Before checking out some of the best over the counter retinol cream reviews, let me start by saying that Retinol is a form of vitamin A, which when used in skin creams, it provides a number of different benefits for your skin some of which include:

Diminishes fine lines and wrinkles offering important anti-aging functions.

Shrinks the pores by cleaning out oil and dirt.

Lightens discoloration and evens the skin tone.

Clears acne and results in fewer acne breakouts.

Firms the skin.

However, you do need to keep in mind, that like everything else, when used in a excess, retinol can prove to be too much of a good thing, so it is important that you only use retinol creams as suggested by the manufacturer as more isn’t necessarily better. With that being said, here are some of the best over the counter retinol creams on today’s market.

Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream

Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Night CreamSkinceuticals Retinol night cream contains 1.0% percent pure retinol which is quite strong for most people.

So, you have to be very careful with how often you apply such cream.

Start using it once or twice every week and wait until your skin adjusts to it.

If you apply more often, you can cause irritation as well as redness and peeling.

Still, the fact that it contains Bisabolol makes this retinol product calming and being able to minimize the erythema which comes as a common result of using retinols.

People are really pleased with the effectiveness of this cream relating to reducing of wrinkles and ridding of fine lines as well as clearing up acne and minimizing pores.

Product features

  • Maximum amount of pure retinol.
  • Reduces age spots, fine lines, blotchiness and blemishes.
  • Suitable for problematic and sun damaged skin.
  • Does not clog pores.
  • Specialized packaging for top retinol stability.
  • Excellent dispensing mechanism.
  • 1 fluid ounce.


Water, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Laureth-4, Laureth-23, Hydrogenated Lecithin, shea Butter, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Propylene Glycol, Allyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone PEG-7 Isostearate, Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Leureth-7, Bisabolol. Rosa Canina Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (matreicaria) Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Methylsothiazolinone, Tetrasodium EDTA.


Skinceuticals company suggests that you start by using once or twice a week and gradually increase to every other night or finally every evening according to how your skin is adjusting.

Don’t use retinol products if you are pregnant or lactating. Also, avoid them if you are on prescription acne medication or if following a skin peeling regimen.

How To Use

The company suggests applying a pea sized amount of the retinol 1.0 to clean skin in the evening. For best results, wait at least for half an hour before using any corrective or moisturizing product. When applying the cream, keep away from the eyes area.

What the Reviews Say

Reviews for the Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum strength refining night cream are very positive. Some users tended to over use this product resulting in them experiencing both burning and peeling but were pleased with the results once they started using it properly and their skin adjusted to retinol.

A few of them thought that they should have started with the Skinceuticals 0.5 Retinol night cream which contains 0.5% of retinol.

So, by digging up the reviews it is also concluded how important it is to let your skin adjust to retinol slowly and gradually. Now, let’s see the benefits people enjoyed by using this cream:

Reduces Wrinkles and gets rid of Fine Lines: A majority of users stated that within a few uses, in some cases even overnight, they noticed a reduction in their wrinkles and almost vanished fine lines.

Clear skin: A lot of people also experienced more clear skin and very positive results with their acne issues like adult cystic acne and other types of blemishes.

Reduced pores: Minimized and unclogged pores is also reported as a result of using this product.

Softens Skin: Users stated that when they used this retinol night cream as directed, their skin felt smooth and much softer.

Glowing Complexion and Even Tone: After their skin adjusting to retinol, people saw a nice glow on their face which they were pleased about.

My Take

Skinceuticals night cream with 1% Retinol seems like a cream that the majority of users are really pleased with the positive changes it has caused to their complexion. Of course, with the 1% of retinol it contains you have to be extra careful regarding the frequency with which you are using this product.

If you are not sure, you can start with the Skinceuticals retinol 0.5 night cream and then try the higher percentage.

OZ Naturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer

OZ Naturals Retinol MoisturizerThe OZ Naturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer contains a derivative of retinol which is retinyl palmitate. Retinyl palmitate is the most gentle form of retinol but less strong than retinol itself.

