Source: Sobel Skin Rx

With what feels like a million beauty launches a minute, it’s becoming increasingly harder to spy innovative and rare formulas on our top-shelf. So color us surprised when we learned about Sephora’s new clinical skincare line that’s 100% CLEAN AF: SOBEL SKIN Rx. Developed by NYC-based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel, the 8-product collection is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, fragrance, emulsifiers, and other nasties that can sometimes sneak their way into medical-grade products. AND it’s cruelty-free. So while there are plenty of clean beauty brands at Sephora, and more doctor-driven skincare brands, SOBEL SKIN Rx really is the first to be merging the gap.

“It’s all about the active ingredients,” says Sobel. “You’ll find them at the very top of all of our ingredient lists, so you know that the product you’re getting is the real deal and not just hype.” He’s referring to the superstar ingredients he considers to be best in class, like retinol, niacinamide, vitamin c, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, and plant stems cells – but at some of the highest concentrations to ever be offered in over-the-counter skincare.

“While most over-the-counter retinols max out at 2%, our supercharged 4.5% Retinol Night Treatment is clinically proven to decrease the length and depth of lines and wrinkles, while dramatically improving skin’s texture and reducing the look of pores,” he adds. Yet with higher concentrations obviously comes the irritation concern, so what gives and how is he able to pull this off? The answer is his SB-100 patent-pending delivery system.

“It mimics the epidermal-dermal barrier that becomes weakened with age, free radical damage, and sun damage,” he explains. “By doing this, the barrier is supported to keep out pollutants and increase the penetration of active ingredients in the skin on a time-released basis.” In non-sciency terms, this means your skin reaps the rewards for a longer period of time, without the risk of irritation, drying, or flaking. YES please.

In addition to retinol, another hard-working ingredient Sobel has given a starring role to is niacinamide, which is rich in vitamin B3 to firm and smooth, calm redness, balance oil production, and defend against environmental aggressors. Oh and it stimulates and reinforces collagen production, so it’s basically holy grail status. SOBEL SKIN Rx Niacinamide Gel contains 15% of the potent stuff. Then there’s his winter wonder, Bio Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream, that feels rich, luxe, and crazy comforting when applied on parched, scaly skin. We love to use it at night when our skin needs an extra dose of hydration.

For more skincare concerns and clean solutions, check out these other products from SOBEL SKIN Rx:

Skincare Concerns: Dark Spots & Dull Texture

Product to use: SOBEL SKIN Rx 35% Vitamin C Face Serum, $105

SOBEL SKIN Rx

This pro-level serum contains a whopping three forms of Vitamin C to dial-up brightness, minimize dark spots, and basically resurface your texture until it’s anything but lackluster.

Skincare Concerns: Enlarged Pores & Oiliness

Product to use: SOBEL SKIN Rx 27% Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser, $42

SOBEL SKIN Rx

Wash away dirt, makeup, and excess sebum with this multi-tasking AHA cleanser that exfoliates and purifies at the same time. And if the 27% glycolic acid is a bit intimidating, fear not — it also contains allantoin, aloe, and chamomile extract to calm and soothe. We recommend using it like an exfoliator – so only a few times a week – and not combining it with other strong actives, as it is a potent formula.

Skincare Concerns: Fine Lines & Hyperpigmentation

Product to use: SOBEL SKIN Rx 4.5% Retinol Night Treatment, $105

SOBEL SKIN Rx retinol

The highest level of retinol you can get over the counter, sans the irritation. This serum, which is intended for nighttime use, plumps up fine lines and wrinkles before they can settle into your skin, intending to stay a while. And for a product that’s usually associated with dryness, Dr. Sobel’s actually offers the opposite: an improvement in overall skin hydration and suppleness. Remember retinol is a powerful active ingredient, so it needs to be slowly introduced into your routine. Check out our guide to using retinol here.

Skincare Concerns: Puffiness, Bags & Dark Circles

Product to use: SOBEL SKIN Rx Oligo Peptide Eye Cream, $65

SOBEL SKIN Rx

Keep the most delicate area of your face protected with a triple dose of peptides to combat loss of firmness and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid provides needed moisture to thirsty hollows, while cucumber depuffs those checked bags.

Have you guys used such potent formulas in your skincare routine before? Let us know if you’re going to try this out in the comments below.