• Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 1
  • Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 2
  • Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 3
  • Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 4
  • Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed) 5

Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles in 2021 (Dermatologist-Reviewed)

Getting old is inevitable; you can’t stop it, but you can definitely slow down signs of aging skin with the help of skincare products like retinol. If you deal with dry skin, wrinkles, and fine lines, retinol can help rejuvenate your skin by boosting up your skin’s collagen and elastin production. Not only that but, retinol can also help brighten dark spots and control acne by clearing out your pores.


That's why we did our research and put together some of the best retinol for wrinkles. Our top pick is Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair. Aside from its 0.30 percent retinol to rejuvenate your skin, it also has SPF 30 for sun protection. If this isn’t quite for you, we still have nine other great options, so keep scrolling to find the product for you! If you still need more tips and information to help you decide, check out the buying guide we prepared for you.

Experts featured in this article

Dr. Lauren Levy
Tintin
  • Last updated: 10-07-2021
  • 481 views
Table of Contents

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

In Collaboration With Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy

Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients.


We asked her to evaluate our buying guide below for accuracy, and she also contributed some extra tips and advice. You can also follow her on Instagram for more skincare tips!

What is Retinol?

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A that's often found in skincare products. This vitamin is commonly used to help reduce wrinkles and treat acne, making it great for aging and acne-prone skin.


It helps reduce wrinkles by speeding up the production of collagen and elastin in the skin. Unfortunately, as we get older, we produce less collagen and elastin. This makes our skin less elastic, more fragile, and appear more wrinkled.

What is Retinol?

Retinols help with these issues by neutralizing free radicals and thickening the epidermis of your skin. This plumping effect helps control issues like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and visible pores. Not only that, but it can also help clear out pores to avoid breakouts and lighten acne marks.


You can incorporate retinol in your skincare after cleansing your face. However, it is recommended that you moisturize after application. It’s also important to note that this product is sensitive to light and the sun, so the best time to apply it is at night to avoid unnecessary sun damage.

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Retinols are the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) product in an anti-aging routine. Retinols and their prescription counterpart, retinoids, help with fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and skin turnover


When used appropriately, retinols can make a huge difference in skin texture and tone. They are a long-term treatment and do not produce results in a few uses. It usually takes six to eight weeks of consistent use to notice any effect. Retinols can be used by pretty much any age group.

Top 10 Best Retinols for Wrinkles

Now that you know what retinol is for and what it does to your skin, here are our top 10 picks. We have made sure to include options with different formulas and retinol concentrations.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Lauren Levy.

1

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

$17.49

TypeCream
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentration0.3%
Beneficial ingredientsSPF 30, hyaluronic acid, glycerin
2

RoCRetinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle

$16.79

TypeCream
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentrationNot specified
Beneficial ingredientsDimethicone, glycerin, shea butter
3

Advanced ClinicalsRetinol Cream

$14.92

TypeCream
Amount16 oz.
Retinol concentrationNot specified
Beneficial ingredientsGreen tea, aloe vera, chamomile
4

OlayRegenerist Retinol Moisturizer

$31.82

TypeCream
Amount1.7 oz.
Retinol concentrationNot listed
Beneficial ingredientsNiacinamide, vitamin B3, glycerin
5

Elizabeth ArdenRetinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum

90 capsules

$107.00

TypeSerum
Amount90 capsules
Retinol concentrationNot specified
Beneficial ingredientsCeramides, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil
6

MuradRetinol Youth Renewal Serum

$89.00

TypeSerum
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentrationNot specified
Beneficial ingredientsHyaluronic acid, swertia flower extract, glycerin
7

Paula's ChoiceClinical 1% Retinol Treatment

$58.00

TypeCream
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentration1%
Beneficial ingredientsOat, willow bark, and licorice extracts; peptides, vitamin C
8

The Inkey ListRetinol Anti-Aging Serum

$9.99

TypeSerum
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentration1.5%
Beneficial ingredientsSqualane, glycerin
9

Drunk ElephantA-Passioni Retinol Cream

$74.00

TypeCream
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentration1%
Beneficial ingredientsPeptides, vitamin F, glycerin
10
TypeCream
Amount1 oz.
Retinol concentration1%
Beneficial ingredientsJojoba, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, glycerin

