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10 Best Retinol Creams for All Skin Types of 2022

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

What is Retinol? / Discover your Retinol! / Our 2022 collection! / Comparison table! / Shop Smart / FAQs / Takeaway


A quick look at the #best_retinol_creams characteristics.


“Retinol is one of the most reliable ingredients for achieving desired Anti-Aging results. This molecule has been leading in the skin care industry for the last decade.”

Many well-known skin care products and various ingredients are being promoted on the market, and retinol is one of the most reliable ingredients for achieving desired Anti-Aging results. This molecule has been leading in the skin care industry for the last decade. Recently, by developing new variations and delivery systems, it has been more effective and has almost no potential unwanted effects such as redness and skin shedding.

Here are the main characteristics of new era Retinols:

  1. Act on deeper skin layers instead of just superficial layers

  2. No disturbing skin inflammation and redness

  3. No skin shedding

  4. Moisturizing included

  5. Healing ingredients included

  6. Not greasy - Good for oily / Acne skin.

  7. Enhanced skin brightening formula




What is retinol?


#Retinol is a kind of retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A. It’s generally available in various products such as gels, creams, and serums. It’s been shown by trusted Sources to improve skin surface and #hyperpigmentation, as well as reduce the appearance of #aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Retinol penetrates the skin's deep layers, promotes cell turnover, and increases elasticity.


Because retinol can irritate some skin types, it’s best to consult an expert about the proper choice for you. You can also speak with them about what strength to begin with and how often you should apply it before purchasing your retinol products. Some Retinol products even developed proper routines and protocols for different skin types or conditions, such as Certinol.


Encapsulated Retinol

Because traditional Retinol starts its effect on the skin from the surface, it causes redness and skin shedding. This unpleasant effect stops many people from using Retinol-based products. But as you know, the skincare industry is investing a lot in developing new molecules and formulations. Therefore we got new solutions with Retinol too. In recent developments, scientists covered Retinol in microcapsules made by some neutral molecules. The microcapsule protects the skin surface from Retinol while taking the Retinol into the deeper skin layers. Many advanced skincare companies have already stopped using traditional Retinols in their product and are using these new-era Retinols. Our top five Retinol products with encapsulated technology. We have added the Amazon link to each item for your comfort.



Best Encapsulated Retinol

Name

Concentration

Volume fl Oz

Customer Review Rating

Price

​Best overall

1.0 %

1.7

4.5

$$

Best mild

0.5 %

1.0

4.6

$$$

​Best budget

?

1.0

4.6

$

Best Daily

?

1.0

4.6

$$$

Best Combo

1.0 %

1.0

4.5

$$$


Discover your Retinol

How we chose the best retinol creams? There are many items to consider when you choose the right Retinol product for your skin. We chose the following products based on the following points:

  1. Concentration of retinol

  2. Delivery system

  3. Cost

  4. Ingredients

We also kept different skin types in mind since certain creams work better for different skin characteristics.





Pricing guide

$ = under $25. $$ = $25–$50. $$$ = over $50



Our picks for the best retinol creams


Best retinol cream overall

As our audiences always look for the best affordable overall products, we picked two creams in two different price ranges for the Best Overall Retinol.


SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3

Price: $$$

Key ingredients: retinol, bisabolol, Boswellia Serrata extract

Skin type: all except sensitive

If you find that less concentrated formulas aren’t helping your skin issues and you don’t have particularly sensitive skin, this slightly more potent formula does it all.


Thanks to a 0.3 percent concentration of retinol, the formula reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration and actively prevents and reduces breakouts.


The calming ingredients of bisabolol (derived from chamomile) and Boswellia serrata extract also provide soothing properties to prevent irritation. This cream is also paraben-free and noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores.


Pros

  • potent formula

  • natural ingredients

  • paraben-free and non-comedogenic

Cons

  • not a good option for sensitive skin

  • expensive



Uplifting Skin Certinol 1.0 %

Price: $$

Key ingredients: Encapsulated retinol, Glycolic Acid, 3D Ceramide, Niacinamide, and Canaga Odorata (YLANG YLANG) Oil.

