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10 of the best retinol serums

10 of the best retinol serums
Team LF
Writer and expert9 months ago
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Retinol serums and retinol products are quite easily the most useful products in your skincare routine. From helping to smooth out the skin, to reducing acne and improving the appearance of pigmentation, they're the products all facialists can agree work.

Shani Darden is one the leading celebrity facialists in L.A, and handles the complexions of a bevvy of beauties including Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She believes that retinol is the ingredient everyone should be using, and attributes it to the glowing skin of all her supermodel clients.

I personally think everyone should be on retinol if they can handle it. It can totally turn your skin around - Shani Darden, The Cut

If you're not familiar with retinol, you might also have heard of Vitamin A, which is what predominantly makes up retinol. To read more about why you should include it in your skincare routine, take a look at our "Why is Vitamin A essential for the skin?" post.

10 of the best retinol serums for 2019

  1. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
  2. Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin Retinol Duo
  3. Filorga NCTF-Intensive
  4. Medik8 Retinol 3TR Serum
  5. bareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming and Wrinkle Smoothing Serum
  6. ESPA Rejuvenating Night Booster
  7. Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM
  8. Rodial 10% Retinol Booster Drops
  9. First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum
  10. Zelens Power A Treatment Drops

Which is the best retinol serum for me?

  • 1.Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum

    Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum
    4.86 Stars 7 Reviews
    £78.00
    Murad is one of the most trusted names in skincare, so it's little wonder their Retinol Youth Renewal Serum made our top 10 list. Formulated with a powerful trio of retinol actives, including a time-released retinol, retinol booster and fast-acting retinoid, the serum melts into the skin upon application for a refined and radiant finish.  
  • 2.Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin Retinol Duo

    Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin Retinol Duo
    4.5 Stars 4 Reviews
    £27.00
    A double whammy against pigmentation, dullness and skin ageing, the Clinique Fresh Pressed Vitamin Retinol Duo has been specially formulated to brighten and revive the complexion. The set contains a Vitamin C Booster alongside an overnight treatment rich in Vitamin A (aka retinol) to help transform the complexion. While the Vitamin C works to transform the texture and tone of fatigued skin, the Vitamin A serum helps to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • 3.Filorga NCTF-Intensive

    Filorga NCTF-Intensive
    5 Stars 3 Reviews
    £78.00
    The Filorga NCTF-Intensive Serum has been specially formulated for those with visible signs of skin ageing such as deep wrinkles and lack of elasticity. The super lightweight treatment is made with NCTF®, a unique complex that mimics the effect of injectable anti-ageing treatments without the use of needles. Combining retinol and Vitamin C, expect beautifully brighter and visibly youthful results.  
  • 4.Medik8 Retinol 3TR Serum

    Medik8 Retinol 3TR Serum
    4.54 Stars 13 Reviews
    £29.00
    The Medik8 Retinol 3TR Serum is a lightweight formula that helps to transform your skin tone and texture in one go. Made with 0.3% retinol, the serum uses time release technology to gradually release the ingredients into your skin. This is perfect for sensitive skin as it prevents irritation and any discomfort!  
  • 5.bareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming and Wrinkle Smoothing Serum

    bareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming and Wrinkle Smoothing Serum
    5 Stars 1 Reviews
    £50.00
    For those looking for a cleaner alternative to a traditional retinol product, you will love the bareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming and Wrinkle Smoothing Serum. Enriched with encapsulated Vitamin A, the serum also contains a blend of brightening botanicals such as cherry, calendula and ginseng root, which work to shield against environmental aggressors and keep the skin protected, healthy and glowing.  
  • 6.ESPA Rejuvenating Night Booster

    ESPA Rejuvenating Night Booster
    £45.00
    Another great natural retinol treatment, which contains a gentle bio-retinol sourced from a plant extract known as bidens pilosa, the ESPA Rejuvenating Night Booster works to improve the texture and tone of the skin. Not only does it smell (naturally) amazing, it also contains nourishing botanicals to help soothe the skin and boost hydration, such as winged kelp and canola oil. Mix with your favourite moisturiser for a glowing complexion come morning time.
  • 7.Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM

    Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM
    3.2 Stars 5 Reviews
    £55.50
    Brilliant if you don't have much time for a skincare routine (as it's meant to be applied overnight for a magical treatment as you sleep), Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol Fusion PM has been specially formulated to exfoliate and renew the skin for gorgeously glowing results. Infused with 1.5% microencapsulated retinol, which is gently released when applied onto the skin, the lightweight serum helps to improve the appearance of breakouts, fine lines and pigmentation.  
  • 8.Rodial 10% Retinol Booster Drops

    Rodial 10% Retinol Booster Drops
    4.4 Stars 5 Reviews
    £80.00
    The Rodial 10% Retinol Booster Drops are a brilliant treat for ageing, pigmented or blemish-prone skin. Working to boost the rate of cellular turnover, the drops help to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as slough away dead skin cells and impurities for a gorgeous glow. Perfect for clarifying an uneven skin tone, these work wonders for brides wanting to transform their complexion before the big day.
  • 9.First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum

    First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum
    5 Stars 3 Reviews
    £51.00
    For those new to retinol, you will First Aid Beauty's Retinol Serum, which has been specially formulated for those first introducing a retinol treatment into their skincare routines. Containing a base of 0.25% retinol (perfect for beginners), the treatment also contains a soothing Skin Saver Complex with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to keep the skin protected against dehydration and irritation caused by traditional high-strength retinol products.  
  • 10.Zelens Power A Treatment Drops

    Zelens Power A Treatment Drops
    3.5 Stars 2 Reviews
    £120.00
    What's not to love about the Zelens Power A Treatment Drops? Not only do they melt into the skin upon application (and leave no greasy residue behind), they are loaded with a potent blend of two retinoids and encapsulated retinol to completely transform the complexion. Vitamin A minimises fine lines and wrinkles alongside uneven skin tone and pigmentation, while botanicals help to clarify and clear up any spots or breakouts.  

Don’t forget that retinol can make your skin a little more sensitive against sunlight, so always use an SPF the morning after! Discover our favourite SPF’s here.

Enjoy this? Try our best serum for oily skin or best hyaluronic acid serums guides.

Team LF
Writer and expert
View Team LF's profile
Our team of beauty experts cover everything from makeup to skincare, picking out the most effective products from the best brands and latest trends. Stay up to date on everything beauty with the LOOKFANTASTIC blog, and find all your essentials in one place.
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