In my professional opinion, retinoids deserve to hold the title of the “Gold Standard” in aesthetic skincare.  Retinoids (prescription and over the retail counter) are a special ingredient category that has been studied and recommended by medical skincare professionals for decades.  The results are unparalleled, if you could stick with it long enough to reap the benefits. However, retinoids have also been known to cause many side effects, which has turned off many users.  Redness, irritation, sensitivities, dryness, flakiness and even peeling are among some of the more annoying complaints I’ve heard over and over again throughout the years.  

For close to two decades, I have recommended retinoids as the holy grail in the medical grade skincare regimen I commonly design for my patients but have experienced many trials and tribulations in doing so along the way. At the start of my career in medical aesthetic skincare, I would hand out handwritten prescriptions of Retina A (formulated for more acne prone skin) or Renova (formulated for more mature skin for anti-aging purposes) but often discovered in follow up that the patient was unable to tolerate the drug because they were experiencing side effects.  Even when I instructed the patient to “retinize” their skin (“retinize” – gradually increasing application of the prescribed product from 1-2 a week to nightly, over a period of months), I would find that they simply gave up in frustration.

It’s not to say that every patient had problems with retinoid use, but it was definitely common place enough that I found it necessary to find an alternative.  After many years of witnessing my patients struggle with compliance when using prescription retinoids, I started steering them towards retinols…

Retinols are the weaker form of retinoids, and so they don’t require a prescription. They come in 3 different strengths, which allowed me to customize my recommendation to my patients based on their sensitivity scale. At this point, I thought I had discovered the holy grail, but as I witnessed more and more patients on a retinol protocol, the same problems emerged. There were a crazy amount of patients who simply could NOT tolerate any retinol on the market.  I even sent patients to the drug store to buy a mass market retinol for “sensitive” skin which proved too much for some!  

All of this experience with retinoids has all come together to lead me to develop the absolute best-of-the-best retinoid product for THE ROUTE.  Our goal was to formulate the most tolerated form of retinoid on the market with skin calming and soothing ingredients. We started development by exploring retinols, and found that even the lowest dose of ANY retinol we formulated with would inflame Courtney’s sensitive skin.  After countless rounds of testing formulations, Courtney was about to throw in the towel but then a magical thing occurred - our lead cosmetic chemist discovered a trans retinoic acid ester that bypassed all the ugly side effects but still produced the results! Voila!! We had our answer!

THE GOLDEN RULE™ Next Generation Retinoid is special because it acts differently, unlike anything on the market. We treat your skin how we want your (and our) skin to be treated. You are left with amazing results without the side effects. 

Our retinoid (trans retinoic acid ester) is a powerful active ingredient that performs gently on your skin to help renew plumpness, elasticity and hydration.  It helps improve skin texture, clarity and tone which results in a healthier, more youthful appearance.

Courtney and I set out to make a retinoid that people could not only tolerate, but would want to use everyday so it becomes a habit!  We created products that leverage the high quality and integrity of ingredients usually only available for purchase from a healthcare professional. But knowing that not everyone frequents an aesthetic practice, we wanted to make these product more accessible without the hassle of an office visit. 

I’m so proud to offer this to my patients in my practice and I’m thrilled that even more people will have access to THE ROUTE.  


Will it help shrink pores?

Bobbi January 15, 2020

Can acne prone skin use this?

Sherry January 07, 2020

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By gleaning insight from her decades of experience working with patients to improve their skin, Nancy has created the exclusive Nurse Nancy™ Complex, a proprietary cocktail of her tried and true ingredients your skin needs in abundance to promote daily skin health.

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