Day 2: Retinol Or Retinoid Night
“Just like the first night, start night two with applying gentle cleanser to prep the skin for retinol,” DeRosa said. “Use only a small amount, as retinol is a skin irritant and, if you are just starting using it or have sensitive skin, be especially cautious not to overdo it.”
Why have a retinol night in the skin cycle? Retinol is essentially a miracle product. It increases skin cell production and helps stimulate collagen production, which in turn leads to fewer wrinkles, fading dark spots and improved skin texture.
There are numerous retinol products on the market. If you don’t currently have one in your medicine cabinet, Ward recommended Skinbetter Alpharet Overnight Cream.
If you’re a retinol newbie, consider starting with something gentle, like Fleur and Bee ‘A’ Game Serum, which has a lower percentage of retinol and naturally soothing ingredients like jojoba oil, aloe vera, and green tea.
Here are more dermatologist picks for retinols:
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair retinol moisturizer
This is an excellent option for retinol newbies. Formulated for daytime use, Neutrogena’s retinol moisturizer includes SPF 30, which is imperative to apply when using powerful ingredients like retinol. It fights fine lines, dullness, wrinkles, dark spots and more while hyaluronic acid adds much-needed plumping moisture, so the moisture barrier stays healthy.
You can buy Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair retinol moisturizer from Amazon for around $20.
Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C moisturizer
Those with sensitive skin may want to go easy on this potent mix of powerful active ingredients, as it could cause irritation. The combination of both retinol and vitamin C helps to brighten and replenish the skin while also improving skin texture and fine lines. It’s a rich, nourishing cream that will protect against free radicals while working hard to hydrate and repair the skin.
You can buy Kate Somerville +Retinol Vitamin C moisturizer from Ulta for around $110.
Skin Better Science Intensive AlphaRet overnight cream
This potent cream is great for anyone who wants to up their retinol game but doesn’t quite want to go all the way to prescription strength. Just be sure to be diligent about sunscreen use. Formulated with both retinol and AHAs to improve the visible appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, Skin Better Science’s night cream is a powerful addition to any skin care regime. A higher concentration of glycolic acids helps to enhance the texture and feel of skin.
You can buy the Intensive AlphaRet overnight cream from Skin Better Science for around $130.
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni retinol cream
If you’re seeking a more eco-friendly, vegan alternative that is also incredibly effective, then this is the one for you. Just be sure to go slow if you’re a retinol newcomer. Made with a vegan form of 1% retinol with peptides and niacinamide, Drunk Elephant’s night cream features a powerful combination of anti-aging ingredients along with soothing botanical extracts. It’s the best of both worlds for those looking for powerful, plant-based retinol that delivers results.
You can buy the Drunk Elephant A-Passioni retinol cream from Sephora for around $74.
CeraVe skin renewing retinol serum
Great for most skin types, beginners and those with sensitive skin, CeraVe’s offering includes an encapsulated, time-released retinol along with moisturizing, skin-repairing ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. it has a gentle yet effective formula that won’t cause irritation and helps smooth and brighten skin.
You can buy CeraVe skin renewing retinol serum from Target for around $22.
SkinMedica age defense retinol complex
This option is best for those who know their skin can tolerate high levels of active ingredients. SkinMedica’s night lotion is formulated with multiple different strengths of retinol to help rejuvenate the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines. Algae extract keeps skin soft, hydrated and protected against free-radical damage.
You can buy SkinMedica age defense retinol complex from Dermstore for around $80.
Alastin renewal retinol
Alastin’s retinol cream is available in two strengths, 0.25 and 0.5, so you can start with the lighter strength if necessary. Those who are ready to try a higher percentage of retinol should do so slowly, so your skin can get used to it even if you’ve long used active ingredients. It is formulated with an encapsulated retinol to decrease the appearance of fine lines and to smooth skin texture. It includes oat extract and antioxidants to help calm and soothe the skin while protecting against dehydration with powerful hydrators.
You can buy Alastin renewal retinol from Alastin Skincare for around $60.
Paula’s Choice 1% retinol treatment with peptides and vitamin C
Retinol newbies and veterans alike can enjoy the benefits of this effective cream. This high-strength formula from Paula’s Choice absorbs quickly into the skin, smoothing, strengthening and brightening the complexion. Powerful antioxidants like vitamins C and E work in tandem with hydrating hyaluronic acid and skin-firming, nourishing peptides to safely deliver results.
You can get Paula’s Choice 1% retinol treatment with peptides and vitamin C from Amazon for around $60.