You might remember our 2021 article waxing poetic on Dr. Kiran Gill’s curated line of botanical-driven skincare products. Now, her newly reformulated retinol serum has gotten our attention again. On the heels of Naples Aesthetic Institute Boutique Surgery and Skin Spa’s fifth anniversary and a new location slated to open this fall, the doctor revamped her previous age-defying retinol pads with a silky serum that layers beautifully on the skin.
We’re happy to see the disposable wipes go by the wayside and intrigued by Kiran’s new mix of collagen-stimulating retinol with bakuchiol (a plant-derived, gentler retinol alternative), protective licorice root extract, calming green tea and redness-reducing caffeine for the ultimate age-rewind. “All of [the botanical ingredients] help to calm the skin as you apply,” Kiran says.
The new serum comes in strengths 2.5 and 5.0, depending on your skin’s tolerance to retinoids—a group of powerful vitamin A derivatives, which include the anti-aging retinol. Retinoids are all the rage as people seek preventive measures over invasive treatments and surgeries. Kiran, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, doesn’t do trendy. She promotes science-backed, doctor-approved products and procedures that make a difference. And retinoids are certainly no fad. The FDA approved them in the early ’70s. Kiran’s new serum combines retinol with ayurvedic-favorite bakuchiol to maximize the formula’s effects on fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tones.
The 2.5 serum’s melted-butter consistency is perfect for my at-home evening facial massage. I rub the botanically scented essence into areas I tend to crease—smoothing out smile lines and crow’s feet from lively conversations and furrowed brows from long days squinting at a screen. As with any retinol, Kiran recommends applying it every other night after cleansing, working up to nightly use to allow your skin to adapt to the powerhouse ingredients.
I was surprised to see my pores slowly appear smaller and fine lines start to fade after a few weeks of using the botanical blend. And, unlike many harsh retinol formulas that cause redness or dry skin, this one left my face glowing and smooth, even after moving up to a nightly routine. Something tells me I have the serum’s calming caffeine and green tea to thank for helping me save face, keeping redness and peeling at bay.