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5 Top Over-The-Counter Retinol Creams That Are Worth the Hype

Get the benefits of retinol without a prescription.
May 20, 2022

There are tons of anti-aging skin care ingredients out there, but retinol is consistently lauded as one of the most potent. If you’re looking to combat signs of aging and fine lines, you may have even already considered adding a retinol cream or serum to your skin care routine. 

Known as the buzzy skin care essential that caters to various anti-aging skin care concerns, retinol cream can offer a slew of benefits. And the best part is, instead of relying on your derm to get your retinol fix, you can bring the magic to your home with an over-the-counter option.


Of course, not all skin care products are created equal and retinol face creams are no exception. If you’re ready to revamp your skin care routine, look no further. Below, we’re sharing our best retinol creams (and one serum) to give your skin the upgrade it deserves.

What Does Retinol Do For Your Skin?

First things first, let’s talk about the benefits of retinol a little more. A derivative of vitamin A, this potent ingredient works to repair sun damaged skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to the Mayo Clinic. Further, the Cleveland Clinic shares that retinol is proven to improve skin texture, overall skin tone and hydration levels, as well as dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation.

Face creams formulated with retinol (also often referred to as vitamin A creams) allow you to tackle anti-aging skin concerns while providing your skin with moisture, making it a no-brainer why they’re so popular. Since retinol has been known to cause skin dryness, it’s easy to think that it can damage your skin. And the truth is, it really depends on the individual. The key to using vitamin A cream without it causing any damage to your skin is to use the product as directed.

If you’re new to using retinol and have concerns, consult with your dermatologist first. You may also want to start slowly. Begin by applying your retinol face cream every other day or every third day and build up to a higher frequency if your skin can handle it. Using retinol safely also includes following up with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Retinol use can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so it’s crucial to take proper sun protection measures, as directed by the AAD.
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5 Best Non-Prescription Retinol Creams 

If you’re game for adding vitamin A to your skin care routine, check out these OTC retinol creams and serums below.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Pressed Night Moisturizer with Retinol + Niacinamide

Retinol can be drying, especially if you use it every day. This is why this retinol moisturizer is a must-have. It contains potent retinol to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay, plus niacinamide to deeply soothe and hydrate the skin.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30

This retinol cream provides the best of both worlds: Moisture and SPF. Formulated with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this cream reduces wrinkles, and firms and brightens skin.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer Fragrance-Free

Formulated with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid — three top anti-aging ingredients — this retinol face cream works to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and firm and brighten the skin. It also works to plump the skin with hydration for smoother and softer skin with continued use.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask

Using retinol to target wrinkles and improve skin texture is as easy as getting a good night’s sleep. Enlist the help of this overnight mask formulated with Pro-Retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. In just one night skin looks more radiant and over time you’ll see a visible reduction in wrinkles, plus a firmer and brighter visage.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum, 0.3% Pure Retinol

For a potent option that you can use everyday, reach for this night serum with pure retinol. We know it’s not a retinol cream but it works to reduce wrinkles, even deep ones, and will leave your complexion looking smoother and more even-toned.

How Long Does It Take to See Results from Retinol?

While it would be nice to see your desired results overnight, it’s simply not possible. Just like any other skin care product or routine, when using vitamin A cream you need to give your skin time to see improvements. So, stay consistent, and you’ll see the benefits. As for exactly when you can expect results, that may vary from product to product and person to person.

Next: How Are Creams and Lotions Different?

Written and photographed by: Shalwah Evans

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