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The Best Over the Counter Retinoids to Help Fight Aging

The best retinoids

Last week I shared 11 Tips to Get The Most Out of Your Retinoid, and today I’m sharing some of the best over the counter retinoids! They come in different price points, chemical structures and percentages.

As a general rule, a Retinol cream will be stronger than a Pro-Retinol cream, which needs to undergo more chemical reactions in your skin to be effective than Retinol does. That also means that it will be potentially more irritating. (You can combat that a bit, go check out those retinoid tips again.)


1. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream
Extended release formulation means this is less irritating.
Get it from Amazon or ULTA
Also contains: Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid

2. SkinMedica Retinol Complex

Comes in 0.25, 0.5 and 1% preparations of Retinol
At DermStore or Amazon
Also contains: Niacinamide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate

3. PCA Skin Intensive Age Refining Treatment
0.5% Retinol
Buy it from DermStore
Also contains: Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol

4. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream – Night
Amazon, ULTA
Also contains: Green Tea Extract, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate

5. Philosophy Help Me
Buy it from Sephora, Philosophy or ULTA
Also contains: Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate

6. La Roche Posay Redermic
Retinol and Retinyl Linoleate (a pro-retinoid) are both in this formulation
Available at Amazon or ULTA
Also contains: Adenosine, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate

7. Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Concentrate
Buy it from DermStore or Amazon
Also: Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate

8. Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate For Deep Wrinkles
Time release formulation for less irritation
Murad, Sephora or ULTA
Also with: Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate


9. Avéne RétrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
Retinal (in ingredient list), on their website Avéne calls it Retinaldehyde
Buy it from DermStore or Amazon
Also contains: Oleoyl Dipeptide-15, Oleoyl Tetrapeptide-31, Tocopherol

10. Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment
Retinyl Propionate
ULTA or Amazon
Also contains: Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol

Anti-Aging Skincare Guide
Check out more anti-aging skincare information and reviews in my guide!

Product Sent for Review, I Bought It, Affiliate Links

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 4.16.20
    sandra youssef said:

    Hi doctor,

    i have been reading alot about retinoids during pregnancy. i saw on your post thatt all retinoids are not safe. expect of one ( Beta-Carotene ) i wonder if there is a product with beta-carotene like a serum? and if that would help somehow like retinoil do ?

    i do understand if it is question hard to answer.

    thanks, sandra

    • 4.16.20
      15mins said:

      Beta-Carotene is fine during pregnancy as is rosehip oil which has natural vitamin A derivatives. I know there are a few with just beta-carotene but it’s much easier to find rosehip oil products