The Details

Retinol Supreme Night Oil | Retinol Supreme Eye Serum | Retinol Treatment Complex | Photography by: Angie Garcia | In collaboration with Colleen Rothschild, all opinions and purchases are my own.

Happy weekend, friends! Let’s chat retinol. What is it? When do you use it? What on earth does it do?

Like its cousins salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur, retinol is a powerful product used in skincare. However, unlike those other products marketed towards teens and younger women, retinol usually gets marketed towards women 40 and older. I’m here to tell you, that is a bag of lies! You want retinol in your skincare toolbox.

What is retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that allows your skin to renew and helps enhance collagen production. You may have also heard of retinoids, and that is a completely different blog post. Essentially, retinol is one example of retinoids. Retinoid is the classification of the different retinol products. The skin is getting the retinoic acid out of the products, but each has different levels of strengths and I don’t want to bore you with that!

What does retinol do?

In the beauty industry, you may hear many people say, “Oh this doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work. Honey, the only thing that works is retinol.” And people say that because everyone from Dermatologists to makeup artists really make this product out to be like gold.

Bottom line? Retinol is powerful and assists with anything from fine lines to pore size to uneven skin tone to texture issues to leftover acne marks. 

When do you use retinol?

You want to use retinol in the evenings and you want to slowly incorporate it in your routine, so you can find the right formula for you. Retinoids break down in sunlight so do NOT apply during the day and then go walk outside. It just won’t work. You want to use your retinol products in your evening skincare routine.

How to use retinol?

A lot of people assume retinol just makes your skin peel off and that’s why you see changes. Your skin does peel sometimes {if you use too much or if your cellular level is turning over} but that’s actually not what it is doing or what you should always be seeing. Remember, retinol works at a cellular level and increases collagen production, so it’s not surface level with peeling. It’s working magic under your skin. Use it for 12 weeks {that’s what dermatologists recommend} and you’ll know what I’m talking about! You may peel week 1 or 2 and think it’s working, but that’s just the beginning. You’re also going to use retinol differently based on your prior skincare routine and your age.

Personally, I started to incorporate retinol in my mid-twenties and I don’t think you need to start it younger, but you can ask your dermatologist what she thinks is best. If you are in your late twenties, thirties, forties, and up you can love your retinol religiously! I have tried a lot of retinol brands and today I’m partnering with Colleen Rothschild to talk about the products that I use over and over. I actually saw Colleen last Christmas at a Neiman Marcus event I did with GLAMboxes. I went up to her and told her how much her retinol products changed my view of retinol and I said that in 2018, I HAD to do a post on her retinol line. Many people fear retinol because their skin dries out so badly, and that just defeats the purpose. CR formulates her retinol products to also pack in the moisture, so it’s a win, win!

What retinol products do I use?

  • Retinol Supreme Night Oil: The Retinol Supreme Night Oil *might* be my favorite retinol product by Colleen Rothschild. It was the first retinol I used after breastfeeding and although it has the same amount of retinol as her treatment complex product, it feels like a great place to start. You normally layer oils on top of retinol, so this is just a combined step that reduces your bedtime routine. If you have drier skin, I recommend starting with this product! It’s going to really help avoid that “peeling” retinol effect, but still, give you those retinol benefits. I use this probably 3 nights a week, I even put it on my hands since they are so susceptible to sun damage. Note, still only use this in the evenings.
  • Retinol Supreme Eye Serum: If you have crows feet, fine lines or extremely dry under eye skin, try this. I use this about 3x a week for my evening eye cream. It has Saloprine 8 in it, which increases moisture levels by 6000% after 28 days!
  • Retinol Treatment Complex: Many people assume retinol is just for wrinkles, but it’s not and this product is proof. I even use this for stubborn acne- you know those deep, blemishes that feel horrible! Colleen recommends using an acne treatment in morning and then this in evening. This is a product I use twice a week {I’ll use it more evenings as I get older!} and I apply a thin layer all over my skin. I do not double up on the retinol supreme night oil after this, only do one! Ultimately, the treatment complex is a product you want to have on hand to combat pesky skin issues you struggle with!

