Review: Alpha Hydrox Retinol ResQ


I got to know this product when I was reading Paula Begoun. I don’t agree with quite a number of her views (e.g. no to jar packaging, no to essential oils), so when I read her site, I take it with a pinch of salt. But if there’s one thing I really like about her website, is the comprehensive cosmetics ingredients list and their functions. It really does help to educate consumers and teach us to be more discerning. Last year, after reading so much about the benefits of anti-oxidants in skincare, I decided I want to try products with them to see how it works out. I zeroed in on the “Five Super Anti-Aging Antioxidants“:

  1. Vitamin E
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Resveratrol (found in red grapes and some berries)
  4. Retinol (a.k.a Vitamin A)
  5. Green Tea

After vitamin C, the easiest to get hold of is the Alpha Hydrox Retinol ResQ. It claims to contain vitamins A, C and E. The packaging has not been marked with the concentration of each ingredient. I can however guess that the concentration of vitamin C is very low, lower than the necessary 5% for it to do any change to the skin. When you open up the tube, there is a tiny trace of yellow residue near the opening, which is due to the oxidation of vitamin C. Compare this with the residue on La Roche-Posay Redermic C, which has 5% vitamin C, you can see the difference. Of course there should be allowance for different forms of vitamin C, but I guess in this case the difference is quite glaring.

I approached the product with caution after the horrible experience with the Alpha Hydrox AHA, and used the product for three nights along my neck, before I dared to apply it on my face. The product comes in a tube of scentless cream, which spreads and absorbs easily. I don’t find Retinol ResQ moisturizing enough on its own, so on days I wear this, I apply a layer of my regular moisturizer right before I go to bed.

I can’t pin point exact what it does to my face. The overall texture has improved, as well as the minor dehydration lines on my forehead, but then it may also be the effect of excellent moisturizers from Hanyul which I use more regularly than this. I don’t notice a “glow” or “reduction in pores” as some reviews have gushed. However, that may also be due to the fact that I only use it as an occasional treatment, used for several days in a row when I remember, rather than a daily moisturizer.

Will I repurchase this? It’s a little underwhelming, but if I cannot find another retinol product, then maybe I shall stick to this.


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