If you spend enough time in the beauty world, you'll begin to notice a pattern. Every year, a few new product and ingredient trends emerge, and skin-care brands rush to fulfill the newfound demand. (This year's contenders, in my opinion: Scalp care and bakuchiol.) It's the beauty industry version of clout-chasing. But Rodan + Fields operates instead with an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" model. That's not to say that founders Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields don't innovate — in fact, the pair just launched a new face mask collection last month. But in the 12 years since the brand launched, the dermatologists never let themselves be pressured into formulating its core product lines — until now.
On October 19, Redefine becomes the first Rodan + Fields range to undergo a makeover. The routine, which focuses on signs of aging like fine lines and skin laxity, is still a three-step process of cleanser, toner, and day or night cream. But the line now has options for different skin types and product preferences, providing a bit more choice to a beauty consumer who is definitely used to being spoiled by options.
"Kathy and I are always looking for ways to make what's great even better," says Rodan. "There's new technology available to us, and that was one big reason [we reformulated.]" The aforementioned bakuchiol, a new peptide blend, and a new retinol complex all made their way into the updated products.
Ingredients aren't the only thing that has changed in the last 10 years — there's also an increased impact on our skin, thanks to rising levels of pollution and increased exposure to blue light and UV rays. "Our focus with Redefine is on dullness, cores, fine lines, sagging skin — all the changes that are coming with time and being caused by pollution and the environmental," says Fields. Antioxidants take a much stronger role in the new formulations as we want to protect against environmental assault."
The second reason for the reformulation was to offer customers customization. "This was a real response to a lot of our consultants and our customers who were looking for more choice," says Rodan. The final puzzle piece is environmental concerns, which led the doctors to create new packaging that reduces the company's carbon footprint by 25 percent.
The updated regimen starts off with two cleanser options, Daily Clay Cleanser or Daily Foaming Cleanser (both $45). "The focus of our cleansers is exfoliation," says Rodan. Choose between the Daily Clay Cleanser for a more physical exfoliation courtesy of kaolin clay, or Daily Foaming Cleanser for an alpha hydroxy acid-based chemical exfoliation.
Both cleansers contain now contain glyceryl glucoside, which comes from the combination of a desert plant and blue-green algae. As cosmetic chemist David Petrillo explains, the ingredient is known as an "extremolyte" since it derives from plants that survive in harsh environments. When it comes to skin care, the molecules work similarly.
"It's said to help increase resistance in skin cells," says Petrillo. "It boosts cell renewal within the epidermis, with an increase in skin moisture and a significant boost in elasticity." Both washes are lightweight in texture and clean skin without stripping it, but, if we had to pick one, our tester found the Daily Foaming Cleanser gentle enough to use twice a day, while the Daily Clay Cleanser is better suited as a treatment a few times a week.
The second step, a brand-new formulation of Pore Refining Toner ($50), is universal. "The new toner is really focused on brightening the skin," says Rodan. The active ingredient here is niacinamide, which helps even skin texture tone and reduces the look of dark spots.
According to Petrillo, niacinamide "has many skin benefiting properties" including "locking in moisture while reducing irritation and impurities from environmental damage." It's also an anti-inflammatory, which makes it useful for skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. (A welcome reprieve for our tester, who has sensitive skin.) The regimen also makes use of niacinamide in the overnight moisturizers.
The next step is broad-spectrum SPF 30 ($50), now available in a lotion or cream. (Both Rodan and Fields are dermatologists, which means they're not going to let customers skimp on sunscreen.) The newly added lotion option was designed for those of us who want a more lightweight day moisturizer.
That philosophy has poured over into the night moisturizer, which is also available in two textures. Overnight Restorative Cream or Overnight Reparative Lotion ($90) are both sculpt and plump skin while you sleep, to which our tester says is a nice treat to wake up to every morning.
And best of all — that's it. Cleanser, toner, and SPF or night cream, and you're done. You can also mix and match with other R+F regimens (or your own products), but this line is designed to be the only thing you need on the bathroom counter. "We're always looking to have the best skin of our lives," says Fields. "And the bar is very high."
The Rodan + Fields Redefine collection is available now on rodanandfields.com, or via any Rodan and Fields consultant.
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