Inside Our Brands

Introducing the Dara Kennedy Sea Retinal

Generally speaking, I don’t regret many things. I think there’s always something to be learned from mistakes, and there’s always some kind of positive change to make moving forward.
 
There is, however, an exception: I regret the many years I spent in the sun, not only without sunscreen, but with the sole objective of roasting my skin to a satisfyingly toasty brown. I’m talking serious roasting, whether I was spending entire days sunbathing in Mexico or feasting on pineapple on a beach in Thailand — I actively sought sun exposure during the specific hours we're supposed to avoid it the most.
 
Now, I slather myself with sunscreen daily; my wide-brimmed hat collection has begun to overtake the entryway in my house; and all of that past sun-seeking behavior, I regret. Deeply. So I’ve long been intrigued by retinoids’ proven ability to actually go back and undo that damage, in a way that no other ingredient can.
 
But for me, retinoids have been tricky. Tragically, I’m allergic to most of the ones we have on our shelves at Ayla, which are fantastic. And even some of the basic retinol serums I’ve tried have been too irritating (now I know why, and I’ll share more on that later); paradoxically, I was able to use up to 0.05% prescription tretinoin, but I’d have to be incredibly careful about not using it too often, and not using too much, which just became a hassle. 
 
And after talking to a lot of you, I’ve gotten the sense that I’m one of many who find that, with retinoids, there’s just a lot of drama.
 
Because of this; because retinoids are on my very short list of “shoulds” in skincare; and because so many of you who love the Sea Serum have also been looking for something to use with it that has a little more zing, the Sea Retinal is here. 
 
The short story: if you think of the Sea Serum as the super-protective, multi-talented ninja that also hydrates, brightens, and firms, the Sea Retinal is the sniper that wipes out past sins of the sun (and their accompanying hyperpigmentation, lines, and wrinkles) without the collateral damage you’d expect.
 
The Sea Retinal uses retinaldehyde, which I chose for its efficacy, efficiency, and (in the case of the specific one we work with) surprising stability; it also uses our own giant kelp and a biomimetic peptide based on a sea anemone protein to soothe and alleviate redness; and, in a twist that I personally find very exciting, a blend of snow algae, sea fennel and plant sugars to activate skin cells’ longevity switches, mimicking the effects of cold plunges, heat therapy, and intermittent fasting on the body’s detoxification and repair processes.
 
It's hyper-effective (check out the clinicals on the product page), so it does have some zing — but if you’re sensitive, there are simple ways to work around that, which I’ve detailed in the “how to use” section. No retinoid works exactly the same way on everyone, and the Sea Retinal is no exception. But, as you figure out the best way for it to work for you, you’ll find that there’s simply a lot less drama. And in these chaotic times, drama is something that I figured we could all use a little break from.
 
(But please, learn from my mistakes: don’t take a break from your sunscreen.)
 
xx
Dara

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