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Everything You Need To Know About Retinol

We’ve created a fool-proof list of retinol products we love and we’re sorting out fact from fiction along the way.

Updated September 28, 2021 by Amanda Dixon

retinol helps give you bright smooth skin

There’s a lot of noise when it comes to the dos and don’ts of retinol. If some of these stories have kept you from incorporating this powerful skincare ingredient into your routine—you’re not alone. Simply put, retinol is a derivative of vitamin A. When stabilized, retinol products work to improve skin's appearance, restoring texture and tone for younger-looking skin.

As we age, skin renewal begins to slow. Retinol gives this renewal process a boost by increasing cellular turnover and improving collagen production. With regular use, retinol diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles, reduces dark spots and discoloration, and leaves skin visibly radiant. Still, there are a lot of myths surrounding retinol. So, what’s the real story? We’ve created a fool-proof list of retinol products we love and we’re sorting out fact from fiction along the way.

Your PM Retinol Routine

Probably the biggest myth surrounding retinol is that it increases the risk of sunburn. In fact, studies show that topical retinol skincare products do not increase your risk of sunburn (retinol or no retinol—you should always wear sunscreen). However, retinol may cause minor skin irritation when you begin using it—that’s normal. We recommend easing it into your skincare routine using it every other day until your skin adjusts.

REVIVE SKINCARE Perfectif Night Even Skin Tone Cream Retinol Dark Spot Corrector

ReVive Skincare Perfectif Night Even Skin Tone Cream Retinol Dark Spot Corrector provides all the benefits of retinol along with brightening vitamin C, smoothing peptides, and hydrating shea butter to completely revitalize skin while you sleep. The rich, creamy texture instantly hydrates and nourishes skin. You’ll wake up to smoother, radiant looking skin day after day.

Daily Dose of Retinol

Now that we’ve established it’s okay to use retinol during the day, you have even more options for adding this skincare ingredient to your beauty routine. One of our favorite retinol-infused moisturizers is PCA Skin Retinol Renewal with Restore Active Complex. This lightweight, gentle daily serum hydrates and nourishes skin while combating fine lines, wrinkles, and premature signs of ageing.

When using a retinol day cream always apply these products first for the very best results. Despite rumors, retinol is safe for all skin types (yep, it’s true) and can be used safely with a variety of other skincare products as well as makeup. However, steer clear of mixing retinol with prescription strength skincare treatments or acne treatments to avoid irritation.

A Spa-Worthy Retinol Peel

Retinol is a key ingredient in many skin-restoring facials and peels to restore that coveted youthful glow. And luckily, there’s a way to get spa-quality results from the comfort of home. Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Texture Renewal Peel features a dual process formula to firm and exfoliate skin while providing essential hydration for smoothness and comfort.

As we mentioned above, retinol can be used with other powerful skincare ingredients to maximize effectiveness and restore balance. One of these skin-loving ingredients is hyaluronic acid (you can read all about it here). This unique peel contains ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid as well as green tea extract and antioxidants to moisturize and soothe skin. Skin feels soft, retexturized, and firm—no appointment, no recovery time.

Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Texture Renewal Peel

And this iconic peel was recently reformulated to be even more effective! In addition to being enhanced by a unique Phyto-Retinol Blend™, this peel features an additional form of retinol. This formula contains an increased dose of hydrating and soothing ingredients that boost and protect skin’s moisture barrier to address dryness and fragility often associated with aging.

Retinol for Beautiful Eyes

We always say—we’re not anti-aging, we’re anti-wrinkle. And the wrinkles we reallywant to banish for good are those pesky fine lines around our eyes. Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum is specifically formulated to target the delicate skin around the eyes.


Along with powerful retinol, this concentrated formula utilizes brightening niacinamide, along with nourishing olive oil and ceramides to leave eyes looking regenerated and younger. And, like all retinol skincare solutions, the benefits continue to get better over time.

Craving even more powerful skincare solutions we swear by? Shop our entire skincare category for hydrating creams, must-have masks, and so much more.

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