The Top Drugstore Retinol Serums To Try Now

Finding new skincare products to incorporate into your skincare routine can be challenging. When it comes down to it, finding any skincare product that you’ll end up liking and keeping in your skincare routine is a win, win. 

If you’ve heard of Retinol, then you probably know that it’s of the best options available for your skin! Incorporating a retinol product into your skincare routine could be the exact finishing touch you need. 

If you’ve made it to this article, then that’s probably something you already know, have considered, or are trying to learn more about. There are a ton of different options of retinol products out there. It can be really difficult to dwindle it down. Is it better than pure retinol? Should I get a product mixed with other ingredients besides just ordinary retinol? The options are endless, and one could spend hours researching the best retinol cream. 

The good news, though, is you don’t have to. The experts have done all the hard work for you. If you’re looking for the best retinol cream, keep reading! Learn everything you need to know about your skin type and the best ingredients with retinol cream.

older woman with fine lines and wrinkles on her face

What Is It?

First things first, what is it? As with most other beneficial skincare products, Retinol is a vitamin. It’s a form of Vitamin A, sometimes referred to as Vitamin A1. Vitamin A is an important nutrient most likely in your Daily Vitamin. It is substantially important for your overall skin health. Vitamin A helps aid in vision, growth, cell division, reproduction, and immunity. Pretty cool, right? So, what exactly does that have to do with the skin? Well, let’s take a deep look, shall we? 

Retinol is proven to have antioxidant properties, making it extremely beneficial to the skin. It was first used and introduced in 1971 to treat acne. It proved to be good at clearing up acne-prone skin. They later realized that not only did the overall skin texture become smoother, but the Retinol also aided in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

A retinoid is the most basic part of the Retinol chemical. These tiny structures are the chemicals that you can extract from Vitamin A itself. Retinoids can be quite strong when directly extracted, but don’t worry; the FDA-approved Retinoid serums and creams are safe for your skin. Remember, the higher the Retinoid content, the more intense the reactions. 

Another name that may pop up in your research is Retinoic Acid, just a more intense version of Retinol. It’s again extracted from Vitamin A, but it then needs to go through another process to create the right enzymatic reactions. Retinol serum is a liquid created from a stand of Vitamin A. By extracting the Retinoids and creating a new serum, cream, or spray. You can apply these structural Vitamin A1 forms to the skin. 

Retinol Serums and Skin Texture

With a basic understanding of where Retinol comes from and how it’s extracted, let’s look at its effects on the skin texture. The benefits are almost hard to count regarding a Retinol product. Understanding each benefit in depth will help you determine if this is something you need to incorporate into your skincare routine. 

Benefits of A Retinol Product and Skin Texture

  1. Increases Cell Turnover

Retinol has privileges above other vitamin compounds because of the small size of the overall structure of the retinoids. These small retinoids can penetrate deeper into the top layer of the skin. They help the skin create new skin cells as they go deep. With the need to constantly create new skin cells, the added help can keep your skin healthy. As skin ages or becomes weakened (acne), creating new skin cells becomes much harder. They are eventually leading to the skin looking and feeling pretty awful. If you’re struggling with that, investing in a good quality Retinol product could be the additive your skin desperately needs. 

  1. Helps Collagen Production

Fibroblasts. Fibroblasts. Fibroblast. Fibroblasts are cell types found throughout the skin that are “developmentally programmed to produce collagen.” As the skin ages, those Fribroblasts tend to slow their production rates. Which essentially speeds up the aging skin process. What makes retinol so special is the fact that it stimulates those fibroblasts. As the fibroblasts are stimulated, they increase in number and essentially help to create more collagen throughout the skin. Pretty cool, huh? 

  1. Helps Oil Production Levels

Last but certainly not least, oil production levels. Acne-prone skin is almost always accompanied by oil. Oily skin can irritate and be an uncomfortable situation for anyone to be in. Whether you’re a teenager, in your mid to late twenties, or getting acne still as a full-grown adult, oily skin is tough. BRING IN THE RETINOL. Retinol is known to slow down oil production. It is why it was first brought on as an acne medication. Along with all other Retinol superpowers, it can also help tighten the pores. Since it can reach deep down into the skin, the pores become tighter, essentially being able to secrete less oil.

