Why I Made Flawless Nightly Pro Serum


Why I Made Flawless Nightly Pro Serum

Daily retinoid use is the most profound way you can influence the way skin looks. I’ve said it before - I can spot a diligent retinoid user from across the room.

The rosy glow is no lie.

Naturally, using a retinoid is fundamental to the Dr Sam System - and given the success of our formula-first Flawless Nightly Serum, it wasn’t surprising to me when we asked our community what they’d like next, there was a unified cry for a more powerful retinoid!

This makes sense if your skin has significant signs of premature ageing, like fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and rough texture. Ditto for blocked pores, congestion and breakouts. Or, if you simply have high standards and want the very best for your skin.


Why are there different strengths of Retinoid?

A retinoid habit is really a lifestyle choice - given the fact that this means there’s no rush, it’s important to begin this journey in the right place.

Using a retinoid is a bit like climbing a ladder - you start on a lower rung at the beginning to get skin used to it and become tolerant - meaning you experience all the benefits without irritation. But over time, it may be beneficial to increase the strength and go up a rung (or 2) to maximise results and tackle more stubborn issues.

So I created a formula where the star power comes from 5% Granactive Retinoid. We’ve really pushed the boundaries - bear in mind that 2% Granactive Retinoid contains 0.2% hydroxypinacolone retinoate, which is equivalent to 0.2% retinaldehyde in potency. So we’ve more than doubled the power with Nightly Pro….


Why did I choose Granactive Retinoid?

For me, Granactive Retinoid is truly the modern retinoid. There’s 3 scientific reasons for this choice, rather than retinol, for example.

Firstly, it’s the ester of the gold standard retinoid, tretinoin. That’s chemistry chat to say that they’re a bit like cousins, and closely related. In practice, that means it’s biologically active and doesn’t require unpredictable conversion steps to get activated - it’s good to go. This is in contrast to retinol and retinaldehyde, which are more frequently used in skincare formulation, and require conversion to become active.

It’s very stable - when studies look at how retinol behaves in the pot, it tends to lose much of its power over time on your bathroom shelf because it’s inherently unstable. A process called encapsulation can help make it more stable, but this adds extra cost to the formula and it’s not 100% foolproof. By contrast, Granactive Retinoid is much more stable and lasts.(1)

Finally, it’s a fantastic balance of strong and gentle - effective at unclogging pores, reducing breakouts and at the same time reducing dark marks and pigmentation and boosting collagen to lessen fine lines without disrupting the skin barrier.


Can I use other actives whilst using Retinoids?

You absolutely can - when they’re the right ingredients, in the right combination at the right strength. As we’ve done with all our serums, we’ve taken away the guesswork so you have the maximum power in a single step.

I’ve combined 5% Granactive Retinoid with power pore-clearer 10% Niacinamide and youth-giving 2% Bakuchiol for yet another first-to-market, multi-tasking formula that makes transformational skincare easy with just one layer.


What are the key benefits from Flawless Nightly Pro Serum?

  • Pores clearer than you thought possible
  • Breakouts become less frequent over time
  • Fine lines appear reduced
  • Dark marks and pigmentation diminished

But perhaps the most important benefit - that glow that others just can’t help commenting on. I experienced it myself on holiday in Costa Rica this Christmas.

And I can’t wait for you to see it for yourself!

Dr Sam x



(1) Retinoid stability and degradation kinetics in commercial cosmetic products J Cosmet Dermatol 2021 Jul;20(7):2350-2358. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13852. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

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