This moisturizer is very popular among users who seem to enjoy plenty of skin benefits with its use and they are very satisfied with the product’s quality ingredients and its effectiveness.

So, let’s look at its features :

• 2.5% Retinol Cream.
• 71% Organic and Vegan Retinol formula.
• Free of dyes, fragrance, sulfates and parabens.
• Contains vegan hyaluronic acid and vitamins B5 and E.
• Cruelty free.
• 4 Fluid ounces.
• Made in the USA.


Aloe Vera, Palm Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Organic Safflower Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Green Tea, Organic Propolis, Shea Butter, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Citric Acid.

What the Reviews Say

Ratings and reviews for the OZ Naturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer are very good with the majority of users experiencing the following benefits:

  • Softer and Smoother Skin– Users love the fact that their skin becomes softer and smoother after using this natural retinol cream for only just a short period of time.
  • Absorbs Well– It absorbs extremely well and does not leave behind any greasy or oily residue.
  • Clearer Skin– The majority of people find that their skin becomes clearer and more even in skin tone while also think that this product prevents them from breaking out.
  • Little Goes a Long way– Because it comes in a tube, users feel that they can better control the amount of cream they need by also noting that a little goes a long way.

My Take

OZ Naturals company has been creating some very popular skin care products with quality natural and organic ingredients. OZ Naturals Retinol Cream is a lightweight product which helps both men and women have a soft and more balanced skin away from breakouts.

The fact that it contains retinyl palmitate makes this product suitable for those people who have sensitive skin and feel hesitant to try a retinol cream because of its possible irritation effect.

Tree of Life Retinol Moisturizer With Hyaluronic Acid

Tree of Life Retinol MoisturizerTree of Life Retinol Moisturizer seems to be one of the more natural, mild but still effective in various ways version of a retinol moisturizer.

The fact that there are no reviews from users, even with sensitive skin, reporting any irritation, means that either this product has a small percentage of Retinol or people are using it in the right way.

I think the most possible is that there is not a high percentage of retinol in it while the combination of the rest of the ingredients give a gentle and not harsh retinol moisturizer.

After all, there is not a clear indication from the company relating to the actual percentage of retinol contained in their product, so that a completely safe conclusion is drawn.

Product Features

• Contains both vitamins C and E and hyaluronic acid.
• 2 ounce container.
• 70 page free e book with anti aging tips and tricks.
• Free trial size “Tree of Life” products included.
• Made in the USA.
• 100% money back guarantee.


Deionized Water, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Phospholipids, Retinol (Vitamin A), Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, EDTA, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Sunflower Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Hydrogenated Ethyl Hexyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Stearic Acid, Rose Essential Water, Jojoba Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol Acetate, Panthenol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide.

What the Reviews Say

Reviews for the Tree of Life Retinol moisturizer are very good with the vast majority of users finding that this product works very well for them. So, let’s see what they say:

  • Reduces wrinkles and softens fine lines– People report, in some cases, a quick softening of their wrinkles or in general less noticeable deep lines and wrinkles.
  • Gentle on the Skin– Most users feel that this moisturizer is gentle on the skin, causing no irritation compared to other retinol creams that they have tried.
  • Minimized pores and more even tone– People love the way their pores have reduced and their skin tone has become more even.
  • Light Weight– It absorbs nicely and feels light weight and velvety, so that makes it good for use as a primer, too.
  • Brighter skin– Users like the rejuvenating feeling this retinol product gives them and the brightness it provides their complexion with.

My Take

Tree of Life Retinol cream seems to be a lighter retinol product version which contains some other effective natural ingredients.

So, for those that want to start off with a lighter retinol product, this looks like a good solution especially if you take into consideration that it is followed by a full money back guarantee which doesn’t specify how long it lasts, so it may probably be unlimited.

Radha Beauty Miracle Retinol Moisturizer

Radha Beauty Retinol Cream is another retinol moisturizer that users seem to be very pleased with.

