When The Ordinary burst onto the skincare scene in 2016, it brought a never-before-seen ethos to the beauty world: Radically inexpensive formulas meant you could cocktail up your perfect routine without paying out the nose for marketing or fancy packaging, effectively democratizing skincare. UK-based brand Facetheory follows in The Ordinary's footsteps with affordable treatments in likewise pared-down packaging, and now that it's available in the U.S., the raves for its anti-aging Regenacalm Pro Serum are overwhelming.
At the serum's heart lies retinol, the clinically proven anti-ager that makes the skincare world go round. The brand sets Regenacalm apart from other topical retinoids by encapsulating it in liposomes, an interesting delivery system made up of phosphates and lipids that deposits retinol deep into your skin. It's matched with vitamin E to soften skin, liquorice root extract to brighten, plus vitamin C and its sidekick, ferulic acid, to clear up texture. Lactic acid adds another anti-aging angle by softening wrinkles, while salicylic acid tackles acne.
As you can probably guess, it's potent as hell — and that glass-bottled power means shoppers see massive results. "I absolutely love this and couldn't recommend it highly enough. It's made so much difference to my lines and literally made me look younger," writes a 57-year-old with combination skin. "In fact, my mother-in-law asked, 'Have you had Botox?'" If I'm not mistaken, that's the mother of all compliments to receive from an in-law.
Shop now: $14, us.facetheory.com
Other people crown it the best serum they've ever used, since it smoothes skin to such a degree that more exfoliation would be overkill. The fine line-plumping action is unparalleled, they say, and even using the vegan formula twice a week is enough to see changes. "Please understand me when I tell you that Facetheory's Regenacalm Pro Serum is PURE LIQUID GOLD," writes a fan who's tried both prescription retinols and multiple over-the-counter options. "This stuff is amazing. It really has changed my face. My coloring is uniform, my texture is even, my face is plumper, and I really do look much younger."
On the other side of the spectrum, a retinol newbie says the Regenacalm made their acne and scarring "reduce rapidly," and those with super-sensitive, rosacea-prone skin say building up slowly has helped even out their skin tone. Even delicate areas transform, per one person's account after a week. "I am seeing dramatic results in my under-eye area. Any darkness that was there is gone, the lines are fading significantly, and [there's] less puffiness."
Discoloration elsewhere likewise fades away, according to more people, as do pimples. "Lines have visibly improved. My skin is brighter [and] dark spots are less noticeable." A last person sums it up: "Regenacalm Serum Pro has transformed my skin. I'm in my 50s and it's done wonders with sun blemishes, tightening, and brightening. I use this serum at night and I wake up looking rejuvenated."
Not much else left to say, other than for $14, you can't really do better. The brand also has a 365-day money-back guarantee, which even puts Sephora's return policy to shame. Thank you once again, Europe.
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