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Home>Blog>The Best Retinol Creams and Skin Care

The Best Retinol Creams and Skin Care

MIRA BEAUTY • updated Dec 14, 2020
The Best Retinol Creams and Skin Care

Meet the missing piece your skin care routine has been missing

Retinol is a beloved, and often misunderstood, skin care ingredient. This Vitamin A derivative is an anti-aging powerhouse - working overtime to prevent wrinkles, exfoliate the skin, treat acne and prevent long-term signs of aging. We really can’t tell you enough about retinol and how it’s a truly amazing and highly effective skin care ingredient.

However, even the best retinol creams need to be used wisely. You see, retinol can also be a bit intense. Sensitive skin doesn’t always react well to it at first, especially if you have a condition like eczema or rosacea. It also needs to be slowly incorporated into your skin care routine over a period of time, as using retinol creams too often may cause flakiness, redness or dry patches. But don’t let these things turn you off, as retinol serums and creams honestly aren’t as scary as they sound.

You can still get all the skin-evening, anti-aging, discoloration-improving benefits that come with retinol skin care products… you just need to take extra caution. Think of it like a new relationship: taking it slow, using alongside friends that provide comfort (AKA, hydration,) only going on daytime dates (retinol makes skin more sensitive to the sun) and falling in love once you realize they’re the perfect match for you and your skin care routine.

Discover the power of this Vitamin A derivative with our favorite retinol creams, serums, and moisturizers.

Advanced Retinol Treatment Serum by Lancer, $95

Advanced Retinol Treatment Serum by Lancer
Source: Lancer

“I have found this product to be a great fit in my nighttime routine - it is one that works quickly and without the pesky initial irritation usually seen with retinol products!” This cult favorite retinol serum combines 1.25% Retinol with Bakuchiol, a plant-derived retinol alternative for twice the amount of youthful radiance. Don’t think of Bakuchiol as a retinol knockoff, either - just a gentle, all-natural ingredient derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant with all the same anti-aging and complexion-clearing abilities as your favorite retinol cream or serum. But now, back to this Lancer favorite… because Vitamin A derivatives aren’t the only thing in this formula to enrich your complexion. You’ll also get Prickly Pear Extract that’s rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, magnesium, and iron to reduce redness and deliver moisture, plus Hydrolyzed Collagen and Squalane to support the skin’s natural moisture levels. And it’s not just wrinkles and fine lines that you’ll see disappear, as this retinol serum has top ratings on MIRA BEAUTY for being pore minimizing, brightening, hydrating, and reducing the appearance of puffiness and uneven skin texture.

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum by Murad, $89

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum by Murad
Source: Murad

Retinol serums are a great place to start. The active ingredients in a serum will penetrate your skin more quickly and be gentle on your complexion, which is exactly what you need when starting to incorporate retinol into your skin care routine. Retinol Youth Renewal Serum contains Murad’s advanced tri-active retinol formula, which contains three types of this ingredient (fast-acting retinoid, time-released retinol, retinol booster) to boost the effects of retinol and give you the most fresh and youthful complexion. Plus swertia flower extract to increase skin’s resilience and hyaluronic acid for hydration. And don’t think it’s only for people of a certain age, either. MIRA BEAUTY reviews for this serum are as glowing as your skin after you use it, with a 95% approval rating from guests with sensitive skin (a common concern with retinol), and 93% who think it’s lightweight and evens out skin tone.

