterranean skin -Jonelle

A: Jonelle, white spots on legs are from sun damage and it's called hypo pigmentation - it's when your skin actually loses the melanin. I have those white spots on my legs from growing up in Florida and there's nothing you can do to reverse them. Dark spots can be treated, but the white spots I've been told my Dr.'s just to prevent further damage. Wear sunscreen and you can use a self tanner to try and camouflage it for a more even skin tone. I've also seen makeup lotion for legs that works almost like a cover up. I haven't tried yet though. Thanks for you question, sorry I don't have better news! If you use retrieve cream on your legs it will lighten dark spots but it's not going to bring pigment back to white spots.  Rachel

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Q: How much is retreive cream? -Nola

A: I think it's around $50 but this is a prescription cream, so it would depend on your insurance. Thanks!

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Rachel Vrabel

Rachel is Chief Editor of Women’s Blog Talk and writes reviews across the spectrum of anti-aging, health and beauty. She has an English degree from USF and worked in finance for 15 years before establishing this website in 2011. She loves having a place she can share her inspiration for health and beauty and continue to help others! She lives in South Florida with her husband and her hobbies include beach volleyball, HIIT training and combing the beach for sea glass and shells.


  • Greta Tuhbaum

    I have been using Retrieve cream for years you start off very slow at the beginning like once a week then twice a week then 3 times a week and so on .. i use at night just a bit to cover the face I wash off in morning and apply moisturiser mixed with sun block out. But i am not a sunperson anyway.. I use it steady every second night and have beautiful smooth skin I am 79 look 18

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Greta, so happy you’ve had a great result with Retrieve! It feels impossible to avoid the sun for me living in Florida. I envy colder climates where people are bundled up – they must have such great skin! 😉 xo Rachel

  • NW

    I have been using ReTrieve for just over 1 week and have red flaky patches on my chin area. The rest of my face seems to be ok. Should I give that area a break from the cream? Also how long should you use retrieve cream for? It seems that there are a lot of varying ideas on this.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      NW, thanks for your question. Retrieve cream is prescribed by a Dr. so you’ll have to ask them about length of treatment. You can certainly give your face a break for a night or two and use a benign, “non-active” (with no toxic or harsh chemicals) hydrating cream such as Beautycounter’s Nourishing Night Cream to sooth the dryness and rehydrate. Good luck! Rachel

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      A, you’ll have to ask your Dr. on that one, I’m not sure. I went completely natural when I did IVF and only used organic cleansers, shampoos, etc – no chemicals at all. Retrieve is Vitamin A but at such a high strength I would use caution. Personally I wouldn’t. Good luck with your IVF! I went through it 3x. Rachel

  • Liz

    I think some of your information is incorrect. Formaldehyde is not listed as an ingredient. Retrieve cream is no different than vitamin C serum. Active ingredients may irritate. Used sparingly it is very safe. I’ve used it alternate nights now for 6 years. My skin is smooth. I know of someone who has used it almost 20 years.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel

      Liz, thanks are you saying your tube lists Formaldehyde as an ingredient? Retin A is Vitamin A, not Vitamin C, completely different. Retin A, which is the same thing as Retrieve is very irritating to some, it’s not known as a gentle product but it does work well for some. If you’ve used it for six years then your skin is probably very used to it. I can’t use any Retin A, my skin is too sensitive. Rachel

      • Liz

        No. I saw a comment on the blog stating it contained formaldehyde, which is NOT listed as an ingredient. I’m aware it is vitamin A. My comment regarding vitamin C is that they are both active ingredients and can cause irritation if used too frequently at the start. But none of these irritate my skin now.

  • m

    I’ve been using this cream for a year. Definitely too strong for my neck, as like J… it cause a burning red mark on crease. Besides the flakey skin which I have to regularly and gently exfoliate off, this cream has been great. My skin looks more youthful and even-toned and my acne is under control.

  • J

    i used this cream and have experienced flakey skin some burning red marks on neck crease where iv oviously left it on to long,although my skin feels smooth alot of flakey skin coming off

    • Val Clisby

      I have been using Retrieve cream for 6.months. I have a very nice face except fit my chin and the sides, it looks like a road map. I have team soooo many theries on how it should be used I am very confused.
      I use it every night. The wrinkles are very deep and there is no difference. They are also very red, but I would like to try a bit longer as I just don’t know what else to do. I am 72 and just hate these wrinkles.
      Any advice please would be welcome.

      • Rachel Vrabel
        Rachel Vrabel

        Hi Val, if you’re getting redness your skin does not like using Retrieve daily. Try going to every other night and see if redness subsides. Redness is likely an adverse inflammatory effect so that’s not going to be good in the long run. Retrieve can be very irritating, and you have to be extremely careful in the sun. Even being in the heat can cause a reaction, even if it’s not direct sunlight. If you’ve seen a difference in your wrinkles then I’d give it a bit more time, just use more sparingly. Be sure and use a calming moisturizer for the times you’re not using Retrieve. Something like Kollagen Intensiv is a great one. xo Rachel

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