19 Retinol-Based Products That Will Get Rid of Those Pesky Marks

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While it’s true there isn’t a magic bullet with regards to perfecting skin, one ingredient comes pretty close: retinol. Whether you’re battling pimples, scarring, or hyperpigmentation, retinol can just about solve all of your skin woes. And in case you’re debating getting Botox for fantastic lines, retinol can be a robust, non-invasive alternative present in many anti-aging products—including retinol eye creams to treat crow’s feet.

“Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that loosens the bonds between the highest layer of cells and unclogs pores to assist with pimples, but additionally tricks the skin into considering it’s wounded to stimulate collagen production,” says Dr. Purvisha Patel, a Tennessee-based dermatologist and the founding father of Visha Skincare. “It’s the alcohol type of the derivative…and is the gold standard for a secure, effective ingredient in skincare that helps reduce fantastic lines and wrinkles.”

And for those with oily skin, retinol helps to shrink oil glands to cut back oil production within the skin.

The great thing about retinol is the various strengths and versions offered, which yield different results for a gamut of skin types. (Along with being present in over-the-counter creams and serums, Dr. Patel notes that retinol is “available in stronger percentages and orally by prescription.”) But it surely’s also a sophisticated ingredient to get into. While you’ll be able to add a vitamin C serum into your routine from sooner or later to the following, retinol might be intense, and never all formulas are created equal. But just skipping over this ingredient entirely? No way. If you happen to’re able to add retinol to your routine, listed here are 19 amazing options for each skin concern and sort. And keep scrolling to seek out answers to all of your retinol queries courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Chwalek, MD of Union Square Laser Dermatology and fellow Recent York-based dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss.

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Best Drugstore Option


Rapid Wrinkle Regenerating Face Cream


Best For Pimples-Prone Skin


Serum 16 Rapid Renewal Serum


Best Gentle Retinol

Peter Thomas Roth

Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum


Best for Real Results

Paula’s Alternative

Boost 1% Retinol Booster


Best for Sun Protection


Retinol 24 + Peptide Moisturizer


Best Spot Treatment

iS Clinical

Pro-Heal Serum Advance+


Best for Positive Lines

Kate Somerville

DermalQuench Liquid Lift Retinol Advanced Resurfacing Treatment


Best for Dry Skin

La Prairie

Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil


Best for Beginners


Retinol 0.5


Best for Enlarged Pores

Joanna Vargas

Supernova Serum


Best for Even Skin

Drunk Elephant

A-Passioni Retinol Cream


Best for Soft Skin


Resurfacing Retinol Serum


Best for Sun Damage

La Roche-Posay

Pure Retinol Face Serum with Vitamin B3


Best for Dark Spots

ZO Skin Health

Retinol Skin Brightener 1%


Best for Brightening


Intense Defense Serum


Best for Sensitive Skin


Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream


Best for Glowing Skin


Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil


Best for All Skin Types

Visha Skincare

Advanced Correcting Serum with Illuminotex


Best Peel Alternative

Dr Dennis Gross

Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Wrinkle Treatment

What’s the difference between over-the-counter and prescription retinol?

“Prescription Retin-A and Tretinoin and over-the-counter retinol increase skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen synthesis,” explains Chwalek. “With consistent use of a topical retinol or Retin-A, you’ll be able to see improvement of fantastic lines, dark spots, texture, and tone.”

While an OTC retinol (0.5 percent to 2 percent concentration) isn’t quite as effective or speedy as prescription strength, it’s less more likely to cause irritation, redness, and peeling, so it’s higher for anyone with sensitive or drier skin. But, proceed with caution.

How do you have to use retinol?

Dr. Idriss recommends adding retinol into your skincare routine slowly and regularly. “I might start with one night every week to see how your skin reacts before adding a second night every week and so forth,” explains Dr. Idriss. “If you happen to end up to be extremely sensitive, then apply your moisturizer before your retinol in an effort to make it a bit less irritating.”

Are retinol alternatives effective?

There are also naturally-derived retinol alternatives like rosehip seed oil, chicory root oligosaccharides, and tara tree gum, but Chwalek cautions that there are not any studies to prove efficacy for them.

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