This Drugstore Retinol Serum Is Made for Skin That's Too Sensitive for the Hard Stuff

Say goodbye to retinol regret.

Sometimes retinol makes itself hard to love. Prickly, if you will. On one hand, there is nothing that can stave off and soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles like it. It's a vitamin A derivative packed with major anti-aging prowess and plumped-up skin potential. On the other hand, it comes at you hard and fast. It can be too harsh for many users, even those with typically resilient skin types, and the side effects include dryness, peeling, redness, and general irritation.

While it's always best to ease into using a retinol, starting with twice a week and working your way up to applying it nightly, what if no amount of playing coy helps? If you have sensitive skin, this might be the case, but that doesn't mean you can't tap into all that retinol has to offer. It's all about working the system to work for your skin type.

La Roche-Posay Retinol Serum Bottle
Courtesy La Roche-Posay

There are retinol alternatives—like bakuchiol—that boast similar anti-aging properties, but if you're a classicist like your mother, you'll want the real thing. Luckily we've found the perfect beginner retinol serum for sensitive skin, and you can find it at the drugstore.

La Roche-Posay Vitamin B3 Retinol Serum has been lurking right under our noses, hiding between the brand's more popular Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Anthelios sunscreen line, and it's made to target signs of aging while being gentle enough for sensitive skin types. The anti-wrinkle resurfacing serum combines pure retinol, slow-release retinol, glycerin for hydration, and vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) for skin-smoothing and moisture-retention, which as a combination is pretty amazing for skin prone to retinol irritation.

The two last ingredients—glycerin and niacinamide—are what make this serum ideal for sensitive skin. Often the price of using a retinol is dryness and facial redness, which these ingredients help soothe and eliminate. Additionally, the slow-release retinol ensures your skin isn't getting hammered too hard right from the get-go, instead lengthening the activation time and slowing the turnover of your skin cells.

So basically, there's no excuse to limit yourself in the game of anti-aging, wrinkle-busting, fine line-smoothing skincare anymore. Apply after cleansing (remember: start with using only twice a week), follow with a moisturizer, and reap the rewards. Take that, sensitive skin. Shop it here!

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The world of retinol is vast and confusing, but we're here to help translate the important stuff.

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