How Does Retinol Cream Work – Find Answers Here

Share this:

No skincare expert will talk about antiaging ingredients and products without mentioning retinol, either cream or serum. That is because retinol is a well-known effective anti-aging ingredient in the skincare world. So how does retinol cream work?

Retinol cream works by accelerating collagen production in the skin to help your skin restore its firmness and tone. Using retinol cream as an eye cream, face cream or body cream in your skincare routine will help to improve its overall appearance.

Read ahead to find out how the cream works on certain skin concerns and how to use it correctly in your routine.  

How Does Retinol Cream Work for Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that happens when oil and dirt block the pores. There are different types of acne ranging from inflammation to non-inflammatory acne. Using retinol cream may help to treat and prevent the development of acne on the skin. 

Wondering how? Well, retinol cream works on acne by enhancing cell regeneration in the skin. When this happens, the dead skin cells on the skin retinol will be dissolved. When the dead skin cells and oil trapped in the pores are released, there will be a reduction in acne. 

That’s not all retinol does, it also helps to prevent the formation of acne. It helps to reduce the production of oil in the skin.  It also tightens the pores so that oil and dead skin cells will not get trapped in it. 

If you have acne-prone skin, use retinol cream in your skincare routine. You will begin to see significant improvement in the appearance of acne in just three months. 

Does Retinol Cream Work on Acne Scars?

Aside from being an anti-aging treatment, retinol cream works effectively to reduce the appearance of acne scars on the skin. It helps to stimulate the development of new skin cells to replace the damaged ones. 

Most acne victims have to deal with the scars acne leave behind. This often happens when acne is not treated properly. These scars appear as uneven skin texture and indentations. Retinol can help with both types of acne scars by evening out the skin tone and texture. 

How Does Retinol Cream Work for Wrinkles?

Retinol is best known for its anti-aging benefits to the skin. Using retinol cream as part of your skincare routine will help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also helps to prevent the formation of wrinkles on the skin. 

The reduction of wrinkles is done as retinol penetrates the skin to trigger more production of collagen and elastin in the skin.

Usually, wrinkles and other aging signs form on the skin when the skin starts to sag. Saggy skin happens due to reduced collagen production that happens as you age. Lack or reduction of collagen in the skin makes the skin lose its elasticity. 

Using retinol cream will help to restore your skin’s firmness and fade the appearance of wrinkles.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, It takes about 3 to 6 months of consistent use to see an improvement in the elimination of wrinkles from your skin.

Does Retinol Cream Work for Cellulite? 

Retinol cream works effectively for cellulite and can help in reducing its appearance. Using retinol cream to treat cellulite will help to tighten the skin and make the fat less obvious. 

When you apply retinol to the skin, it converts into retinoic acid to help stimulate collagen production and regenerate skin cells. It will help to improve the overall appearance of your skin. 

You will notice a significant improvement if you use the cream consistently for two to three months.

How Do You Find a Good Retinol Cream?

Retinol comes in different strengths with the most common ones ranging from 0.25% to 1%. Any retinol cream that doesn’t indicate the percentage of retinol in it contains less than 0.25% of retinol. 

You need a cream that contains at least 0.25% retinol. Anything less than that will not work effectively to treat your skin concerns. It’s best to start with a 0.25% retinol and move up to a higher percentage as time goes on. 

Additionally, you need to consider your skin type when choosing a retinol cream. You can try a high-strength product if you have thick or oily skin. For dry or sensitive skin, stick to a lower-strength product. 

How Does Retinol Eye Cream Work?

The skin around the eyes is the most sensitive compared to other parts of the skin. This is because the layer of skin around that area is thin and tends to show aging signs quickly. Wrinkles and other aging signs appear first on the skin around the eyes. 

Using an eye cream that contains retinol will help to stimulate collagen production in the skin cells. This will help to tighten the skin around the eyes and fade off aging signs. The product also helps to prevent the appearance of aging signs around the eyes.

How Does Retinol Face Cream Work?

Skin concerns like acne and aging signs commonly appear first on the face. Using a face cream that contains retinol will help to revitalize your skin cells to treat all your skin concerns. 

For acne, the face cream works by unclogging and tightening the pores to reduce and improve the appearance of acne on the skin. It will also help to stimulate the development of new skin cells to fade off acne scars and even out the skin texture.

For aging signs, the face cream will help to stimulate collagen production in your skin cells to tighten up your skin. This will help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging signs.

How Does Retinol Body Cream Work?

Retinol body creams work by restoring firmness to the skin covering the body. It will help to promote smoother, healthier skin. 

Apply the body cream every day in your skincare routine to accelerate collagen production in your skin. This will help to treat skin concerns like stretch marks, cellulite, and so on. 

The cream will also help to remove dead skin cells on the skin and generate new ones. This process will help to restore the skin tone and texture by taking care of discoloration, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, aging spots, and so on.

How Long Does It Take Retinol Cream to Work?

It takes retinol cream at least three months to help improve the skin’s appearance. If you would like to treat skin concerns like aging, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and acne, you have to use your cream consistently. 

Harvard Health Publishing suggests that you use the product for about 3 to 6 months to see significant improvement in your skin. 

Every skincare product takes time to work on the skin, therefore, you shouldn’t give up after using it for just a few weeks. Be patient and consistent as that is the only way to reap the benefits of using the product. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you continue using retinol cream while pregnant?

No, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t use retinol in your skincare routine if you are pregnant or a breastfeeding mum. 

Stop using retinol once you get pregnant until you are no longer nursing a baby.  You can talk to your dermatologist to discuss other options suitable for your skin and condition.

Can You Use Retinol Cream Every Night?

Yes, you can. You can use retinol cream on your skin every night in your bedtime routine. 

This will help to boost the efficiency of the product in treating your skin concerns. If you are using a high concentration of retinol cream, ensure that you don’t use it too much as that can irritate your skin.

Should you use retinol cream around your eyes?

Yes, you can. You can use retinol eye cream on your under-eye as it contains only a low amount of retinol in it. 

Ensure that you only use a retinol cream that is designed for the eyes for this purpose. Using a high-concentration product around the eyes can cause serious side effects.  


Retinol cream works by stimulating collagen production in the skin cell to reduce signs of aging and make the skin smooth. This will help to reduce the appearance and formation of stretch marks, cellulite, and aging signs.

The cream also works by helping to unclog and tighten pores. It will help to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from the pores to release and prevent acne formation.

Thanks for reading.

Was this article helpful? Read more about retinol products on Serum101.