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I tried a retinol alternative for anti-aging — it’s now a permanent part of my routine

I'm already on my second jar.
Courtesy PJ Gach

So, there I was moisturizing my face one morning. I’m barely awake, and suddenly I notice something from the corner of my eye, causing me to do a double take: Some of my fine lines seemed faded, and some — I can’t believe I’m writing this — appeared to be gone altogether. I was in shock. So much so, that I shoved my face right up to the bathroom mirror and inspected it to be sure.

For the first time in my life, I had met an anti-aging moisturizer that lived up to its promises. The youth-boosting potion in question? A retinol-alternative cream from Andalou Naturals.

Andalou Naturals Age Defying Rejuvenating Plant-Based Retinol-Alternative Face Cream

Unlike other anti-aging products, this option doesn't use traditional retinol. Instead, it uses bakuchiol, which is a plant-based retinol alternative that's popular among people with sensitive skin. According to Dr. Marissa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, this ingredient boosts collagen production, reduces inflammation and helps to fade discoloration.

“Studies have shown that both bakuchiol and retinol work to decrease the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, with one study showing comparable results with retinol users [who] noticed more scaling and stinging, suggesting that bakuchiol may be less irritating,” she added. This means that when using bakuchiol, you’ll have a less chance of irritation than if you use traditional retinol, making it ideal for those with more reactive skin.

As someone with a super sensitive complexion (if I use the wrong product, I can be sick for a week — my skin is that sensitive), this was a major perk of the product for me. So, I was extremely pleased that I didn’t have any type of reaction from Andalou Naturals’ face cream. Even the scent was fine for me. There was no itching, and not once did my skin feel like it was on fire.

How long until you see a change in your skin?

I’ve heard that it can take at least a month before you see fine lines begin to fade or a change in skin texture or tone take place — products need time to work! According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, “a moisturizer can plump up fine lines in a few days. But most products take at least six weeks to work. Sometimes it can take up to three months.”

Because change is so gradual, you won’t notice an immediate difference in your skin concerns right away. If you’re like me, and don’t pay that much attention to your skin, it can be startling when you do finally see the change. In a good way, though!

As I mentioned earlier, it had been around two or three months of daily usage before I noticed a difference in my fine lines. However, once I saw that the anti-aging moisturizer worked, I made sure to use it day and night.

The bottom line

While I have seen some of my fine lines go away, I still have others along my face. Even though I am using this cream every day (I’m on my second jar!), do I expect Andalou Naturals to rewind the clock and make me look like how I did in my 20s? Heck no. This isn't a surgical treatment, you know? And looking back at photos of my twenty-something self, I think I look better now. What I am expecting from the product, though, is for it to keep my skin feeling supple, soft and even-toned. If it can get rid of more fine lines, I won't be disappointed. But I don’t think of this as a magic eraser. I mean, if I did, I’d be trying to figure out a way to dip my entire body in the cream.