Compare the Best Retinols for Wrinkles

Image
1
Neutrogena  Rapid Wrinkle Repair 1

Neutrogena

2
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle 1

RoC

3
Advanced Clinicals Retinol Cream 1

Advanced Clinicals

4
Olay Regenerist Retinol Moisturizer 1

Olay

5
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum 1

Elizabeth Arden

6
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum 1

Murad

7
Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment 1

Paula's Choice

8
The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum 1

The Inkey List

9
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream 1

Drunk Elephant

10
Obagi Retinol 1.0 1

Obagi

Name

Rapid Wrinkle Repair

Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle

Retinol Cream

Regenerist Retinol Moisturizer

Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum

Retinol Youth Renewal Serum

Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Retinol Anti-Aging Serum

A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Retinol 1.0

Features

SPF 30 For Sun Protection

Shea Butter and Glycerin for Maximum Hydration

Fragrance-Free Retinol Cream in Convenient Packaging

Softens Skin and Smooths Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Ceramide-Infused Retinol Capsules

Bring Back Your Skin's Elasticity and Firmness

Addresses Skin Concerns Like Acne and Discoloration

Formulated With Hydrating Squalane

Retinol and Vitamin F Smooth Aging Skin

Effectively Fights Signs of Aging Skin

Price$17.49$16.79$14.92$31.82$107.00$89.00$58.00$9.99$74.00$59.20
TypeCreamCreamCreamCreamSerumSerumCreamSerumCreamCream
Amount1 oz.1 oz.16 oz.1.7 oz.90 capsules1 oz.1 oz.1 oz.1 oz.1 oz.
Retinol concentration0.3%Not specifiedNot specified Not listedNot specifiedNot specified 1%1.5%1%1%
Beneficial ingredientsSPF 30, hyaluronic acid, glycerinDimethicone, glycerin, shea butterGreen tea, aloe vera, chamomileNiacinamide, vitamin B3, glycerin Ceramides, sunflower seed oil, avocado oilHyaluronic acid, swertia flower extract, glycerin Oat, willow bark, and licorice extracts; peptides, vitamin CSqualane, glycerin Peptides, vitamin F, glycerin Jojoba, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, glycerin
Link

How to Choose Retinol for Wrinkles - Buying Guide

Adding retinol to your routine can be quite intimidating, so to help you make the right decision, go through this buying guide we prepared for you.

Choose Between Retinol Serum and Cream

Choose Between Retinol Serum and Cream

Retinols come in different forms. For people with dry skin, retinol serums are ideal. These often include moisturizing ingredients that prevent moisture loss and keep your skin soft


Hydrating ingredients found in retinol creams are especially helpful because retinol tends to cause your skin to peel, dry, and flake when you first start using it. Oily skin actually creates more oil when it's dehydrated, so if you have this skin type, aim for a retinol cream. 


In addition, retinol serums usually contain more active ingredients that address acne-prone skin concerns. As these serums are thin and light, they can be great for breakouts. You can also find water-based serums that won’t leave your skin feeling sticky.

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

If you have dry skin, using a retinol serum form may allow it to tolerate the retinol content better. Cream forms are good for oilier to normal or combination skin. This is because creams can be more drying than serums. 


You should always use a moisturizer with both a serum or cream form of retinoid to combat any dryness a retinol may cause.

Pay Attention to the Percentage of Retinol

Pay Attention to the Percentage of Retinol

It’s essential to pay attention to the percentage of retinol because, as mentioned earlier, it tends to cause your skin to dry up, peel, and flake. So you want to be careful, especially if you’re just starting to incorporate it into your routine. 


If you're a beginner or have dry and sensitive skin, it’s best to go for low-strength retinol of about 0.01 to 0.03 percent. This way, your skin can get used to the product and build up a tolerance to it. You can start by applying it two times a week.

Pay Attention to the Percentage of Retinol

Moderate strength retinols range from 0.04 to 0.1 percent. These are great for people with an uneven complexion, textured skin, or fine lines and wrinkles. You can apply moderate retinol about two to three times a week.


