I’ve talked a lot about retinoids over here!

Without a question, it’s one product I incorporated a bit over a year ago that completely changed my skin game.

If we are being completely honest, I never grew up with great skin. Now, I can confidently say that my skin is better than it ever was in my teens & even my twenties.

Prescription retinoids are a HUGE part of it.

For a recap on some rx retinoid 101, here you go!

Today, I want to talk about how I incorporate retinoids in my nightly routine.

I am also so stoked because I have officially partnered with Dear Brightly!! I am a brand ambassador for them because not only do I truly believe in the product, but I also really believe in how accessible they make retinoids.

The fact that I can take my skin quiz & get a prescription from a dermatologist in less than 10 minutes without leaving my house is HUGE to me. Dear Brightly is a brand I believe in 1000000% and will be a permanent fixture in skincare routine.

Dear Brightly is a brand I believe in 1000000% and will be a permenant fixture in skincare routine.

For a quick recap on my retinoid journey, I am on my third formula. It has been so interesting to see as how my skin changes, that my formula does too… but it also makes sense.

Before we get into everything & while we are on the topic of formulas, one thing that they recently incorporated that I am LOVING is the addition to hyaluronic acid in all their formulas.

Hyaluronic Acid is a term you see on this blog a LOT & another key to youthful skin. I think now I can confidently say that every part of my skincare routine {even the collagen I drink} includes HA & I am beyond okay with that.

All right, let’s get into retinoid application, shall we?

When is the best time to apply my prescription retinoids?

I prefer applying my Dear Brightly at night because it makes skin more sensitive in the daylight. That’s also why I wear sunscreen daily & almost all my products like this cc cream have SPF. I have a full blown sunscreen post coming but I love Japanese sunscreens. They are the best in the world.

Sleep is also so imporant for your body & skin. It’s a regenerating time for your body so I feel like that’s when the retinoids can reallllly work their magic.

Retinoids {the product, not just on your skin} are very sensitive to light and can break down. That’s why the containers are always opaque! I keep mine in my medicine cabinet at all times, closed, with the lights off!

How often do I apply my Dear Brightly Retinoids?

I apply Dear Brightly daily!

I am a VERY regimented person who loves my routine, and Dear Brightly is a step in my nightly routine. It’s something I feel a great deal of joy from & prepares me for bed.

That said, my skin is also used to a retinoid daily. Listen to your skin! You’ll be able to tell what you need.

If you are getting started with Dear Brightly & retinoids, start with every third night, then work your way up to every other day then to everyday. It took me about two months to start using mine daily vs every other day.

I use about a pea sized MAXIMUM and start with my chin and work all the way up in my face. Personally, I start with my chin since that’s where most of my breakouts, when they happen, happen. I also like to work my way up with all my skin care, vs down. I feel like it’s more lifting & I really massage my products in with my hands.

If there is any residue, I bring it down to my neck / chest area or my hands. Get every last drop!! {I do this with ALL my products btw}

With retinoids, as mentioned here, more doesn’t mean better and a little go a LONG way.

What order do you apply all your products, including prescription retinoids?

I do the following order: apricot seed oil to remove makeup, face wash, hyaluronic acid foam, toner / essence, Dear Brightly retinoid, rosehip oil for the eye area {!!! this needs a blog post bc I like it better than any cream so far}, my night face cream, eyebrow balm, lip scrub, & a lip sleeping mask. Depending on the night, I may use a sleeping mask {I do this once a week or on planes}. I also always spray this lavender spray before bed – it sends me right to sleep!

Here is a helpful chart:

As far as the retinoid, I wait to do it until my skin is at least 90% dry. I’ll brush my teeth & floss right after I do my essence to kill the time – I’m currently using a Goby toothbrush {discount code here} that automatically shuts off in 2 mins so by the time I’m done with brushing & flossing, it’s about 5 mins and good to go with my Dear Brightly retinoid.

