We have a love-hate relationship with retinol. We know it’s the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth, but it’s also modern-day torture. Since it regenerate cells (i.e., sloughs off dead cells for a smoother, blemish-free complexion), people with sensitive skin often find it too harsh—like, in a “my face is peeling off” sort of way. Not cute or pleasant. But before you relinquish all hope and give up on that stubborn forehead wrinkle, you should know about a new, gentler formula.
Presenting retinol oils: This new generation of retinol is perfect for dry or sensitive skin, because it’s suspended in nourishing oil that helps to decrease the peeling and flaking that can go hand in hand with straight retinol use. Basically, it has the same youth-promoting effects, but it’s delivered to the skin in a much less irritating way. Sounds good to us.
Even if you’ve had great luck with retinol—go, you!—you can’t deny the hydrating benefits of facial oils and the ease of multitasking products. Typically, you’d need to wait 15 minutes after applying traditional retinol to slather on any other skin-care products, apply it every three days until you build up your skin’s tolerance and then deal with the inevitable flakes. Ugh. Compared with that exhausting routine, retinol oils seem like a dream come true. Not sure where to start? We’re big fans of Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105) and REN Clean Skincare Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil ($47).