If retinol is too harsh on your skin, this $17 facial oil could be a 'game-changing' alternative


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When it comes to using new beauty products for the first time, it can be a total hit or miss. If you’re a skincare enthusiast, you’ve probably already run into a few bumps in the road, especially when using stronger ingredients like retinol.

While retinol can cause irritation, particularly those with sensitive skin, there's one alternative many shoppers swear by. Some even call it "game-changing," saying it's "much gentler" on pores.

BYBI Beauty’s 1% Backuchiol in Olive Squalane Oil Booster has similar benefits as retinol — and the ability to prevent wrinkles, fine lines and aid with pigmentation. It’s completely natural and costs only $17.

Shop: 1% Bakuchiol in Olive Squalane Oil Booster, $17

Credit: Credo Beauty
Credit: Credo Beauty

If you aren’t familiar with bakuchiol, it's the extract derived from a plant native to India. Rhonda M. Davis, a cosmetic chemist at Alquemie Product Development Group, told The Cut, “I’ve created skin-care product prototypes using bakuchiol, and I personally think it is a great natural alternative to retinol, especially for those with sensitive or dry skin prone to retinol irritation."

NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Rachael Nazarian told Health, “It gives retinol-like results without retinol's unwelcome side effects. Bakuchiol works with the same genes and pathways to induce the production of new collagen formation in the skin, but unlike retinol, it doesn't decrease the size of oil glands or cause irritation or dryness.”

When it comes to BYBI Beauty's oil, one five-star reviewer wrote, “I’m getting all of the benefits of retinol without dryness, discomfort or irritation. I’m most pleased to see that my pores are clearer. I'm glad I bought more than one!”

Another shopper mentioned, “With so many oils priced outrageously high, I didn’t hesitate to try this one. My skin feels quite smooth after applying.”

Since this is a more natural alternative to retinol, it’s important to know that it may not produce the exact same results as retinol would, especially since everyone’s skin is different.

One reviewer explained, “I wouldn't say this is as effective as a retinol product, but it's a great product for the price. It feels very hydrating and isn't irritating at all.”

Another factor to consider is whether or not you have eczema or rosacea. An associate professor of dermatology at Yale Dr. Mona Gohara told Health, “In those instances, I take a less-is-more kind of approach.” As always, it’s best to do a patch test on your skin before using the product on your face.

If you aren’t able to use retinol because of sensitivity, this natural option could be worth a shot. And in comparison to other high-end facial oils, it won’t put a huge dent in your wallet.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these cleansers under $20 that skincare shoppers love.

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