La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum Review: Gentle Glow for Sensitive Skin

February 25, 2023
La Roche-Posay's Retinol B3 Serum Review: Gentle Glow for Sensitive Skin

We got our hands on a free sample of La Roche-Posay’s Retinol Face Serum with Vitamin B3 and decided to put it to the test. Read on for our comprehensive review.

Out of all the vitamins used in skincare, retinol (also known as vitamin A) is definitely my favorite. It’s a multi-tasking ingredient that can clear up blemishes, unclog pores, smooth out fine lines, and refine skin texture. However, its potency can also cause irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin who are new to retinol products.

Thankfully, La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum has a solution for this problem. By combining retinol with niacinamide (a known skin soother), this formula delivers all the skin-renewing benefits of vitamin A without harshness. It’s a win-win situation for those who want to upgrade their skincare routine without risking skin irritation.

If you’re intrigued by this innovative product, you’re in luck. I’ve personally tried it out and shared my thoughts in this review. Keep reading to find out more.

How to Use La Roche-Posay's Retinol


  • BEST FOR: Normal, oily, dry, combination, mature, and acne-prone skin types. 
  • USES: As an active treatment serum for anti-aging, uneven skin tone, dullness, and breakouts.
  • STAR RATING: 4/5 
  • POTENTIAL ALLERGENS: Added fragrance
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Retinol, retinyl palmitate
  • PRICE: $40
  • ABOUT THE BRAND: La Roche-Posay is a French pharmacy brand that was founded on the healing properties of thermal spring water from its titular source. It is now a global brand specializing in all skin conditions, particularly sensitive and acne-prone skin.
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My Skin Profile: Susceptible to Acne and Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

Although my skin is generally well-behaved, I have a tendency to develop blackheads, whiteheads, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Additionally, I’ve noticed some sun damage and occasional sensitivity, which I attribute to my habit of testing various skincare products as part of my job.

Around three years ago, I decided to give vitamin A a try when I was struggling with a bad acne breakout. To my surprise, using a vitamin A product consistently for six weeks helped clear up my skin significantly. Since then, I’ve experimented with different vitamin A formulas, including La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum (which I can reveal now, I’m a big fan of).

The Feel: Lightweight and hydrating

La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum boasts a lightweight texture that provides ample hydration without leaving a greasy residue. Unlike some other retinol products, this serum contains B3 (niacinamide) to minimize any potential stinging or irritation on the skin. In fact, several reviewers have noted that this serum leaves their skin feeling noticeably softer and more hydrated upon application.

The Ingredients: Effective and minimally irritating

If you’ve experienced persistent peeling or flaking while using retinol products, La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum may offer a gentler yet still effective solution. This serum contains potent ingredients that work together to deliver skin-renewing benefits while minimizing the risk of irritation.

The product features two forms of vitamin A: pure retinol for a concentrated boost, and retinyl palmitate for a gentler, time-released effect. Additionally, vitamin B3 (niacinamide) is included to act as a buffer and soothe the skin, reinforce its protective barrier, and mitigate any irritation that may occur.

Lastly, the serum is enriched with hyaluronic acid, which provides deep hydration and helps plump the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines. All in all, this serum is a great choice for those seeking a powerful, yet gentle solution for their skincare needs.

Related: Top 7 Retinol Alternatives for Clear, Glowing Skin

Application Guide: Apply 3-4 drops smoothly

La Roche-Posay

To use La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum, begin by dispensing three to four drops onto your fingertips using the convenient dropper. Gently apply the serum to your face, neck, and chest each evening, taking care to avoid the delicate eye area, which may be more prone to irritation.

If your skin tends to dry out or become flaky, start by using the serum every other night until your skin adjusts. You can also layer a moisturizer on top of the serum to provide additional hydration.

Remember to always wear sunscreen during the day, as retinol can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy all the skin-renewing benefits of La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum while keeping your skin healthy and protected.

The Results: Quite Impressive

Overall, I’m quite impressed with La Roche Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum, especially given its affordable price point. While it may not be the absolute best product for my specific skin concerns, I did see noticeable improvements and found the texture of the serum to be really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it as a great option for those who are looking for a gentle yet effective retinol product that won’t cause irritation.

It’s worth noting that while retinol is often marketed as an anti-aging ingredient, it can actually be beneficial for a wide range of skin concerns, from acne to congestion. However, it’s important to remember that retinol is a potent ingredient, so it’s best to start slowly and apply it in the evening. And of course, don’t forget to wear SPF every day to protect your skin! All things considered, La Roche Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum is one of the best drugstore retinol products I’ve tried, and definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a new retinol serum.

The Value: Exceptional for a Retinol Product

When it comes to retinol serums, the La Roche-Posay Retinol B3 Serum offers incredible value. Despite its affordable price, I found it to be highly effective, gentle on the skin, and enjoyable to use, all of which are qualities typically found in more expensive products. Another added bonus is the presence of niacinamide, which provides additional benefits. In fact, I was so impressed by this serum that I even used it to successfully treat a patch of pigmentation on my stomach.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

To choose the serum that suits you best, it’s important to consider your skin type and the specific skin concerns you want to address. La Roche-Posay’s Retinol B3 Serum is an excellent option if you’re looking to enhance your skin’s texture, reduce the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. However, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may prefer a serum that is milder and does not contain retinol.

Alternative Products: Explore your choices

  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion: This is a lightweight, water-based serum that contains a stable form of retinoid. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone without causing irritation.
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  • Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster: This is a highly concentrated, fast-absorbing serum that contains a potent form of retinol to improve the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture. It also contains a blend of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to nourish the skin.
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  • Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum: This is a fragrance-free serum that contains a combination of retinol and niacinamide to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It also contains a hydrating complex to keep the skin moisturized throughout the night.

Photo: Pexels/ La Roche-Posay

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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