8 Best Retinol Serums and Creams Reviews & Comparison 2023

Best Retinol Serums: A retinol facial treatment is the best defence against the natural ageing of the face. It brightens the skin, gives it luminosity, reduces the opening of pores, and helps to rejuvenate your expression.

Cosmetic laboratories have succeeded in extracting from certain plants, seeds, and foods an active formula of vitamin A with extraordinary potential for treating the skin: retinoids.

But before starting a facial treatment with retinoids, you should pay attention to a few crucial details.

  • Best for the face: Retinol Moisturizer Cream
  •  Best wrinkles cream: Retinol Anti-Aging Cream
  •  Best Moisturizer cream: Naturals Retinol Moisturizer
  •  Best antioxidant cream: Moisturizer Face Cream for Women & Men
  •  Best Natural Serum: Organic Retinol Serum
  •  Best Face Moisturizer: Anti-Aging Night Cream
  •  Best Night Face Cream: Retinol Face Moisturizer 

Before buying the best retinol cream

There are products based on Retinol (vitamin A) and retinoic acid (the result of vitamin A after oxidation). Although they are not 100% different substances, retinoic acid is more concentrated: it is more effective but has more side effects on atopic skin.

Scented or not? It’s not just a matter of taste. Generally, products with a neutral scent are less aggressive and much more recommended for sensitive skin.

Retinol is a photosensitive active ingredient. Sun exposure can cause erythema and hyperpigmentation. They are usually only used at night.

VERY IMPORTANT: Cosmetics containing retinoids or any other formulation of vitamin A (such as tretinoin or adapalene) are unsuitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

To apply creams or Best Retinol Serums, I advise you to use an electric facial cleansing brush. The delicate skin cream is better absorbed, and you eliminate impurities and cleanse the skin. After using cream or any beauty product store them in beauty fridge.

Best Retinol Moisturizer Cream for Face

Obagi Medical Power Retinol: A lightweight, refreshing lotion with pure Retinol

I particularly liked two things about Obagi Medical Power Retinol. The first is that it comes in two different textures, so you can choose the one that best suits your skin, an emulsion with the lightest texture in this comparison for a combination of oily skin or the skin delicate cream indicated if your skin is normal or dry. The second uses pure Retinol accompanied by bakuchiol, a molecule that prolongs the effects of Retinol, making it a more intensive treatment.

As soon as you apply it, you feel a pleasant freshness and more excellent skin elasticity. It also contains soy extract to minimize the possible adverse effects of Retinol on sensitive skin.

It also helps reduce wrinkles, blemishes, and fine lines. That’s why it’s called the best anti-wrinkle serum, although these effects are long-term. You will need to be patient and have faith in the potential of this comprehensive combination of ingredients.

The Power Retinol range also includes the Best Retinol Serums with an intensive repair effect. But if you prefer rapid absorption and an ultra-light texture, this lotion is the best treatment alternative.

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream for Face – Made in USA, Retinol Cream, Anti Aging Cream

LilyAna Natural Retinol Cream: Unisex Repair Treatment for Dry Skin

Another natural and vegan option whose list of ingredients seems straight out of the woods: jojoba and sunflower oil, aloe vera juice, Gotu kola extract, geranium, willow bark 

Together, this blend is a complete treatment that targets wrinkles, dark spots, open pores, and acne. A good choice if you are looking for a complete all-in-one.

LilyAna’s Retinol face Cream is a good alternative if you want a lightweight, fast-absorbing skin delicate cream. Its formulation is suitable for both boys and girls, but in terms of skin, it is mainly aimed at drier skin types.

LilyAna Natural’s retinol face products include the Best Retinol Serums, eye creams, and cleansers.

Maritime Naturals Retinol Moisturizer, Professional Grade Face Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E

Maritime Natural Moisturizing Cream: Moisturizing cream in XL format for the face and neck.

The Maritime Natural proposal is the largest in this comparison regarding quantity. With a presentation format of 120 ml, it is clear that this is product-oriented toward broader use.

This moisturizing cream with 2% retinol is suitable for the face and neck. It is precisely for this reason that I regret a texture that is a little lighter and easier to apply. It’s a little pasty.

However, it does not dry out the skin much as other retinol products. Jojoba oil, aloe vera, and shea butter help balance skin moisture.

It is a vegan and 100% organic product. I recommend it to anyone looking for a long-term hydration routine with the anti-ageing effects of Retinol and hyaluronic acid. However, I do not consider it a substitute for more localized treatments. I would look for other alternatives for fine lines, crow’s feet, or dark spots.

Youth Best Retinol Serums Reviews: Retinol treatment in serum format is ideal for open pores and acne

Youth Best retinol Serum is a good alternative for treating young skin: it reduces acne and tightens pores. It acts as an anti-ageing, depigmenting, and firming treatment on adult faces. I recommend it at any age for faces with dark spots.

It is also versatile in terms of skin type: it works just as well on faces that tend to dry out as on oilycombination, or normal skin.