Retinol Reminders:

  • Do not use retinol if you are nursing or pregnant
  • ALWAYS use SPF in the morning if you apply retinol in evening. Always!!
  • Don’t double exfoliate on days you use retinol. Y’all know I use her Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum and that exfoliates your skin. I skip that on days that I use the Retinol Treatment Complex. I find I can use it on days I use the Retinol Supreme Night Oil as it is more moisturizing for my skin.
  • Retinol isn’t one-size-fits-all so you want to find the right routine for you. I have girlfriends that use it nightly and girlfriends that use it twice a week. Start with a gentle routine {say the Supreme Night Oil or Treatment Complex a few nights a week} for 12 weeks and you’ll see if you need to up your routine or if you are happy with your results.
  • I always mix Face Oil No.9 in products like moisturizers or foundation to give my skin added TLC with retinol and exfoliation. I truly don’t end up with the scaly skin that a lot of people fear with retinol when I use CR’s retinol products.


Right now Colleen Rothschild is having a sale so this is a great time for you to try a retinol for you! Save 20% site-wide with code: FLAG20 until Wednesday, 7/4.

If you have any questions on which one is best for you, feel free to comment below! If you are drier or have more sensitive skin, I recommend the Supreme Night Oil. If you want to look bright-eyed and awake, try the Eye Serum. If you are focused on fixing skin issues like acne, hyperpigmentation, congested pores or lines, try the Retinol Treatment Complex!

Do you use retinol?!

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  1. I don’t currently use retinol but I’ve thought of adding it to my routine. Just wish it wasn’t so pricey, but I guess you pay for the quality! ✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Absolutely! I will say, the good thing is you really only purchase it 2x a year- or I do! xo, Katey

      Published 29 Jun 18Reply
  2. Laura Leigh wrote:

    Okay I really need to get on this train. Thank you for sharing!

    xo Laura Leigh

    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Thanks so much for reading, girl! xo, Katey

      Published 29 Jun 18Reply
  3. Madi Bigott wrote:

    Will you link these pajamas?!?! They are the cutest! I need these!!! And this is such an informative post, thanks for sharing! Definitely want to add to my routine.

    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Of course, girl! Here you go! 🙂 Thank you so much for your sweet words! xo, Katey

      Published 29 Jun 18Reply
      • Jannah wrote:

        OK, I’m OBSESSED with these PJs – did you end up sharing a link for them? XXO

        Published 29 Jun 18Reply
        • Katey wrote:

          Hi Jannah! I did in that first comment to the girl where it says: “Here.” Not sure why the here isn’t highlighted, so weird! But if you just click that they will show. Or you can shop them here: xx, Katey

          Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  4. Carissa wrote:

    I haven’t tried retinol yet in a serious way- I do love oils but struggle with some cystic adult acne (I’m 26). Thoughts on which of the two to start with?


    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Carissa! Thanks so much for your question! I think if you have cystic adult acne, you’ll love the Treatment Complex. If you have parts that are drier, you could just avoid. For example, I get blemishes around my chin thanks to hormones, so I’ll apply Treatment Complex on forehead and chin {do a thin, even layer!} and I don’t apply it to my cheeks just yet. As I get older, I think I’ll apply to cheeks. However, I apply retinol oil ALL over and include cheeks. But you can always layer oils after retinol so you can use the oils you love and get those same benefits. I hope that makes sense! xo, Katey

      Published 29 Jun 18Reply
      • Carissa wrote:


        Thank you for your advice-I’m going to try the complex as suggested and see what happens. It appears thats the best choice for me right now, and I really appreciate you going in-depth in this post. Skincare can be so daunting- especially the powerful stuff and its so easy to do more harm than good. I’ll keep you posted. Keep up the good work 🙂 xo

        Published 06 Jul 18Reply
  5. Holly wrote:

    Hi Katey,
    What order do you put on the Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum and the Retinol Supreme Night Oil. Which one do you put on first? I currently use the Mandelic acid and love it and want to try the Retinol Supreme Night Oil.

