The 3 Best Over-the-Counter Retinol Products We’ve Tried

ICYMI, vitamin A (aka retinol) is officially the gold standard in skin care. It's the closest we've come to the fountain of youth, treating everything from acne to wrinkles to dark spots. Even better, you don't have to see your derm to add it to your routine—here are three over-the-counter retinol products we love.

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marie veronique gentle retinol night serum
Marie Veronique

Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum

Despite its myriad benefits, retinol has one downside: It can be majorly irritating, especially when you first add it to your routine. But leave it to our beauty editor Jenny Jin to find the solution. This nontoxic formula uses an encapsulated form of vitamin A, which means it's time-released (and therefore less irritating). Other bonus ingredients include soothing vitamin E, green tea and ceramides, plus vitamin C for extra glow.

sunday riley a plus high dose retinoid serum

Sunday Riley A+ High-dose Retinol Serum

With 6.5 percent retinoid and plant-based retinoid derivatives, you'd think this serum would pack—dare we say?—too much of a punch. But combine it with Hawaiian white honey, shea butter, bisabolol, cactus extract and ginger, and you've got the perfect balance of moisturizers and skin-smoothing retinol. The addition of anti-aging CoQ10 makes it a good choice for anyone with signs of UV damage (like age spots).

ole henrikson goodnight glow retin alt sleeping creme

Olehenriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-alt Sleeping Crème

While it's technically made from bakuchiol, a plant-derived, retinol alternative, it's just as effective at erasing fine lines and dark spots, while also providing some much-needed moisture. Edelweiss stem cell helps improve firmness and elasticity, and glycolic and lactic acids gently resurface. And according to editor Brianna Lapolla, it "smells delightful." That's good enough for us.

Katherine Gillen

Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...
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