This Swiss Face Oil Uses Caviar-sourced Retinol — and Yes, It Really Works

Welcome to the world of five-star skin care.

As a La Prairie devotee, my nightly skin routine involves some of the most decadent beauty products on the market. They come in stunning vessels and feature rare ingredients like caviar, gold, and even platinum. I also love to incorporate targeted treatments into my regime, especially at night.

Retinol is revered among dermatologists as one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients on the market. However, retinol products can be very drying to the skin and can cause redness and flaking as the skin adjusts. I use prescription retinol from my dermatologist a few times a week. Unfortunately, during the winter months, I need to pare back my use to one or two times a week. I hate reducing my use of such a powerhouse ingredient, which is one reason why I was so excited to learn that La Prairie was releasing its first-ever product with retinol — and that it could be used every night.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil
Courtesy of La Prairie

I must confess that when I first heard that La Prairie was unveiling a product with retinol, I was a little confused. The Swiss brand is most closely associated with innovative techniques that harness the power of caviar and precious metals — how did retinol fit into the picture? However, once I discovered that the retinol was in fact a rare, natural retinol found in — what else? — caviar, it made complete sense. La Prairie's scientists devised a special extraction process to remove both retinol and lipids from caviar. They then combined these powerful ingredients with La Prairie's Exclusive Cellular Complex, marking the first time that this patented formula has been used in an oil. The result is the brand-new Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil
Courtesy of La Prairie

To buy:, $530

Why a nighttime oil? At night, the skin enters a recovery and regeneration phase, which is why many targeted treatments should be used at night. The skin is more permeable at night, which means it is able to absorb more products — but your skin can also lose water, which explains why my skin sometimes feels dry and tight in the morning. I typically finish my double-digit nighttime skin routine by sealing in everything with an oil. Oil-based products create a natural barrier that prevents water loss and helps seal in all of your products. Adding anti-aging ingredients to an oil helps me eliminate even more steps from my skin care regimen, which I very much appreciate. I use this oil on nights when I don't use my prescription retinol, so I can experience the benefits of retinol seven days a week without any of the harsh side effects.

The oil comes in a gorgeous blue glass bottle featuring La Prairie's signature cobalt blue, a color that comes from artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The jar has a unique construction: the exterior is crafted from blue glass, and inside there's a black vessel that contains the oil, protecting it from light and preserving the integrity of the formula.

I've been using the Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil for several months and have noticed a visible difference. My skin is much more hydrated and appears firmer, which helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I love that this oil incorporates the power of retinol with none of the drawbacks.

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