The Best Nighttime Retinols

By Tara Thompson Rasmus

It’s true that there isn’t a magic spell for perfect skin—however, retinol is such an amazing ingredient that it’s almost a supernatural solution for whatever skin woes are getting you down. A derivative of vitamin A, retinol speeds up skin cell’s renewal process (sometimes referred to as “cell turnover”), meaning that with regular use, you will see everything from skin tone and texture to dark circles and acne scars improve; almost like your skin’s been airbrushed. 

Prescription retinol treatments such as Retin-A are the most powerful options, but they can also come with the downside of serious irritation. Thankfully, there are many over-the-counter retinol treatments at a variety of price points that will provide noticeable results over time with far fewer side effects. One fair warning, however: you’ll want to use any retinol products (prescription or not) at night and use ample sunscreen during the day, as the ingredient can increase sun sensitivity. This quality makes it a great mid-winter skin treatment option, when we’re all getting less sun; use one of these incredible skin solutions now for smoother and clearer skin come spring!

Dr Roebuck’s Reverse Aging Serum

In this supercharged serum, powerful carosine and retinol blend with evening primrose and borage seed oils to lessen the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles while providing maximum hydration benefits.

Restoring Night CloudMasque by Patchology

This weightless overnight mask revitalizes skin with retinol and super-moisturizing hyaluronic acid, while the calming scent of jasmine night flower helps to send you straight to dreamland.

Dr. Brandt 2% Retinol Complex Serum Nighttime Skin Renewal

With a powerful 2% concentration of retinol, this paraben- and phthalate-free serum means business when it comes to reducing wrinkles and the appearance of pores.

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM

Featuring optimally concentrated encapsulated retinol, this serum encourages skin cells’ natural renewal process, providing a more vibrant and youthful appearance to the complexion.

Wrinkle Release Repair Treatment with Retinol

If your skin is on the sensitive side, this soothing serum will calm any irritation while it evens out your skin’s tone and texture. 

Obagi 360 Retinol

Featuring retinol that’s gradually released over time, this potent treatment is designed to target acne scars as well as fine lines and wrinkles.

philosophy ultimate miracle worker multi-rejuvenating nighttime serum-in cream

It’s a sad fact that the active ingredients in our skin care start to break down and lose their effectiveness as soon as the product is packaged—which is why this product is so innovative. It arrives as a separate cream and serum, and you mix the serum “pearls” into the cream for optimum freshness and potency.