Meet Retinol Oil: The Coolest Anti-Aging Product That Actually Works

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Meet Retinol Oil: The Coolest Anti-Aging Product That Actually Works
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Photo: ImaxTree

Alright, so by now, you’ve probably had a lifetime’s-worth of retinol information shoved down your throat (hopefully not literally, though, or you should probs head to the doctor), but do you actually use one? Like, not counting the two random times you slathered one on before forgetting about it for six months, or that other time you tried a retinol and it melted your skin off in sheets of pain, but every single night for years on end? Exactly.

MORE: These Anti-Aging Blushes Will Actually Make You Look 5 Years Younger

Hey, we’re not judging you—retinols are kind of a pain in the ass. Only apply a tiny, pea-size amount to your whole face, wait exactly 15 minutes before moisturizing, use every third day to start, and cross your fingers that your skin doesn’t implode? Yeah, it’s a lot. Which is why we’re so in love with retinol oils, a new breed of anti-aging products that basically caress your skin while pummeling it with retinol, decreasing the irritation and flakes that usually come with retinol.

Photo: ImaxTree

Photo: ImaxTree

But this isn’t really a new technology, says Yale dermatologist and all-around skin badass Mona Gohara. “The retinol itself is the same, it’s just being delivered to your skin in a more cosmetically elegant, consumer-friendly, and less-irritating way,” she says. “In the hierarchy of moisturizing ingredients, oils are the most hydrating and skin-barrier-repairing ingredients, so a retinol oil could be a great choice for anyone with dry or sensitive skin.”

MORE: The Best Foundations for Mature Skin

And, dear reader, let me assure you that Gohara is right. As someone who has the skin resilience of a Fabergé egg—like, to the point where sometimes, my skin just breaks out into hives for fun, before crumbling into flakes—I was able to tolerate retinol oils without any horror stories, a first for me and retinols. Because these suckers are oil-based, though, you’ll want to apply them as the last step of your nightly skin-care routine, after your toners, essences, serums, and moisturizers, or just mix a few drops in with your moisturizer.

If you’re still worried about irritation, stick to the golden rule of retinols: Use them every third night for three weeks, then every other night for two weeks, and then nightly, if your skin tolerates it. And remember that consistency is key. If you use them consistently, you should notice smoother skin, smaller pores, and reduced fine lines within three months. Rather than have you dig through the internet to find the best retinol oil to try, though, we’ve rounded up our favorites, at every price point, to get you started. Click through to see the MVPs, and try one out tonight (and every third night after that).

MORE: 5 Big Retinol Myths You Need to Stop Believing

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Pestle and Mortar Retinol Night Oil
Pestle and Mortar Retinol Night Oil

Pestle and Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil, $109; at Pestle and Mortar

Photo: Pestle and Mortar
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $105; at Sephora

Photo: Sunday Riley
Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set
Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set

Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set, $195; at Sephora

Photo: Verso Skincare
Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil
Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil

Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil, $60; at Dermstore

Photo: Ren
Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil
Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil

Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil, $88; at Ever

Photo: Ever
111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil
111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil, $230; at Bloomingdale's 

Photo: 111Skin

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  • Pestle and Mortar Retinol Night Oil
  • Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
  • Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set
  • Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil
  • Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil
  • 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

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