Oz Naturals: 2.5% Retinol Serum with Astaxanthin and Vitamin E #Review #OzNaturals

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The market is filled with ant-aging products and even though we have many too choose from, some rarely work. Like I have mentioned in past reviews, no oversight like in the supplement world, so most products just have to not hurt you and they are really overlooked and still being sold. I spent the last few weeks testing out serums to devices that help with aging skin. It’s so hard knowing I invested a few weeks and a product just did not deliver what was stated.

Thankfully, Oz Naturals was not one of them!

I love retinol and especially one that did not cost an office visit. Yes, the prescriptions are not as costly as one would think but the office visits cost money and refills require another office visit. It gets up there and I honestly do not feel I am need of the prescription strength, yet. I prefer to not over medicate my face because if I up the potency, I also up the side effects and with Summer around, I also up my chances of getting a red and peely face. I’m all for anti-aging but shedding skin like a lizard is not sexy no matter the bikini you wear!

Oz Naturals has a 2.5% retinol serum, which contains Astaxanthin and Vitamin E. The formula is a strong orange hue in color that always makes me think the retinol oxidized, as yellow is the first tinge you see when it does, followed by the orange color that comes after. Thankfully, this is just a coloring from the ingredients versus a serum going wonky and I prefer getting pass the color versus a dye being added to just calm my fears. That is what Oz Naturals does, it offers a natural approach to your skincare’s needs.

Ingredients (as listed on website): Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), HamamelisVirginiana (Witch Hazel), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic SimmondsiaChinensis (Jojoba Oil), TriticumVulgare (Wheat Germ Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), WildcraftedResinaPropoli (Propolis), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

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Astaxanthin: This was an ingredient that I had heard of but was not familiar with, as not any of my beauty products contain it. It’s a carotenoid and an antioxidant. It’s what they feed salmon when people for some reason want to see a pinker/orange hue in their fish. It does not convert to retionol (Vitamin A), however research which is still limited, has reflected it may aid with inflammation, oxidation and even UV damage. I like that it’s simple and as long as it’s derived naturally and not in it’s synthetic form, it has the potential to help and protect against oxidative (free-radical) aging skin.

Price Point: $24.99 for a 1 ounce bottle with a pump top, versus a dropper.  This bottle helps keep the air out and because it’s tinted, the glass keeps the light out too.

Verdict:
I love serums because my skin loves them. They absorb quickly and that means less residue and you don’t feel that heaviness that some creams tend to leave behind. Most serums play well with cosmetics and because I have increased my retinol use to both day and night use, just making sure I use sunscreen in the day to avoid redness or hyper-pigmentation issues. The latter part would kind of go against what I am trying to do (save my skin), so please don’t skip on your SPF. I used the serum for a total of 3 weeks and like always, I am going from one 2.5% retinol brand to another. I will notice if a product works if it does or does not maintain the progress I have previously achieved, and I can then measure if the new serum brings anything new to the party. Even though Oz Naturals is orange in color, it did not leave a orange colored goop that was hard to hide. My skin absorbed the serum with no problems! I did notice that my skin at week two had a nicer and more pleasant texture. My skin had a glow that the previous retinol serum did not add. It was not an oily glow but just a healthy one and because I suffer from horrible seasonal allergies, this is something that unfortunately always reflects on my face and sadly my skin. The glow I got sort of helped make me look healthier and less tired, so it took attention away from the signs of having bad allergies gives you. I’ll take it! Any serum that can do more than just deliver retinol is what I seek. I’m always looking to simplify my routine and I literally went from Oz Naturals 2.5% retinol serum to then moisturizer at night, and done! Just switch to an SPF moisturizer in the day and it’s the easiest and most effective duo I have found, so no excuses that you have no time for your skin. With Oz Naturals, you will only need 3 minutes to get what I consider a good anti-aging beauty regimen, so you can even do it while brushing your teeth 🙂

