When you have a complexion that's just as sensitive as you are, finding the right products to use in your routine that address your skincare concerns without causing any irritation can be a struggle, to say the least.
If signs of aging is one of your main concerns, you've probably tried a medicine cabinet's worth of products with retinol or retain-A—two vitamin A derivatives commonly found in anti-aging products because of their effectiveness at fighting fine lines—only to experience redness and tightness.
"For people with sensitive skin, you want to be careful about anti-aging products with retinols or retain-A in them," says dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla. "Both of these vitamin A derivatives can be drying. Similarly, alpha hydroxyl or glycolic acids can have a similar effect and irritate chapped skin. We know that all of these ingredients help with fine lines which is key to anti-aging and the retinol family helps to tighten pores and improve collagen."
If you have sensitive skin, Dr. Mariwalla says that you can still use these ingredients, but to mix them with moisturizers or other calming agents so that they're effective without over-drying your skin.
We turned to Dr. Mariwalla to find out what every sensitive complexion's anti-aging skincare routine should entail. Keep scrolling for anti-aging skincare products that are gentle enough for sensitive skin.
VIDEO: 5 Ridiculously Expensive Skincare Products
1. EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
When it comes to anti-aging and overall skin health, protecting your complexion by applying sunscreen everyday should be your top priority. We love EltaMD’s lightweight formula because it offers SPF 40 coverage and has a hyaluronic acid-spiked formula that also keeps skin hydrated. Bonus: The sunscreen doesn’t leave behind the dreaded greasy cast. No wonder a few of the brand’s other formulas are Best Beauty Buy winners.
EltaMD | $27
2. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
A vitamin C-rich serum will treat a number of concerns including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and loss of elasticity. Dr. Mariwalla loves SkinCeuicals’ formula, which includes a blend of antioxidants that protects skin against environmental damage caused by free radicals, too.
Skinceuticals | $165
3. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream
If you have sensitive skin, retinol shouldn’t be feared, just used strategically since the ingredient can be extremely effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. “You want to look for formulations that do not have a high percentage of retinol so that you can ease your skin into the routine,” explains Dr. Mariwalla.
RoC’s cream is specifically formulated for sensitive skin types and includes a mild retinol that won’t irritate sensitive skin. The anti-aging ingredient is balanced with hydrated hyaluronic acid to keep irritation and dryness at bay.
Roc | $25
4. DCL Peptide Plus Cream
A peptide-rich cream moisturizer works to increase collagen production which in turn minimizes existing fine lines and wrinkles, plus improves firmness and elasticity. Dr. Mariwalla says to apply a peptide cream over a mild retinol cream to counteract any potential dryness it may cause.
5. La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer
After using any retinol cream or serum, follow up with a moisturizer to ensure you're not going to end up with any redness or dryness from the anti-aging ingredient. We love La Roche-Posay's radiance-boosting formula which gets bonus points for also protecting skin from free radical damage.
La Roche Posay | $20
6. Origns Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum
Want to completely avoid retinol? We get it. This quick-absorbing serum harnesses the power of plant-based ingredients that have been proven to treat signs of aging, too. Need an example? Crithmum imitates the benefits of retinol without the risk of any irritation.
Origins | $77