Skin type: all skin types, including sensitive skins

If you are looking for visible results and find that less concentrated formulas aren’t helping your skin, this balanced, effective formula is your best pick, even if you have sensitive skin.


Thanks to a 1.0% percent concentration of encapsulated retinol, the formula reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, actively preventing and reducing breakouts. Certinol is a slow-released formula enriched with natural oils and soothing ingredients that make it a safe and effective retinol cream for all skin types. Certinol is a concentrated solution of time-released Microencapsulated Retinol that delivers a gradual stream of non-irritating Retinol all night long to visibly help improve signs of aging such as Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Uneven Skin Tone, Texture, and Radiance.


The calming ingredients of Lavender Oil and Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) oil also provide soothing properties to prevent irritation. This cream is also paraben-free and noncomedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores.


Pros

  • Potent formula

  • Natural ingredients

  • Quick Visible results

  • Good for sensitive skin

  • Moderately priced


Cons

  • Not a good option for travel-size cream


Best moisturizer with retinol


Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Night Moisturizer

Price: $$

Key ingredients: retinol, vitamin B3 (niacinamide)

Skin type: all except sensitive

This moisturizer is an excellent option for those with skin that isn’t very sensitive and can stand up to most products.


This cream works to smooth wrinkles and even skin tone, all while leaving your skin feeling soft. The brand says the retinol 24 complex leaves your skin feeling smoother and brighter within 24 hours.


This moisturizer also contains vitamin B3, which helps the skin retain moisture, helps with surface skin cell turnover and regeneration, and exfoliates to remove dull skin.


It’s also fragrance-free and doesn’t contain synthetic dyes.


Pros

  • helps with cell turnover

  • fragrance-free

  • easy to find at drugstores

Cons

  • not great for sensitive skin

  • pricier than other options



Best brightening retinol cream

Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer

Price: $$$

Key ingredients: retinol, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C

Skin type: all

If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of dark spots, this lightweight retinol cream may be the solution. It contains vitamin C, which is known to have brightening properties.


There’s also hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized while fighting the effects of aging.


Pros

  • helps even out dark spots

  • extra moisturizing

Cons

  • expensive



Best retinol cream for acne

Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment

Price: $$$

Key ingredients: retinol, bakuchiol extract, peptides

Skin type: all

This treatment multitasks when it comes to fighting acne and the effects of aging. Medium-strength 0.3 percent retinol and 2 percent bakuchiol extract work in tandem to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and large-looking pores, while peptides promote healthy collagen and improved firmness.


Bakuchiol is also known to be one of the few ingredients that can stabilize retinol so that it can work more effectively at a lower and gentler concentration.


Pros

  • works for all skin types

  • gentle

  • promotes collagen production

Cons

  • Expensive


Best retinol cream for wrinkles

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

Price: $

Key ingredients: retinol, magnesium, zinc, copper

Skin type: all

The primary ingredient in this night cream is retinol, which works to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles visibly. This cream is also non-comedogenic.


The cream is formulated with magnesium, zinc, and copper, which work to stimulate collagen production in your skin. The formula may help boost firmness and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.


Pros

  • inexpensive

  • boosts collagen

Cons

  • doesn’t specify retinol concentration


Best budget retinol cream

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

Price: $

Key ingredients: retinol, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide

Skin type: dry, sensitive

If you may be more prone to retinol’s side effects, this budget-friendly, fragrance-free serum might be the ticket.


This CeraVe product features time-released, encapsulated retinol, which works to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. This is because its moisturizing ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid) are continually released and help reduce irritation while also working to reduce signs of aging.


Pros

  • inexpensive

  • fragrance-free

  • may be suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • doesn’t specify retinol concentration


Best retinol night cream

Skinbetter science Intensive AlphaRet Overnight Cream

Price: $$$

Key ingredients: retinol, alpha hydroxy acids

Skin type: all

Although this cream is a bit of a splurge, the investment is well worth it thanks to the hard work it puts in overnight (all without irritating your skin).


