Best Retinol Serum Recommended by Dermatologists

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Retinol. Who does not need it? At one point, you find yourself using a skincare product that has a form of vitamin A. But the best retinol serum will have a considerable amount of retinol to treat and transform your skin.

However, does it really work?

Retinol serums definitely work for fantastic skincare, bringing out the best of your skin tone. Nonetheless, you find that people can hardly tell the difference between a good retinol serum and an average retinol serum.

Moreover, since most of the serums are over-the-counter products, to tell the good ones from the average even takes more research. But you can start here if you are looking for the best retinol serum to treat your skin’s acne, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Best Retinol Serums

Retinol serums are indeed a secret source to a good skincare product. You might feel you don’t need it yet, but you need to start early if you want to retain wrinkle-free and silky and smooth skin.

You will find the best retinol serums you can choose from here. This list was derived based on sales data metrics on e-commerce websites.

1. Best Overall Retinol Serum

Flawless. Younger. Perfect’s. Tree of Life Retinol Serum

This treats facial wrinkles and dark spots on the skin. It also brightens your skin, clearing out the dull-looking skin and leaving a renewed skin color.

The serum also contains hydrating and moisturizing serum like jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. You can use the serum in your morning or nighttime routine to improve your overall look.

2. Best Retinol Serum for Face

SkinMedica Retinol Complex

This is a skin tone-enhancing serum that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The serum also cleanses the skin and keeps it supple and improves skin cell turnover.

The serum, furthermore, helps to give your skin a youthful glow when applied. It works by rejuvenating the skin while you sleep. It is suitable for all skin types and should be worn at night after your cleanser and toner but before you moisturize.

3. Best Retinol Serum for Beginners

The Ordinary’s Retinol 1% Squalane

This is the right product to seek if you want to get started on your face serums. The retinol serum contains basic hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to kick-start your smooth and refreshed face.

In addition, the serum is non-irritating and treats photodamages, fine lines, and wrinkles on the skin. As a beginner, you wouldn’t see the visible side effects of using the serum. It is safe to use on all skin types too.

4. Best Retinol Serum on Amazon

Eva Naturals anti-Aging Retinol Serum

This serum stands at the top as one of the best retinol serums on Amazon. The serum is also fortified with aloe vera, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid to soothe and moisturize the skin.

Furthermore, it protects the skin from sun damage and free radicals with its antioxidant properties. The serum is also fast-acting, giving you the professional result you want. When applied to the face, it rejuvenates while clearing blemishes and aging signs.

5. Best OTC Retinol Serum

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

Something safe and easy to get, yet effective, is your choice if you are looking for effective OTC (over-the-counter) retinol serums. CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is a great OTC retinol. The serum contains an ounce of retinol along with hyaluronic acid and 3 essential ceramides.

Additionally, the serum restores the skin barrier with the help of ceramides, leaving a firmer skin surface. Moreover, it does not contain harmful components or preservatives. It is the ideal serum for all skin types looking for effective formulas.

6. Best Retinol Serum for Sensitive Skin

Yongchang Retinol Face Serum

This is a serum designed to moisturize and smoothen your skin. The serum also soothes the skin, which makes it suitable for sensitive skin.

Additionally, the serum is fortified with 2.5% retinol to repair and rejuvenate the skin from skin marks and sunlight exposure. Moreover, with ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera, your skin stays smooth and clear all the time.

7. Best Retinol for Dry Skin

Nano Botanix Retinol and Collagen Daily Glow

Designed with a double hydrator, the serum improves your skin’s hydration and fights aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. The serum firms and improves the overall look of your skin while maintaining its elasticity from within.

You can use the serum for your day and night routine to keep your skin shiny and moisturized.

8. Best Retinol Serum for Oily Skin

Paula’s Choice SKIN BALANCING Antioxidant Concentrate Face Serum

This retinol and Vitamin C skin-renewing serum by Paula’s Choice reduces the large pores on your skin and fights free radicals. The serum also plumps the wrinkles on your face from the dermis level, improving the smoothness of your skin.

The balanced formula will not harm or damage your skin. It is hydrating and lightweight. This makes it the perfect serum for oily skin types.

9. Best Retinol for Acne-prone Skin

Dermatologica Retinol Clearing Oil

This formula contains salicylic acid to treat acne and aging signs. The treatment also renews your skin, making way for a brighter and clearer skin tone.

Additionally, the serum works by targeting the breakouts on your face, treating them from within the dermis level. You should use the oil serum at night to get vibrant skin by morning.

10. Best Retinol Serum for Mature Skin

Yeouth Retinol Serum

This serum also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and aloe vera to boost collagen production in your skin. The formula helps to reduce the signs of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Furthermore, it rejuvenates your skin while you sleep.

The formula is known to firm the skin and minimize pores. The hyaluronic component in the serum plumps your skin, making it look softer and smoother than ever. Then you have aloe vera to soothe and attract moisture to your skin.

