This post has been sponsored by Vivo Per Lei.
I’ve had problematic skin for as long as I can remember. My preteen acne issues eventually became adult acne issues, and I even suffered from staph infections and MRSA as a teenager (as mentioned in this post). It wasn’t fun – believe me.
As a result of my aforementioned acne issues, my dermatologists have long recommended that I use retinol products. Retinol products boost collagen production and unclog pores… so they’re ideal for those who suffer from acne and want to incorporate more anti-aging products into their routine (aka: me).
Thus, when Vivo Per Lei reached out to me about trying out their retinol skincare line, I was eager to try the products. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing an at-home retinol facial two or three times each week and I have definitely seen a difference in my skin! Also this line is great because it’s actually affordable – each product is under $40!
What I’m Wearing:
Pajamas: Nordstrom / Nail Polish: Essie, c/o
Products Used in My At-Home Retinol Facial:
Retinol Anti-Aging Exfoliant: Vivo Per Lei, c/o / Retinol Wrinkle Solution Thermal Mask: Vivo Per Lei, c/o
Retinol Wrinkle Solution Serum: Vivo Per Lei, c/o / Retinol Wrinkle Solution Filler: Vivo Per Lei, c/o
Y’all. I have seen such a difference in my skin since I started doing this at-home retinol facial. I am not wearing any face makeup in the photos above!! WHAAAAAAT.
Admittedly, I am wearing a bit of mascara because my mother claims I look like an insane asylum escapee without mascara (I have blonde eyelashes)… but my face is as clean as can be!
While this skincare line worked for me, please remember just that while reading this post: this skincare line has worked for me. Y’all know that I would never advocate for a product in which I don’t believe… or something that didn’t work for me.
Just keep in mind that we’re not all the same – I have insanely dry, annoyingly acne-prone skin but it’s super even. Even further: my body chemistry is different from your body chemistry. With any skincare change, I always recommend testing the products on your hand / a patch on your neck for a few days before making the switch.
My At-Home Retinol Facial Routine:
Two or three nights each week, I do an at-home retinol facial. After removing my makeup and cleansing my face at least twice (I always use both a gel cleanser and a cream cleanser!), I apply the Vivo Per Lei Retinol Wrinkle Solution Thermal Mask evenly on my face. After about 10 minutes, I wash it off and apply the Vivo Per Lei Retinol Anti-Aging Exfoliant. This product is wacky because you don’t wash it off after applying – just make sure to wash your face the next morning or your makeup might flake off!
One tip I must add is to not forget about your neck and décolletage! Both the neck and the chest get wrinkly pretty quickly, so you should get in the habit of applying whatever serums and exfoliants you use on your face to both of those areas as well. I don’t apply masks to my neck and chest because it feels a bit wacky… but I always apply my exfoliant and serums (and a moisturizer!) to these areas.
After I apply the exfoliant, I let it dry for a few minutes before putting a pump (or two) of the Retinol Wrinkle Solution Serum on my face, neck, and chest. All in all, this entire routine takes about 15-20 minutes. Aka perfect for a lazy Sunday evening (or a busy Wednesday night!).
Get the Whole Vivo Per Lei Retinol Collection Here
Every morning, I continue my at-home retinol facial my cleansing my face twice more before applying the Vivo Per Lei Retinol Wrinkle Solution Serum on my face, neck, and décolletage. I then apply my favorite moisturize and sunscreen on my face, neck, and chest.
Finally, at least once a week, I top it all off with applying the Vivo Per Lei Retinol Wrinkle Solution Filler wherever my fine lines are visible on my face. The filler is great for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While I don’t use this product every day, I always make sure to use it at least once each week and before events… aka whenever I have a date or a photoshoot.
And then I just put on my makeup as usual! I’ve lately been loving this CC+ cream – it has anti-aging benefits and sun protection while still being full coverage.
BTW if you want to learn more about Vivo Per Lei’s various product categories, I definitely recommend checking out Vivo Per Lei’s website, Facebook, and Instagram! They’re currently giving a few lucky Facebook followers their mineral mud clay mask (which looks amazing).
But How Does this At-Home Retinol Facial Change if You Get a Zit?
I’m prone to all types of acne, even the dreaded cystic acne (ugh). Honestly, my at-home retinol facial routine doesn’t change that much when I get a zit… even if a deep, cystic zit rears its ugly head.
At-Home Retinol Facial if You Have Blackheads or Milia
If you get blackheads or milia, consider applying the leave-on Retinol Anti-Aging Exfoliant more often. I actually broke out in milia along my cheeks and jawline while in Europe this winter, but they quickly dissipated after I started exfoliating regularly.
I use some sort of an exfoliant every day – on top of my leave-on Vivo Per Lei exfoliant, I have a leave-on liquid exfoliant and an exfoliating cleanser… all of which I use regularly. Sometimes I’ll even combine products and use all three!
You can also incorporate some sort of blackhead removing mask – I personally enjoy this peel-off mask. It hurts like a b*%#@ but it’s definitely effective!
PS in case you didn’t know, milia is the name for those little bumps some people get on their faces. I tend to get them around my eyes but – like I said above – I broke out in them all over my face when I forgot to exfoliate for a few weeks while traveling. Just further reason to remember to exfoliate regularly!
At-Home Retinol Facial if You Have Cystic Acne
If, however, a cystic zit appears, I really recommend steering clear of the infected area. Wash your face like normal, but don’t apply any serums or masks on top of the cystic zit – the area is already infected and you don’t want to further inflame it. Instead, I put some Hibiclens on my finger or a cotton swab and apply several layers of Hibiclens to the site. After a few days, the zit should either come to a head (ew but sooo satisfying) or reduce completely.
Once you can touch the site and no longer feel pain or a lump under the skin (you’ll know what I mean), consider that your green light to apply products to the area.
I discovered Hibiclens after I was hospitalized for MRSA when I was 15… actually almost exactly 13 years ago to the day! Not only is it great for treating staph infections and cystic acne, but I try to do a Hibiclens mask (where I put it all over my face and just let it dry for 15 minutes) a few times a month, to make sure my skin stays clean, clear, and fresh.
Ways You Can Increase the Effect of an At-Home Retinol Facial on Your Skin
Keeping your skin clean and using retinol-based products can only do so much. For the past few years, I’ve slept on silk pillowcases. I know: how extra is that?
But seriously: not only do silk pillowcases feel luxurious, but they’re proven to help improve the appearance of skin and hair. Plus they’re hypoallergenic which is great for me because I’m allergic to legit just about everything (read: all animals, all plants, and just nature in general).
BTW my silk pillowcases are on sale right now. I also like to use this silk sleep mask while traveling, which is also on sale!
In order for my at-home retinol facial to make the biggest impact, I also use a microneedling tool. After I cleanse my face (and before I add my leave-on exfoliant and serum), I roll my microneedling tool all over my face. Using a microneedler stimulates collagen production (aka reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles) and helps your skin absorb skincare products (aka further reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles).
Just make sure you keep it clean by spritzing it with an alcohol sanitizing spray – otherwise it can cause you to breakout. And nobody wants that.
Before you freak out about needles, it honestly doesn’t feel like you’re being pricked by needles – these needles are tiny. Trust me: I hate needles and I love my microneedling tool… especially in combination with my at-home retinol facial.
Get the whole Vivo Per Lei Retinol Collection so you can create your own at-home retinol facial here.