The active ingredients of retinol and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) (including glycolic acid) work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. The formula also provides moisture and a dose of antioxidants.


Pros

  • also contains AHAs

  • fragrance-free

  • cruelty-free

Cons

  • expensive

  • doesn’t specify retinol concentration




Best vegan retinol cream

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Price: $$

Key ingredients: vitamin F, retinol, peptides

Skin type: dry, sensitive

If you prefer skin care products that incorporate all-natural ingredients, this fragrance-free cream from Drunk Elephant contains a vegan form of retinol (meaning it’s plant-derived and doesn’t come from any animal sources). It also features nourishing ingredients like marula oil, zinc oxide, thermal mud, and fruit enzymes.


This product aims to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, and deep wrinkles.


Pros

  • moderately priced

  • good for sensitive skin

  • vegan

Cons

  • small container size for the price


Best hydrating retinol cream

Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate

Price: $$

Key ingredients: retinol, hyaluronic acid

Skin type: combination

This retinol cream is an excellent option if you’re looking for a moisturizer that helps repair aging signs. Hyaluronic acid and the molecule LR2412 (a jasmonic acid derivative that helps promote skin healing and improve texture to fight the signs of aging) help to do that without any added greasiness.


The formula boasts a hydrating combination of retinol and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the body. It plumps skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


Pros

  • non-drying

  • moderately priced

Cons

  • may not be suitable for oily skin




Best retinol cream for neck

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Pressed Night Cream

Price: $$

Key ingredients: retinol, glycerin, hyaluronic acid

Skin type: all

This night cream uses retinol and niacinamide to help visibly reduce wrinkles, brighten skin tone, and deeply moisturize.


It is unique because the retinol, niacinamide, and nourishing oils are freshly pressed into the cream, making it a profoundly hydrating yet lightweight formula. Glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol also soothe the skin and prevent irritation.


The cream can be used not only on your face but also on your neck and chest.


Pros

  • moderately priced

  • nonirritating

  • can be used on the face, neck, and chest

Cons

  • doesn’t specify retinol concentration


Best retinol cream for beginners

Good Molecules Gentle Retinol Cream

Price: $

Key ingredients: retinol, bakuchiol, grapeseed oil, allantoin, and acmella oleracea extract

Skin type: dry, sensitive

At only 0.1 percent retinol, this cream is gentle enough for people with sensitive skin and new to the world of retinol.


Still, even with a low retinol concentration, it reduces the appearance of fine lines while also hydrating skin. Antioxidant-rich bakuchiol helps boost retinol’s effects without irritating, and grapeseed oil, allantoin, and acmella oleracea extract all help to soothe the skin further.


Pros

  • inexpensive

  • good for sensitive skin

  • good for people new to retinol

Cons

  • may not be strong enough for some people



Best retinol cream for dry skin

Dr Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Intense Wrinkle Cream

Price: $$$

Key ingredients: retinol, bakuchiol, rambutan

Skin type: dry

Retinol products can be drying, no matter your skin type. But if you already have dry skin, they can make dryness even worse.


Thankfully, this hydrating cream works to soothe dry, rough skin without irritation. While retinol helps to stimulate collagen production and reverse signs of photo-aging, bakuchiol helps to reduce redness or irritation.


Reviewers describe this product as “rich” and “creamy,” and it’s highly rated by reviewers who describe their skin as dry.


Pros

  • works well for dry skin

  • less irritating than other retinol products

Cons

  • expensive




Best retinol body lotion

Versed Firm Ground Retinol Body Lotion

Price: $

Key ingredients: retinol blend, cocoa butter, vitamin E

Skin type: dry

Many retinol products are meant to be used on the face, but this unique lotion is designed to be used all over the body.


