I started this year with a covid infection, and during the course of the illness, brushing and flossing my teeth were the only routines I was able to keep constant, everything else was a struggle. To say my skin suffered after this intentional skincare hiatus would be an understatement; looking at myself in the mirror on my first day out of isolation, all I could see were my hollow, sunken eyes and my sallow, congested and very unevenly textured skin. Not a pretty sight, but I figured it would be the perfect canvas to test out the Imaya Beauty Retinoic Face Oil on, which I had kindly received from the brand a couple of weeks earlier. I have been using it exclusively every night since mid January and, spoiler alert, my skin did a 180 and quick!
The Imaya Beauty Retinoic Face Oil is a one-ingredient product made from pure, wild-harvested, ethically and sustainably sourced oil from the Amazonian aguaje fruit in Peru. Admittedly, I had never heard of aguaje oil before, and was excited to research more about this fruit and its oil. Traditionally used to protect or ward of various skin issues, aguaje, or buriti, oil has been used to heal wounds, treat burns, as an antibiotic, as sun protection (sunscreen) and for anti-aging. Turns out that scientific studies have been conducted on aguaje oil – its phenolic extracts have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and it was found to be “20 times richer in vitamin A than carrots”; retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, which is why aguaje oil is referred to as a natural retinol alternative.
I have been using the Retinoic Face Oil exclusively at night for two months now and I feel comfortable sharing my love for it. As is claimed, the oil absorbs easily into the skin, as long as a reasonable amount is applied. I’m usually heavy-handed with face oils, and I learnt that defers its absorption and can cause (washable!) yellow stains on fabrics that may come in contact with the skin. As opposed to learning how to regulate my use of oils, I opted to start my evening skincare routine earlier to allow ample time for absorption and that works well with me. I do not have the luxury of time to do the same in the morning before I apply my SPF and makeup, so after using the Retinoic Face Oil for a week twice a day, I decided to revert back to my normal, faster morning routine.
I have acne-prone, combination to oily, sensitive skin, which does not usually fare well with retinol-based products. I am pleased to report no dryness or irritation resulted from using the Imaya Beauty Retinoic Oil whatsoever. In fact, it has smoothed out my skin, leaving it looking brighter. It also does not feel heavy, or clog my pores; on the contrary, breakouts have been minimized, and clear out faster when present.
I love so many things about the Imaya Beauty Retinoic Face Oil – I love how it leaves my skin looking and feeling, I love that it can be used exclusively day and night, minimizing the number of products and steps needed in a routine, I love that it is decently priced, and I love knowing that the brand gives back – 10% of profits are donated to reforestation initiatives. I’m already a big fan of single ingredient oils, and this is one I would definitely recommend and keep in rotation in my skincare arsenal.
Featured in my pictures is my beloved Phillip Brewer burner (minus the copper plate!) that I use to burn frankincense resin.