I Used This Beauty Product for 3 Weeks and My Skin Has Never Looked So Good

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When you work in the beauty industry, you’re sent a lot of products to try out. (I know, I know—it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.) Of course, there are a lot of creams, serums, sprays and supplements to wade through in order to find the real gems, so it’s rewarding when you discover a product that actually works or a brand that lives up to the hype.

As a beauty lover, I’ve long been a BEAUTY PIE fanatic. I can’t get enough of the cool, minimalist packaging, the award-winning products (obviously) and the whole subscription concept—it’s right up my street. For those unfamiliar, here’s how it works: Members pay a monthly fee in return for huge discounts on BEAUTY PIE products, which can only be found on the brand’s website. By using this direct-to-consumer model (i.e. not relying on retailers or celebrity endorsements to sell its beauty products), BEAUTY PIE is able to offer innovative formulas and premium-quality products at much more affordable prices. I know what you’re thinking: What’s the catch? Well, let me tell you: There isn’t one.


So when the brand asked me to test its latest Youthbomb Double-Retinol Action Skin Overhaul Serum (member price: £44), it was a no-brainer. Retinol was last year’s biggest beauty trend with 9.2 million Google searches and 1.2 billion views on TikTok. Whilst it’s best known for its anti-ageing properties (it’s proven to stimulate cell turnover, produce collagen and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles), it can also work wonders for acne.

This retinol serum is for those looking to take their entry-level retinol routine up a notch (if you're looking for one with lower strength, I'd recommend the Super Retinol + Vitamin C Night Renewal Moisturiser). The Double-Retinol serum is strong, so it’s effective for anyone looking for a faster and harder-working anti-ageing product. The yellow formula (retinol’s natural colour) is packed with two retinoids for a double dose of resurfacing power and niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to counteract the side effects of retinol use, such as irritation. But it’s best used as part of the Ultimate Youthbomb Trio (member price: £119), which includes the Youthbomb Biologic Collagen Peptide Cream (member price: £44), an ideal night cream, and the Youthbomb 360° Radiance Concentrate (member price: £44), along with the retinol serum.


I call this trio the Holy Trinity of Beauty because the three products work together to give your skin a healthy, youthful glow: The retinol serum smooths skin, the rich collagen cream plumps and hydrates, and the concentrate brightens, firms and gives you a natural glow. To be clear, I’ve never been one to chase my youth. I’ve never had botox, and I don’t mind my fine lines. I just want clear, healthy-looking, glowy skin, and that's exactly what this trio does.


Before I go into how I used the Youthbomb Trio and its effects, it’s important to tell you about my skin: It’s slightly dry, sensitive and acne-prone. Since adolescence, I’ve almost always had a zit or two at any given time, and I have some scarring where the temptation to squeeze whiteheads got the better of me. (We’ve all been there, right?) I’ve tried a lot of treatments over the years and have been using retinol for about a year. This is important to note because the Youthbomb retinol serum is too strong to introduce into your skincare routine if you’ve never used a retinol before. When speaking to the Who What Wear UK beauty editor, Eleanor Vousden, she explained that "From around our mid-twenties, we start to lose about 1% of our collagen every year. From this point onwards, using a retinoid (the umbrella term for retinols and retinals) can help your skin kickstart that collagen production and address the first signs of fine lines and wrinkles we often see in our late twenties.

When I speak with dermatologists and skin therapists, they often urge first-time users of retinols to go low and slow. Start with the lowest percentage and use once or twice a week at first, before building up the frequency as your skin tolerates it. Once your skin has acclimatised, you can look at going to a higher strength. All skin types can benefit from a retinol, it's all about finding the best formulation for your skin's needs."


For this review, I decided to stop using my other products almost entirely in order to trial the Youthbomb retinol serum properly and fairly. This being said, I love a double-cleanse and still needed to remove my makeup every night, so I used BEAUTY PIE’s Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm (member price: £16) and the Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser (member price: £9) to prep my skin. Once it was was completely cleansed, I added a few drops of the Radiance Concentrate on my palms and then directly onto my face and neck. (You can also add this to your morning routine.) After it soaked in, I used two pumps of the Double-Retinol Action Skin Overhaul Serum all over my face (I used it every other night for two weeks before I started using it nightly), paying close attention to the bottom of my cheeks and near my mouth where I get most of my breakouts. After I’d given the retinol a few minutes to sink in, I lathered my face with the Biologic Collagen Peptide Cream. (Pro tip: It’s so thick and creamy, so a little goes a long way.)


But let’s get to the results. Honestly, I cannot recommend this stuff enough. I mean, look at the photos! My skin looks dewy, bright and plump, and my acne scars have seriously reduced. But I was most impressed and surprised by the fact that my skin didn’t have a single bad reaction to the retinol serum. I expected that I would have to stop using it for a few days as my skin is sensitive, but there was no redness or dryness at all—my skin just got increasingly clearer each day. I have actually since swapped out my foundation for a tinted moisturiser, which I would usually only use on holiday when I’m sun-kissed and glowing. The Youthbomb Double-Retinol Action Skin Overhaul Serum has definitely made my skin appear youthful, but most importantly, it’s given me the confidence to wear less makeup, and for me, that’s the ultimate win.

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Rebecca Rhys-Evans is a London-based fashion and beauty editor with a decade of branded content and editorial experience. She started working at Who What Wear UK in the summer of 2022, where she was hired to lead all branded content for the UK site. Be it appearing on-camera to showcase how to style the latest designer collections, or reviewing the most recent beauty skincare products, Rebecca is the voice (and often face) for Who What Wear UK’s commercial partnerships. A self-confessed internet obsessive, she loves all facets of content creation—be it writing, filming, art directing or styling—and revels in collaborating with brands to help harness their product and tell their story. After graduating from University of Liverpool in American Studies, she travelled around North and South America before moving to London to pursue her career as a fashion journalist. Before she landed her position at Who What Wear, she was a freelance writer and content consultant, writing for Polyester, Screenshot, Marie Claire, Refinery29 and Culture Trip, reporting on everything from internet culture, vintage shopping across the world, sustainability and sex work. Adding to this, she has also held editor positions at FLANNELS.com, BURO., Koibird and SHOP Magazine.