10 of the Best Drugstore Retinol Creams On the Market
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times and once more just for giggles. There's a reason so many people areusing retinol. The anti-aging powerhouse is a vitamin A derivative that can seriously bust signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, while also smoothing and clearing your overall complexion to make you look younger and more naturally radiant. Yet with all of those benefits, it’s not surprising that retinol can be irritating, and it is recommended to start by using it only once or twice a week to build up your skin’s tolerance.
If you think that’s not often enough to justify donning a high price tag—as so many retinol products do—then a drugstore retinol cream is the perfect way to start your love affair with the age-defying skin care ingredient. There is fine line-erasing potential lying up and down the drugstore aisle, whether you have sensitive skin or you’re ready for the hard stuff. If you’re an Amazon Prime type of gal, we even added two of Amazon’s cult-favorite retinol creams to have sent straight to your doorstep.
Here are 10 of the best drugstore retinol creams to get you going–and glowing.
RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Créme
This has a cult following for a reason, people. It is intensive enough to garner real results, hydrating enough to keep your skin barrier healthy while using the sometimes-harsh retinol, and non-comedogenic to keep those pores clear and tightened up. All below $25? Sign us up.
BUY IT: $24.99; amazon.com
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer
To be honest, we can’t stop hearing (and reading!) rave reviews on this stuff. It’s made to be moisturizing and gentle enough for those who usually suffer from retinol irritation, and we’re taking that all the way to the radiant, younger-looking skin bank. The addition of niacinamide ups your natural moisture retention, while brightening dark spots and your overall complexion.
BUY IT: $28.99; walmart.com
L’Oreal Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer
More like a triple threat. This fan-fave drugstore cream is known for turning out noticeable changes—think reduced signs of aging, plumper skin, and a more even complexion—in just one week, and after trying the brand’s two fast-acting serums (the plumping hyaluronic acid serum and the brightening glycolic acid serum), we’re prone to believe the boasts. A combination of pro-retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid is the triple-power secret.
BUY IT: $24.99; ulta.com
Baebody Retinol Moisturizer Cream
Yeah, the Amazon cult-favorite eye cream has a retinol-infused sibling—and it works just as well. Just ask the 3,000 five-star reviews. It works hard for your money, using retinol, shea butter, vitamin E, vitamin B5, jojoba oil, and green tea to hydrate, brighten, smooth, and firm your skin into wonderful submission.
BUY IT: $19.95; amazon.com
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
At this point, we consider this no-nonsense anti-aging line the ultimate affordable classic. It delivers hyaluronic acid and the highest concentration of Accelerated Retinol SA deep into your skin's surface faster than greased lightning for skin that looks smoother and younger in no time.
BUY IT: $24.99; walmart.com
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream
When you’re ready to break out the serious stuff, we suggest trying out this heavy-hitter. Formulated with the brand’s highest concentration of pure retinol, this potent face cream wipes out dark spots (due to sun damage) and fine lines like a dog with a bone. Thermal spring water ensures your skin stays calm and hydrated.
BUY IT: $49.99; amazon.com
Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum
This sensitive retinol serum is just enough to get you going on the retinol path without risking irritation or dryness. We recommend this budget-friendly pick for those who want to dabble without going full-on wrinkle-busting, and it also works well for those who prefer using a super lightweight sensitive moisturizer on the regular. Just layer this hydrating serum underneath. Besides, you’re never too young to get a headstart on anti-aging, right?
BUY IT: $21.99; target.com
LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer
Amazon does it again with this cult-favorite cream with a penchant for kicking fine lines and wrinkles to the curb on a less-than-baller budget. Packed with natural ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green tea, shea butter, and jojoba oil, this affordable retinol lotion is gentle enough for daily use and will transform any hyperpigmentation and uneven texture you might be dealing with.
BUY IT: $19.99; amazon.com
CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream
If you’re someone who wants to switch up the status quo and apply your retinol solely in the morning, this SPF-infused day cream is a no-brainer. CeraVe is notoriously good for those with sensitive skin, which makes the brand a safe bet when dipping your toes into the retinol waters for the very first time. After a while, you can even double up by using the nighttime version.
BUY IT: $24.99; ulta.com
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
Say hello to the prescription-strength retinoid you can now get over-the-counter. Specifically made to target clogged pores and blemish-prone skin concerns, this strong treatment boosts cell turnover something fierce, which is the holy grail when it comes to staving off signs of aging and reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
BUY IT: $12.99; target.com