If Your Skin Is Too Sensitive For Retinol, You Need To Try These Gentle, Glow-Boosting Alternatives

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I love finding natural alternatives to effective chemical products — and I especially love when those natural alternatives are also made with an eye toward sustainability. As you likely know, retinol is one of the most effective skin-care ingredients around, but it’s notorious for triggering potentially irritating side effects, especially for those with sensitive skin. But even if you don’t have sensitive skin, then maybe, like me, you’re just interested in discovering clean, skin-coddling products to add to your top shelf. Enter: Facetheory, the buzzy brand that offers a suite of retinol-replacing skin-care products, including their Bakuluronic Moisturiser M1, Relaxing Night Cream M10 Pro, and Balancing Rosehip Oil 03.

Facetheory offers cruelty-free, vegan, sustainably packaged, high-performing skin-care products with wallet-friendly price tags (everything on their website costs less than $40!). And they’re made without unnecessary fillers, so the formulas are pure and simple. So if firmer, clearer, and glowier skin is your vibe — without the redness, peeling, and dryness — read on to discover three of Facetheory’s most exciting retinol-replacing products.

Facetheory Bakuluronic Moisturiser M1

Due to their link with sun sensitivity, most retinol products aren’t recommended for use during the daytime, but Facetheory’s Bakuluronic Moisturiser M1 is safe to use day or night. This lightweight cream is powered by bakuchiol, a natural product derived from the seeds of the babchi plant that’s been touted as “nature’s retinol.” Like retinol, it can help improve skin tone and texture, firmness, and clarity, as well as provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Elsewhere in the formula, the blend of argan oil and hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin, while antioxidants like vitamins C and E protect against environmental aggressors. Plus, this cream is made with rice starch, which can help control shine and minimize the appearance of pores, making it a particularly great choice for people with oily or combination skin. It also works wonderfully as a makeup primer.

Recommended for: Oily and combination skin. | Active Ingredients: Bakuchiol, Rice (Starch), Argan Oil, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate), Vitamin E | Good To Know: Vegan, Alcohol-free, Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Silicone-free, Sulphate / SLS free / PEG free

Facetheory Relaxing Night Cream M10

Everyone needs a fantastic night cream in their skin-care arsenal, and Facetheory’s Relaxing Night Cream M10 is packed with ingredients to recommend it for yours. It’s formulated with vitamin E, shea butter, rice bran oil, and glycerin to help your skin retain moisture while you sleep. Plus, this PM-friendly cream is spiked with encapsulated melatonin, which, applied topically, can aid in cellular regeneration, so your skin will look rejuvenated and well-rested when you wake up. But it’s really the peptides that are the heavy-hitter in this night cream, and does much of the work that a retinol can do. Specifically, the brand harnesses ChroNOline™, a type of biomimetic peptide that does all kinds of cool things, like helping the skin retain elasticity, improving tone and texture, and boosting the production of collagen. And as an added bonus, this hard-working night cream is available in a soothing, sleep-promoting lavender scent, courtesy of lavender essential oil (though you can opt for the unscented version if you’re sensitive to fragrances).

Recommended for: Most skin types, including sensitive, dry, and combination skin. | Active Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Encapsulated Melatonin, Chronoline™, Kukui Nut Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E | Good To Know: Vegan, Alcohol-free, Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Silicone-free, Sulphate / SLS free / PEG free

Facetheory Balancing Rosehip Oil O3

Retinol is technically a vitamin A derivative, and rosehip oil is packed with vitamin A, so Facetheory’s Balancing Rosehip Oil O3 can reap comparable results to a retinol — including boosting collagen production — but it’ll feel a lot more soothing. This nourishing oil contains just one more ingredient, vitamin E, to aid in hydration, soften the skin, and provide antioxidant benefits. This lightweight oil can be worn day or night, alone or with another moisturizer; whenever you’re hoping for smoother, more hydrated skin. Which is basically anytime.

Recommended for: Most skin types, including sensitive, mature, dry, and combination skin. | Active Ingredients: Rosehip Oil, Natural Vitamin E | Good To Know: Vegan, Alcohol-free, Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Silicone-free, Sulphate / SLS free / PEG free

How To Save On Facetheory’s Vegan & Cruelty-Free Skin Care Products

In addition to offering their products in money-saving sets and subscriptions, Facetheory also has a rewards program, which allows you to earn points that you can then use towards future orders. You can earn these points in lots of simple ways, like purchasing products, referring a friend, or liking and following the brand on social media.

Gentle, effective, sustainably packaged products, with discounts on already-incredible prices? It’s too good to pass up.