Retinol serums can be among the most effective for rejuvenating skin. I am a big believer in rounding out retinol, which is a powerful exfoliator, with antioxidants and collagen-boosting peptides. As someone with sensitive skin, I am also keen to find retinol formulations that are kind as well as effective. In the past year I have discovered some really exciting retinol serums, so here is my Five Best with retinol for 2014.
Amarte Eyeconic Eye Cream
Amarte Eyeconic Eye Cream ($80 in the shop). This is a most unusual eye cream and a very effective one. For a start it has 3.8% concentration of retinol. If the very thought makes your eyes water, then note that I didn’t find Eyeconic irritating at all. Epidermal growth factor also takes center stage in Amarte Eyeconic. Overall, Eyeconic is well-balanced with a base of moisturizing glycerin and argan oil, plus some good botanicals.
BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream
BRAD Biophotonic Sublime Youth Creator Gel-Cream ($245 in the shop). Retinol shares center stage with Sublime’s other heavy hitters, Matrixyl 3000, a combo of two peptides that help boost collagen production, and moisture-retaining phospholipids. Sublime also has a very interesting plant stem cell called Resistem that reduces micro-inflammation caused by toxins. A fabulous gel serum that resurfaces, while tightening and plumping.
M.A.D Skincare Youth Transformation Retinol Complex Serum 1%
M.A.D Skincare Youth Transformation Retinol Complex Serum 1% ($79). What impressed me about M.A.D’s 1% retinol serum is that when we asked our tester, Julia, to try it out, it passed muster against the prescription retinoids that she had used in the past — without being drying and irritating. Although not prescription strength, M.A.D softens wrinkles and fades dark patches. M.A.D does not formulate for purists, so expect silicones and PEGs. However, the good outweighs the bad with amino acids and antioxidant botanicals such as mistletoe.
Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol
Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol ($79 in the shop). Skinfinite says its retinol is entrapped in molecular microsponges that enhances skin penetration in a time-release delivery system. With 1% retinol. While some testers report it to be useable every day, another reviewer found it too strong to use more than once a week. A great workhorse of a retinol serum, the formula is rounded out with shea butter, almond oil, beta-glucan (D), and ceramide-2.”
Eslor Brightening Activator Serum
Eslor Brightening Activator Serum ($110). It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this: retinol in the form of retinyl palmitate, vitamin C and vitamin E. There’s a couple of silicones and essential oils and that is it. Expect to see reduced redness and an overall brightening and plumping of the skin.