Retinol Cream

Are you looking for the best retinol cream? We’ve been working with retinoids for decades, so we know a thing or two about retinol creams. And we’re happy to share our professional recommendation with you. Whether you’re looking for a retinol day cream, retinol night cream or retinol eye products, we’ve tested almost every retinol product on shelves in drugstores, department stores and we’ve even tested almost every physician only brand. The good news is that over the counter retinol creams can be as powerful as prescription products, but most of them don’t even come close. When we talk about prescription retinol products, we are referring to Retin-A (tretinoin).

As there are many retinol variations, it is important to make sure that your expectations are aligned with what the product is designed to do. The best retinol cream for you you will depend on your skin concerns. When your searching for the right retinol cream, its important to identify what you expect to achieve . Are you concerned about lines and wrinkles? Have you spent too much time in the sun and suffering from pigmentation? Or, are you concerned about acne?

Retinol creams can be very effective at treating the visible signs of premature aging, such as fine lines, age spots and other types of pigmentation. However, it is usually a combination of ingredients that makes the product effective. Unfortunately, prescription retinol products merely contain retinol. This is why dermatologists usually recommend using a number of products. For example, if you you are concerned with uneven skin tone, your dermatologist would usually prescribe both Hydroquinone and Retin A. Keep in mind that using sunscreen daily is a must when using retinol based products. Many eye creams contain retinol, however, we recommend avoiding eye creams with retinol as it is known to thin the skin.

Best Retinol Cream
Our favorite retinol product is designed by Advanced Dermatology. This skin care range contains the most pure form of retinol available today. This is a new form of retinol that does not contain byproducts that are known to cause that cause skin inflammation, redness and sensitivity. In fact, it can deliver up to 10 more pure retinol than traditional retinol products. According to the manufacturers, there are a dozen other breakthrough ingredients in this product that will target target wrinkles, uneven skin tone, pore size and other textural problems.  Read More.

What is the best retinol cream? Garnier states its product “restore firmness and boost nightly wrinkle repair.” Strivectin says “improves the look of deep-set wrinkles, firmness, skin tone, texture and radiance.” SkinCeuticals claims to “stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from both photo- and intrinsic aging”. Roc claims to “reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles”. And Neutrogena claims to “work continuously to renew the look of your skin; provide superior, long-lasting hydration; and keep skin moisturize”.


Best Retinol Cream
Our favorite retinol range is  Advanced Dermatology.

Other Retinol Creams
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Nigh Cream
Kate Somerville – RetAsphere-2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream
Skinceauticals 0.5
Skinceauticals 1.0
Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask
La Prairie Cellular Anti Wrinkle Firming Serum
Vichy Laboratoires LiftActiv Retinol HA Plumping Care
Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Night Total Wrinkle Plumping Care
OC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream
Retinol Fusion AM Moisturizer SPF 30
Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinol Eye Repair
Philosophy Help Me
DDF Retinol Energizing Moisturizer
StriVectin-AR™ Advanced Retinol Night Treatment
Amore Pacific Line Modifier Eye & Lip
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Age Erase Moisture With Mega 10 for Eyes
Jan Marini Skin Research Age Intervention Retinol Plus
SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES
StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Day Treatment SPF
StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Eye Treatment
REN Bio-Retinoid Anti-Ageing Concentrat
Ddf Retinol Energizing Moisturizer

Retinol Creams are a safer alternative to cosmetics surgery, and can restore a youthful glow. But not always. If you pick the wrong retinol cream, it will cause inflammation. This is usually caused by the byproducts associated with most forms of retinol. A breakthrough form of retinol was recently developed without these irritating byproducts, and delivers the most pure form of retinol available. It is up to ten times more effective than older types of retinol. Read More.



Top Products 2014



  1. Amata

    I have many stretch marks on my underarms and my dermatologist has recommended me a retinol cream for stretch marks. I have read about the various uses of a retinol cream. I bought a retinol cream with Moroccan argan oil. This Retinol Cream with Moroccan Argan Oil is a lavish indulgence for the face. It has provided my skin with the moisture it needs, so that I can enjoy a silky smooth, fresh-faced complexion.
    It is sumptuously thick, and this hydrating cream is best when applied to a freshly washed face right before bedtime.
    I have been using this product for a long time now and I’m starting to get worried now. I hope there are no side effects of using a retinol cream for long. Research has indicated that prolonged use of retinoid can cause irritation and redness. Skin can become really dry and flaky and can even feel prickly at times. Some people experience itchiness and other allergic reactions. I just don’t know what to do.

