Cosmedix's Define Vitamin A Resurfacing Treatment. Photo: Cosmedix.com

Is your face constantly red, peeling and irritated in the pursuit of fewer wrinkles and age spots?

Ours is, because we've been trained to believe that unless a product does all those unpleasant things, it must be working.

No pain, no gain, right?

Well, CosMedix, a top brand for many dermatologists, says "wrong."

Doctors and estheticians favor Cosmedix for what's in it -- effective yet non-irritating ingredients like L-lactic acid, physical sunscreens, and zeolite, a volcanic ash extract that traps and removes dirt and oil -- and for what's not in it: Allegedly harmful ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate, parabens, dimethicone and petroleum.

At a recent editor event in New York City, we were impressed by CosMedix's retinol products -- Define, Refine and Refine Plus.

Sure, there are loads of anti-agers on the market that boast powerful doses of retinol (a vitamin A derivative proven to stimulate cell turnover and collagen production), but many leave your skin irritated and uncomfortable, which means you'll probably stop using them fairly quickly.

CosMedix came up with a new way to deliver retinol to your skin that alleviates the irritation factor.

They've developed an ingredient called AGP Complex (which contains gentle L-lactic, L-malic acid and L-tartaric acids, plus aloe vera extract and alpha bisabolol, an anti-inflammatory calming agent) that helps sidestep skin irritation by neutralizing retinol's effects on the outermost layers of skin while still encouraging retinol-driven cell renewal and collagen production deeper in the skin -- where it counts the most.

Sounds like a recipe for no pain (redness, tightness, swelling), all gain, i.e. diminished fine lines, more even skin tone and texture.

Speaking of younger looking skin, check out these new beauty gadgets that deliver spa results, at home.