When it comes to skincare retinol has proven to deliver impressive results. We’ve turned to retinol to help smooth skin texture and appearance, and minimize fine lines and pores. So, when Dermalogica announced the new Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum to the line up we wanted to know what made this one different from all the others on the marketplace?

What stands out immediately is it offers a 3.5% Retinoid Complex. When I saw this I was very curious. I haven’t tried anything over 1.5%.  I was recently invited to a learning session with Dermalogica to find out more.

What makes this particular formulation unique is its time-released encapsulated Retinol.  The high dose also has what they call a booster technology so you can also consider this product as a high-performance and fast action serum delivering results.

The benefits according to their research…

  • Increases cell turnover and accelerates skin renewal
  • Effectively evens out discolouration
  • Smoothing damage that occurs during skin aging
  • Help to decrease the amount of collagen breakdown from sun exposure
  • Stimulate the production of new collagen


Key Ingredients: 3.5% Retinoid Complex featuring three retinoids and a booster working at different speeds, providing a continual release of skin-smoothing actives to address the signs of skin aging — skin texture & tone, age spots, fine lines & wrinkles, larger pores, and loss of firmness.

  • Retinol
  • Time-released encapsulated Retinol
  • Fast-acting Granactive Retinoid
  • Retinol Booster
  • Squalane: helps replenish skin, smooths fine lines and wrinkles and helps to support skin resilience
  • Beta-Glucan hydrates supports the skin barrier strength and supports skin recovery

You can learn more about the differences between retinol and retinoid here.

retinol - skincare - dermalogica

L-R: the progress from day before beginning to use Dermalogica’s Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum, then 1 week, then 2 weeks of usage.


I’ve been using this product now for over two weeks and nightly as recommended after cleansing. Applied over clean skin I began with a thin layer every other night. My skin was already accustomed to using Retinol products from trying out products in the past but the higher percentage made me a bit nervous with my sensitive skin. I applied my moisturizer on top of the serum. After reading about the product I understood that it was quite possible to see results as soon as two weeks.

After a week and a half of using the serum every other night. Once I knew my skin was fine with the serum because of its timed release, I increased it to nightly.  Now I’m past the two weeks mark.

I began noticing the start of a more even-toned and smoother surface. At about two weeks it was apparent that pores were also diminishing in appearance.  As for the fine lines, I haven’t noticed anything at this point but I will continue to use the serum as my skin has tolerated it well. I have no additional breakouts or something which I’ve always had to stay on top of even at 55 years old! So, that’s a bonus for me!

It’s worth noting that when you’re using any Retinol products that it should only be used in the evening. As much as we love the results the ingredient is sun-sensitive. Also, with that in mind, you should ALWAYS wear good sunscreen during the daytime.

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum comes in a 0.1 US OZ / 3.0 mL and 1.0 US OZ / 30 mL bottle. Find it at authorized Dermalogica spas, salons and skin centres. Learn more about this new serum here. 

Now, have you heard of skin cycling? Here’s our article on that! 

Stay tuned for my next skincare post about what essentials you should take with you if you’re heading to a sunny destination!