If You're Looking to Start Using Retinol, Go With Shani Darden's Texture Reform

As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.

I am what you might call a reformed skin-care maximalist. When I first understood the revolutionary concept that I wasn't just resigned to having acne forever — I could actually treat some of my skin concerns — I began to believe that more is more. I piled on the serums and treatments, often with no real idea about proper layering or what my skin actually needed. My aesthetician wisely told me to cut down on products, and my routine is now a very manageable four to five steps. I've been thinking about trying retinol for a little while, so when we were first designated to stay at home, there was no better time. I started using the Shani Darden Skin Care Texture Reform ($88) and now, there's no going back.

My skin is normal/combination, which means it gets dryer in the winter and oilier in the summer, but nothing crazy. My skin is also sensitive, and I'm prone to clogged pores, which isn't fun. I settled on the Texture Reform because it seemed like the perfect retinol for beginners, aka me. The serum is also formulated with lactic acid, which acts as a gentle exfoliant. Combined with the mild retinol, it's like a power duo for brightening the skin. I use this product twice a week, and I've seen a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin; I have that summertime glow I've been dreaming of, sans makeup. Plus, there is no synthetic fragrance added to this product, but it smells like the inside of a rose. This bottle is magic for my skin, and I'm definitely stocking up.