Any skin care expert will tell you that there’s no antiaging ingredient that does it all quite like retinol. The holy grail of skin care will tackle everything from preventing fine lines and wrinkles to treating acne to fading dark spots to help even out texture. A derivative of vitamin A, retinol boosts cell turnover, revealing fresher, brighter skin, plus boosts collagen production to smooth fine lines. However, vitamin A can be irritating, since it takes a while for skin to adjust to it, so you may experience redness, dryness and sun sensitivity. That’s where the best vitamin A creams come in, since they tend to be gentler. To play it safe, start at a lower retinol level and gradually work them into your skin care routine by beginning with just a few nights per week and increasing the frequency. These are the best vitamin A creams to get started with.
1. Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
If you’re looking for a clean retinol, then the Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream is the best vitamin A cream for you. Formulated with 1 percent vegan retinol to even skin tone and texture while fighting off the effects of damage, it’s also infused with vitamin F to calm skin with the power of fatty acids. To make the retinol even more effective, its triple-peptide blend boosts its effects by firming and strengthening skin.
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2. Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream
Wrinkles and acne won’t stand a chance against the Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream. It works overnight to smooth fine lines and treat breakouts, so you’ll wake up to smoother, clearer skin in the morning. Formulated with .5 percent pure retinol, it also minimizes pores, fades hyperpigmentation and evens skin tone. Its advanced delivery system helps retinol get to where it needs to in the skin.
3. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Moisturizer
The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Moisturizer contains the triple threat of antiaging ingredients — retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C — making this the best vitamin A cream on a budget. The trio of powerhouse ingredients team up to smooth fine lines and roughness, brighten, even tone and texture, and deeply hydrate and plump skin. What more could you ask for?
4. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Antiaging Retinol Night Cream
Don’t let the drugstore price fool you, as the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Antiaging Retinol Night Cream delivers impressive results. Stick with it for 12 weeks and you can expect to see noticeably diminished fine lines and wrinkles by as much as 50 percent. In fact, it’s clinically proven to make your complexion look 10 years younger, qualifying it as one of the best vitamin A creams.
5. RéVive Perfectif Night Retinol Dark Spot Corrector Even Skin Tone
Seeing (dark) spots? Then the RéVive Perfectif Night Retinol Dark Spot Corrector Even Skin Tone is the best vitamin A cream for you. In addition to fading dark spots, the multitasking moisturizer evens your overall skin tone and minimizes wrinkles overnight, courtesy of its micro-encapsulated retinol. Peptides and vitamin C also chip in to brighten and fight hyperpigmentation, while RéVive’s signature bio-renewal and bio-firming proteins also turn back time.
6. Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer
If you’re wondering what the 24 in the Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer refers to, it’s 24 hours of hydration, which is an impressive feat for a retinol moisturizer, since that means there won’t be any irritation from the famously fickle ingredient. At the same time, it’s also improving your skin when it comes to fine lines, smoothness, firmness, dark spots, pores and brightness. Much of that action is owed to Olay’s Vitamin B3 + Retinol Complex that gets down to business while you snooze.
7. Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Cream
The Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Cream boasts a triactive retinol that is a combination of a fast-acting retinol, time-released retinol and a regular retinol to cover all the bases, making this one of the best vitamin A creams. That trifecta allows for the most efficacious formula while minimizing irritation, aiding skin with even deep wrinkles, a more even skin tone and a blast of radiance. Gentle enough to use every night, it also contains niacinamide and picolinamide to support the skin’s natural protective barrier.
8. Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream
Delightfully lightweight, the Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream works to correct the signs of aging, including reducing fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Its clever airless pump dispenser is not only more sanitary, but also helps to preserve the active ingredients to keep this best vitamin A cream more potent for longer. By speeding up the skin’s renewal process, your complexion will look fresher and brighter.
9. Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer
Retinol and vitamin C make for quite the dream team, which is exactly why the Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C Moisturizer is one of the best vitamin A creams. Between the two, skin is left smoother, brighter, fresher, firmer and more toned and even. It also contains wild gooseberry extract to protect skin from free radical damage, which triggers signs of aging.
10. Avène RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
Is there anything Avène’s thermal spring water can’t soothe? The brand’s signature ingredient is what prevents irritation and other common retinol side effects in the Avène RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream. The antiaging moisturizer is loaded with antioxidants for protection, helping to turn back the clock. The concentrated cream leaves skin firmer and brighter, with smoothed fine lines.