The 8 Best Retinol Products to Keep Your Skin Clear and Smooth
Finding the best beauty products has never been easier thanks to Pia's Picks, our weekly curated list. As the Senior Beauty Editor at HelloGiggles, I test and examine the latest skincare, makeup, hair, and nail products so I can confidently recommend the best ones to you.
If you've ever thought about anti-aging, age prevention, or acne control, you've definitely come across retinol. It's touted as the hero ingredient for treating the aforementioned issues, and for good reason. Studies show that with consistent use, using retinol reduces wrinkles and is effective in both preventing and clearing inflammatory and noninflammatory acne. Consider us sold.
Best retinol creams:
HG loves Drunk Elephant, and even more so because of this product. We found that with consistent use, this gentle formula resulted in smoother, brighter, and clearer skin in just four weeks' time. Read our full review here.
This budget-friendly moisturizer won a 2020 Beauty Crush Award—it received a 24/25 score, with testers praising how smooth their skin looked after using it. "I could instantly feel the difference on my skin the next day," raved one tester. "It's baby soft and the retinol doesn't feel intense at all for the results I'm getting. It's magic."
Best retinol serums:
Formulated by celebrity esthetician Shani Darden, this serum combines lactic acid and retinol to speed up cellular turnover, which brings fresh skin to the surface. Plus, this formula boosts collagen production, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, reduces hyperpigmentation, and helps keep skin clear without causing dryness or flaking (a common side effect with retinol-based products).
Best retinol eye creams:
Many retinol skincare products can be too harsh to use on the delicate skin around the eye, so it's important to use a gentle retinol formula that will nourish the area and moisturize it. Apart from retinol, this combines moisturizing squalane, smoothing peptides, and brightening astaxanthin. This stick formula is super convenient, too, as it can easily be taken on-the-go and applied quickly if needed.
Like Olay's face formula, the eye-focused one is a winner, too. With continued use, it'll firm, and moisturize the eye area, as well as reduce the appearance of crow's feet and improve skin discoloration. Plus, it absorbs super quickly, so you don't need to worry about it transferring onto your pillow at night.
If you have super-dry skin, this moisturizing eye mask is for you. It uses encapsulated retinol to smooth out wrinkles, nourishing avocado, brightening niacinamide, and antioxidant-rich coffeeberry to help you wake up looking like you got a full night's rest, and then some.