Updated January 31, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best Retinol Creams

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Claiming a whole host of benefits, including stimulation of both collagen and elastin production, protection from sun exposure, and the elimination of wrinkles and dark spots, one of these retinol creams may be a perfect addition to your daily beauty regimen. Most are suitable for all skin types and might give you glowing results within just a few weeks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best retinol cream on Amazon.

10. Roc Correxion

9. Tree Of Life Flawless

8. Amara Organics 2.5%

7. Poppy Austin Green Tea

6. Kleem Organics

5. InstaNatural Anti-Wrinkle

4. Baebody Beauty Anti-Aging

3. LilyAna Naturals USA

2. PureBiology Enhanced

1. Body Merry Surge

What Is Retinol And How Does It Work?

It also decreases the breakdown of collagen to prevent wrinkles from forming.

You've probably already seen Retinol used as a key ingredient in everything from over-the-counter wrinkle reducers to prescription acne creams. Retinol is essentially a fancier name for Vitamin A, and is a gentler form of Retinoid. Don't confuse it with Retin-A or Tazorac though, which are both topical retinoids used primarily to treat acne and are only available in prescription form.

Retinol was born as a way to provide the general public with the same benefits as retinoid, but without the need to see a doctor and obtain a prescription. This less aggressive form of Retinoid changed the game for the skin care industry and quickly became the ultimate anti-aging solution.

If you're looking for a simple way to slow down the aging process and improve your skin's overall health, retinol creams and serums may be the answer. When this highly-reactive molecule comes in contact with your skin, it helps to turn over and shed surface cells quickly. By doing so, it stimulates the production of new skin cells underneath. This increase in cell turnover produces revitalizing effects that help fade discoloration, stimulate collagen, even out skin tone, and hydrate the skin. It also decreases the breakdown of collagen to prevent wrinkles from forming. Your complexion is left smooth and glowing with a more youthful appearance. It is a powerful tool that can be used for both young and old as a preventative or restorative measure.

Which Retinol Product Is Best For My Skin?

Retinol has become the go-to skin care product to tackle just about every complexion issue out there, including acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmented skin. With a myriad of choices available, though, it may be hard to decipher which one is best for your skin type. It all depends on your needs, concerns, and level of tolerance, which can only be discovered through experimentation. From low- to high-strength over-the-counter products, they all provide the amazing benefits of retinoic acid, with considerably less chance of irritation. Everyone reacts differently to retinol, so consider how sensitive your skin is in general to cosmetics before picking out a product.

Those with sensitive skin should start off by trying a brand with lower levels of retinoic acid.

Those with sensitive skin should start off by trying a brand with lower levels of retinoic acid. If you are in this group of individuals, you may be happy to learn that less potency does not mean it won't be effective. It just may take a little more time to see results. There are studies that have shown concentrations as little as 0.01 percent retinol can improve overall skin health and appearance. Moderate strength variations, with retinol levels between 0.04 and 0.1 percent, are the next step up if you're not seeing results as quickly as you'd like. When applied three times a week for a period of six months, most will start to see a noticeable difference in their skin condition. For those with more advanced skin issues, formulas with a higher concentration of retinol, between 0.5 and 1 percent, may be the way to go. It is the last step before opting for a prescription grade retinoid.

There are also different consistencies to consider. Retinol can come in a cream or serum form. Creams function more as surface level treatments that are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Serums penetrate deep within the epidermis, which is better for more targeted skin issues. Choosing the correct type and strength will be the best way to ensure the retinol cream you are buying meets your needs and can effectively be worked into your daily beauty routine.

Stop Believing The Myths

Despite hearing about the many miraculous benefits of retinol, some people are still nervous about trying it out. Here are some common myths about retinol that should be debunked.

It may take two to three weeks for your skin to adjust to retinoic acid use.

Many people think they need to stay out of the sun when using retinol, but this is actually false. While it is true that it works best at night, that doesn't mean you need to stay indoors all of the time. Research has shown that retinol is still effective and works quite well under SPF-rated products. It even helps to prevent the rise of collagenase after being exposed to UV rays. Just be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out to the beach. It is an essential step that shouldn't be skipped.

Another misconception is that you shouldn't use the product around your eyes. The skin around your eyes is delicate, but it is not necessarily more prone to skin redness and flakiness from retinol. It is however, an area that usually shows early signs of aging and sun damage first, so using a retinol product liberally may offer the best results to prevent crow's feet.

Another myth, and one which might have you scratching your head when you find out it is actually a myth, is that you should stop using the product if irritation occurs. With any other product, this may be true, but retinol is in a league of its own. If you experience some minor irritation, it is actually simply part of the process. It may take two to three weeks for your skin to adjust to retinoic acid use. To prevent any severe reactions, though, it is still best to start with a low dosage and work your way up. Always check with your doctor if you have concerns.

If you haven't jumped on the Retinol bandwagon because you've heard it isn't effective after six months, then you have been mistaken. Studies have shown that you'll continue to see the smoothing effects of this miracle worker over a twelve month period. After the year is up, if you do start to notice a decrease in results, it may be time to switch to a more potent product.

Retinol may not be for everyone, but knowing the facts versus the myths can help you decide whether or not this ingredient is advantageous to your daily beauty regimen.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on January 31, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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