These 20 Retinol Creams Can Minimize Acne and Wrinkles in One Fell Swoop


(Image credit: @misstpw)

We love retinol, plain and simple. It's one of the most beloved skincare ingredients recommended by derms and estheticians alike for its youth-enhancing properties, but we also now know it to be the reigning champion of acne fighters.

With so many different types of formulas out there, it's such a relief to know there's one single ingredient that can decrease fine lines and wrinkles while also catering to one of the most common skincare struggles both teens and adults face. If you're curious about how retinol performs such sorcery, esteemed dermatologist Macrene Alexiades (founder of Macrene Actives) has the full rundown for you. "Retinol impacts cell turnover to the skin," she shares. "It reduces sebum activity, therefore working against acne. It also results in a peeling of the skin, causing a resurfacing effect that reduces wrinkles."


(Image credit: @_kirp_)

Although those with sensitive skin should use caution with ingredients like retinol, those with blemish-prone or oily skin are in luck. Alexiades says you're the perfect candidate for this powerhouse active. For anyone with enlarged pores looking for a way to reduce their appearance, you'll also majorly benefit. Ahead, take a look at a few of Alexiades's recommendations and a full range of the all-time best retinol creams for acne.

1. Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform

2. SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0

3. Obagi Medical Retinol 1.0

4. The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum

5. Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

6. Renée Rouleau Advanced Resurfacing Serum

7. Sunday Riley A + High Dose Retinol Serum

8. IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advanced Plus

9. Alpha-H Beauty Sleep Power Peel With 14% Glycolic Acid and 0.5% Retinol

10. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Texture Renewal Serum

11. Dermalogica Retinol Acne Clearing Oil

12. CeraVe Retinol Serum

13. Naturium Vitamin C Super Serum Plus Retinol

14. TruSkin Tea Tree Clear Skin Super Serum

15. PCA Skin Intensive Clarity Treatment

16. Perricone MD Acne Relief Retinol Treatment Moisturizer

17. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Topical Retinoid Acne Treatment

18. Differin Acne Treatment Gel 

19. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

20. Avène Retrinal 0.1 Intensive Cream

Up Next: Derms and Aestheticians Always Recommend These 16 Serums for Sensitive Skin

Shawna Hudson
Associate Beauty Editor

Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.