On weekends or leisurely nights, I’ll get started with steps 1 – 3 before the retinoid earlier, like before watching a movie. Then, 90ish minutes later, I’ll do the retinoid & rest of my routine.

The more damp your skin, the more your products will penetrate, so if you have sensitive skin, I’d be sure your face is 100% dry before applying a retinoid.

is there a time that I shouldn’t use my retinoids?

This answer can definitely vary. Most importantly, listen to your skin and body. You will have a “purge” with your skin (check out the link in this post) so again, start slow and work yourself in.

At this point, my skin is totally used to them – that said, the only time I do not apply my Dear Brightly retinoid is an evening prior to spending the entire day in the sun {generally the night before going to wine country} or any vacation where the majority of my time will be outdoors.

It makes your skin VERY sensitive to the sun so be sure to follow up the next day with a good SPF! SuperGoop makes a great one & I love Japanese sunscreens!

I hope this was helpful! Again, I can’t sing the praises of prescription retinoids enough. It’s been a total game changer with my skin, not to mention, a permanent fixture.

Dear Brightly is a fantastic service & you can get your prescription in less than 15 minutes after reading this blog post. Be sure to use the code “GLOWLIKESLS” for 10% off your Dear Brightly custom formula & get glowing!! PS – in the month of April, they are offering free shipping for orders over $50! {as an FYI, here are all the states they can ship to: CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ME, MI, MO, NE, NC, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, WA, WI, WV, WY.}

If you have any other questions about retinol, rx retinoids, or Dear Brightly as a whole, don’t hesitate to reach out!! I’m happy to answer whatever I can.

Have a great week! Another day of Japanese: we just covered the i & na adjectives. Then tomorrow, I’m off to a film festival with a girlfriend!

xx SLS

+++ more on Dear Brightly here

+++ get your Dear Brightly here & code: GLOWLIKESLS for 10% off!



  • sriracha bloody and a crab sandwich on grilled sourdough please 🦀🌊 #slsootd #pacifica
  • pastels + canadian tuxedos on repeat.... & luckily there’s always a building in San Francisco to match your outfit! 🎐💕 #slsootd
  • { #ad }: sharing my nightly skincare routine & how I incorporate rx retinoids on - come take a peek inside my medicine cabinet! 🌟 rx retinoids have been major in completely transforming my skin, keeping things clear, bouncy, & yourhful. I get my rx from @dearbrightly and love how accessible they make the process. It’s all online & takes no more than 10 mins... I did mine while I was waiting at Dry Bar! Give it a go & get your own formula {use code: GLOWLIKESLS for 10% off}🌟 Links for both Dear Brightly & my blog post are in bio ⚜️ #dearbrightly #glowgetter
  • got these jeans in Harajuku & I always feel on top of the world when I wear them... Tokyo sure does that to a girl!⚡️ #slsootd #wego
  • #cubequestionmonday with @erikschuchard 🎐 ask him a question and he will answer it for as long as it takes for him to solve the #rubikscube lol
QUESTION: “What’s your favourite drink both #alcoholic & non-alcoholic?” pt. 2 focuses on the alcoholic bevvies! pt 3 coming soon lol
any questions for Erik? Leave them below!
@blueicevodkausa heisenberg
erik's linktree:
  • it’s Monday so you know what that means: another cube question Monday w @erikschuchard coming right up after this post 📲 also I’m talking love languages on {linked directly in bio} and sharing mine which tbh I think is the most misunderstood one. Anyways, a few years ago, my friend @cherie_renee told me about the love language quiz and it’s something that will really help you understand both yourself and your partner better. What’s your love language?? 💕 #lovelanguage #lovelanguages
  • weekends over 🚮 San Francisco on film and lots lots lotssssss of empty @footofthebed glasses 🎞🍷🍇✨ ps- I’m logging all the wines I drink with @erikschuchard on @delectable - come find me {just search ‘Shannon Silver’} and drink with me ⚜️ #footofthebed #35mm #kodakportra160 #filmisnotdead #filmisbetter #filmgrain #sundayscaries #delectable

Follow & say what's up!