Top 5 Retinol Creams That Actually Work!

    How Retinol Creams Can Help Diminish the Appearance of Wrinkles and Fine Lines (Without Invasive Surgery)

    Wrinkles, they’re an age-old problem… literally! No one wants them yet everyone, someday, will start to see those crow’s feet form and the skin lost its elasticity. It’s a sad day… but there is hope! Don’t worry, it doesn’t come from tens of thousands of dollars worth of surgery. It comes from retinol! 

    If you aren’t aware, retinol is a more recent ingredient to come out of the beauty product world, and it is helping women and men revitalize their tired eyes, crow’s feet, and rough skin. Retinol is an effective form of vitamin A that is able to penetrate your skin to neutralize free radicals and boost the production of collagen, which we all know is our anti-wrinkle, youth-boosting savior. Without collagen, consider yourself the Crypt Keeper. 

    But the big question: with dozens of retinol products available, which is the right one to buy? It’s certainly hard to know, but thank goodness we’re here to help. Here are five retinol products for the face we tried and ranked to help you decide. 

    What to Look For in a Retinol Cream:

    With dozens of retinol creams out there all with different ingredients and different promises, it’s hard to know which is best for you. However, there are some general elements to look for in a good retinol cream.

    It’s important to look at the ingredients of the retinol creams you’re considering. You want to avoid alcohol-based ingredients along with anything that’s not derived from natural extracts if possible.

    What Can You Expect After 4 to 6 Weeks

    The trouble with picking a retinol cream is that even the best products won’t show results at least for 4 weeks. 

    However, with consistent use your skin will begin to look smoother with fine lines and wrinkles filling out. Most importantly, the cream give you a refreshing, youthful glow. 

    Retinol creams should help remove dead skin cells to activate collagen and fresh skin cell production while hydrating your skin for a more youthful look. 

    What Ingredients Make a Retinol Cream


    Obviously you want retinol in your retinol cream! Retinol focuses on removing free radicals in the skin to encourage new cell and collagen production. It also stimulates blood flow to help deliver oxygen to the top layers of your skin. 

    Hydrolyzed Collagen

    If you're looking for additional help, hydrolyzed collagen is a great addition to your cream. It focuses on restoring a suppleness to the skin to give you skin a more taut appearance. 


    An extremely helpful humectant to help retain moisture and soften the skin. 

    Stearic Acid

    Stearic Acid or a similar ingredient is helpful for removing excess dirt and oil that can clog pores and make skin feel rough or oily. A great addition. 

    Beware: Harmful Fillers

    Vitamin C

    Surprisingly, you want to avoid this great vitamin on the skin. The exfoliating ingredient can dry out your skin as retinol is trying to do its job. 

    Benzoyl Peroxide

    Similarly, Benzoyl Peroxide is another exfoliating ingredient that can do more harm than good when using retinol. Be careful with any ingredient that can dry out your skin like this. 

    Top 5 Retinol Creams Of 2022

    First, here's a side-by side comparison of how industry-leading retinol creams stack up against each other.

    Below are the final rankings from our editors, complete with detailed reviews of each eyelash growth supplement.






      The most affordable deal of all ten products

      Effective and fast results.

      Includes additional ingredients for better effectiveness

      Cruelty free and suitable for vegans

      Only need to apply once a day

      Highly rated, a lot of positive reviews.


      Money back manufacturer’s guarantee


      Out of stock frequently

    The Bottom Line

    The Glow Fairy’s Retinol Glow Wand is a highly-condensed retinol balm that you easily apply to the most sensitive areas of your face. The Glow Wand comes packed with retinol along with a handful of effective ingredients including hyaluronic acid, butylene glycol, and stearic acid. It helps boost your skin’s moisture and collagen production to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and give your skin a smoother and softer feel. Not only that, it was the only product to offer a special 50% off discount code SECRET50, which made it one of the most affordable prices of any retinol product. So cool! The balm is easy to apply with just a few swipes needed every night on the areas of skin that need your help. Highly recommended!






      Claims of strong effectiveness.

      More concentrated than a cream


      On the more expensive side

      Contains Vitamin C

      Takes longer for serums to penetrate skin

      Will not get a lot of use out of one bottle

    The Bottom Line

    We liked Nourish Max a lot for a serum. Serums are more concentrated than creams, and can be highly effective. Of course, be aware it takes about 3 hours for a serum to really penetrate and be fully absorbed by the skin, so you’ll need to be careful with what you do with your time. Nourish Max is filled with a lot of amazing ingredients, including retinol, vitamins B and E, and unfortunately vitamin C. All which will help moisturize and revive your skin. What slowed us down from putting this at top of the list was the outrageous price of $49.99. For a small amount of serum, you need to make a pretty big investment. To us, it’s just not worth it. 






      Both daytime and nighttime products

      Many positive reviews.


      Most expensive on the list

      More products means more regimented routine

    The Bottom Line

    If you agree that Nourish Max’s price is a little outrageous, get ready to drop your jaw. StriVectin is our most expensive recommendation, but we can say it’s a really good duo to help fight aging skin. StriVectin offers daytime and a nighttime retinol moisturizers for you to use throughout fulltime. The daytime cream offers SPF protection, while the night time cream is highly concentrated to help provide a full powerhouse cocktail of retinol, proteins, and micronutrients. If this price wasn’t through the roof we may be happy to highly encourage a purchase. But with a more affordable option likeThe Glow Fairy’s Retinol Glow Wand, which is just as effective, it’s hard to want to give this the rating it needs to be at the top.






      Cream feels great on skin


      Not as effective with fine lines and wrinkles

      Better to pair with stronger products

    The Bottom Line

    This night cream feels amazing and was a lot of fun to use. It uses a retinol tri-active technology, which helps keep retinol working throughout the night and even into the day. It does well in treating skin by making it firmer, but we didn’t find it to help as much with fine lines and wrinkles. As much as we loved it, the effectiveness just wasn’t there for us. This would maybe be a great cream to use additionally with another product that is a little stronger for max effectiveness. 






      Good texture and feel


      Subtle results.

      On expensive side

      Contains Vitamin C

      Very strong formula could be dangerous for customers with sensitive skin

    The Bottom Line

    A highly concentrated retinol moisturizer that’s great for overnight use. It has a great texture and skin feel. Loaded with retinol but unfortunatelt vitamin C as well. The price is a little high for us, but we’ve seen good results with this cream. The only thing to be careful of is it’s intense strength. Retinol is a great ingredient, but overuse can be damaging, and with such a strong formula, this one needs to be used lightly. Keep that in mind!