Here's what happened when I tried this $29 moisturizer that's been called a 'facelift in a jar'

·4 min read

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I tried this top-rated retinol with more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon. (Image via Getty Images)
I tried this top-rated retinol with more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon. (Image via Getty Images)

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As someone comfortably in their 30s, I’m caught somewhere between embracing the inevitability of aging and willing to sell my soul in exchange for eternal youth and a portrait I will gladly keep hidden in my attic. I’m working out the kinks of my relationship with my changing face, but between you, me and the fine lines rapidly forming around my eyes, it’s a struggle.

I’ve become a magpie for any product marketed using buzzwords such as “rejuvenating” or “anti-aging.” Which is why when I came across Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer on Amazon, a product which calls itself a “facelift in a jar,” my curiosity got the better of me.

Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer

Martime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer. Image via Amazon.
Martime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer. Image via Amazon.

$29 $35 at Amazon

What is it?

Maritime Naturals is a Canadian company based in Nova Scotia that manufactures 100% organic and cruelty free skincare products. The brand’s Professional Retinol Moisturizer contains 2.5% retinol, plant-based hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and a variety of natural and vegetable based oils such as Glyceryl Stearate SE and Isopropyl Palmitate.

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The moisturizer, which boasts more than 3,000 five-star reviews is recommended for all skin types. The brand suggests using as a moisturizer twice a day (morning and night) and applying to face, eye area, neck and décolleté (low neckline) to help minimize wrinkles, fine lines, acne, pores and eczema.

My experience

I was hesitant to introduce retinol into my skincare routine, since my previous experience using a retinol serum dried out my skin. However, the fact that there were so many natural moisturizing ingredients (aloe and jojoba) sold me on introducing it into my daily routine.

I began using the retinol cream twice a day as instructed, introducing the moisturizer as the final step of my nighttime routine which consists of washing my face at night with Cetaphil and Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser, followed by Son and Park’s Beauty Water as a toner and one of my new favourite serums, the Organic Beauty Facial Oil by Honest Beauty. In the morning, I applied the moisturizer with my sunscreen after applying two drops of vitamin C serum.

Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Cleanser

My favourite way to remove makeup at the end of the day. Dermalogica's Intensive Moisture Cleanser is a gentle way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. Image via Sephora.
My favourite way to remove makeup at the end of the day. Dermalogica's Intensive Moisture Cleanser is a gentle way to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. Image via Sephora.

$55 at Sephora

After a week of using the retinol moisturizer twice a day, I decided to drop the retinol from my morning routine after I began noticing my skin looking a little bit dry. It’s been three weeks of using the retinol cream at night, and while I haven’t noticed a drastic change to the fine lines around my eyes, I have noticed that my skin tone has improved, making the discolouration under my eyes and appearance of pores around my nose less noticeable when I’m not wearing makeup.

What others are saying

Before I made my purchase, I decided to check out what other Amazon shoppers had to say about the retinol moisturizer. There were lots of reviews by women who have credited Maritime Rituals with improving the look of their skin overall. The daily moisturizer currently has more than 6,100 customer reviews on Amazon and a respectable 4.3-star rating. 

Amazon customers have said that after a few months of use, they've begun to see an improvement in their "complexion and skin texture."

"The crepiness has reduced," one Amazon shopper said, adding that their skin looks "smoother."

Others have called themselves "hooked" on Maritime Naturals products and have received numerous compliments on their skin from friends. 

"It really does work if you keep with it," they wrote. 

Although there are plenty of positive reviews online, there are many shoppers who have cautioned that too much retinol can cause the skin to become very dry. Others have said that the cream feels heavy compared to other retinol creams, and might not be the best for anyone with super sensitive skin. 

If you're worried about a potential allergic reaction or breakout, do a small patch test on clean skin, like your forearm or the side of your neck. Be sure to wait 24 hours to rule out any delayed reactions. This can help avoid uncomfortable reactions on the rest of your face or body. If no reaction occurs after the patch test, you should be safe to use the product as directed on your face without issue. 

Verdict

While I didn’t experience the effect of a “facelift in a jar,” I do think that the Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer is a great option for anyone looking for a vegan, cruelty-free skincare product that won’t break the bank. My skin feels hydrated, soft and the improved skin tone was an unexpected but welcome result that was enough to make the purchase worth while.

If you’re looking to really turn back the clock on your skin, my advice would be to explore your options with a dermatologist and develop a routine that matches your skincare goals and your budget.

However, if you’re comfortable with using retinol products, Maritime Naturals is definitely an affordable option, especially now when it’s on sale.

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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