7 Best Retinol Serums

7 Best Retinol Serums

80
Hours
Researched
44
Products
Evaluated

After 80 hours of research evaluating 44 products, we picked RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream as our top choice.

Time and time again, retinol has been championed by dermatology experts for being an anti-aging wonder. As such, it's clear why countless skincare products -- from creams to toners to face masks -- rely on this ingredient to fight fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and uneven texture.

You might be wondering:

Among all these retinol products, which ones are truly worth it?

Well, the answer would depend on a lot of factors. But one thing is for sure: If there's one anti-aging product that you need to incorporate into your routine, it's definitely a retinol serum.

Serums are highly concentrated formulations that deliver an intensive dose of actives that greatly benefit the skin. They're designed to be more potent than any other skincare product.

In fact, Dr. Abigail Waldman, a Harvard Medical School Dermatology instructor, highly recommends serums to everyone who is concerned about skin aging.

Now:

Researching, testing, and analyzing a bunch of products just to look for the best retinol serum can be quite the challenge. Lucky for you, we've already done the dirty work and summarized our findings below!

On to the list!

7 Best Retinol Serums

  • 7. L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream
  • 6. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream
  • 5. Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment
  • 4. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Face Moisturizer
  • 3. La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Concentrate
  • 2. Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol
  • 1. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream

Best Cheap Retinol Serum

#7

L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream

Best Cheap Retinol Serum: L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream
Get from Amazon
21 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.0
Effectiveness
8.8
Value
9.0
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Non-greasy and non-sticky formula
  • Brightens the skin
  • Fades lines and wrinkles

This cream from L'Oreal's Revitalift line firms the skin and helps resist signs of aging. Its non-greasy and non-sticky formula sinks right into the skin, which makes it a great retinol serum before heavier moisturizers.

Some people found the scent of this product a bit too strong. Fortunately, it fades away after a while.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.0 / 10

This cream contains Pro-Retinol A and Stimuplex that reduce wrinkles, firm the face, and moisturize the skin. It has a greaseless texture that sinks in quickly, which means you can definitely use it as a serum under heavier night creams. If you have oily skin, however, this cream will probably be enough to hydrate your complexion on its own.

Effectiveness

8.8 / 10

Slapping this on before you go to bed will give the product enough time to really work its magic. In fact, many satisfied reviewers have reported seeing a refreshed and glowing complexion upon waking in the morning.

After several weeks, noticeable improvement in the depth of fine lines and wrinkles will be visible. We love that it helps fade pigmentation and soothe the skin, as well.

Value

9.0 / 10

You'll shell out less than $20 for this night cream -- even less if you buy it from Amazon! For a product that performs as well as this retinol serum, we truly believe that it provides unbeatable value.

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Drugstore Retinol Serum

#6

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream

Best Drugstore Retinol Serum: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream
Get from Amazon
22 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.1
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Reduces fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles
  • Smoothes out rough texture
  • Promotes a radiant complexion

This anti-wrinkle retinol product harnesses the power of hyaluronic acid, glucose complex, and Accelerated Retinol SA to soften the look of lines and age spots. It leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated after each use. With regular use, this cream/serum will transform the skin from dull and sagging to plump and rejuvenated.

It's not the best retinol serum for ultra-sensitive skin or retinol beginners as it contains a high concentration of retinol.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.1 / 10

If you're a fan of Neutrogena's Accelerated Retinol SA, then you'll be pleased to know that this product has the highest concentration of said ingredient among its lineup of products. It's jampacked with potent ingredients (including hyaluronic acid and a retinol-boosting glucose complex) that your skin will readily drink up.

Its rich texture is pleasant to use and makes a noticeable difference in the look of the skin right away. We appreciate that Neutrogena went fragrance-free with this product, knowing that many drugstore finds are criticized for their strong fragrance.

Effectiveness

9.0 / 10

Looking to rejuvenate tired-looking skin? If so, we highly recommend that you use this cream as a serum. Not only does it help fade the look of fine lines and wrinkles, but it's rich in hydrating and replenishing components that plump and brighten the complexion, as well. We really felt the hyaluronic acid ingredient working its magic -- rescuing dehydrated and dull complexions and securing all-day hydration.

Value

9.0 / 10

As a drugstore product, it's a relatively affordable retinol serum at less than $30. What's more, if you purchase it from Amazon, you'll probably be able to score this gem at an amazing discount.

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Luxury Retinol Serum

#5

Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment

Best Luxury Retinol Serum: Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment
Get from Sephora
21 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.5
Effectiveness
9.6
Value
8.8
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
85 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Elegant texture that absorbs fast
  • Firms the skin and gives it a dewy glow
  • Works quickly

Lancer's Advanced Retinol Treatment fuses the power of 1.25% retinol with Bakuchiol, which is a plant-derived compound that mimics the effects of retinol. It improves the skin's elasticity, tone, and texture while plumping the complexion and minimizing redness.

