i truly believe there's no better remedy for a variety of skin care woes, especially those that come with one's 30th birthday, than a retinoid.
retinoids are derived from vitamin A; they work by stimulating cell turnover and skin renewal. from fines lines to hyper-pigmentation, a few nights of retinol can make all the difference. in addition to repairing damage, it also seriously enhances overall radiance. i have had a few favorites over the years, and i've recently discovered the best one yet!
eau thermale avene retrinAL cream uses retinaldehyde, a precursor to retinoic acid that causes less skin irritation. better yet, it's available without a prescription. i've been using the higher strength - retrinAL 0.1 intensive cream twice a week. this regimen has been giving my ideal results, gradual skin change, increased glow, and no irritated down time.
sold at dermstore.com for $69 (a bargain price, trust). also available in a milder version - retrinAL 0.05 cream.