Retinol Oils That Actually Hydrate Your Skin
They're frequently recommended to not only those battling acne, but also just about anyone over 30 looking to prevent visible signs of aging. In fact, "retinol is one of the most important ingredients that should be incorporated into every skin care routine, regardless of skin type," Dr. Idriss says.
The catch? It's just as infamous for causing irritation. The good news is you can find retinol in countless types of products—meaning there's something out there even if you've always thought retinol was too harsh for you. "Your skin type should dictate what type of formulation is used to deliver the retinol," Dr. Idriss says.
Enter: retinol oils. Dermatologist Josh Zeichner, M.D. explains their appeal: "Oils are becoming increasingly popular in skin care. They contain natural emollient ingredients to help hydrate the skin. Oils are a great vehicle to deliver retinol because they may help minimize associated skin irritation." While retinol oils can be especially good for those with dry, sensitive skin, it is, in fact, "a myth that people with oily skin cannot use topical oils," Dr. Zeichner says.
And while the hydrating properties of oil can help prevent irritation before it even occurs, it has no impact on the hero-worthy powers of retinol—meaning it's just as potent as it would be in a serum or cream.
If you're nervous about using retinol regardless of its form, Dr. Idriss recommends starting slow to give your skin time to adjust, and building up from there.
Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil
The key ingredient in this treatment oil is a mouthful—it's called hydroxypinacolone retinoate, though it's sometimes referred to as granactive retinol. Paired with another form of retinol, retinyl palmitate, this oil is indeed a superstar—it reduces the appearance of pores and fine lines, helps control oil production, and boosts collagen.
Tata Harper Retinoic Nutrient Face Oil
Retinoic acid is naturally sourced from rose hip in this clean, floral, oil from Tata Harper. The hero ingredient is complemented with botanical ingredients like sweet-brier rose seed oil, calendula flower extract, and jojoba seed oil to name a few. The formula works to reduce the appearance of wrinkles while still using natural ingredients to nourish skin.
Jordan Samuel Retinol Treatment Oil
An affordable favorite of in-the-know skincare obsessives, Jordan Samuel's Retinol Treatment Oil is billed as a moisturizer, multivitamin, and antioxidant treatment for your skin. Retinol (aka Vitamin A) is an antioxidant itself in addition to its ability to speed up cell turnover, while marula oil soothes, heals, and hydrates.
111 Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil
The splurgiest item on the list, 111 Skin combines 1% pure retinol with—you better believe it—actual diamond powder, which helps increase the retinol's efficacy, and a blend of other natural oils, all of which work together to improve and resurface skin texture and diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
This cult-favorite retinol oil gets its brilliant blue color from a host of beloved calming ingredients like blue tansy and German chamomile—strategically added to help tame any sensitivity retinol is associated with causing. Like other products on the list, this one also uses trusty hydroxypinacolone retinoate, a member of the retinoid family that fights wrinkles and fine lines, promotes elasticity, and leaves skin feeling smooth and clear.
Instytutum Powerful RetinOil
Strivectin S.T.A.R. Light Retinol Night Oil
This is an oil for oil-phobes because it's so lightweight, you'll barely feel it—but that doesn't mean you won't reap the benefits of retinol, which in this formula, is blended with squalane and chia seed oil. Together, they encourage cell turnover and moisturize and replenish skin with essential fatty acids.
Mara Algae Retinol Face Oil
This clean face oil blends 1.2% retinol with natural sources of vitamin A, like cacay. Fermented green tea works to protect skin from free radicals, while brown seaweed and evening primrose plump skin and lock in moisture. The brand's signature algae is filled with vitamins, omegas 3,6, and 9, and helps hydrate skin.
Votary Intense Night Oil
Rose hip and retinoid are the heroes in this powerful night oil. While you sleep, it gets to work removing dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and evening skin tone. Avocado oil keeps skin hydrated and a delicate rose scent makes it perfect to doze off with.
Verso Super Facial Oil with Retinol 8
Frequent world-traveler? Pop one of three vials of this oil into its almost oddly chic case and get your treatment on a plane, or anywhere else you need it. Verso's signature Retinol 8 is the star in this formula, a stabilized vitamin A complex that the brand claims is eight times more powerful (and less irritating) than standard retinol.