In addition to retinol, you’ll find all the hallmarks of a nourishing body lotion in this product. Think cocoa butter, vitamin E, and squalane.


Plus, the lotion is vegan and comes in a tube made from recycled plastic.


Pros

  • can be used all over the body

  • inexpensive

  • vegan

Cons

  • may not work well for oily skin





Shop Smart! How to shop for good retinol cream?

As a matter of fact, not all retinol creams are created identically.


Besides, it’s often not advised to use retinol with certain other skin care products, such as acne regiments.


Your dermatologist can also confirm whether you’re a good candidate for retinol creams since they may be too rough on sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea. Once you’ve gotten the all-clear, consider the following factors when shopping.




Concentration

Retinol comes in scales from 0.0015 percent to 1 percent or higher. Many retinol products fall in the middle of this range, at around 0.1 to 0.3 percent. The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety suggests that 0.3 percent is the maximum safe concentration for face or hand creams if you use traditional retinol.


Starting with a mild or encapsulated product is helpful if you’re trying a retinol cream for the first time or have dry skin. This is because retinol can irritate. The stronger the product, the more likely it will irritate your skin.


Don’t bypass a patch test when testing it out to confirm that it’s a good one. To do a patch test, you’ll apply a small amount of the cream on the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours. Don't continue using the product if you notice any signs of irritation or an allergic reaction — like swelling or a rash.


In addition to researching the retinol creams, keep your budget in mind. You likely won’t want a product that will break the bank, especially if you’re unsure how your skin will respond.


Your dermatologist can make recommendations for solid OTC options, too.



Ingredients

Again, you can discuss ingredients to look for or avoid with your dermatologist. The way different additives affect skin will vary from person to person.


This can save you a lot of stress before losing cash on a product with unpleasant side effects.




Frequently asked questions about retinol creams.

Retinol can be a pretty ubiquitous ingredient. If you’re unfamiliar with its effects and the differences in concentration levels, you can refer to the following frequently asked questions to learn more.


How do I use retinol?

Starting small is key. Start with just a pea-sized amount of retinol cream two to three times per week. Since retinol can make skin more sensitive to skin, it’s best to apply it at night. If you apply it in the morning, follow up with sunscreen.


How often should I use retinol cream?

If your skin responds well to the product and doesn’t show any irritation, you can up your application to once every other day after 1 to 2 weeks of initial testing.


If your skin is still feeling and looking good after another two weeks, you can increase your usage to once nightly.


Are there any side effects of retinol cream?

When you first begin using a retinol cream, you may experience some signs of #irritation, like dryness, redness, or itchiness, as well as an initial uptick in breakouts due to the increase in cell turnover. Your skin may look and feel worse before it starts to look better, which is often referred to as a “purging effect.”


These effects may be more severe if you’re using a product with a higher concentration of retinol, which is why starting with one that’s on the milder side is vital.


If you have a darker skin tone, you may also experience hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.


To keep these effects at bay, we suggest applying retinol only at night and wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30 during the day.


When can you expect results from retinol cream?

As with most health and beauty regimens, the effects of retinol require patience and time. You might not see results until six weeks to 3 months after regular use.


If you’re not seeing results or continually experiencing side effects, talk with your dermatologist about a more potent retinol cream or a different skin care solution altogether.


Is there anyone who should skip out on retinol?

Because it can easily lead to #irritation, retinol creams typically aren’t recommended for people who have:

  • sensitive skin,

  • dry skin,

  • rosacea,

  • eczema

  • severe acne.

Before adding retinol to your skincare regimen, talk with your doctor if you use other topical acne creams or other acne medications.


Also, retinol creams are not recommended if you’re pregnant or nursing.




Takeaway

Retinol creams are a favorite skin care product that may help with signs of aging and acne if appropriately used.


Because everyone’s skin is unique and will not react the same way, talk with your doctor before starting retinol therapy. A #retinol cream may be a successful skin care solution if you research to ensure you’re using the right product for your skin type.




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