What To Use Instead Of Retinol? Alternatives For Sensitive Skin

Retinol is a popular skincare choice for those who want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but it is not always the right fit for everyone. Sometimes it can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin, or there may be other reasons one might not want to use retinol. Luckily, there are many alternatives to retinol that you can use to achieve similar results. If you want to add more natural or gentler ingredients to your skin routine, keep reading because we're going to cover some excellent options below.

what can i use instead of retinol

What Is Retinol?

Retinol is a form of vitamin A that's commonly used in skincare products. It's known for its ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and even out the skin tone by increasing cell turnover. There is evidence that it can help treat acne as well as reduce inflammation, making it an incredibly powerful ingredient. However, retinol is not right for everyone, so we're here to help you find alternative ingredients that produce the same results.

When Should I Not Use Retinol?

Retinol is an incredibly popular ingredient in skincare products, but it can be too harsh for some people and cause irritation. Therefore, retinol is not recommended for those with sensitive skin. Additionally, it's not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding. It's also important to be careful when using retinol in the sun, as using it under direct sunlight can cause skin sensitivities. If you choose to use retinol, it's important to start off slow, as too much too soon can cause irritation even if you don't have sensitive skin.

What Can I Use Instead Of Retinol?

If you find that retinol isn't the right fit for your skin, there are alternatives available. Below are a few of our top picks for skincare ingredients that provide some of the same effects as retinol, such as reducing wrinkles, treating acne, and reducing hyperpigmentation.


Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is an excellent option as it can help improve the skin's moisture balance, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and alleviate irritation. It has the added benefit of being non-irritating and anti-inflammatory, making it a good substitute for retinol for those with sensitive skin.

Our Pick: Dark Spot Correcting Serum


Bakuchiol is another popular alternative, as it's a natural, plant-derived compound known for having similar benefits to retinol without the associated side effects. Bakuchiol helps reduce wrinkles and even out the skin tone and can help reduce the appearance of dark spots. It's also a great alternative for those looking for a gentler, more natural option.

Our Pick: Moisturizing Caviar Multi Balm Stick

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps to protect the skin from environmental damage. It can help reduce wrinkles, brighten the skin, and even out skin tone. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C can help protect against sun damage, making it a great choice for those who spend a lot of time outdoors. It's also non-irritating, anti-inflammatory, and hypoallergenic, so it is okay for sensitive skin.

Our Pick: Power C Antioxidant Radiance Serum

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, plump up the skin, and boost hydration levels. In fact, it is one of the most hydrating ingredients out there. It's also non-irritating and hypoallergenic, so it's also good for sensitive skin. Additionally, it can help protect the skin against environmental damage and reduce redness, making it a great choice for all skin types.

Our Pick: Peptide Complex Anti-Wrinkle Serum

AHAs - alpha hydroxy acids

AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, are a group of acids derived from natural sources such as fruits and milk. These acids help to exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin cells, which can help reduce wrinkles and even out skin tone. They also help to reduce inflammation and increase moisture levels. AHAs can be great for those with acne-prone skin, as they can help to unclog pores. But they can be very harsh and might not be suitable for those with sensitive skin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a popular ingredient in skincare products due to its ability to penetrate the pores and break down oil and debris. It can help reduce blemishes and prevent new ones from forming. It's also an exfoliant, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and brighten the skin. However, it can be very drying, so it's important to use a moisturizer afterward. Additionally, it can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin, so it's important to find the right balance.

Green Tea

Green tea is a natural ingredient that contains powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols and catechins. These antioxidants can help protect the skin from environmental damage. Additionally, green tea can help reduce inflammation and redness and can even help to reduce blemishes and treat acne. Additionally, it can help brighten the skin and even out the skin tone. It's great for sensitive skin, as it's non-irritating and hypoallergenic.

Our Pick: Dark Spot Correcting Serum

The Final Verdict : Alternatives to retinol

There's an abundance of ingredients out there that can help you achieve the look you desire without the irritation or sensitivities that can come with retinol. Whether it's an antioxidant, an exfoliant, or an anti-ager, there's something out there for everyone. It's all about finding the right combination of ingredients that works best for you and your skin type. With so many alternatives, it's easier than ever to find the perfect fit.