6 Retinol Alternatives for Results Without the Irritation

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When it comes to fine lines and wrinkles, there is no debate Retinol is a pretty magical ingredient that will help smooth out those lines and act as an excellent preventative for signs of aging. But its not all sunshine and unicorns when it comes to the frequent use of retinol, with most users experiencing heavy dryness and irritation, which just comes with the territory of how retinol works by removing the outermost layers of your skin over time. As great as it is, there are plenty of reasons why retinol just isn’t the right fit for some: what if you have sensitive skin that just can’t tolerate it? What if you’re pregnant and your traditional retinols have to go back on the shelf? What if the added UV sensitivity is just causing too much havoc on your skin? Well, luckily, there are some pretty awesome alternatives on the market that have you covered.


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OLE HENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème

$55 USD/$66 CAD

OLE HENRIKSEN is one of the mainstream brands that hit the innovative ingredient jackpot with the use of Bakuchiol– nature’s version of “retinol.” This botanical extract works to promote collagen regeneration, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and lighten any hyper-pigmentation over time. As opposed to retinol, which can make your skin highly reactive and prone to irritation, Bakuchiol can actually be quite soothing to the skin. Plus, this overnight cream comes packed with Edelweiss Stem Cell, and Glycolic and Lactic Acids to reveal a more firm, supple and even-toned complexion with use. This cream is an overall winner in my book and an excellent alternative to replace an overnight retinol treatment.


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OLE HENRIKSEN Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum

$58 USD/$70 CAD

The sister product to the Sleeping Crème, this serum sinks beautifully into the skin, leaving behind a brightening glow. The same powerhouse of ingredients makes this serum the perfect complement to the overnight cream, with the added benefit of being gentle enough for daytime use without producing the same level of UV sensitivity that comes with traditional retinol use. Red Algae, Lemon, Licorice Root and Chamomile extract help round out the ingredients to help firm, tone and calm the skin with every use.


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BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum

$78 USD

This wonderful serum stars the same phytochemical Bakuchiol as its retinol alternative, but it combines it with a healthy dose of skin-loving ingredients to improve the overall elasticity and hydration levels of the skin. Hyaluronic Acid helps rehydrate the skin from the inside out, Niacinamide helps combat surface inflammation and environmental oxidants and stressors, while the addition of Squalane helps strengthen and seal the outermost layer of the skin to prevent moisture loss throughout the day. With the Bakuchiol smoothing out the skin’s surface over time, this serum gives an instant plumped up look with the hyaluronic acid basically filling in those fine lines on application, and the finish is oh, so glowy!


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OMOROVICZA Miracle Face Oil

$120 USD/$150 CAD

A pretty full-spectrum face oil, this works more like a treatment than just a regular oil, with a healthy dose of Bakuchiol, and Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, Winged Kelp and Rosehip Oil to round out this carefully curated list of ingredients. This beautiful oil hits all my major skincare concerns, starting with a healthy dose of antioxidants that are fending off free radicals and pollutants. Further, this oil is packed with ingredients to help strengthen the skin’s lipid barrier and prevent against dehydration, promote new collagen development and elasticity, and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. The addition of Sweet Almond Oil leaves skin looking extra healthy and moisturized. A little on the higher end as far as price points go, but absolutely worth it given how hard this oil works to improve the skin’s overall elasticity and texture!


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MARIO BADESCU Hyaluronic Eye Cream

$18 USD/$25 CAD

When talking about the delicate eye area, its important to consider how much hydration and protection it needs in order to maintain its elasticity and keep you looking younger for longer. This is where pesky fine lines first started popping up for me, and I’m so glad I turned to this amazing eye cream, packed with Hyaluronic Acid to help fill in and plump the eye area, while helping prevent additional lines from forming. Keeping the eye area constantly and adequately hydrated is essential in preventing the skin from creping and forming fine lines in the first place.  At a fantastic price point, this eye cream is a must for both retinol and non-retinol users.