At $95, this luxury retinol serum may be out of reach for those who are on a strict skincare budget.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.5 / 10

As one of the best retinol serums, this product fittingly feels luxurious to use. It has a cosmetically-elegant texture that spreads easily and absorbs quickly. If you hate the feeling of residue sitting on top of your skin, you'd probably enjoy using this serum, too.

Aside from having a 1.25% retinol component, Lancer also threw Bakuchiol into the formulation. Bakuchiol is an ingredient that mimics the effects of retinol on the skin. Together, these two work hand-in-hand to erase fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles. This serum also contains hydrolized collagen, squalane, and prickly pear extract for hydration, skin conditioning, and redness control.

Effectiveness

9.6 / 10

The Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment is the best retinol serum for those who are looking for a fast-acting product that delivers a luxurious experience. Visible improvements in the look and feel of the skin will be apparent in a few days, with a smoother and brighter complexion being the most obvious initial result.

After a few weeks, it makes the skin firm yet plump, hydrated, and more even. The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines also soften after a few weeks. Fair warning: your skin will really peel within a few days of using this product, so diligence in sunscreen application is an absolute must. The results simply get better and better over time which, we believe, makes this product well worth its price tag.

Value

8.8 / 10

A bottle of this retinol serum will set you back $95. Such an amount for an ounce of product is undoubtedly expensive, but the quality of ingredients, pleasant application, and performance you're getting makes the price a bit more palatable.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Best Retinol Serum To Get Rid of Wrinkles

#4

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Face Moisturizer

Best Retinol Serum To Get Rid of Wrinkles: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Face Moisturizer
Get from Amazon
24 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.2
Effectiveness
9.3
Value
9.4
Overall
93%
93 % Editor Score
88 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Offers sun protection
  • Visibly improves the look and depth of lines and wrinkles
  • Makes the skin more youthful-looking in just a week

This retinol serum works quickly to improve the skin's appearance. It's effective at fading crow's feet, wrinkles, and forehead lines. It also moisturizes the skin with hyaluronic acid.

Those with sensitive skin should take caution in using this product. Performing a patch test and starting slow in terms of usage frequency is important.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.2 / 10

As with most other products from Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair line, this gem contains retinol, hyaluronic acid, and a retinol-boosting glucose complex. What sets it apart from the rest, however, is its nice, light texture and sun protection factor. It sinks in quickly and has an SPF of 30 -- making it a great daytime retinol concentrate for those with dry skin. If you have combo to oily skin, however, you can probably get away with using this product as a moisturizer, as well.

Effectiveness

9.3 / 10

In just a week, this cream effectively makes the skin appear smoother and plumper. The hyaluronic acid component does a great job at hydrating the complexion and making it more supple. Its wrinkle-fading effects will take a few weeks to appear, but your patience will definitely pay off.

It not only treats lines and age spots, but it prevents new ones from forming, as well. We know that UV exposure is one of the leading causes of skin aging, so we love that this retinol serum also has a preventive stance courtesy of the SPF.

Value

9.4 / 10

At an MSRP of around $23, this is definitely a pocket-friendly retinol serum. We appreciate the fact that it's frequently available at a discount on Amazon, too.

Overall Editor Score

9.3 / 10

Best Anti-Aging Retinol Serum

#3

La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Concentrate

Best Anti-Aging Retinol Serum: La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Concentrate
Get from Amazon
21 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.4
Effectiveness
9.4
Value
9.3
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
91 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Uses pure retinol and progressive release retinol to correct the signs of aging
  • Not as drying as other retinol products
  • Effectively evens out skin tone

La Roche-Posay's Redermic R Retinol Concentrate transforms aged, dull skin in a matter of weeks. It corrects premature age spots and softens the look of wrinkles without being overly drying or irritating. It also boasts time-release retinol, which is designed to deliver a more potent dose of retinol over time.

It's quite pricey at over $50.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.4 / 10

As with all the other retinol serums featured on this list, this product contains pure retinol for reversing the signs of aging and improving the overall look of the skin. However, with this particular serum, the Progressive Release Retinol component is the star of the show. This technology enables it to deliver a higher total dose of retinol without overwhelming the skin, making it a great option for all skin types.

Effectiveness

9.4 / 10

This intensive anti-aging concentrate is ideal if you want a retinol serum that works slowly but oh-so-surely. We love how its formula is kind to the skin yet effective at delivering a potent dose of anti-aging retinol. It might take a few weeks for you to really notice results, but it is almost guaranteed that they will show up. With this product, patience is a virtue that will eventually pay off big time.

It does a great job of making fine lines and wrinkles less obvious. Age spots and discoloration are also addressed effectively, so you'll be left with younger-looking, radiant, and supple skin. We also love that it can be used both morning and night if you're looking for around-the-clock retinol pampering. Overall, it's an effective anti-aging retinol serum for people of all skin types and ages!

