It’s no secret that retinol is one of the best skincare ingredients, but the powerful vitamin A derivative has proven to be one of the harshest for those with sensitive skin. “People with more oily skin tend to tolerate them, while those with dry, sensitive skin tend to suffer skin irritation from retinoids,” Emily Newsom, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, tells SELF.
Where To Find The Best Retinol Serum For Sensitive Skin:
Thankfully, there are products like Herbivore’s new Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum that harness the exfoliating and wrinkle-fighting power of retinol using the plant-based retinol alternative, bakuchiol, which is less irritating and sensitizing. This serum just launched at Sephora and is already being met with rave reviews for its gentle-yet-effective formula; some are even dubbing it the best retinol serum for sensitive skin!
Bakuchiol Skin Benefits:
As we mentioned before, bakuchiol is a plant-derived retinol alternative that boasts the same anti-aging benefits for those with sensitive skin. “It stimulates cell renewal in the epidermis for a smooth surface, giving a retinol result without the irritation,” David Delport, Global Brand Ambassador and Head of Education for REN Clean Skincare, says, noting that it also possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well. This anti-inflammatory response in the skin makes bakuchiol ideal for those with sensitive skin and those looking for natural, vegan anti-aging skincare products.
TRY IT: Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum ($54)
This 100-percent natural serum smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles using a blend of skin-healthy ingredients that target the signs of aging. Here's how each ingredient works:
Bakuchiol: Smooths signs of fine lines and wrinkles to refine skin’s overall appearance.
PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids): Resurface skin to enhance absorption while strengthening skin by providing hydration and antioxidant benefits.
Tremella Mushroom: Helps to hydrate skin and retain moisture with its ability to hold up to 500 times its own weight in water.
"Amazing! I have super sensitive very very dry skin. Almost everything breaks me out and never takes my dry flaky skin away. This is amazing!! It hydrates my skin and also causes it to clear up by taking any texture away. I did forget sunscreen on a couple of days after using this the previous night and it caused sun sensitivity. So even though it is a retinol alternative make sure you use SPF. Herbivore is literally the only skincare brand I can use and actually see results." - skys20
"This is a really thick and wonderfully soothing serum. You only need a large drop or two to spread it across your whole face. It tends to get a bit sticky, so less is more here. It makes my skin feel soft, smooth and moisturized, and it makes it glow (I'm in my 30's). I usually use a natural moisturizer on top of this but you don't really need to. This is a great skincare product with excellent natural ingredients, and the glass dropper bottle is super nice!" Fragonia
"For several years I have used the SkinMedica 1% brand of retinol complex which I purchase from my derm. It’s not cheap but it does work - indicated by the fact that a week in I look like a snake shedding its skin with prolific peeling. It’s very hard for me to be patient enough to get through that phase and even when I do my skin is still very dry albeit smoother I was excited to try this product as a fan of the brand and the ‘clean’ label ( which on that note, be careful as many of their products have a much shorter shelf life and retinol is usually only efficacious for a year when packaged in an opaque bottle ). I have been using for a couple of weeks having purchased firstly from the brand and though I do see some slight dryness, it’s certainly not to the level of regular retinol. My skin does feel smooth, I can tolerate this so much more - as for anti-aging benefits that it not usually definitive to the naked eye with regular strong retinol for a month or so , so I will have to update later on that note but so far I like it and feel better about putting something without a list of potential side effects, on my face." - celticgirl1
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