Retinol Reform by Shani Darden Skin Care, $88

Retinol Reform by Shani Darden Skin Care
Source: Shani Darden Skin Care

What do you, Jessica Alba, Emily Ratajkowski have in common? Besides the fact that you’re all super gorgeous, you’re also fans of the cult favorite Shani Darden Skin Care line...particularly Retinol Reform. This retinol serum is formulated with the ideal amount (2.2%) of this skin care ingredient to support natural collagen production, increasing cell turnover rate and providing all the skin benefits. We’re talking less wrinkles, brighter complexion, even tone, and a decrease in dark spots and acne scars. Just look at two of Shani Darden’s biggest fans, Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian, both of whom are about to turn 40 but could totally pass for 25. In addition to the titled skin care ingredient, Retinol Reform also includes Lactic Acid to exfoliate and provide a glowing complexion, and Apple Fruit Extract for antioxidant protection against free radical damage. Like the California sun, for example, because you’re going to feel so LA in the best way after trying this retinol serum that’s beloved by Hollywood.

Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum by Peter Thomas Roth, $65

Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum by Peter Thomas Roth
Source: Peter Thomas Roth

“I was really hesitant to try retinol, but I am so glad I did. My favorite aspect of the formula is the extremely high retinol content - 1.5%. Most retinol formulations have a .5% to 1% concentration, so the strength of Retinol Fusion PM is something that people need to keep in mind.” This MIRA review doesn’t lie, as the power of this retinol serum by Peter Thomas Roth is seriously insane. It’s also time-released, meaning that Retinol Fusion delivers just the right amount of this ingredient into your skin throughout the night to guarantee that you’ll never experience irritation. Only all the good stuff, like wrinkle reduction and an even complexion! And we’re not kidding about that last part, as a whopping 97% of MIRA reviews state that this serum evens out your skin tone to the extreme. Not to use cliches here, but you’ll definitely sleep like a baby knowing that your skin is being pumped with powerful retinol, Vitamins C and E, and squalane for all the best benefits of this hero skin care ingredient.

Super Retinol Concentrate by Exuviance, $80

Super Retinol Concentrate by Exuviance
Source: Exuviance

All you need is little retinol cream in your nighttime routine, like this one from Exuviance. It’s powered by Neoglucosamine, an amino sugar that boosts brightness and makes retinol even more effective on your skin. These two skin care ingredients are scientifically proven to work together, and that’s when the magic happens overnight. You see, your skin will release a time-released infusion of 0.2% Retinol to minimize irritation and increase your body’s natural collagen production, which we all know is the secret to maintaining younger and healthier skin. Every night you use this gentle and calming retinol cream, you’ll wake up with less wrinkles and more motivation to incorporate retinol into your everyday skin care routine.

A-Passioni Retinol Cream by Drunk Elephant, $74

A-Passioni Retinol Cream by Drunk Elephant
Source: Drunk Elephant

“My mild forehead wrinkles have all by disappeared and the retinol has greatly increased the hydroquinone effectiveness.” Drunk Elephant is dedicated to treating your skin with respect, and also retinol. In fact, the quest for effective and non-toxic ingredients is the entire reason that Tiffany Masterson started the brand back in 2013… which is how you know that the A-Passioni Retinol Cream will provide all the benefits without any of the scary side effects. Formulated with 1.0% Retinol, this vegan form of our favorite skin care ingredient will improve your skin’s tone and texture while preventing free radical damage, also known as the top reason for prematurely aged skin. It even works alongside a Triple Peptide Blend to strengthen and firm while boosting the effectiveness of retinol… because the friends who prevent wrinkles and fine lines together, stay together. This is one of our favorite retinol creams to get started on your skin care journey, and works even better alongside your favorite hydrating Drunk Elephant moisturizers and serums!

Retinol Correxion Eye Cream by ROC Skincare, $23

Retinol Correxion Eye Cream by ROC Skincare
Source: ROC Skincare

Retinol creams work effectively on every part of your face, but we love a good retinol eye cream. One of the top functions of this skin care ingredient is to fade fine lines and wrinkles while preventing (and even reversing!) the aging process, and your under eyes are the area that needs it most. Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer is powered by Retinol and Vitamin E to keep the wrinkles and crow’s feet away, even if you don’t have them quite yet. Experts recommend using the right eye cream as early as your 20’s to stay looking young as long as possible, and just a bit of this retinol cream in your skin care routine each night will have outstanding effects on your delicate under eyes.

