4 Best Retinol Products for Sensitive Skin

If you’re looking to incorporate retinol into your routine, but are worried about sensitive skin, look no further. 

La Clinica has the best range of retinol products suitable for sensitive skin types or concerns, be it creams, serums or oils, the choice is yours.

What does retinol do?

Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is notorious for being irritating and difficult to introduce into a routine. Redness, tingling and inflammation can be a common side effect of this ingredient. Yet it is considered the ‘gold standard’ anti ageing product due to its ability to increase collagen production, help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and can fade pigmentation and even prevent breakouts. If you’re like us, this is a product you definitely want in your routine. 

Why is my skin sensitive to retinol?

How retinol works is what leads to the irritating side effects. Retinol encourages the skin cells to turn over quicker than their normal process, making way for growth of fresh, new skin cells underneath. This accelerated process is why some people often experience these irritating and inflammatory side effects.

4 gentle retinol products that actually work

How to get past the pesky side-effects that retinol often brings? La Clinica’s selection of gentle, low-strength retinol products are the perfect way to introduce this ingredient into your routine, lessening the chance of irritation and discomfort. Be sure to read our post about the best routine for introducing retinol and also how to get retinol to work for your skin to really get the most out of this amazing multi-tasking ingredient.

  1. The Retinol Oil

Essentials Retinol Oil 0.2%

Pure Retinol 0.2% in Luxurious Plant Oils

Our lowest percentage retinol is the ideal choice for first-time users of retinol or those with sensitive skin. The low percentage is gentler on skin, yet still effective and beneficial for the skin. Squalane, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E hydrate the skin and reduce the chance of irritation or peeling. Extracts of Chamomile and Calendula also help calm and soothe the skin. 

Why you’ll love the Pure Retinol Oil

  • Oil format cushions any potential irritation
  • Low percentage is perfect for first-timers / sensitive skin
  • Contains calming and soothing extracts

  1. The Retinol Night Cream

Rebalancing Night Cream with Retinol

The Rebalancing Vitamin A Night Cream is a do-it-all night cream that has both anti-ageing and acne-regulating benefits. Containing the two forms of Vitamin A, retinal and retinol, but don’t let that scare you! Small amounts of each mean it is gentle on your skin.

Ceramides, Jojoba Oil, Ethyl Linoleate, Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid help to mitigate the dryness associated with Retinol and Retinal initially, and deliver moisturisation once your skin is accustomed to Vitamin A. A selection of extracts including Green Tea helps calm stressed skin and relieve irritation.

Why you’ll love the Rebalancing Night Cream

  • Fights both signs of ageing and blemishes
  • Contains ingredients to help mitigate dryness
  • Green tea helps calm and de-stress the skin
  • Formulated with both retinol and retinal

  1. The Retinol Serum Emulsion

Emergency Booster Serum with Retinol

The Emergency Booster Serum is another low-dosage retinol product, perfect for beginners or those wanting to ease their way into vitamin A. 

Why you’ll love the Emergency Booster Serum

  • Low-dosage retinol
  • Vitamin C for added glow-inducing properties
  • Helps reduce skin imperfections 
  • Antioxidants of Green Tea and Ginkgo Biloba


  1. The Retinol Alternative - Bakuchiol

Rebalancing Face Oil with Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is not a retinol, but is a plant-derived alternative that has equivalent anti-ageing benefits without any of the irritation. Interested to know more about this ingredient? Read our deep dive into Bakuchiol.

The Rebalancing Oil contains the clinically tested amount of Bakuchiol, Vitamin C, as well as hydrating Hyaluronic Acid. It also includes CBD-Alt which works in a similar mechanism to CBD oil, helping protect against stressed skin, strengthen the skin barrier and encourage a radiant complexion. Soothing oils of Jojoba, Chia Seed, and Hemp Seed nourish and calm skin for an all-over rebalanced, evenly toned complexion. 

Why you’ll love the Rebalancing Oil

  • A gentle alternative to retinol
  • Bakuchiol provides retinol-equivalent anti-ageing, antioxidant benefits
  • Nourishing and calming ingredients help balance and calm the skin
  • Vitamin C for a bright, even skin tone
  • Squalane & Hyaluronic Acid to plump the skin & prevent moisture loss 
  • Asyntra CBD-Alt to de-stress the skin & reduce inflammation

The final word on retinol for sensitive skin

Retinol doesn’t need to be a scary product to avoid, with La Clinica’s curated selection of retinol for sensitive skin you too can enjoy the benefits of this amazing ingredient. With careful choice, proper application (follow the instructions, never apply too much too soon) and the right skin barrier supporting products, you’ll soon be singing the praises of retinol.

Want to learn more about skin barrier support? 

Keep reading: the ultimate skin barrier product.

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