Value

9.3 / 10

Admittedly, it's a relatively pricey product. However, we firmly believe that the quality and effectiveness of the serum itself makes it all worth it.

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Best Retinol Serum for Sensitive Skin

#2

Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol

Best Retinol Serum for Sensitive Skin: Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol
Get from Amazon
22 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.3
Effectiveness
9.4
Value
9.7
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
94 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Brightens, softens, and repairs the skin
  • Promotes a firmer and younger-looking complexion
  • Great for sensitive skin

Paula's Choice Intensive Retinol Repair Cream combines anti-aging and skin-restoring ingredients to boost your skin's hydration level, glow, and youthfulness. It boasts retinol, antioxidants, peptides, emollients, and other skin-loving components that firm, fade wrinkles and fine lines, and revive the skin's barrier. You'll also get 1.7 ounces of product for just $30.

This retinol serum is rich and moisturizing, so it might be too heavy for those with oily skin.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.3 / 10

Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream truly is one of the best retinol serums as far as conditioning and moisturizing the skin is concerned. Aside from retinol, it is chockfull of ingredients that help repair and strengthen the skin barrier and moisturize the skin. This is why we highly recommend it for people with sensitive, tight, or dry complexions.

The texture of this cream is certainly on the heavy side, and this allows it to instantly cushion dehydrated and flaky skin. The hyaluronic acid component attracts and locks in moisture, while the antioxidant blend defends against environmental damage.

Effectiveness

9.4 / 10

This retinol serum for sensitive skin brightens, softens, and smoothes the skin without compromising the skin's protective barrier. We love how gentle it is while remaining effective against multiple signs of skin aging.

It might not be as fast-acting as other stronger retinol serums, but the results are definitely there -- without the usual degree of redness, flaking, and stinging associated with retinol use. In fact, if you happen to experience irritation from other products, this retinol serum is moisturizing and conditioning enough to take some of that irritation away. Awesome, right?

Value

9.7 / 10

At an MSRP of $33, this retinol intensive repair cream may seem a bit pricey -- until you realize that you're getting 1.7 ounces of product (that's 70% more than the more commonplace 1 oz, y'all). So yeah, if you do the math, you're actually getting incredible value with this product -- and we're here for it!

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Overall Retinol Serum

#1

RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream

Best Overall Retinol Serum: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream
Get from Amazon
25 Bought
Ingredients and texture
9.4
Effectiveness
9.5
Value
9.6
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
97 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Revitalizes the skin as you sleep
  • Makes the skin noticeably smoother and more radiant
  • Reduces the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles

RoC's Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is an excellent evening serum if you want to soften the look of wrinkles and lines all over your face. It also does a great job of improving the skin's tone and texture. Plus, a little product goes a long way -- so you're definitely getting a lot of value in one tube.

This retinol serum has a strong smell, but the scent goes away right after layering your usual night cream on top of it.

Expert Ratings

Ingredients and texture

9.4 / 10

This product is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and non-greasy. It contains Pure RoC retinol and an exclusive mineral complex to correct and prevent the signs of skin aging and improve the skin's overall health. It's gentle enough for everyday use as a retinol serum in your evening skincare routine. But in spite of being a daily staple, one tube lasts a surprisingly long time.

Effectiveness

9.5 / 10

RoC's Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream revitalizes the skin in just four weeks, making it appear brighter, plumper, and healthier. Highly-noticeable improvements in fine lines and deep wrinkles, on the other hand, become obvious after a little over two months.

We particularly enjoy how its texture makes our skin feel silky-smooth and look dewy without greasiness or heaviness. If you're into the glass skin look, this night cream is a must.

Value

9.6 / 10

We can all agree that $22.99 is a reasonable price for a tube of retinol serum that isn't only effective but also lasts a long time. What makes things even better is the fact that this baby is frequently on sale on Amazon!

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 7 Best Retinol Serums

7 Best Retinol SerumsIngredients and textureEffectivenessValueOverall
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream Thumbnail
Best Overall Retinol Serum
#1RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Retinol Night Cream
9.4
9.5
9.6
95
Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol Thumbnail
Best Retinol Serum for Sensitive Skin
#2Paula's Choice RESIST Intensive Repair Cream with Retinol
9.3
9.4
9.7
95
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Concentrate Thumbnail
Best Anti-Aging Retinol Serum
#3La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Aging Retinol Concentrate
9.4
9.4
9.3
94
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Face Moisturizer Thumbnail
Best Retinol Serum To Get Rid of Wrinkles
#4Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Face Moisturizer
9.2
9.3
9.4
93
Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment Thumbnail
Best Luxury Retinol Serum
#5Lancer Advanced Retinol Treatment
9.5
9.6
8.8
93
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream Thumbnail
Best Drugstore Retinol Serum
#6Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream
9.1
9.0
9.0
90
L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream Thumbnail
Best Cheap Retinol Serum
#7L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Night Cream
9.0
8.8
9.0
89

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