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As someone comfortably in their 30s, I’m caught somewhere between embracing the inevitability of aging and willing to sell my soul in exchange for eternal youth and a portrait I will gladly keep hidden in my attic. I’m working out the kinks of my relationship with my changing face, but between you, me and the fine lines rapidly forming around my eyes, it’s a struggle.
I’ve become a magpie for any product marketed using buzzwords such as “rejuvenating” or “anti-aging.” Which is why when I came across Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer on Amazon, a product which calls itself a “face lift in a jar,” my curiosity got the better of me. I justified my purchase of a 120 ml jar as “research” and eagerly awaited for my delivery via Prime shipping.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $32 (originally $42)
What is it?
Maritime Naturals is a Canadian company based in Nova Scotia that manufactures 100% organic and cruelty free skincare products. The brand’s Professional Retinol Moisturizer contains 2.5% retinol, plant-based hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E and a variety of natural and vegetable based oils such as Glyceryl Stearate SE and Isopropyl Palmitate.
The moisturizer, which boasts more than 3,500 customer reviews, is recommended for all skin types. The brand suggests using as a moisturizer twice a day (morning and night) and applying to face, eye area, neck and decollete (low neckline) to help minimize wrinkles, fine lines, acne, pores and eczema.
I was hesitant to introduce retinol into my skincare routine, since my previous experience using a retinol serum dried out my skin. However, the fact that there were so many natural moisturizing ingredients (aloe and jojoba) sold me on introducing it into my daily routine.
I began using the retinol cream twice a day as instructed, introducing the moisturizer as the final step of my nighttime routine which consists of washing my face at night with Cetaphil and Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser, followed by Son and Park’s Beauty Water as a toner and Graydon Superfood Serum. In the morning, I applied the moisturizer with my sunscreen after applying two drops of vitamin C serum.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $55
After a week of using the retinol moisturizer twice a day, I decided to drop the retinol from my morning routine after I began noticing my skin looking a little bit dry. It’s been three weeks of using the retinol cream, and while I haven’t noticed a drastic change to the fine lines around my eyes, I have noticed that my skin tone has improved, making the discolouration under my eyes and appearance of pores around my nose less noticeable when I’m not wearing makeup.
What others are saying
Before I made my purchase, I decided to check out what other Amazon shoppers had to say about the retinol moisturizer. There were lots of reviews by women who although didn’t disclose their age, have credited Maritime Rituals with improving the look of their skin overall.
“After using this moisturizer for more than three months now, I have to say both my complexion and skin texture has improved,” one shopper wrote. “One area that is very noticeable is my décolleté. The crepiness has reduced and the skin looks and feels smoother. The ingredients speaks for itself and is so much less expensive than comparable products.”
“After going through this tub of moisturizer, I'm hooked on this company's products. I've never gotten so many compliments on my skin. I slather it on at night and the next day my skin is always so soft. I didn't see drastic results right away but read online that 1% retinol (aka not a clinical dosage) can take a few months to start working, so I stuck with it,” another wrote. “Sure enough, a couple months in and I started hearing a lot of comments about how great my skin looked. It really does work, if you keep with it. Just ordered the retinol serum and vitamin C serum, to give them a try as well! I just wish this company made eye-cream and sunscreen!”
Although I didn’t experience the effect of a “facelift in a jar,” I do think that the Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer is a great option for anyone looking for a vegan, cruelty-free skincare product that won’t break the bank. My skin feels hydrated, soft and the improved skin tone was an unexpected but welcome result that was enough to make the purchase worth while.
While my hunt continues for a product that will transport me through time back to my teen years and force me to wear sunscreen, I’ve come to accept that there’s only so much creams and salves can do for aging skin. Aside from wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, avoiding the sun and staying hydrated there’s really no way to stop fine lines and wrinkles from developing.
If you’re looking to turn back the clock on your skin, my advice would be to explore your options with a dermatologist and develop a routine that matches your skincare goals and your budget.
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