The 7 Best Retinols to Try According to Skin Experts

For many of us, using retinol is already a no-brainer. Suzanne Peters, skin therapist at Heyday, says it boosts collagen production, which leads to a reduction in wrinkles and firmer skin, and Dr. Parvaneh Rafaeloff, medical director of Le Jolie Medi Spa, adds that when retinol-infused products are used consistently, research found they can help to alleviate acne symptoms, diminish wrinkles and yield an overall more youthful appearance. But, getting started with a retinol if you have yet to may be intimidating. If you don't know where to start, look to these skin experts who know a thing or two on how to get skin crease-free and glowing, and the best retinol to do the trick. 

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1/7

Naturopathica Argan & Retinol Wrinkle Repair Night Cream ($106)

"The most important relationship I have in my life is with my collagen, so I'm a huge fan of retinol. I love this one because it gives my skin the kick it needs but has moisturizing ingredients like sea buckthorn so it won't dry me out.”–Suzanne Peters


2/7

SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream ($110) 

"It has glycolic acid to help with retexturizing the skin, but also features moisturizing ingredients to combat the dryness that a traditional retinoid would cause. Best of all, its peptides and antioxidants combat free-radical damage and is gentle enough for skin types that can't tolerate a traditional retinoid. I literally cannot live without it as a part of my night routine!" –Brittany Del Toro of North Scottsdale MedSpa

3/7

Nature Bisse's Essential Shock Intense Retinol Fluid ($110)

"For a nightly regimen, I favor this Nature Bisse option for its additional active ingredients—amino acids, mushroom extract and soy proteins, among others—as these critical ingredients deeply hydrate and protect the skin as the retinol helps to repair and resurface." –Dr. Rafaeloff

4/7

HydroPeptide Nimni Cream ($220)

"There isn’t a product on the market right now that compares to this treatment. In addition to housing a time-released retinol that resurfaces and boosts collagen, it also contains a patented collagen support complex to optimize collagen production. It is truly a revolutionary technology that will significantly improve the appearance of skin’s fullness and elasticity. " –Amy McLain, master esthetician 


5/7

Restorsea Pro Intensive Treatment 10x ($195) 

"It's referred to as the non-retinol retinol because it's powered by a salmon enzyme, but it's effective and safe for all skin types. It's lightweight and has an easy-to-apply texture." –Courtney Palmer, esthetician at Thibiant MedSpa Beverly Hills

6/7

SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.5 ($78) 

“This is my go-to retinol because it contains ingredients designed to reduce the harsh effects sometimes associated with the use of retinol. If you do suffer some initial dryness or irritation, just back off for a night or two. You can also spot treat blemishes with it. For the timid, there's the Retinol Complex 0.25 ($62) strength, and for those who fear not when it comes to beauty, Retinol Complex 1.0 ($93) is made just for you!” –Lori Phoenix, aesthetics nurse at Dr. Joseph Russo

"I love this formula because it allows you to build up your skin's tolerance to the ingredient. It's buffered with gentle anti-inflammatory, inactive ingredients that do not dry out skin. It’s a creamy formulation, which makes it less irritating, and it moisturizes skin, so it doesn't flake or peel." –Anita Sun Eisenberg, medical aesthetician and founder of Dermovia

"I now rarely prescribe Retin-A, but rather have my patients use this SkinMedia Retinol. It’s a medical-grade product with less side effects than a prescription, allowing patients to be more compliant. The brand's range of retinol allows patients to start low and increase the dosage as their skin tolerates. It’s a product for all skin types to enhance skin tone and texture and diminish fine lines." –Melissa Haloossim, nurse practioner and founder of Skin Thesis, West Hollywood


7/7

G.M. Collin Retinol Advanced ($92)

"The difference between this and other retinols is the delivery system, which provides a 'reservoir' for retinol. The release of these ingredients occurs through a combination of friction and diffusion, providing a slower release of actives which provides effective results while minimizing irritation (hello, no peeling!) because lower levels of the actives are interacting with the skin at one given time. Retinol Advanced is boosted with other skin-changing actives, like the Matrixyl, Bi-Coenzyme Q10, sodium hyaluronate, and ceramide-3—it's a a top-seller in my skin practice!” –Evelyn A. Frank, master skin therapist and owner of Skin Therapy Center Howard County Medical Center


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