La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum is The Gentlest Retinol I’ve Ever Tried

I like to think I’ve always been in touch with my emotions, but if you told me last year that 2020-me would ugly-cry during the season finale of Selling Sunset or get misty-eyed in the greeting card aisle at Rite Aid, I wouldn’t have believed you. But it turns out six-plus months of social-distancing does strange things to your psyche — so much so that I’ve seriously considered taping a “Handle With Care” sign to my forehead.

And since our skin is often a reflection of our state-of-mind, it’s no wonder my once slightly-finicky skin is now better described as ultra-sensitive. Not exactly a great time to start using retinol — a vitamin-A derivative beloved for its ability to lessen fine lines and sun damage, but notorious for causing redness and irritation in the process.

But La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum is not your average retinol — and the reason why is hinted at in its name. Aside from containing retinol, this blend includes vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide. The ingredient is known for brightening and improving elasticity, all while decreasing inflammation and helping skin retain moisture. It’s the latter benefits that make niacinamide and retinol — which can sometimes leave skin dry and flaky — a perfect pairing.

Sure, it sounds good on paper. But the real proof is in the fact that this formula consistently played nicely with my sensitive skin. After two weeks of use, my complexion was noticeably brighter. And after week three, I felt confident logging onto an all-staff Zoom meeting totally makeup-free.

That said, as with any retinol-based skin-care product, it’s important to slowly integrate it into your routine. I applied this serum twice (on a Wednesday and a Sunday) during my first week using it, then three times the second and third.  I used it at night — and made sure to apply a healthy dose of SPF the following morning.

So here’s to feeling all the feels — and skin care that can empathize.

You’ll find La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum in our December Allure Beauty Box.


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