11. Best Night Retinol Serum

L’Oreal Paris Retinol Serum for Face

Fortified with 0.3% pure retinol, the serum rejuvenates and lifts your face while you sleep. The face serum also reduces wrinkles and smoothes the fine lines on your face. Furthermore, the serum is highly moisturizing and soothing.

The formula is stable and effectively reduces any aging effect you have. Furthermore, it has other ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and glycerin to deeply hydrate your skin. You do not have to worry about any side effects while using the serum.

12. Best Retinol Serum for Hyperpigmentation

LaClaire Retinol Complex Serum

This is a serum designed to treat hyperpigmentation with its 8% retinol concentration. The serum is also anti-inflammatory and moisturizing. It keeps your skin soothed and plump while on your face.

In addition, it contains 4% retinyl palmitate that diminishes aging signs and promotes the renewal of your skin at the cellular level. If you want to clear your hyperpigmentation and keep your skin toned and even, use this serum.

13. Best Retinol Serum for Eye Area

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum

This is a serum designed to transform the whole eye area including the eyelids. The serum reduces wrinkles and plumps the hollow skin, smoothing out the eyelids in the process.

The serum is also gentle on the skin, it does not irritate the sensitive eye area. Moreover, it can be used under your makeup. Furthermore, it does not contain chemicals like parabens. The fast-acting serum promotes your eye area’s even skin.

Benefits of Retinol Serum

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and a branch of retinoid. However, most retinol products are OTC (over-the-counter), and unlike retinoids, they are much more effective in restoring the collagen of the skin.

Additionally, the wonder treatment has more benefits to the skin, which include the following;

1. Fights hyperpigmentation

Retinol helps to clear hyperpigmentation from the skin, evening out your skin complexion and giving it a better outlook.

2. Treats acne

Retinol serum can also treat acne. Derivatives of vitamin A, in high doses, are known to treat serious cases of acne. Nonetheless, regular retinol can treat normal to medium acne. This also includes whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and cysts.

According to a study, the topical treatment solves the acne problem when applied in any form. You should therefore use retinol serums to improve your acne solution.

3. Treats anti-aging effects

Retinol is a wonder component that helps collagen production. Therefore, it boosts collagen, increasing skin cell turnover, then building the skin from the dermis level and strengthening your skin tissues.

Wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are cleared with retinol serum. Furthermore, you can use the serum to reduce sun damage to the skin.

4. Improves skin texture

Retinol serum would give your skin the firmness it needs. It works by tightening the epidermis, reducing the rate at which water evaporates from the skin. 

What to Look for in a Retinol Serum


When purchasing your retinol serum, get a stabilized formula. The retinol serum should have the appropriate amount of retinol concentration. This is because retinol serums can irritate the skin if unbalanced.

Consequently, the serum should not have more than required. The appropriate amount for a retinol serum is 1% retinol. However, you can use retinol serums with up to 2.5% concentration. Nonetheless, it should not be less than 0.25% because it is ineffective.

Hydrating components

Retinol should also contain hydrating ingredients or components. This prevents them from irritating the skin. The retinol serum should have emollients or hydrating components. Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient mostly added to retinol serums to hydrate the skin.

Opaque bottle

This is necessary to avoid light getting to the serum. The serum has to come in an opaque bottle that would deflect light. Moreover, you must keep in a dry and dark place where light and air would not get.

How to Apply Retinol Serum

If you want to wear your serum in your morning skin routine, you can do so in these few steps:

  • Cleanse and tone your face.
  • Apply your serum on your face, massaging the serum into your skin.
  • Apply your moisturizer and sunscreen.

Will Your Skin React if You Overuse Retinol Serum?

Yes, it would. Retinol is a skin saver that rebuilds and protects your skin’s elasticity. However, they should not be overused. You are likely to face side effects if you do not use the retinol serum properly.

Therefore, you should follow the guide provided in the packaging, or see more helpful tips that would help you.


When should you apply retinol serum?

Morning and nighttime routine. Retinol is safe enough to be used both in your morning and nighttime routine.

However, you need it in your nighttime routine to rejuvenate your skin and boost collagen production while you sleep.

When should you start using retinol serums?

In your 20s. You should use retinol as early as your twenties. Collagen starts to deplete in your mid-thirties. However, if you start using retinol products early, you can slow down the reduction of skin cell turnover.

Can you use retinol and vitamin C serums simultaneously?

Yes, you can. You can use retinol serums and vitamin C serums together. It can be in the same serum formula or different products.

Additionally, you can choose to layer the products after the others. Another alternative is to interchange your morning and nighttime routine, with vitamin C serum used in your morning skincare routine and retinol used in your nighttime routine.


Retinol serums help in rejuvenating the skin. Although they are suitable for morning and nighttime use, you will find these serums used mostly at night. However, this does not diminish the serum’s importance in your daily routine.

This is why I will recommend CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum as a starter if you need something effective and fast-acting. Then you can use L’Oreal Paris Retinol Serum for Face before bed to rejuvenate your skin deeply.

Nonetheless, you should remember to moisturize your skin after using your serum. This completes your moisturizing routine.

Thanks for reading.

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