    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Holly! I use Mandelic Acid Radiance Serum kind of like a toner, so I’ll use it after my SK-II! Then I put Oil on after that! Hope that helps! xx, Katey

      Published 29 Jun 18Reply
  6. Jennie wrote:

    This is exactly what I needed to read…I’ve Been shopping around for a good retinol product to start using, having sensitive skin I feel like this could be the products for me. I purchased the night oil to start and figured I could assess from there! Thank you!!

    Published 29 Jun 18Reply
  7. Abby wrote:

    Just order a retinol serum and gel cleanser. Question: I frequently get my eyebrows waxed and I know while in a retinol this is a big no-no, how do you maintain your brows while using retinol?

    Published 30 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Abby! I used to get my brows waxed before I had Maxi, but when I got pregnant my hormones changed so much that my eyebrows don’t really grow anymore. Isn’t that so weird?! So now I just tweeze as needed. However, when I did get my brows waxed I never wax above the eyebrow, so I didn’t have that issue. I think her products are so gentle you wouldn’t have an issue, but don’t want you to have any bad experience. xx, Katey

      Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  8. Calla wrote:

    I have dry, sensitive skin. Need to look awake! And have hyperpigmintation! I need all 3, help 😂😂😂

    Published 30 Jun 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Lol- I buy all 3 too! bahaha! xx, Katey

      Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  9. Indi wrote:

    Thank you for the helpful explanation! I am in my late 20s and never used retinol before, so I just ordered the Supreme Night Oil. I look forward to trying it.

    Published 01 Jul 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Oh girl, you will love! It’s truly one of my favorite skincare products ever! xx, Katey

      Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  10. Your PJ’s are the cutest! <3

    Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  11. Catherine R. wrote:

    I just ordered the eye cream and treatment complex! 20% off your total offer is WAY too good to pass up. Thank you for the great post!

    Published 02 Jul 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Yay- I hope you enjoy! 🙂 xo, Katey

      Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  12. Brooke wrote:

    Do you layer serums on top of the retinol? If I use an anti-wrinkle serum, do you think that’s overkill in terms of preventing wrinkles? I’m 28, and want to try and prevent wrinkles as much as possible! 🙂


    Published 02 Jul 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Brooke! Do you know how much retinol is in your anti-wrinkle serum? I don’t want to dry you out! But I use that Neostrata lifting serum and still use my retinol and have no issues at all. The retinol treatments are most powerful {kind of like if you get a Vitamin B12 shot or something}, whereas serums are kind of like vitamins and wonderful for maintenance/prevention. Not sure if that analogy makes sense! haha.

      Published 02 Jul 18Reply
  13. Sara wrote:

    Can you link up to this rug? it’s the cutest!

    Published 03 Jul 18Reply
  14. Meghan wrote:

    Hey Katey!
    I just got my CR Supreme Night Oil in the mail and I’m so excited to try it. Do you use a mositurizer after applying this retinol at night?
    Thanks so much! xoxo

    Published 10 Jul 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Meghan! Yay- I hope you love it! On nights I use that oil I skip a moisturizer. Or sometimes I mix two drops of the oil in my regular moisturizer. No rhyme or reason to it. 🙂 xo, Katey

      Published 12 Jul 18Reply
  15. Morgan wrote:

    Hi! Where are these pj’s from? So cute!!

    Published 18 Sep 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Show me your mumu! Xo, Katey

      Published 18 Sep 18Reply
  16. Heathers Mathews wrote:

    Discount code didn’t work

    Published 18 Sep 18Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Heather! The products are already on sale today for a flash sale. They say $64 as compared to $85. Let me know if you need anything else! Xx, Katey

      Published 18 Sep 18Reply