Retinol Oils: The Anti-Aging Product Everyone Swears By

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Retinol Oils: The Anti-Aging Product Everyone Swears By
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Photo: ImaxTree

By now, you’ve probably had a lifetime’s-worth of retinol information shoved down your throat—but do you actually use one? We’re 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. The answer is probably “no”—but we’re sure that’ll change once you get the low down on retinol oils.

MORE: Lucy Hale Makes the Case for Why Retinol Needs to Be in Your Skin-Care Routine

Look, we’re not judging you, and we totally get it: 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.

This is where retinol oils come in—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.”

And, dear reader, let me assure you that Gohara is right. As someone who has the skin resilience of a Fabergé egg—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.

MORE: Here’s Exactly How to Use Retinol Without Killing Your Face

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).

A version of this article was originally published in February 2017.

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STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Retinol Anti Aging Facial Oil
Retinol Anti Aging Facial Oil

So many five-star reviews!

$22 at Amazon

Photo: Amazon
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | alana mitchell retinol oil
Retinol R1 Anti-Aging Face Night Oil By Alana Mitchell

Use this oil overnight and wake up to glowing, plump skin.

$41 at Amazon

Photo: Amazon
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | PHILOSOPHY Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Retinol
PHILOSOPHY Ultimate Miracle Worker Multi-Rejuvenating Retinol

This one enlists the help of superfood oils, like pomegranate, olive, argan, and Amazonian sacha inchi oils, to help counteract any irritation the retinol may cause.

$75 at Sephora

Photo: Amazon
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM product photo
Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM

This serum is actually oil- and fragrance-free.

$65 at Sephora

Photo: Sephora
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Tata Harper Skincare Replenishing Nutrient Complex product photo
Tata Harper Skincare Replenishing Nutrient Complex

This one's light, easily absorbed and acts as a multivitamin for your skin.

$48 at Nordstrom

Photo: Nordstrom
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Pestle and Mortar Retinol Night Oil product photo
Pestle and Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil

Not only is this one made in Ireland, it's 100 percent free of animal-derived raw materials, paraben free, fragrance free, ever tested on animals and more.

$109 at Pestle and Mortar

Photo: Pestle and Mortar
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil product photo
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Also a cruelty-free product, this retinol oil has a ton of positive reviews on Sephora.

$105 at Sephora

Photo: Sephora
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set product photo
Verso Skincare Super Facial Oil Set

According to Verso's research, product users reported an 86 percent improvement in eye wrinkles. Not bad.

$195 at Sephora

Photo: Sephora
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil product photo
Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil

This one includes a unique extract: Brazilian white beggar's stick flower. It not only helps boost collagen and reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but it also helps repair sun damage.

$60 at Dermstore

Photo: Dermstore
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil product photo
Ever Overnight Facial Cellular Renewal Oil

There's Teprenone in this particular product, which helps protect the skin against free radicals.

$88 at Ever

Photo: Ever
STYLECASTER | Best Retinol Products | 111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil product photo
111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Retinol Oil

This product helps to rapidly resurface uneven skin texture.

$230 at Bloomingdale's

Photo: Bloomingdale's

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