It can be used both as a day and night moisturizing cream and some of its features include:

• Contains 2.5% Active Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid.
• 71% organic and natural ingredients.
• Free of dyes, fragrances and parabens.
• 1 fluid ounce.
• Lifetime full money back guarantee.


Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Sunflower Oil, Palm Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Glyceryl Stearate,Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Jojoba Oil, Wildcrafted Green Tea, Propolis, Shea Butter, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid

What the Reviews Say

Ratings and reviews for this moisturizer are very positive. A few users complained about clogged pores, but these were the exception rather than the rule. What people really liked about Radha Beauty retinol moisturizer is:

  • Softens fine lines and wrinkles– Users state that this moisturizer does work to soften fine lines and wrinkles, which was one of the main reasons they had purchased it in the first place.
  • Reduces Acne Scars– Several people reported that while it did not completely rid of their acne scars, their appearance was definitely improved.
  • Improves Skin Texture– It really helped to improve their skin texture not only evening out the skin tone, but making their complexion feel softer and smoother.
  • Helps sun damaged skin– Users have experienced benefits relating to the sun damage their skin has suffered including lightening of sun spots.

My Take

Although this seems to be a thick creamy moisturizer, people feel it absorbs perfectly well and is not greasy at all. Preventing breakouts is one more advantage which is due to the retinol’s skin function.

Overall, Radha Beauty Miracle retinol moisturizer cream helps improve your skin’s appearance and touch in various ways and deal with some aging signs.

Ove Beauty Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer

Ove Beauty Anti Aging CreamOve Beauty Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer is one more cream that contains the more gentle and less strong form of retinol and that is Retinyl Palmitate.

People report no irritation at all and they love this product because it moisturizes their skin effectively, makes it smooth and even, and softens their wrinkles and fine lines very fast in some of the cases.

They also use it under the eyes, as recommended by the company, to fight bags, dark circles, wrinkles and hyper pigmentation.

Product Features

  • Contains peptides including Matrixyl 3000, vitamin E and squalane.
  • Gentle approach.
  • Can be used both as a day as well as night cream.
  • 1.7 ounce container.
  • 60 day money back guarantee.


I could not find a complete list of ingredients, however its key active ingredient are Palmitoyl Olgopeptide + Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (Matrixyl 3000), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Retinol), Squalane, Tocophyeryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

What the Reviews Say

Ratings and Reviews for the Ove Beauty anti-aging moisturizer are very good. So, let’s see how pleased people are.

  • Moisturizes effectively– One of the first things that most users mention in their reviews is how moisturizing this cream is even under more dry weather conditions.
  • Softens wrinkles and fine lines– While in some cases the anti wrinkle results come faster, in other cases they take a little more time to show up especially if the wrinkles are deep. Reducing of the fine lines under eyes is also reported.
  • Evens Skin Tone– Users do feel that this moisturizer is great at evening out their skin tone, getting rid of blotchiness, dark spots or other skin imperfections.
  • Firmer and Smoother Skin– Smoother and softer skin is a result that most of the users mention. Some of them are also reporting a more firm skin, saying that they use the cream both on their face and neck.
  • Goes on smooth, no greasy residue– Although a few people describe it as rich and creamy and others as light and fluffy, everybody agrees that this anti aging product is very easy to massage in and doesn’t leave any sticky or greasy feeling. Some also use it under makeup.
  • Jar full to the top– It’s amazing how many things buyers take into consideration when thinking of the best purchase, and getting a jar full to the top of the product is actually one of those.
  • Light rose scent– People are fond of its light rose scent which they don’t feel as overpowering at all.

My Take

For those of you who want a light retinol moisturizer that will not cause any irritation but will moisturize your skin effectively and provide some anti aging results while you can also use it under your eyes area, Ove Beauty anti aging retinol cream can be a good choice, especially since its purchase is backed up by a full money back guarantee.

In conclusion, whatever version of an over the counter retinol cream you think is best for you, whether it is stronger or lighter, the above options will surely provide you with a good selection of popular retinol moisturizing creams to choose from.

If you are also interested in boosting your skin care with a good retinol serum, you can read our best retinol serum review.