Derms explain what you need to fight signs of aging without irritating your skin.
It’s hard enough to find effective anti-aging products. Throw in sensitive skin and you’ve got a whole other set of problems. Since most anti-aging ingredients (think retinol, AHAs) work by speeding up cell turnover—which can make skin dry and flaky—they can wreak havoc on easily-irritated skin, says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. But not all anti-aging ingredients are quite so harsh, and even retinols and AHAs can work if used in the right way. Here, three dermatologists share the products they recommend for women with sensitive skin who want anti-aging benefits. These formulas tend to take a gentler, more soothing approach to fighting signs of aging.
SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E
This serum is a powerful mix of antioxidants and vitamin E, which protect against free radicals and help boost radiance and firmness. Resveratrol tends to be a less-harsh anti-aging ingredient, says Dr. Fusco.
Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream
Another resveratrol product, this luxurious cream also contains grape seed polyphenols for an anti-inflammatory effect, says Amanda Doyle, MD, a dermatologist at Russak Dermatology in New York City.
Olay Professional Pro-X Hydra Firming Cream
This thick cream soothes while it treats signs of aging. It boosts elasticity and plumps up skin by locking in moisture, plus it’s unscented, making it great for sensitive skin, says Samar Jaber, MD, a dermatologist in New York City.
SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex .25
This retinol anti-ager is specifically formulated for all skin types and people who are new to retinol. It repairs sun damage while magnolia bark extract helps combat inflammation. “Most patients can tolerate a retinol if they use it in the right way,” says Doyle. “They should start out a few times a week and gradually use every other night.”
Weleda Age Defying Serum
A favorite product of Dr. Fusco’s, this serum contains millet seed extract, vitamin E, and pomegranate juice, a potent anti-inflammatory mix that aids your skin’s regeneration process for a firmer, smoother look.
NIA24 Intensive Retinol Repair
This treatment is especially effective for people for rosacea-prone skin, says Dr. Fusco. While retinol helps increase cell turnover, niacin helps reinforce the skin’s natural barrier to soothe irritation. Sodium Hyaluronate helps keep skin hydrated by locking in moisture.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
“Vitamin C can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles, and it works well for people with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Jaber. He recommends this serum, which features ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E which help neutralize free radicals.
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum
It contains bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol substitute that's gentler than some other variations.