All the points mentioned above help to understand Retinol's effect on the skin. Including it in your skincare routine might save your uneven skin tone or mature skin. Made up of a single ingredient, retinoids might be the answers you’ve been searching for. 

drop of retinol

Incorporating A Retinol Serum

Incorporating anything into your skincare routine should be done with a plan. Don’t just apply a new serum and expect results to be happening and your skin to react perfectly. It can take time for the skin to adjust to something new. Especially something like Retinol. Here are a few tips to help you incorporate a Retinol Serum into your skincare routine. 

Use it at Night

Retinol is surprisingly very sensitive to light. If you plan to be out in the sun for even a few minutes during the day, it’s important not to apply retinol. At night, it’s totally fine because, by the morning, it will be absorbed into your skin. Apply about 10 minutes before your night cream to give the Retinol serum time to absorb.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Retinol has the potential to dry out your skin seriously. Don’t start using it daily at the beginning. It’s essential to give your skin time to get used to the new product. Try to only use it a few times a week at first. Monitor the dryness levels and how your skin reacts to the product. Go from there. 

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

Retinol Serum is nice and silky. It will easily smooth across your entire face, even with a small amount.

All in Good Time, My Dear

Like with all good things, Retinol takes time. It can take up to 12 weeks to see results. The severity of your skin condition and skin texture results will vary. 

retinol drops coming out of dropper

Drugstore Retinol V.S. Prescription Level Retinol

Purchasing Retinol products from the drugstore is not advised against, but you should know that there are other options. It’s been found that drugstore retinol creams work great in most cases! As long as the reviews look good and the product doesn’t have any unwanted added ingredients, then all should be well. 

If you’re someone with intense acne or wrinkles, sitting down with a board-certified dermatologist might be the best way. If you cannot get an appointment with a dermatologist (trust us, we know how difficult that can be), then your regular physician should be able to help. 

Regarding a prescription level Retinol product, things become a bit more serious. This level of Retinoids is structurally designed in a lab, and the end product is Tretinoin. Tretinoin can be used to treat acne and skin damage due to the sun but is only available with a prescription from a licensed physician or dermatologist. This prescription level medication usually clears up acne within 2-3 weeks. Altogether a pretty great product. 


Just like with any other prescription medicine, it’s important to use Tretinoin cautiously. Always follow the recommendations made by your doctor. Not following the instructions could lead to far worse reactions; “Applying excessive amounts of Tretinoin onto the skin . . . can make the skin worse by causing extreme dryness, peeling, or redness. Be careful with sensitive skin, and be wary of the product. If any skin conditions get worse or arise, contact your doctor immediately. 

Mixing Retinol

When mixing different chemicals and structurally bonded products, it’s essential to know when to combine them and when to not. Retinol is entirely safe to mix with other products, but when it comes to certain vitamins, it’s probably wise to use them at different times. There are various reasons for that. Let’s break them down:

Vitamin C

When mixing vitamin C and Retinol, it’s best to apply them to the face at different times of the day. It’s okay to use both in one day, but not at the same time. It’s necessary to leave a couple of hours in between applications to give your skin enough time to heal and absorb all of its nutrients. Great advice is to use a Vitamin C serum in the morning and Retinol in the evenings. Retinol can be more dangerous when coming into contact with the sun, while Vitamin C protects the skin against UV rays. 

Vitamin E

It’s safe to mix Vitamin E and Retinol. These two products will work very well together. Regarding prescription-level Retinoids (tretinoin), you must chat with your doctor first. Recent studies have found that Vitamin E and prescription level Retinoids complement each other, but again check with your doctor first. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid and Retinol can not only be used together but also at the same time. It is an extremely popular combination of skincare products. It’s widely used throughout the skincare industry. Many of the recommended products in this article contain both Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid. 