Among its active ingredients, I remember two in particular: aloe vera, with its soothing effect and vitamin E, which acts as a barrier against UV rays and ageing. However, since it contains a 2.5% concentration of Retinol, I stand by the general recommendation to use it only at night.

This serum is applied all over the face and neck. For the treatment of eye contour, the Yeouth brand offers a specific product and an anti-ageing moisturizing cream to be applied just after the serum.

MAJESTIC PURE Whipped Argan Oil Moisturizer Face Cream for Women & Men – With Vitamin E A

MAJESMAJESTIC PURE Whipped Argan Oil Moisturizer Face Cream: Natural antioxidant cream for long-lasting hydration with a lavender scent

A proposal of organic cosmetics very close to the Natin Saturn serum but focused on hydration. Mother Nature’s Bio-Retinol also uses natural ingredients (jojoba, argan oil, vitamin E, limonene), and you will prefer it if you prefer light creams.

It is especially beneficial when the skin dries out the most during the fall and winter months. It is very effective with a minimal amount, and 50 ml is very practical.

Users claim that it is enjoyable on sensitive and reactive skin.

I found the lavender scent relatively subdued, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However, I think this is offset by other qualities of the product like the 2.5% concentration of Retinol and the silky texture.

You can combine this cream with Mother Nature’s Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser and Serum and alternate it with the brand’s Vitamin C Serum. You will benefit from complete care of the skin of the face.

Organic Best Retinol Serums

Natural Satin Serum: The best anti-ageing cream with Retinol, 100% organic vitamin C bio serum

The content of the Natural Satin is a real herbalist’s box. Its ingredients include aloe vera, jasmine flower juice, argan seed oil or silver birch leaf extract, and seaweed.

What is all this for? In combination with vitamins C, E, and B3 (niacinamide), hyaluronic acid, and retinol (vitamin A), it constitutes a complete anti-ageing treatment to be applied at night. It acts against spots and wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen.

The bottle has a handy applicator, which is ideal for its slightly runny texture. You’ll appreciate it if you like your face cosmetics to be slightly oily and lightly scented. This one has lovely citrus notes.

Are you a fan of vegan cosmetics? In this same Satin Naturel line, you will find other natural products to complete your facial care: hyaluronic acid concentrate, the best retinol night cream, and even a serum to promote eyelash growth.

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Cream, Daily Face Moisturizer with Shea Butter

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle: The Best Retinol Eye Contour

If you have normal skin and are looking for a dense night cream for the face, try Ses derma’s Reti Age. As an anti-ageing cream, it is an inexpensive product in a 15 ml format, which is very effective.

I think it is more effective for 45-50 years old. This refreshing gel acts against wrinkles, dark circles, crow’s feet, and everything that is the opposite of a young face.

What is its particularity compared to other triple-action eye contours? It is based on liposomal Retinol, which is more effective for cell regeneration than free Retinol and has a pleasant fresh scent. However, it is not suitable for susceptible skin.

I found its texture too strong for an eye contour. Due to its high concentration, it is best not to use it in the summer, even if you use sunscreen.

Olay Regenerist Retinol Moisturizer, Retinol Night Face Cream, 1.7oz + Whip Face Moisturizer 

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24: Best Retinol Night Cream

It is a retinol face cream for dark spots and wrinkles around the eyes that is only applied at night and works while you sleep!

During these hours, the skin absorbs its patented formula of niacinamide and retinoid complex formula to keep it active for 24 hours. It’s worth a try if you’re the type who wakes up with puffy eyes.

You will also particularly appreciate it if you are reluctant to use dense, aromatic, or tinted creams. It is a neutral alternative regarding textures, scents, and shades. One of those products for girls who favor naturalness.

Any practical advice? Extend the treatment to other face areas by combining it with the best Retinol serums and night cream from the Retinol 24 range.

The different types of retinol creams

Retinol creams are divided into categories, like any other cosmetic product, with the main distinction being the amount of Retinol in each. Creams intended for severe skin problems, for example, have higher concentrations.

However, the components vary from product to product. Since Retinol is used in many different products, so you must pick the one specifically targeted at your problem area.

pimple cream

They are usually used once or twice a day to eliminate pimples and make them disappear.

They are usually used after using an acne-fighting facial cleanser. As these creams often contain a higher concentration of Retinol, it is essential not to use them during the day or to use them with solid sunscreen to avoid burning.

Eye creams

They are designed to protect the sensitive area around the eyes. Their retinol content is lower, but they are still very effective. They are also designed to fight against wrinkles and ugly crowfeet that accompany ageing.

Face creams

Although this can use these creams all over the face, experts advise avoiding the sensitive eye area.

They’re designed to promote collagen production, which can help fill in fine lines and wrinkles, shrink pores, and make your skin look younger and more radiant.

Psoriasis treatments

If you have psoriasis, a retinol lotion can help you manage your condition. This lotion can successfully cure this skin problem by profoundly moisturizing and removing dead layers.

How to choose your retinol cream?

You don’t have to be an expert in the natural sciences to choose the best retinol serums.

Understanding how Retinol works and what this natural compound can do for your skin is uncomplicated.

Here are some basics to help you understand the type of product you’re buying so you can choose the best retinol serums on the market.