Retinol Firming Lifting Serum by Algenist, $98

Retinol Firming Lifting Serum by Algenist
Source: Algenist

Peptides and retinol: the names bring joy to any anti-aging skin care routine, as they work together to smooth fine lines and have your skin feeling fresh. This retinol serum by Algenist has both, using an underrated blend of Alguronic Acid and Green Algae retinol to make all your anti-aging dreams come true. Or aging prevention, as we definitely believe that every skincare enthusiast should use this regardless of age or skin type. Clinically proven by Algenist to firm and smooth the skin in just 10 days, this 100% vegan serum is gentle enough to use day and night and makes it easy to adapt your skin to retinol in no time.

Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment by Paula’s Choice, $58

Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment by Paula’s Choice
Source: Paula's Choice

Sadly, the effects of aging aren’t just on your face. You may notice discoloration, dark spots, and wrinkles across other areas of the body… from your arms and legs to the underappreciated decolletage. That’s why Paula’s Choice launched one of the best retinol creams for all-over youthfulness. Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment combines the titled ingredient with potent antioxidants to address a variety of skin concerns, far beyond the wrinkles and fine lines that this cream will evaporate in an instant. You’ll also see a decline in redness, thanks to soothing ingredients like licorice and oat extract, along with smaller pores and hydration. On every inch of your body. While this retinol cream is beloved by all skin types, 94% agree that it’s especially ideal for those with dry or mature skin.

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum by Neutrogena, $24

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum by Neutrogena
Source: Neutrogena

Smoother skin and less wrinkles in just one week? That’s what Neutrogena claims you’ll get with their Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum. And while it’s definitely a bold claim, we have no doubt that this drugstore cult brand can do it. This retinol serum blends Retinol SA, Glucose Complex and Hyaluronic Acid to reduce the appearance of dark circles and crow’s feet while giving your face a glowing radiance, all without the worry of skin becoming dry or irritated due to retinol. Whether you’re only in your 20’s or approaching 40, 50, or 60… this retinol serum packs all the power of this hero ingredient at half the price of many luxury serums or retinol creams.

Microneedling Anti Wrinkle Retinol Patches by Peace Out, $28

Microneedling Anti Wrinkle Retinol Patches by Peace Out
Source: Peace Out

You’ve heard of retinol creams, you’ve heard of retinol serums… but what about retinol patches? They’re a major thing, and one of our favorite ways to slowly build up your body’s tolerance to this skin care ingredient. Each patch contains hundreds of hyaluronic acid microneedles that puncture the top layer of the skin, which we promise isn’t nearly as frightening as it sounds, and create small pathways for anti-aging ingredients like retinol peptides, and Vitamin C. As a result, you’ll see fine lines disappear from your forehead, eye area, and mouth area. Because nobody likes smile lines. These patches are a lot less messy than retinol creams, and give you a dose of self-care along with younger and fresher skin.

Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream by Olay, $39

Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream by Olay
Source: Olay

“This eye cream has me shook, it makes my fine lines less noticeable.” Us too, our dear MIRA guest. Us too. Olay has been serving quality skin care products at low prices for decades now, and you’ll have the best wrinkle-free smile ever with the Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream. This silky, lightweight retinol cream absorbs effortlessly into the delicate skin around your eyes, providing 24-hour hydration that helps you fake the awake look at all times. And since hydration is retinol’s best friend, you know this cream is the real deal. A Retinoid Complex works to eliminate dark spots and fine lines while brightening your eyes and minimizing the appearance of pores, and Vitamin E works alongside our favorite ingredient to protect against environmental damage. Prevention is key, but we also like to reduce the effects of wrinkles… and you can do both with this retinol cream that 98% of MIRA guests say has incredible anti-aging qualities.

Give skin a reboot with the best retinol creams and serums on MIRA BEAUTY.