17 Best Retinol Serums & Creams of 2024, Reviewed By Editors

You don’t need to be a skincare expert to know that using the best retinol serums and creams can help your skin in a number of ways. You can rely on them for smoothing out your skin texture, healing breakouts and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And, side note: you most definitely don’t need to wait until you reach your 30s to start introducing retinol into your skincare routine.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve learnt that this skincare ingredient is not to be underestimated. As someone who has PCOS, I’m no stranger to experiencing breakouts that would leave me with persistent scarring, pigmentation, rough skin texture and a dull-looking skin tone.

After consulting multiple board-certified dermatologists and aestheticians, I was advised to start using retinol – be it in form of a face serum or a moisturiser – as I was repeatedly told that it’s one of the most effective skincare ingredients to date.

Before & after using the Medik8 Crystal Retinal 3 serum for 4 weeks

I listened. Over the past 6 months, I’ve been on a mission to find the best retinol serums and creams on the market. My judging criteria is pretty straightforward: the formula has to be A) non-drying B) non-pore-clogging C) one that doesn’t result in skin-purging and, of course D) effective.

The best news? It’s entirely possible to find a retinol serum or a retinol cream that works for your exact skin type, even if you, like me, have sensitive skin. My results speak for themselves. After just 4 weeks of religiously using the dermatologist-recommended Medik8 Crystal Retinal serum, my skin went from looking inflamed and bumpy to smooth and plump.

Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about retinol from the industry’s top dermatologists, as well as beauty-editor-approved formulas that genuinely work. Oh, and before you go off on your retinol spree, let me remind you to: always wear some form of SPF or a standalone sunscreen for face the following morning.

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