What keeps RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream out of our top spot is that, in spite of it being targeted at “sensitive” skin, it contains a couple of ingredients that can be irritating, most notably fragrance. While most users describe the fragrance as “light,” “floral,” or “pleasant,” the fact is that some people simply can’t tolerate fragrance at all as it can cause both skin and respiratory irritation in some folks.
Retinoid receptors are proteins naturally found in skin. They act like shuttles that carry and release retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives) into skin cells, triggering collagen production. Retinol – the strongest form of retinoid available without a prescription – is converted by skin enzymes into the even stronger form of Retinoic Acid, which is what causes the irritation.
What worries me and many other dermatologists is that retinol is now in used in foundations, lipsticks, sunscreens and cleansers, especially those that are touted as “anti-aging.” But in daytime products, retinol will have the opposite effect and actually make skin age faster because it is more susceptible to the sun, no matter the amount of SPF protection promised on the foundation or sunscreen. This two-in-one approach of anti-aging sunscreens and foundations is just not a good idea. A good rule of thumb is never buy a product with an SPF number and retinol in its list of ingredients – the two don’t make a good combination. Retinol-containing cleansers are simply a waste of money, because the retinol is washed down the drain and is not on the skin long enough to work. Lipsticks with retinol also arouse very little enthusiasm among dermatologists, to put it mildly. The skin on the lips is very thin and sensitive, and it’s the area of the body where skin cancers metastasize faster. I honestly think that promoting lipstick with retinol is just plain irresponsible. Unnecessary, too, since people can safely use retinol on the lips at night.
While prescription Retin-A is by far the most potent form of retinol, this treatment is pretty powerful for an OTC option. And unlike irritating Rx formulas, this combines a double dose of retinol with soothing magnolia bark extract and nourishing soy bean extract to prevent it from pissing off sensitive skin.
After noting barrier-bolstering niacinamide high atop the ingredient list, we weren’t all that surprised by this formula’s nonaggressive approach. The retinol is encapsulated, which makes it less vexatious and keeps its strength up. Our tester loved its luxe vibe as much as the early returns: smoother, fresher-looking skin in only two weeks. If you’re one to pile on multiple skin-care products before bed, you’ll appreciate how swiftly this water-light serum sinks in.
Since discovering my go-to’s and expanding my search for non-irritating retinols, I’ve found 10 standouts that are at once ultra-effective yet gentle enough for the retinoid-intolerant. (In fact, we tested them on women claiming to be just that.) What makes these non-Rx gems so transformative is that they all contain either pure retinol or a next-gen derivative shown to turn on those same aforementioned receptors to spark change.
The truth is, most so-called “wrinkle creams” don’t work very well despite all the silly claims made by cosmetic companies. However, many of the creams that specifically contain retinol have been shown, in multiple studies, to be very effective.
“If you would like to use a retinoid in the summertime, it’s imperative that you wear a high-SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen daily,” suggests Nazarian. “Along with sunscreen, because your risk for burning is so high, I would avoid peak hours of sun and wear a broad-brim hat when outdoors.”
Dear L’Oreal, why did you put your retinol in a jar?! We didn’t want to rule this product out from the get-go, but any skin-care product with active ingredients like retinol should be in an airtight pump, or, at the very least, a squeeze tube with a cap, or the retinol will eventually become ineffective after being exposed to air. Also, jars are often unhygienic and can become breeding ground for bacteria, even if you wash your hands before dipping in a finger.
Acne: Platinum Skin Care CEO Jennifer, finds Retinol .20% is absolutely mandatory in keeping her acne prone skin looking clear and healthy! “I find that if I do get a pimple, the redness is gone in as little as one week, opposed to several weeks and even months! It puts my skin into a hyper-regenerative mode. As soon as the blemish is healed the mark is practically gone. It is my ‘can’t live without’ product”.
Sensitive-skinned folks beware: This retinol means business (in case you couldn’t tell by its name). Olay claims that the formula will reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles in just eight weeks, which sounds totally amazing, but don’t expect miracles since retinols really do need at least four months to make an impact.
OMG!…there was an improvement in my melasma the very first night I used this product. I have had numerous professional peels (two very expensive ones designed specifically for melasma) that didn’t touch my resistant case. I’ve only been using this a month and a half, but I see a lot of fading. Because I have a resistant case, it’s going to take time but, based on the results so far, I have faith that it will all eventually fade away. So glad I tried it!
Great skincare does exist at the drugstore, and this retinol night cream is proof. ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is just shy of prescription strength, so you know this cream is as effective as it is affordable.
The lightweight cream felt more like a serum, and we noticed immediately how moisturized our skin felt. Not surprising thanks to the sweet almond oil, shea butter, and fatty alcohols in addition to the hyaluronic acid. Wrinkle-fighting retinoids and peptides can be drying, so we appreciated these extra moisturizing ingredients. Despite all of these moisturizers, our skin didn’t feel heavy or greasy and the product soaked in quickly. There is a slight scent, reminiscent of sunscreen, but it wasn’t off-putting and dissipated quickly.
Jump up ^ Squires, Victor R. (2011). The Role of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Human Nutrition – Volume IV. EOLSS Publications. p. 121. ISBN 9781848261952. Archived from the original on 2017-11-05.
Product – Art Naturals Cellulite Away Treatment Cream – Contains Proven Anti Cellulite Retinol, Caffeine, & Seaweed – Best Body Firming, Tightening & Toning – Erase Dimples from Legs, Arms, Stomach & Buttocks
Apply in small dots around the eye area and gently smooth until thoroughly absorbed. You may experience mild tingling or redness. This is normal and should be temporary until your skin adjusts. Apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher during the day while using this product. Continue using a sunscreen for one week after stopping use of this product.
We thought nothing could top Pestle & Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic Serum – until their Superstar Retinol Night Oil came along. It feels luxurious on the skin but doesn’t leave behind an uncomfortable, slick finish, and has the clever ability to nourish skin while smoothing away the annoying lines that accumulate along your forehead, mouth and in between your brows. Botox? What botox? A single pump is ample to treat your face a neck.
It may take up to several weeks before you notice improvement in your skin. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve. When using Retin-A to treat acne, your condition may get slightly worse for a short time when you first start using the medication.
With the success of the prescription grade retinoid, retinol creams were introduced to the general market. Unlike retinoids which are only accessible via a prescription, retinol creams are available over-the-counter and work in the same fashion of helping to improve the appearance of the skin. The main difference between a retinoid and a retinol cream is, inside the cream, retinol is slowly converted into retinoic acid making it less harsh but still just as effective.
While it’s true there is no magic bullet when it comes to perfecting skin, one ingredient comes pretty close—retinol. “Prescription Retin-A and Tretinoin and over the counter retinols increase skin cell turnover and stimulate collagen synthesis,” explains Jennifer Chwalek, MD of Union Square Laser Dermatology. “With consistent use of a topical retinol or retin-A you can see improvement of fine lines, dark spots, texture, and tone.” While an OTC retinol (0.5%-2% concentration) isn’t quite as effective or speedy as prescription-strength, it’s less likely to cause irritation, redness, and peeling so better for anyone with sensitive or drier skin. There are also naturally derived retinol alternatives like rose hip seed oil, chicory root oligosaccharides, and tara tree gum, but Chwalek cautions that there are no studies to prove efficacy. Want to add retinol to your routine? Here are the latest options to stock up on.
Fisher GJ, Talwar HS, Xiao JH, et al. Immunological identification and functional quantification of retinoic acid and retinoic X receptor proteins in the human skin. J Biol Chem. 1994;269:20629–35. [PubMed]