  2. Chantel

    I have been recommended a retinol cream by my dermatologist for the loose skin on my neck. I have purchased a skin cream with retinol and it’s nice but I want the strongest retinol cream. I want to get rid of these wrinkles as soon as possible. I have some dark circles around my eyes. They make my face look really ugly. Which is the best eye cream with retinol? I really want a good cream so that I can remove my dark circles and apply some good eye makeup while going out.

  3. Liliana

    I need immediate help. I’m getting married in a couple of months and I have these huge dark circles around my eyes. I can’t apply makeup on my eyes like this. I need to do something very fast. My dermatologist has recommended me a retinol cream. Someone please tell me which is the best retinol cream available in the market? Also, I’m a bit confused and need clarification on one subject. What is the difference between a retinol night cream and a retinol face cream? There are so many options and I just don’t know which cream to buy. I just want my eyes to look beautiful on my wedding.
    I mean I have everything else sorted out. The costume, the makeup artist, the hairstylist etc. are all fixed and I don’t anything to go wrong. I want to look absolutely perfect. This is the most important day of my life.

  4. Nichole

    I have lots of under eye wrinkles and sagging skin. I have been prescribed a retinol cream for sagging skin by my skin care expert. He also noticed that the skin on my neck was also a bit loose, so he gave me a retinol cream for the neck as well. I have been using the retinol cream for some time now; however I don’t see very significant changes. There is only a slight improvement. I was wondering if an over the counter retinol cream would be more effective. What should I do?


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  6. Kylie

    Vitamin K & Retinol Cream is very effective for eyes. I have been using a Roc Retinol correxion deep wrinkle night Cream since the past six months. I had read about Retinol creams in a women’s magazine some time back. Retinol is an animal form of Vitamin A. One of the best over the counter retinol cream is the Roc Retinol cream. It helps to soften crow’s feet. It is also effective on smile lines. It claims to give 10 years back to the look of your skin. Isn’t that amazing?

  7. mimzlipz

    I’m just turning 39 & noticing that those little lines are just starting to creep up out of nowhere. So I did some research on what kind of eye creams I should use & bought a product with Retinol. Long story short, it made the lines worse & much more noticeable!!! I do not recommend Retinol.

    So I stopped that immediately! Now I use the Made from Earth Chamomile Eye Therapy and I swear that it’s life changing! I also switched to a less harsh facial wash from Made from Earth & I’m seeing a huge difference & getting so many compliments on my face.

  8. Juliet

    good day i want to know which of the Retinol i can use for my skin. i am a very fair lady that desire a spotless and ageless skin and that will maintain my color. please advice which to use that will not make me turn dark now change my color.
    thank you

  9. Pearl

    I had lots of wrinkles on my skin and terrible dark circles under my eyes. My skin care expert advised me to use a retinol cream. I purchased a roc retinol correxion deep wrinkle night cream and a Vitamin K and retinol cream for eyes from the local drugstore. I was amazed at the way the roc retinol cream worked on the skin, so gentle and helped to get rid of the wrinkles on my skin. I have not stopped using the retinol cream since then. It also helped to remove sun damage.

  10. Susanne

    I have suffered from skin pigmentation for a long time. People used to avoid talking to me. Skin pigmentation is a big turn off. It can make any person look unpleasant in appearance. If pigmentation is bothering you and you’re thinking of visiting a dermatologist, then a retinol cream may be the solution for you. Roc Retinol Cream is really gentle on the skin and helps to reduce discoloration of skin. You can also try the Roc Retinol deep wrinkle night cream. Surprisingly, it is not very expensive but it is extremely effective.
    My next enemy was dark circles. My eyes seemed as if I had not slept for days. My aunt recommended vitamin K and retinol cream for eyes. At first, it did not make much of a difference, but after a few days, my dark circles started getting lighter!

