A powerhouse at reducing wrinkles and fine lines, evening skin tone, and reducing acne, retinol is one of the world’s great skincare ingredients. But using retinol isn’t without its challenges. The ingredient is notoriously irritating and is known to cause redness and flaking on some, especially those with sensitive skin. But skincare science has come light-years. There are now more ways than ever to get your retinol fix, from gentler forms of retinol to plant-based alternatives. One of them? Retinol oils, which tend to be gentler, more nourishing, and less irritating than traditional serums.
If you’ve been hesitant to try retinol (or have a shaky past with the ingredient), retinol oils may be a safe entry point back in. They often have lower concentrations of retinol and are cushioned with skin-loving oils and hydrators. Plus, they can be used on their own or mixed in with moisturizer for an added ingredient boost. Some may even be gentle enough to use morning and night; although, it’s best to start out just at night and build up from there.
Looking to give retinol oils a shot? Read on for 15 of the best options, including retinol alternatives (which are safe for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding).