Wednesday, April 24, 2024

12 Best Retinol Oils That Effectively Work Overtime and Overnight

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1

Best Calming Formula

Sunday Riley LUNA Sleeping Night Oil

LUNA Sleeping Night Oil

1

Best Calming Formula

Sunday Riley LUNA Sleeping Night Oil

As you catch your Zzz’s, Sunday Riley’s cult-favorite Luna oil calms and corrects your skin so you wake up feeling and looking refreshed. Retinol can be irritating, so camomile calms down redness as licorice and retinol boost radiance and diminish dark spots and scarring.

Key ingredients: Trans-retinoic acid ester, licorice

Size: 1.1 oz

Dermstore rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Dermstore reviewer said: “This product is one of my staples. I absolutely love it! I use it at night and in the morning my face feels smoother, plumper, and any outbreaks I was having look much better. I absolutely love this stuff! This is probably my 6th or so bottle. It lasts a very long time and I’ve been using it for years.”

2

Best Plant-Based Formula

Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil

Algae Retinol Face Oil

2

Best Plant-Based Formula

Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil

With 1.2 percent retinol and a blend of plant oils, the skin is left plumped and hydrated without any irritation. The gentle formula nourishes the skin barrier as algae reduces the harsh appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Key ingredients: Retinol, green tea, algae

Size: 1 oz

Blue Mercury rating: 4/5 stars

A Blue Mercury reviewer said: “One of the best retinol oil I’ve used and the fact that the oil has very high-quality ingredients so your skin feels moisturized and refreshed in the morning. All my friends are using it after I’ve told them about this Mara oil!”

3

Best For Plumping

good molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil

1% Retinol Night Oil

3

Best For Plumping

good molecules 1% Retinol Night Oil

An affordable oil that costs as much as a green smoothie, Good Molecules’ iteration is built around plum oil to nourish dull skin and restore skin elasticity.

Key ingredients: plum oil, retinol

Size: 0.40 oz

Ulta rating: 3.8/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer said: “I personally love this product! I know it mostly may be used for anti-aging, but it also works for breakouts too! If I have any blemishes or acne pop up, I put this lil gem on, and it mostly goes away overnight! The smell is a lil ew, but worth it!”

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4

Best Moisturizing Formula

COSRX The Retinol 0.5 Oil

The Retinol 0.5 Oil

4

Best Moisturizing Formula

COSRX The Retinol 0.5 Oil

This oil is supercharged with hydrating squalane and vitamin E to impart a healthy radiance and improve the skin’s barrier. Retinol works to address skin texture and pigment to reveal brighter, younger-looking skin.

Key ingredients: Vitamin E, squalane, retinol

Size: 0.67 oz

Revolve rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Corsx reviewer said: “I’m currently on my second bottle! This formulation is gentle very effective. After use, my skin is left glowing and feeling smooth.”

5

Best Luxury

Tata Harper Skincare Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

5

Best Luxury

Tata Harper Skincare Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil

Here’s an oil that’s calming and gentle enough for daily use. Because it uses rosehip oil, a natural retinol, your skin will be treated with a formula that slowly but surely reverses signs of aging and creates a supple feel that’s soft to the touch.

Key ingredients: Rosehip oil

Size: 1 oz

Nordstrom rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer said: “My skin eats up this product and the outcome is gorgeous glowing healthy skin! I love it and it has become a staple in my skincare routine!”

6

Best For Daily Use

Drunk Elephant Drunk Elephant A-Gloei™ Retinol Oil

Drunk Elephant A-Gloei™ Retinol Oil

6

Best For Daily Use

Drunk Elephant Drunk Elephant A-Gloei™ Retinol Oil

As retinol gradually removes dark spots and uneven texture, Drunk Elephant’s signature virgin marula oil and ceramides restore balance and moisture to prevent further irritation.

Key ingredients: Retinol, ceramides, marula oil

Size: 1 oz

Sephora rating: 4.5/5 stars

A Sephora reviewer said: “This stuff is the absolute truth! I have had hyperpigmentation since I was like 12 (I’m 30 now). This stuff is the only face oil that doesn’t break me out or leave me feeling greasy and gross! I have extremely dry skin in the winter.”

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7

Best For Firming

Pixi Overnight Retinol Oil

Overnight Retinol Oil

7

Best For Firming

Pixi Overnight Retinol Oil

Pixi’s Overnight Retinol Oil works overtime to correct uneven skin tone, improve wrinkles and fine lines, and firm the skin. You’re immediately left with hydrated, supple, refreshed skin; with consistent use, you’ll start to notice your skin appears brighter in areas that remained dull.

Key ingredients: Retinol, peptides

Size: 1 oz

Target rating: 4.7/5 stars

A Target reviewer said: “I have been using this oil for about two weeks now and have seen improvements in my skin texture. I have less breakouts and brighter/clearer skin. This product is definitely a key in my skincare regimen.”

8

Best Splurge

111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

8

Best Splurge

111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

Correct uneven skin tone and texture with just a few pumps of 111Skin’s retinol oil. While the price is steep, the results are worth every penny spent. The lightweight oil effectively increases cell turnover to reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation. A blend of natural oils provides a blanket of protection from further skin damage.

Key ingredients: Retinol, natural oils

Size: 1 oz

Bluemercury rating: 5/5 stars

A Bluemercury reviewer said: “I have just recently been recommended the use of retinol and this product is incredible. I can already see improvement. Really recommend it.”

9

Best For Acne

Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil Face Serum with Salicylic Acid

Retinol Clearing Oil Face Serum with Salicylic Acid

9

Best For Acne

Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil Face Serum with Salicylic Acid

Where most reach for retinol for skin renewal, Dermalogica’s oil has properties that aid in treating acne. Retinol takes the spotlight, but it’s important to note salicylic acid’s role in this lineup, which serves as the main fighter against breakouts. Together, this oil clears and prevents breakouts while giving you a youthful glow.

Key ingredients: Retinol, salicylic acid

Size: 1 oz

Amazon rating: 4.4/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer said: “I have incredibly sensitive skin and have struggled with terrible acne for many years now and this line and especially this specific product has saved my skin. Everyone’s skin is different but it’s worked extremely well for me. I have tried so many other things but have been using this line for almost three years and it still works amazing.”

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10

Best For Stubborn Marks

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair 0.3% Concentrated Retinol Face Oil

Rapid Wrinkle Repair 0.3% Concentrated Retinol Face Oil

10

Best For Stubborn Marks

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair 0.3% Concentrated Retinol Face Oil

Now 45% Off

If your face has been going through it, allow Neutrogena’s retinol oil to whip it back into shape. The gentle formula works rapidly to repair dark spots and fine lines, especially those stubborn areas. It can be used both AM and PM; just remember to wear sunscreen.

Key ingredients: Retinol,

Size: 1 oz

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer said: “Been using it for 2 weeks now tho I’m still on my first bottle, but I can see the difference on my skin. My age spots have lightened up a bit.”

11

Best Oil Blend

LAB-1012 0.3% Retinol Serum for Fine Lines & Wrinkles

0.3% Retinol Serum for Fine Lines & Wrinkles

11

Best Oil Blend

LAB-1012 0.3% Retinol Serum for Fine Lines & Wrinkles

No matter your age, this serum-oil meets you at any stage. The serum uses retinol to target signs of aging and to encourage collagen production so skin appears more youthful and plump. A blend of oils, including soy and castor, provides moisture.

Key ingredients: Retinol, castor oil, soy oil

Size: 1 oz

Typology rating: 4.2/5 stars

A Typology reviewer said: “This is really nice. No smell, absorbs easily, no irritation. Would buy again.”

12

Best Night Oil

StriVectin® STAR.light Retinol Night Oil at Nordstrom

STAR.light Retinol Night Oil at Nordstrom

12

Best Night Oil

StriVectin® STAR.light Retinol Night Oil at Nordstrom

Uneven texture, fine lines, and spots are no match for this night oil, which combines naturally-derived retinol and squalane to delay aging. The nourishing formula soothes dryness and irritation, and absorbs into the skin so you won’t see any evidence come morning.

Key ingredients: Retinol, squalane

Size: 1 oz

Nordstrom rating: 4.6/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer said: “Absolutely love it. It makes my skin feel so good. I can’t tell you how much I love it. I’ve been a Strivectin woman for years. I’m 62 and look & feel fantastic. Buy it. You’ll love it❤”

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13

Meet the experts

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14

Does oil-based retinol actually work?

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Retinol is an effective and powerful ingredient used to improve the skin’s most stubborn problems. Dr. Rose adds that retinol-infused oil “can be a good choice for those with very dry or sensitive skin.”

15

What step do you apply a retinol oil?

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“Retinol in any form should typically be applied as your next step just after cleansing skin,” Dr. Rose explains. Be sure to use gentle formulas before applying retinol to prevent irritation or barrier damage.

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16

Why trust ELLE Beauty?

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As a leading publisher of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty content, ELLE.com is committed to highlighting the best products in various categories by personally testing the latest and most innovative products, interviewing countless experts, and vetting customer-loved items.

Headshot of Nerisha Penrose

Nerisha Penrose

Beauty Commerce Editor

Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.

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