  11. Bev

    retinal cream does the job. i really like the way this makes my skin feel. i have spent an awful lot of skin care products. all a waste. retinol is an exception. i no longer need to spend money on expensive department store products.

  12. Maggi

    I am 46, and I have been using retinol for 7 years. I use a prescription product. At first, it was causing irritation but my skin was okay after a few weeks. No I use this product everyday. Retinol is very good for uneven skin tone.

  13. nina

    Hi i just turned 31 yrs old I noticed there’s some fine lines appearing
    I guess due to sun exposure I was wondering which retinol cream can i use
    can anyone advice me?

  14. nina

    Hi im just turned 31 years old and do notice some fine lines appearing
    due to sun exposure i guess.
    I want wondering if i can use a retinol cream?
    dont know which one to choose.

  15. Janet

    Hello. I have a few questions that were not answered. What is the best retinol cream for the face? How about a retinol cream for the eyes? Do you need a prescription or can you buy retinol based products over the counter?

  16. Anonymous

    Prescription retinol products are more irritating. Agree with Lulu. I find the over the counter retinol creams gentler, safer and more reliable. Strivectin Retinol Cream is a very good product that just came out this year.

  17. Lulu

    Unlike the reviews above I have tried various over the counter retinol creams and found them to be superior to prescription products. Prescription products usually just contain retinol but otc products contain many other wonderful anti aging ingredients. I use a face cream with retinol once per day at night and the product contain other ingredients to fade out uneven skin tone and tighten the skin. I have tried retina a but it just caused my face to become red and blotchy.

  18. Gabby

    I also believe that the best retinol a cream is the prescription product. The over the counter products are overpriced and lighter. I use a vitamin k and retinol eye cream and retin a prescription grade for my acne scars.

  19. Brenda

    Hmm…because there is not much money to be made writing scripts for real tretinoin acid (Retin-A), the inconvenient truth is that it’s a conflict of interest for dermatologists to sell these useless products in their office to generate revenue. A good doctor with a good business does not need alternate revenue streams, period! Stick with true Retin-A, available only by prescription. Yes, you will go through an “ugly” phase when first using it. This is due to the cellular turnover from regular use and is a good thing. Retin-A has decades of bona fide, peer-reviewed medical research behind it. Note that the prescription product is monitored by the FDA for quality control and to ensure that the ingredients are present in the amounts claimed. None of the products on this page have any independent oversight whatsover. Labels are written by for-hire, creative, articulate writers of fiction. The prescription Retin-A is relatively inexpensive. The markup on all these “Retinol” products would make your head spin – save your money!

  20. Neri

    didnt know you could buy retinol a cream without a prescription.
    i have been going to my doctor and getting a retinol face cream but it costs more than $90.
    what is a good face cream with retinol that you can get over the counter?
    i would even consider buying it online.

  21. Penelope

    Retinol creams works exceptionally well but the pigmentation comes back when you stop using it. If you find that your skin getting irritated you should start with a weaker concentration like 0.5.

  22. Breanna

    Retinol works great for the skin but I also think the results are superficial and the retinol is just causing some form of inflammation that makes the skin look fatter and the concept that fat people have less wrinkles comes into play.

  23. Faith

    I would have to agree that RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is the best retinol cream. I also like Derma E Retinol Vitamin A and Green Tea Wrinkle Treatment Creme. Pond’s Cool Classic Cold Cream is not very good but it is half the price. You can buy it for $5 from Santa Clarita Walmart.

  24. Alana

    I’ve been using Algenist Retinol Firming and Lifting Cream. Great product but gentler than the other retinol products I have tried. I think the most potent retinol I ever used was Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 but it causes way too much peeling. If you don’t mind looking like a turkey, it will reduce the look of wrinkles quite substantially.

  25. Leah

    Retinol is one of the few ingredients that I’ve actually ordered a third time. I usually change products all the time but retinol cream’s revitalize my skin and help with wrinkles and lines. I think the best cream with retinol when you are on a budget is roc or neutrogena retinol creams. Retinol is one ingredient you need to keep in your cabinet and use it every day, except for when your going to the beach or on a picnic and even use more a few days before weddings.

  26. Wendy

    I love the DDF Amplifying Elixir. It cost $70 and you can buy it from most upmarket department stores. This product contains Niacinamide which is proven to even out skin tone and fade spots. The only problem I have with DDF is they keep discontinuing and replacing products so if you are using a cleanser, serum or cream you love it might disappear and be replaced by something that just doesn’t work for you.

  27. Wendy

    You need a script for the best retinol cream and nothing over the counter works as well. It is called retina a and you need to go to the dermatologist to get it because it is prescription grade. I was first given this when I had bad acne on my face but I noticed it got rid of all the sun damage. If you use it regularly at night it will help with fine lines and wrinkles. This is really stronger than any of the top retinol products in your list.

  28. Denise

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Afirm. It comes in 3 strengths 1x,2x and 3x. You get a nice gentle peel. If not experienced should start with low strength and work your way up. I also use Roc cleansing disk and Roc moisturizer w/SPF. Just thought it odd no one mentioned it since its a fairly popular brand in retinol community.

      • Anonymous

        I also loved Afirm 3x. I’m so disappointed I can’t find it anymore. I’m using Avene Retrinal 1%. It’s ok, but not as effective as the 3x.

  29. Brenda

    I too went back and forth about whether I should use an over the counter retinol cream or prescription product like retina a.

    Has anybody come across an over the counter product that has as much power as a prescription retinol product? Is retinol the best ingredient for wrinkles?

  30. Janice

    I had low expectations about Roc Retinol Correxion cream due to the low cost of this item but it seems to work and now I use the day and night cream everyday but I need to use my own spf sunscreen as I have very sensitive skin. Some products that work exactly the same way to roc cost double.

  31. Jenny

    I prefer creams with peptides rather than retinol creams as they always cause me to peel and swell. Unfortunately any benefit form retinol is short acting and my theory is that the retinol causes irritation and the face to sell up so you are just swelling the face so the wrinkles look less visible and you are really not doing anything long term so retinol creams are not true anti aging creams.

  32. Belinda

    I have been saving up to buy La Prairie’s Cellular Power Charge Nigh as I have heard this is the best face retinol cream. I hope it works because it will cost me half my weeks pay.

    • Debbie

      I have started using La Prairies Cellular Power as well. Did it last night, hope it works as I only got a sample size to start with. Don’t know how much retinol it has in it, but, hope that it works. :)

  33. Carell

    I wasnt aware that Clinique creates Retinol products but in all of my experience if you are concerned with wrinkles or jus textural issues generally you should see a dermatologist or skin care specialist and they will give you retin a or tretinoin which is more powerful than retinol creams and serums and usually cheaper as well.

  34. Bridget

    I use a Garnier retinol cream from the supermarket and it works just as good as the expensive products. I have heard similar reviews about Roc Correxion, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair, Olay Regenerist and Boots. Over the counter retinol products are just as good as prescription retinol products.

  35. Erin

    The best retinol cream is Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream.
    Another top retinol cream is Garnier Ultra-Lift With Pro-Retinol but my first choice is Retinol.

  36. Ingrid

    I have heard good things about the new retinol cream from Strivectin.
    I have also heard about a new form of retinol from Advanced Dermatology but I am not sure where to buy their products and I cannot find them on google.

  37. Cherry

    I just finished using the garnier night cream and even though I was told it is best to use it at night I used the garnier retinol cream twice per day and my skin had no reaction whatsoever. Most people would see this as a good thing but I have been using retinol creams for years and I know a good reaction to a good retinol cream is for the skin to peel the next morning. I was using the SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream and I had amazing looking skin after a few days. I did not get the same reaction from Garnier unfortunately. Is SkinCeuticals the best retinol cream or is there something better out there that I have not tried yet?

  38. Glennice

    The best face retinol cream over the counter without a prescription is roc retinol. They also have a night retinol cream. Their retinol cream is gentler on the skin compared to the other retinol products listed here and if you are using the products on your face it is safer to use roc products. If you are looking for retinol cream for the face than you should try roc.

