This New Retinol Is a Must for Sensitive Skin, and It's Less Than $20

It’s no secret that you should be using retinol somewhere in your skin care routine—if we had a dollar for every time an expert, fellow beauty editor or friend mentioned the irreplaceability of the ingredient in the quest for better skin, we’d be millionaires—but if you have sensitive skin, getting your hands on a tube that doesn’t exacerbate redness or flaking can be tough. That is until now, thanks to L’Oréal Paris’ latest launch, which also happens to be our favorite.

Tapping French cica-creams as inspiration (they are formulated to heal damaged skin and reinforce its natural barrier function), L’Oréal’s Revitalift Cicacream Anti-Wrinkle and Skin-Barrier Repair ($18) has the same goals of soothing and comforting delicate skin as these pharmacy staples, with the updated addition of wrinkle-busting pro-retinol. Each tube is fragrance-, paraben- and dye-free, and formulated with glycerin and centella asiatica, aka tiger grass (Chinese legend says tigers used to roll in this to recover from their battle wounds), to nix any drying or irritating side effects common with the time-reversing ingredient.

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You’ll notice skin that’s softer and dewier immediately after applying (this is thanks to the unique "cocooning formula"), and even better, it’s safe for a.m. and p.m. use, too (but be sure to apply a moisturizer on top). As for long-term results, it promises reduced lines and an uptick in firmness in just two weeks, with improved clarity and luminosity in four weeks, but we noticed a glowier complexion after one use. 

The bottom line: For skin that doesn’t usually play well with powerful ingredients, Christmas just came early.

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