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I remember when bakuchiol first started gaining popularity; everyone who had an issue with retinol—i.e. excessive redness, irritation and then some—flocked to the alternative ingredient with high hopes. Considering it graces the back of bottles nearly as often as retinoids now, you can bet it delivers on its promises to fade age spots, minimize fine lines and lift sagging areas as powerfully as its rival, and with an emphasis on staying gentle on the skin. 

That’s why it was hardly a shock that Three Ships Beauty, a brand focused on supplying consumers with “innovative ingredients straight from nature’s pantry” launched its own retinol alternative product, the Skin Hero Serum. Priced at $35 (or $28 right now during the brand’s Birthday Sale), you’re really getting the most benefits at an affordable cost: Bakuchiol encourages collagen production, in turn plumping and smoothing the skin; calendula extract, which is rich in antioxidants, counters the effects of free radicals, which can age the skin faster; rosehip seed oil brings vitamins A, C and E into the mix to lighten dark spots, acne scars and fade blemishes across the face and neck. 

Three Ships

Three Ships Skin Hero

If we take a second to look at the origins of bakuchiol, you may be better able to see why it’s such a viable alternative to harsher ingredients like retinol. First off, it’s derived from Psoralea corylifolia, a plant widely used in the Ayurveda and Chinese systems of traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich properties. While bakuchiol may simply be a natural chemical compound that’s been extracted from the babchi plant, its benefits have even been talked about by the British Journal of Dermatology for the alternative’s ability to mimic retinol’s changes with minimal to no side-effects. 

The product may be fresh to Three Ship’s line-up, but the reviews are already pretty stellar. One shopper claims it is “just amazing” for their sensitive skin, enough to the point they can apply it nightly, while another said the “results were immediate” and their skin was “glowing.”

“This far exceeded my expectations!! It felt so smooth going on, rich consistency so a little went such a long way and my skin felt so good after applying it,” raved one person. “After using it consistently for two weeks, my skin not only felt better, it was apparent fine lines were less pronounced! I love this product and will make it part of my regular routine!!”

Get your own retinol alternative serum for $28 on the brand’s website during the limited-time sitewide sale.

Maya Gandara

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