6 Best Retinol Creams For Beginners – 2023

Collagen synthesizing formulas that delay the aging process and offer a youthful glow.

Reviewed by Becky Sturm, Esthetician Becky Sturm Becky SturmEsthetician facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
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If you are new to the whole self-care game and don’t know what to buy, start with the best retinol cream for beginners. Retinol has been used in several creams and gels to slow down the process of aging by penetrating the deeper layers of skin, which stimulates collagen production and regeneration. To say ‘goodbye’ to those fine lines and ‘hello’ to healthy and glowing skin, take a look at some of the best retinol creams to get you started. What are you waiting for? Scroll down to check them out!

Note: Be cautious while selecting a retinol cream as some of them can irritate your skin.

TOP 05 PRODUCTS
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Best Overall:RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream
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Best Dermatologically-Tested:Baebody Retinol Moisturizer
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Best Against Wrinkles:Obagi Medical 360 Retinol Moisturizer CreamPrice on Amazon
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Best Lightweight:Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
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Best Sensitive Skin:La Roche–Posay Redermic Retinol Eye Cream
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Greasy:LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream
Price on Amazon
Price on Walmart

6 Best Retinol Creams For Beginners

1. Best Overall:RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream

The Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream by RoC is an ideal choice for beginners. It is an overnight skin repairing cream that leaves your skin smooth and soft and reduces scars and wrinkles while you are sleeping. This dermatologist-recommended cream is enriched with retinol that accelerates the removal of old skin cells that make your skin look dull, making your skin look vibrant and healthy. It is clinically-proven to reduce wrinkles and also effectively works to even skin tone, brighten your complexion, and restore a youthful appearance. It also contains hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. This formula has received rave reviews from different skin care enthusiasts who posted their experiences with the product on e-commerce websites. Check out this review of the retinol cream on YouTube if you require more details about this product!

Product Dimensions: 6.68 x 2.31 x 1.16 inches | Weight: 0.96 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Value for money
  • No harsh chemicals
  • No artificial fragrance

Cons
  • Strong scent

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use retinoids only at night because they make the skin more sensitive to UV rays and sunlight during the day.

2. Best Dermatologically-Tested:Baebody Retinol Moisturizer

This dermatologically tested cream from Baebody is ideal for combination, oily, and dry skin types. It is infused with accelerated retinol and other potent ingredients like vitamin B5, shea butter, and jojoba oil that form a powerful formula to fight skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Designed to be non-irritating and sensitive skin-friendly, it offers gradual results without causing discomfort. This cream possesses anti-aging properties and helps visibly fade wrinkles and fine lines. If you are still unsure about this retinol product from Baebody Beauty, you can check this personal review video.

Product Dimensions: 2.99 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches | Weight: 1.7 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Allergy-tested
  • Non-greasy
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Color-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Value for money
  • Cruely free
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free

Cons
  • Unpleasant smell
  • Contains alcohol
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 12,310 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

3. Best Against Wrinkles:Obagi Medical 360 Retinol Moisturizer Cream

The Obagi Medical 360 Retinol Moisturizer Cream helps to revive your skin and improves dull skin tone. This clinically backed skincare retinol formula is made using Obagi360 Retinol 1.0 Technology. Retinol 1.0 gently refines skin texture while drastically decreasing the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines. Obagi’s Retinol has entrapment technology, allowing it to be effective without irritating your skin. It also improves skin elasticity and discoloration, resulting in a more even complexion. It is dermatologically tested and is suitable for all skin types. Its fast-absorbing nature makes it convenient for daily use. It delivers clinically-proven results by boosting collagen synthesis that promotes cellular turnover and minimizes acne scars. Furthermore, no animal testing is done to prove the product’s efficacy.

Becky Sturm, esthetician, says, “Obaji is a trusted brand and worth the price tag. You can use the product at night for optimum benefit. Start out using once a week for a couple of weeks and assess the skin. Though often recommended for daily use, I’m a fan of using it every other day.”

Product Dimensions: 1.26 x 1.26 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • SLES free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dermatologically tested

Cons

None

protip_icon Quick tip
If you are just getting started with this product, use it only twice a week initially.

RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream
Best Overall
Baebody Retinol Moisturizer
Best Dermatologically-Tested
Obagi Medical 360 Retinol Moisturizer Cream
Best Against Wrinkles
Dimensions 6.68 x 2.31 x 1.16 inches 2.99 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches 1.26 x 1.26 x 2 inches
Weight 0.96 Ounces 1.7 Ounces 1.6 Ounces
Rating
Reviews1,77912,310516
Price$2619$19.95$79

4. Best Lightweight:Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream

The Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream is a beginner-friendly night cream suitable for all skin types. It is infused with accelerated retinol and hyaluronic acid that regenerate, moisturize, and smoothen the skin. The Glucose Complex in the formula strengthens the skin barrier and visibly fades wrinkles and fine lines. This dermatologist-recommended super-effective moisturizer helps hydrate your skin and protects it from further damage. The repairing cream delivers clinically-proven results, leaving your skin feeling smoother. This hydrating formula from Neutrogena can truly work wonders on your skin. You can take a look at a review of the product if you require more convincing.