People with aging skin, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation can go for high-strength retinols from 0.3 to one percent. This can help rejuvenate and brighten your skin more quickly. Still, your skin needs to get used to retinol before getting to this concentration.

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Start low and slow when you add a retinol to your routine. Using a lower concentration a few times a week can help your skin get used to the retinol. Then, you can work up to nightly use of the lower concentration. 


When you want a stronger percentage of retinol, you may need to scale back your application to a few times a week until your skin gets used to the higher concentration. Always use a lower concentration retinol around the eyes.

Look For Ingredients That Can Help With Wrinkles

Look For Ingredients That Can Help With Wrinkles

To help with wrinkles, look for retinol creams and serums formulated with additional ingredients that can help reduce wrinkles and aid aging skin. As we get older, our skin gets drier, which is why choosing retinol with highly moisturizing ingredients is essential.


Some highly moisturizing ingredients you can find are ceramides, hyaluronic acid, plant butters, and oils. Ceramides help hydrate and restore your skin’s protective barrier that locks in moisture in the skin. Glycerin, a type of sugar alcohol, can also help your skin retain moisture.

Look For Ingredients That Can Help With Wrinkles

Meanwhile, hyaluronic acid is also known for helping your skin retain moisture. It helps keep your face moisturized, plump, and smooth. Plus, this ingredient can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 


Some other moisturizing ingredients you should look for are plant butters and oils, like cocoa butter, shea butter, and jojoba oil. These ingredients can soothe and hydrate your skin by covering the skin with a protective film to trap moisture.

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Retinols aren't the only ingredient that can help with wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid not only helps wrinkles but helps combat the dryness retinol may induce


Hyaluronic acid can also give an immediate skin-plumping effect and a dewy finish. Retinols can be drying, so using a product that has hyaluronic acid or glycerin will be beneficial for your skin.

Know What Not to Use With Retinol

Know What Not to Use With Retinol

While retinols work well with SPF and moisturizing ingredients, there are some ingredients that you should avoid. As mentioned earlier, retinols can cause dryness and redness. You don’t want to make this worse by using more drying products.


Some ingredients you should avoid are vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, AHA acids, and BHA acids. Exfoliants like AHA and BHA can cause your skin to dry out and become irritated, while benzoyl peroxide cancels out the effects of retinol.


Vitamin C should be avoided or be used in the morning instead because it does the opposite of retinol. While retinol repairs the skin and boosts collagen production, vitamin C protects the skin and works best in the morning. 

Dr. Lauren Levy
Board Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Lauren Levy

Use your retinol at night, as the UV rays you're exposed to in the daytime can inactive the retinol and make it ineffective. 


If you do want to use AHAs or BHAs, I recommend alternating them between retinol uses if you want to get the benefit of both products. 


You could use a glycolic-based wash, however, in combination with a retinol if your skin is oily and can tolerate both of these together.

Extra Tips From Dr. Lauren Levy

Extra Tips From Dr. Lauren Levy

Dr. Levy says, "Retinols make you photosensitive. This means that even with minimal sun exposure, you may get a sunburn. You must use a daily sunscreen when using retinol products. Even a small amount of sun exposure or a long ride in the car in a sunny place can give you a burn when using these products."


She goes on to add, "Retinols need to be used properly in order to get the most benefit. Use a pea-sized amount on a clean and dry face. Follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum or cream-based moisturizer over the retinol. 


If you notice any irritation, redness, or burning skin for a few nights in a row, put a hold on your retinol use.  You can start up again once the symptoms have faded. When you start using it again, apply the retinol only a few times a week before working up to nightly application."

More Ways to Nourish Mature Skin!

More Ways to Nourish Mature Skin!

It can be a struggle trying to find products that work well with dry and mature skin. Don't worry, though; we’ve got you covered! Here are some products that can help address aging skin concerns.

A Beauty Blogger's Favorite Gentle Yet Effective Retinol Cream

If you want to add retinol to your skincare routine, but are worried that it'll irritate your skin, you may want to check out beauty blogger Tintin's recommended retinol cream! Tintin loves this cream for its additional mix of soothing and hydrating ingredients such as ceramides. You can read her full review below. 

Expert's
pick

Author: Janina Maddatu


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