What is Retinol?

Topical retinoids are a group of natural compounds widely used in cosmetics and dermatological treatments. Although there are many retinoids (serotonin, bexarotene, adapalene), they all have an everyday basis: they are analogues of vitamin A.

It proves that vitamin A is a very suitable ingredient in the treatment of the following cases:

  • Wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of ageing.
  •  Loss of skin tone and luminosity.
  •  Lack of hydration/nutrition.
  •  The appearance of spots and localized hyperpigmentation.
  •  Reduction of acne and prevention of new spots.

What are the most effective retinoids?

Pure Retinol is the most effective form of retinoids, but watch out for purity! In Europe, cosmetic treatments only allow a retinol concentration of 0.3%.

When a higher percentage is indicated, it is associated with other milder derivatives, such as retinyl palmitate. In summary, you will always have a safe product, but perhaps you will need more suitable for your skin type.

In this regard, you should always check which skin it is intended for, which areas of the face should be applied, how often, and in what quantity. If your skin is susceptible, test it on day one by applying it to the inside of your wrist to ensure it doesn’t cause any irritation or allergic reaction.

Retinol’s restorative and therapeutic possibilities are added when combined with other ingredients. It is typical for this type of cosmetic also to contain hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, or aloe vera.

Peculiarities of retinol treatments

There are three key aspects to consider in a retinol facial treatment: cleansing, sun exposure, and pregnancy. Three conditions arise from these particularities:

You can apply these creams in facial routines after using micellar water or other pore-cleansing products. The face must be well-cleaned to facilitate absorption and allow the active ingredients to act.

You can usually apply these cosmetics to your face at night. If used during the day, sunscreen with an index of 30 or more must be used (some products already include it in their composition). Otherwise, they can cause the opposite effect: spots and redness on the skin.

Use during pregnancy and lactation is a condition. Even with alternatives such as vegan Retinol or low-concentration Retinol, it is preferable to resort to other treatments during this phase.

When to use a cosmetic product for the face with Retinol?

It is not wise to resort to this type of cosmetics before age 35 unless you have significantly damaged skin. That’s not to say there aren’t retinol products for younger skin, but in this case, the focus is on acne, hydration, or blemishes, no blemishes. Wrinkles and fine lines.

Are these cosmetics intended for daily use?

It depends on the concentration of Retinol and other active ingredients, but usually not. It is usual to use them 2 to 3 times a week. Although it may seem contradictory, some treatments dry out the skin too much. A weekly moisturizing mask can counter this effect.

Last but not least, no retinol treatment works miracles, let alone in just a few hours! Many of these products can claim to have an immediate cooling, smoothing, or brightening effect. But if your goal is to conceal wrinkles and even skin tone, you need to be patient and consistent.

When to apply Retinol, before or after moisturizer?

You can apply Retinol before or after moisturizer. However, I recommend following these steps: Cleanse your face with your cleansing gel or cream without rubbing or exfoliating the skin, then gently dry it and apply the Retinol avoiding contact with the eyes or mucous membranes. Finally, apply your cream (free of other acids or compounds unfavorable to Retinol) to keep your skin hydrated and avoid irritation. Also, being photosensitive, I advise you to use Retinol at night or apply sunscreen afterward.

Which should I apply first, Retinol or hyaluronic acid?

After cleansing your face and drying your skin, it is advisable first to use Retinol and leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then apply hyaluronic acid to reduce the adverse effects of Retinol (irritation, redness, etc.).

You can use the two compounds separately, or some creams contain both ingredients.

Are there retinol creams for the body?

There is a wide variety of body creams since this compound’s rejuvenating and firming effects are visible in all areas of our body, not just in the facial area. There are many options for retinol face creams applicable to the whole body or to specific areas such as hands, arms, and feet.

When do you start noticing the effects of Retinol?

The effects of Retinol are noticed gradually or over time because it takes at least two skin renewals, a cycle lasting between 20 and 28 days.

What not to combine with Retinol?

Vitamin C, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acid are ingredients that you should not mix with Retinol. It is common in our facial care routine to use vitamin C and Retinol. Therefore, it would help if you alternated them or applied Retinol at night and vitamin C during the day.

At what age should a retinol cream be used? Most dermatologists recommend starting to use this product in your mid-twenties. From this age, cell renewal begins to slow down, and fine lines appear. Its use is especially recommended for people suffering from a rash.

How long does retinol cream take to work? To see noticeable changes, it takes an average of 3 months. This is the time it takes for Retinol to act and gradually make the signs of ageing disappear. On the other hand, it refreshes the skin immediately after application.

Can Retinol be applied to the neck? The creams used for the neck are generally more concentrated in active agents than those applied to the face. However, some highly concentrated retinol creams effectively combat neck and chest wrinkles.

Should we moisturize the skin after the retinol cream? According to experts, it is better to moisturize the skin after application to offer maximum protection and reduce the risk of irritation. Some people use a moisturizer to dilute the Retinol.

What should be applied after Retinol? Apply a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid or ceramides after using Retinol to minimize irritation.

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