Smooth wrinkles, fade dark spots, brighten skin tone, clear acne and much more. Today I’m rounding up top 9 retinol creams & serums for every skin type.
What’s the big deal with retinol anyway? Well, dermatologists agree that retinol is one of the most powerful anti-aging ingredients available right now and if you’ve ever used the right kind of retinol for your skin, you know the amazing results it can produce. Personally, I started using retinol because I wanted to even out my skin tone, refine texture (I have some enlarged pores on my nose and cheeks) and get rid of a few dark spots on my cheeks. Having tried pretty much every retinol product out there (not kidding), I can tell you that not all retinol creams & serums are created equal.
Let’s start simple. If you’re an experienced retinol user this part is not for you, however if you’re just starting out or maybe never tried retinol before you should know what to expect. You will most likely experience redness and irritation in the beginning (most first time users do) and it’s normal. Your skin will take time to acclimate and the reaction will subside overtime. Slow and steady is the name of the game. If you’re just starting out, don’t go for something super strong or super potent. Start with a gentle retinol, so you can build up your tolerance, and switch to a stronger product in the future. Lastly, don’t forget to use a moisturizer and don’t forget to wear a sunblock. The last bit is especially important since retinol makes your skin particularly susceptible to sun damage.
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum – personally I absolutely love this product. This one is as gentle as it gets, so if you’re just starting out or if you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend it. Great for acne prone and oily skin, it helps to fade post-acne marks and dark spots. It also contains ceramides to reduce irritation and inflammation. Bonus points – it’s super affordable!
Another great affordable option (it’s only $10) is the Retinol Anti Aging Serum by Inkey List. Super gentle, it contains squalane oil to minimize redness and irritation. Initially I was a bit apprehensive trying this products since my oily skin doesn’t do well with oils, but it actually helped with my breakouts.
I also love the Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment by Proactiv. Though I don’t have acne, I do break out occasionally, and since my skin is super sensitive, I am almost always left with marks. This product helps to fade them really quickly and it helps with the overall texture of my skin. What makes this one really special is the fact that it contains Adapalene, a prescription-strength retinoid now available over the counter. Adapalene is particularly effective for acne, post acne marks, skin discolorations, fine lines and wrinkles.
If you’re looking for brighter complexion as well as something to address fine lines and wrinkles, The +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer from Kate Somerville is definitely for you. Thought this retinol is super potent and helped fade my dark spots at a rate I’ve never seen before, I haven’t experienced redness and irritation I typically see with other retinols of this type!
Another amazing hydrator/retinol is the Perfectionist Pro Rapid Renewal Retinol Treatment by Estée Lauder. This serum contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, E, as well as algae extract to ensure your skin stays hydrated while encapsulated retinol helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. One of my all time favorites, I actually saw results after just 10 days!
Always a fan of Olay products, I love that Regenerist Retinol Hydrating Moisturizer is fragrance-free, contains Niacinamide, an ingredient which is amazing for minimizing irritation, improving the texture of your skin and helping to balance oil production. This is a great night-time retinol, which works really well if you’re looking to correct discoloration and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles all while keeping your skin hydrated.
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squaline is probably one of the most potent retinols I’ve ever tried. Though I have experienced significant irritation with this product, once I switched to using it every other day and swapped out my light-weight moisturizer for a heavier one, the irritation subsided but the results were amazing. I had very stubborn dark spots on my nose which disappeared completely within 2 months of using this product. My advice, if you’re looking for quick, visible results, give it a try. You can always adjust how often you use it. For example, you can use it once or twice a week and still see results.
The Retinol Tonic from Pixi is actually a great product for all skin types. It’s gentle enough so that it doesn’t cause significant irritation, yet potent enough to diminish dark spots and fine lines. Another great thing about this product, it refines the texture of your skin and gives it a beautiful glow.
A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum is a great option for dry skin types. The oil is really soothing, so the irritation is rather minimal, in fact it actually helps with redness as well as wrinkles and fine lines. If you’re looking for a night-time retinol, this one is absolutely amazing because you wake up with a smoother, glowier complexion.
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane | CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum | Pixi Retinol Tonic | The INKEY List Retinol Anti Aging Serum| Proactiv Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment | Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer | Estée Lauder Perfectionist Pro Rapid Renewal Retinol Treatment | Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 MAX Fragrance-Free Night Hydrating Moisturizer | Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum