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."
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.
C E Ferulic isn't the only A-1 product from SkinCeuticals. The brand's retinol is a powerful night cream that works overnight to reduce the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, and dark spots. It also alleviates inflammation and redness.
This treatment has an almost-perfect five-star review for a reason. In addition to a hefty dose of retinol (1%), it contains vitamin C and a quadruple peptide blend to promote even brighter, firmer skin.
Formulated by celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, this pure retinol serum works well for sensitive skin and helps repair sun damage. It contains 0.4% retinol, so it's easier on skin that can't tolerate a prescription-strength product.
This texture-renewing and acne-fighting serum contains retinol and another botanical active called bakuchiol that works in a similar way. That means you're getting a double dose of acne-fighting ingredients without any added dryness.
Dermalogica has managed to create the perfect acne-fighting cocktail with this clearing oil. It features both retinol and salicylic acid, which penetrate deep into the pores to target breakouts at the source.
Tea tree oil is another well-known acne-fighting ingredient, and this retinol serum happens to be loaded with it. Rounding out the formula are vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to form just the right skin-smoothing recipe.