For Anyone With Sensitive Skin, These Retinol Alternatives Could Be Game-Changers

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by Jill Layton
Originally Published: 

There’s something about a really good night cream that makes going to sleep feel even better than it already does. (Shout out to sleep.) But herein lies the problem: Finding a face cream that smells good, revitalizes your skin, and is within your budget can be hard. So when I had the opportunity to try Facetheory’s Relaxing Night Cream M10 Pro — a $26 moisturizer with an impressive list of ingredients aimed at being both effective and gentle — I was intrigued.

Facetheory’s Relaxing Night Cream is formulated to soothe and nourish your skin so it can repair itself overnight. One of the key ingredients is ChroNOline, a biomimetic lipopeptide that helps skin retain elasticity and smoothness and a great alternative to retinol for those with sensitive skin. It also has botanically sourced melatonin, which promotes cellular regeneration; vitamin E to help fight inflammation and balance sebum levels; shea butter extract for improving moisture retention and enhancing collagen production; and rice bran oil for hydration.

The Night Cream M10 Pro is scented with lavender, an ingredient that’s known for its calming benefits, or you can go for the unscented version. Like all of Facetheory’s products, it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, silicones, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and mineral oils.

While Facetheory’s Relaxing Night Cream has racked up rave reviews on its site (it currently has a perfect five-star rating after more than 400 reviews), it’s certainly not the only standout product in the brand’s lineup. In fact, Facetheory’s Bakuluronic Moisturizer M1 and Balancing Rosehip Oil both have the internet abuzz, thanks to their gentle formula that offer similar benefits as retinol without any of the redness or irritation.

Other Retinol Alternatives From Facetheory

Bakuluronic Moisturizer M1

Bakuchiol, the key ingredient in this face cream, is a retinol alternative that’s great for people with sensitive skin. Retinol is a form of vitamin A that’s used in lots of products to help target everything from acne to clogged pores to hyperpigmentation, but it can cause some pretty uncomfortable side effects like redness, irritation, itching, flaking, and an increased sensitivity to the sun.

If you’re interested in what a retinol alternative can do for your skin, the Bakuluronic Moisturizer is the perfect starter product. It’s a lightweight, protective day cream that combines the antioxidant power of bakuchiol with instantly hydrating hyaluronic acid, deeply nourishing shea butter, and other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. The moisturizer has a light mandarin scent, or you can also opt for an unscented version.

One fan raved, “Lovely nourishing but light moisturiser which keeps my sensitive skin calm and hydrated.” And another satisfied shopper reported, “Skin looks softer, firmer and especially more evenly toned. (I bought the unscented version).”

Balancing Rosehip Oil O3

For the oil enthusiasts in the house, Facetheory’s Balancing Rosehip Oil O3 is another skin-brightening product that’s notably retinol free that’s absolutely worth adding to your routine.

The Balancing Rosehip Oil is naturally rich in vitamin A (another natural alternative to retinol) and full of powerful antioxidants that promote cellular regeneration, protect against environmental damage, and encourage a brighter, smoother complexion. It can be used as an overnight serum to nourish your skin as you sleep, though it’s lightweight enough for daytime use, too. In fact, you can even use it as a base layer before applying your regular moisturizer if your skin is particularly dry.

“Out of all my Facetheory products this is my favourite, my skin feels very soft when I wake up in the morning after a few drops at night,” one reviewer enthused. “I have started using it in the morning too after cleansing and love the whole process of warming it between the palms of hands and massaging it into my face and neck.”

What Reviewers Are Saying

I consider myself a full convert to Facetheory’s reasonably priced night cream, and it’s clear I’m not alone in singing Facetheory’s praises. The site is chock-full of enthusiastic reviews.

“Beautiful products which make my skin glow. So many compliments on how healthy my skin looks. Even better they are all organic and not tested on animals.” - Lynsey Batchelor

“Been using some products for 2 years now and wouldn’t swap them for anything else!” -Morgan Lewis

“I love these products, the Vit C cream has certainly improved my large pores and I've had a few comments about how my skin is glowing, I love the glass jars too - easy to get all of the product out and great to recycle.” - Anonymous

“I can see that my skin has become more clear. All the creams leave a [matte] finish on my face, which I like and I have the feeling the night cream is really working against wrinkles.” - Celine Hoffman

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