My never ending search for the next best skincare product continues! I want that magic potion that will keep my skin looking it’s best and retinol is a powerful ingredient that always seems to come up.
I’ve always avoided it as while it is potent, it can also be potentially irritating. This particular one from Maya Chia caught my eye as it combines a gentler encapsulated retinol along with two botanical retinol sources, Bakuchiol and Moth Bean Extract.
As a lover of serums, this boasts some fantastic ingredients: nutrient dense supercritical chia seed, rosehip seed and raspberry seed oils, vitamin c and vitamin e. It’s free of any alcohols, vegan by-products and gluten.
The Straight A Serum – Advanced Gentle Retinol Treatment – $125.00 USD or $199.95 AUD for 30ml or 1.0 fl oz.
At first I was a little concerned I would be unable to use this. The smell of the active ingredients is very strong and quite off-putting, especially if you’re used to masking fragrances. That said, I’d much prefer that. It’s great that they have avoided any synthetic fragrance as well as essential oils. However the smell is definitely unique! It’s not something that I’ve encountered before, so I can only assume it is the encapsulated retinol or supercritical chia seed oil. I have been able to acclimatise as it dissipates quickly.
For anyone who dislikes oily serums, you might find this a perfect inbetween. I’m pleasantly surprised at how lightweight this feels. It sinks in completely in a matter of seconds. You’ll also be pleased that it hardly leaves a trace of residue. As for where it falls in my routine, I apply it after a toner, then a heavier serum or balm over the top because on it’s own it’s not occlusive enough.
In terms of results I have been surprised at how nourishing this is. Even though this is so lightweight it works wonders at keeping skin plump and smooth. I spent a week using a toner, a layer of the straight A serum and finally a layer of Queen Bee Secrets balm and I’m definitely impressed that it was enough. Now that I have my serums back, I can sometimes skip the heavier balm and still maintain the condition of my skin. This can definitely be helpful if I want a break from the heaviness.
So while it’s performing well at plumping my skin, I do wish it was doing a little more in terms of brightening my darker spots.
From the first application, I had fears that I wouldn’t be able to use this. Fortunately when my skin barrier is strong, it tolerates this treatment very well. It doesn’t sting, or dry me out. However it’s not a serum I can use on it’s own. However the results did surprise me because I tend to use thicker oil serums to maintain my skin. It’s really nice to have the option of a more lightweight serum in my skincare routine. I have also found that while the smell is a little overpowering, the formula is so gentle I have not had any issues with irritation at all.
When it comes down to whether I would repurchase, I think I’d make that choice based on where it fits within my routine. Ultimately for the price, I would prefer to have more brightening of my dark spots. Most of my skincare already improves the plumpness of my skin and it’s definitely time for me to focus more on hyper-pigmentation.