Oz Naturals offers a large assortment of Beauty products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Oz Naturals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Aria Starr Beauty: Super Retinol Advanced Anti-Aging Serum; 2.5% Retinol #Review #AriaStarrBeauty

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Read the fashion magazines to the beauty newsletters,, and everyone is always pushing a retinol product with a very huge price tag. Not all vitamin A products are created equal but that does not mean that retinol product is not going to cost an arm and a leg. One thing I learned, is that Vitamin A should not be as costly and it’s effectiveness will come from what the formulation yields. You then get into the source and potency of the product and that is where I come to see if the bottle has what it says it does. The skin does not lie! 🙂

Aria Starr Beauty is a young company, which originates in Corona, California and with only a few products currently on the market. They offer Argan oil, a Vitamin C serum and the Super Retinol serum they kindly sent me to try out. The company name’s is the same as the founder, and they provide their beauty aids currently only via the Amazon’s Marketplace and other sites. Getting noticed is hard in the beauty world, so I don’t always discount if a company has little social media traffic or even a limited selection. Everything starts somewhere and some start small but as long as you do it right, I prefer to know I can count on a brand for this product versus just having a large selection of beauty items that do not work…..we all have sort of been there at one time or another!

I’m always on a retinol product as it is, and currently the OTC brands are only allowed to distribute a maximum of 2.5% without a prescription. This also means you get a softer potency that is sometimes better because delicate areas like your eyes can’t tolerate higher doses. You would need a script for retinol, which contains Tretinoin and comes in both topical and even pill form (i.e. Accutane). I don’t feel I’m there yet when it comes to my skin’s needs both in appearance and let’s admit it, in cost. I stick to 2.5% retinol for now until the time the fine lines start fighting back harder.

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Aria Starr Super Retinol is labeled as a advanced anti-aging serum. You get a combination of main ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E and Organic Aloe. I like that the product comes in a glass colored bottle to avoid oxidation caused by light, plus it’s a gorgeous cobalt blue in color. Aria Starr took one step further and opted for a pump action top versus the glass droppers you see with some products, so again protecting the potency of the retinol by limiting oxygen/air from diluting it’s contents. I also like pump tops because I think they are more sanitary. You don’t have to worry if you need to rest a dropper’s top on the counter and picking up whatever to not only affect your skin, but the contents of the product, and it’s future applications. I’m just not into spreading germs with my beauty routine!

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Ingredients (as listed on Amazon): Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe, Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic Jojoba Oil, Triticum Vulgare, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl Acetate), Organic Green Tea, Wildcrafted Resina Propoli, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin

Retail Price Point: $16.95 for a 2.0 fluid ounce bottle. The label has a printed on expiration date, which I like. It makes the consumer aware of manufacture date (11/17/2014) and expiration date (11/16/2016). Aria Starr’s products are manufactured in the USA and lot/batch numbers are also recorded on the label.  Covered by a 1-year Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Results:
As I stated I use retinol, so I am passed the “sensitive period” where peeling and/or redness may occur. Aria Starr’s serum is the same potency as the brand I was currently using, so I simply just jumped from one brand to another. I used the product for 3.5 weeks to see if the serum continued with my skin’s upkeep and if I saw any improvements or worse, any fine lines coming back. I used the product twice a day but in the A.M., I tend to go lighter with application and always follow-up with a SPF moisturizer. The serum does have retinol present, as my past achievements of ditching fine lines continued. I did not have any adverse reactions and this serum seems to leave a little more of a moisture barrier and this may be because of the additional beneficial properties added (i.e. vitamin oils and enriching oils).

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Verdict:
You can’t beat the price point for a product where 1 to 2 pumps is needed. I still have more than 1/2 left because I needed 1 pump at night and a 1/2 a pump in the day.  A little goes a long way with serums and especially retinol infused ones.  I did not see any diminished gains that I had previously achieved and the product does work well with my skin.  No break-outs, blemishes, or anything negative I could attribute to the serum.  The product also absorbs quickly and gave me zero issues when used under make-up.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Aria Starr Beauty.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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