- 1 CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Face Serum
- 2 Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
- 3 The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
- 4 SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex .25
- 5 Olay Regenerist Retinol 24Night Serum
- 6 Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
- 7 La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum
- 8 Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum
Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start a Retinol Routine
There's no better product to kickstart a new beauty regime with than retinol, the holy grail of skincare. Here are 8 over-the-counter buys we're currently loving.
Retinol is the holy grail of skincare. Dermatologists prescribe the vitamin A derivative because it does triple duty and delivers fast results. When applied topically, retinol stimulates collagen production and cell turnover to reduce the appearance of fine lines, lightens acne scars and sun spots, and unclogs pores to minimize acne. If you can’t get to your derm right now for a full-strength retinol prescription, there are several high-quality over-the-counter retinoid products (with a lower dose of retinol) that work exceedingly well.
Retinol Tips and Tricks
Sadly, retinol does have its drawbacks. “Retinoid uglies” are a real thing. As the skin adjusts, side effects can include dryness, peeling, and skin irritation, and some people may see their acne flare up during the initial purge process. That’s why quarantine is the prefect time to start a retinol routine. You’re seeing fewer people, wearing less makeup, and not in the sun. But before you start applying this miracle product to your face, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind.
- If you have sensitive skin, look for retinol products with .25 percent. One percent is the highest concentrate you can buy without a prescription, and it’s pretty powerful stuff.
- Don’t skip the sunscreen! Even if you’re staying indoors or it’s a cloudy day, protect your face with SPF while using retinol (though, if we’re being honest, you should always protect your skin with SPF).
- Use a pearl-size amount for the entire face. Using more than directed will definitely cause irritation.
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, like Cetaphil. Avoid anything with salicylic acid or scrubbing ingredients.
- After you apply retinol, moisturize with a thick and gentle moisturizer, like CeraVe.
- Start slow. Use a retinol product every third night for the first few weeks, and increase to every other night once redness and irritation subside.
- Stick with it. You’ll get the best results after two or three months of regular retinol use.
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Face Serum
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane
SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex .25
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24Night Serum
Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
La Roche-Posay Pure Retinol Face Serum
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum
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All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.