Say hello, chemical burn! When mixing different acids like AHA or BHA with Retinol, you are highly increasing your risk of a chemical burn. And trust us, you don’t want to subject yourself to that. Not only are chemical burns painful, but also they aren’t very attractive. 

AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acids are used to help in the exfoliation process of the skin. Some exfoliation products may include both AHAs and Retinol, but these have been scientifically crafted and shouldn’t be homemade. Not understanding the right amount of each product can lead your skin to places you don’t want to go. 

Using acids and retinol separately is fine, but for your safety, avoid using them together. If you have used them together and it’s burning, that doesn’t mean it’s working! So be mindful of using Retinol with any acid. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

Unlike Retinol with acids, using it with Benzoyl Peroxide has a different effect. It’s not recommended to use the two together. Thankfully, a chemical burn isn’t the outcome, but the two products will likely cancel each other out. That is, if they’re used at the same time. Using one in the morning and one at night may be the answer you’re looking for to that stubborn acne. 

When it comes to mixing skincare products, you have to be mindful. If your 10th-grade chemistry class taught you anything, these products are essentially chemicals. Hopefully, it taught you that mixing chemicals you don’t know the structures of can be dangerous! The same goes for skincare products. Unless you know the complete structural makeup of a product, please don’t mix it without doing your research. In most cases, mixing products will just lead to overly dried-out skin, but in some cases, it can be much worse. 

Best Retinol Cream and Serums

When it comes down to it, finding the best retinol cream and serums highly depends on the company. It also depends on different ingredients that have been added to the product. It might not be the best option if a product has a large list of other ingredients as retinol works on its own. 


Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Facial Filler with Hyaluronic Acid

by RoC 

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09/21/2023 01:47 am GMT

RoC Retinol Correxion with Hyaluronic Acid

Using both Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid, this skincare product is great for not only reducing the appearance of wrinkles but also helping with acne scars. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars 

Price: $17.45


Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin Texture

by CeraVe 

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09/20/2023 02:57 pm GMT

CeraVe Retinol Serum 

Cerave is a skincare company that is raved for its attention to detail when creating products for sensitive skin. Cerave products are fragrance-free and pretty good for sensitive skin.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Price: $16.40

Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Wrinkle Night Serum
$21.79 ($62.26 / Fl Oz)

by RoC 

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09/21/2023 01:51 am GMT

RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Night Serum 

This night serum comes in 30 convenient capsules! Never overuse again. This serum aids in wrinkle reduction and smooth skin, reducing the appearance of dark spots and acne scars. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Price: $24.99

Vitamin C Serum Plus With Hyaluronic Acid Serum

by Eva Naturals 

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09/21/2023 01:51 am GMT

Eva Naturals Vitamin C Serum + 2% Retinol

The low dose of retinol in this serum will surely be enough to fight skin problems without irritation. Be careful if you have sensitive skin, as this is a mixture of ingredients. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Price: $13.46


Rapid Wrinkle Repair Face Oil Retinol Serum

by Neutrogena 

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09/21/2023 01:57 am GMT

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

This anti-aging facial serum is the perfect Retinol choice and is infused with hyaluronic acid! Fade your wrinkles while aiding in an overall smoother skin texture with this product. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Price: $14.50

Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

by Neutrogena 

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09/21/2023 01:57 am GMT

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair 

Neutrogena has been used for generations, and its products are very well-liked. With an excellent reputation, this Retinol face serum is sure to withstand the standards of Neutrogena. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Price: $17.95


In conclusion, there’s no doubt that retinol has benefits that are hard to find elsewhere. As for drugstore products, for most skin types, over-the-counter Retinol serum is a perfect addition to a skincare routine. In some cases, more serious acne cases, a prescription medication may be the better option! If you are looking for a product to enhance the overall look of your skin. Maybe something to add to your boring night cream, well retinol could be the answer. Now that you’ve got all the information find the best product for you and your skincare routine. 

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