  39. Prudince

    Neutrogena, Loreal, Garnier, Clinique all make retinol products.
    I use a Neutrogena retinol cream and it is very good.
    I’m not sure about Roc and Olay but I have heard good things about skinceuticals retinol cream 0.5 and 1. Has anybody used Skinceuticals?

  40. Suzy

    The best retinol cream is the roc retinol cream. I tried many different skin care brands and this one works differently to all the others. It is gentle but somehow still seems to work. I have tried Neutrogena but roc is better.

  41. Young

    I wouldn’t recommend a retinol cream for the eyes because even if the smallest amount enters the eye it will irritated the skin and cause a sting. I have seen a few companies, like Neutrogena, Loreal, Garnier, Clinique avoid retinol in their eye formulations all together. Retinol is for wrinkles on the face – not around the eyes. You can buy over the counter pure retinol creams from the drug store or some clinical brands, like Skinceauticals and SkinMedica also stock retinol products. I have been using retinol creams for ages so I have quite a bit of knowledge on the retinol topic if you want to ask me anything.

    • koriahoney

      I am 32 yrs of age & want to start using retinol cream. I have started developing pigmentation on my cheeks, fine lines at the corner of the eyes, laugh lines etc. but my skin is thin in texture. Also I have hypothyroidism for the last 2 yrs. I just read in this blog that retinol makes the skin thinner; is it true? Kindly advice how to begin.

    • Lori

      Hi – I’m just starting out on the Retinol road and would appreciate your advice as you seem to have so much knowledge and experience. I have slightly sensitive skin and am looking for a night cream or serum which will deal with the early stages of wrinkles. Which would you recommend?

      Many thanks, Lori

  42. Sandra

    What is a good vitamin a retinol cream for wrinkles? I am looking for a product with pure retinol to get rid of wrinkles. I have heard retinol creams work. Since I need a face cream I want to read some reviews before buying something. I have heard some horror stores about retinal but I am not sure if they relate to prescription products of creams you can buy from the chemist.

  43. Maddy

    Roc and Olay retinol creams are very similar. Skinceauticals is slightly better but twice the price. You can get a prescription moisturizsr that is much cheaper and works more effectively. You just need to see a dermatologist.

  44. Mark

    I noticed you didn’t mention the Strivectin retinol night cream reviews

    Strivectin is a very good product that helps your face peel nicely.

    I would rate this as the best Strivectin retinol cream.

  45. Bethany

    the best retinol cream for wrinkles is neautrogena retinol cream
    its even better then the expensive ones and seems to work better then anything else when you have acne. You don’t need a prescription and you can buy it from Walmart. Retinol is one of those products if you use it for a few days your skin looks good but if you stop using it your skin will be back to normal. Retinol creams and products can thin skin out so try to take a break every few days. Hope this review is helpful.

  46. Geena

    Here is a list of retinol creams you dont have to pay an arm and leg for -

    RoC Retinol Corrextion Night Cream,
    Philosophy Miracle Worker Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Repair
    Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5
    Vichy Laboratoires LiftActiv Retinol Cream
    Kate Somerville ‘RetAsphere’ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream
    Garnier UltraLift Pro-Retinol Night Cream
    Neutrogena Dermatologics Retinol Cream
    Neutrogena Cream Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
    Dr. Gross Ferulic Acid & Retinol Face & Eye Serum with Peel Pads
    SHISEIDO Benefiance Pure Retinol
    Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Fresh White Lily Night Renewal Cream
    Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream
    Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles
    Bio Retinoid Anti-Aging Concentrate
    Dr Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Antioxidant Firming Serum
    Afirm 3x by Afirm
    Tri-Retinol Complex by Skin Medica
    Retrinal Plus 0.1 Cream by Avene
    La Roche-Posay Biomedic Retinol 60 Cream

  47. Christiane

    I’ve tried many skin products with retinol in hopes of finding a product that would do its magic. After trying a few different retinol creams with vitamin a for the face I have failed miserably. What’s the best retinol night cream for acne? Will it help acne scars?

    • denise

      Try Differen–some people (like myself) do not respond to regular retina-A. It is a synthetic form on vitamin A and did wonders for my skin….

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