Product Dimensions: 2.44 x 2.44 x 5.24 inches | Weight: 1.69 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • A little goes a long way
  • Absorbed quickly

Cons
  • Overpowering fragrance
  • Can irritate the skin.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Hyaluronic acid and moisturizers are retinol’s allies, while vitamin C, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide never go hand-in-hand.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 3,605 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

5. Best Sensitive Skin:La Roche–Posay Redermic Retinol Eye Cream

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4.3

The dermatologist-recommended La Roche–Posay Redermic Retinol Eye Cream visibly reduces the appearance of crow’s feet, wrinkles, and dark circles around the eyes. It smooths skin texture and minimizes pores to deliver visible results. It contains retinol and caffeine that reduce puffiness, while glycerin and sodium hyaluronate deeply hydrate the skin to make it soft, plump, and supple. The retinol cream is lightweight, quick-absorbing, and does not leave any greasy or sticky feeling post-application. This dermatologist-tested formula was well-received by reviewers owing to its effective formulation.

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Pros
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Preservative-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologically tested

Cons
  • Unpleasant smell
  • Expensive

6. Best Non-Greasy:LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream

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4.3
LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Image: Lilyana Naturals

The LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream is specially formulated for acne-prone skin. It is infused with botanical hyaluronic acid, organic green tea, vitamin E, organic jojoba oil, shea butter, and retinol – nourishing ingredients known to fade signs of aging and promote skin renewal. The dermatologist-recommended formula improves your skin’s texture and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. The cream penetrates deep into your skin to enhance your skin tone and restore its radiance. It can be used both day and night for optimal anti-aging benefits.

Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 1.75 x 3.5 inches | Weight: 1.7 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • SLES free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • Expensive
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 11,062 great reviews on Amazon.

If you are new to retinol, the prospect of using it for the first time can be daunting. You may worry about several factors related to retinol products such as consistency, ingredients, or formula. Never fear! We’ve put together a helpful guide to get you started on your retinol journey.

Things To look For In Retinol Creams For Beginners

  • Strength: When choosing a retinol cream, the most important factor is strength. Retinols come in a variety of strengths, from 0.25% all the way up to 2%. If you’re new to retinol, it’s best to start with a lower strength and work your way up as your skin becomes accustomed to the ingredient. Otherwise, you may experience dryness, redness, and irritation.
  • Ingredients: Some retinol creams also contain other active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide which can help boost its efficacy. Choose one that contains ingredients that will benefit your skin type and needs.
  • Skin Type: If you have dry skin, look for a retinol cream that also contains hyaluronic acid or glycerin to help hydrate your skin. If you have oily skin, look for a retinol cream that is oil-free or contains ingredients like salicylic acid to help control oil production.

Always read the labels carefully before purchasing any skincare product, including retinol creams. This will help you avoid any potential allergic reactions or other adverse effects.

  • Price: Finally, don’t forget to factor in price when choosing a retinol cream. While some of the higher-priced options may offer more potent formulas, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right for everyone. There are plenty of excellent retinol creams available at more affordable prices. It really just depends on what you’re looking for and what your budget allows.

Infographic: Why You Need A Retinol Cream In Your Skin Care Routine

Retinol creams are a must-have in any skin care routine for people over 20 years. Although it might take some time for your skin to get used to them, once it does, the results are amazing. They are incredibly effective at minimizing wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. Check out the below infographic for more information.

Why You Need A Retinol Cream In Your Skin Care Routine (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient that has been used in many skincare products. The best retinol creams will slow down the process of aging by penetrating the layers of your skin and stimulating collagen production. The sooner you start incorporating retinol products into your skincare routine, the better for your skin. These creams are non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and do not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances. The RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream is infused with hyaluronic acid to plump the skin, while the Baebody Retinol Moisturizer packs nourishing oils to boost skin renewal without irritating the skin. Incorporating retinol creams into your skincare routine will help you achieve flawless skin in no time.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Shiboli Chakraborti, the author of this post, has a certification in skin care coaching. Retinol creams are one of the most effective ways to reduce signs of aging. So if you’re new to using retinol creams, she eagerly recommends using the products mentioned above. She spent a substantial amount of time researching these creams and their reviews on many user forums. With benefits, like lightweight consistency, absence of harsh elements, dermatologist-tested, and value for money, these creams are sure to leave your skin looking and feeling youthful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to use retinol every day?

Yes, it is safe to use retinol every day once the skin has adapted and developed tolerance. First-time users might experience irritation, dryness, and peeling upon use.

Should I use retinol every night?

Yes, it can be used every night. Initially, it should be applied once or twice to check the reaction of the skin. Retinols are photosensitive and should be applied only during the night.

Do you apply retinol before or after moisturizer?

If you have sensitive skin, apply moisturizer before retinol to reduce the chance of inflammation or redness.

Does retinol really get rid of wrinkles?

Yes, retinol reduces the appearance of wrinkles. It stimulates collagen production and exfoliates dead skin. It helps reduce wrinkles, dark spots, and breakouts.

Do I have to keep using retinol once I start?

Yes, keep using retinol to achieve optimal results. If you stop using the ingredient, underlying conditions like premature aging signs may reappear and damage your skin.


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    Becky Sturm

    Becky SturmEsthetician

    Becky Sturm is a multi hyphenate beauty maven who has been in the salon and spa industry for 30+ years as a hairdresser, esthetician, as well as product development and product expert. After graduating in the HORST/Aveda Institute Advanced Training program in 1985, she went on to do an apprenticeship at The Red Carpet Salons for three years in Minneapolis...read full bio