From Most Natural to Most Effective, These Are the Best 5 Over the Counter Retinol Creams Ranked.
Wrinkles, they’re an age-old problem… literally! No one wants them yet everyone, someday, will start to see those crow’s feet form and the skin lost its elasticity. It’s a sad day… but there is hope! Don’t worry, it doesn’t come from tens of thousands of dollars worth of surgery. It comes from retinol!
If you aren’t aware, retinol is a more recent ingredient to come out of the beauty product world, and it is helping women and men revitalize their tired eyes, crow’s feet, and rough skin. Retinol is an effective form of vitamin A that is able to penetrate your skin to neutralize free radicals and boost the production of collagen, which we all know is our anti-wrinkle, youth-boosting savior. Without collagen, consider yourself the Crypt Keeper.
But the big question: with dozens of retinol products available, which over the counter retinol cream is right one to buy? It’s certainly hard to know, but thank goodness we’re here to help. Here are five retinol products for the face we ranked to help you decide.
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This is by far our favorite choice when it comes to retinol products specifically for the face. The Glow Fairy’s Retinol Glow Wand is a highly-condensed retinol balm that you easily apply to the most sensitive areas of your face. The Glow Wand comes packed with retinol along with a handful of effective ingredients (including hyaluronic acid, butylene glycol, and stearic acid to help boost your skin’s moisture and collagen production to help lessen the appearance of wrinkles and give your skin a smoother and softer feel. We discovered The Glow Fairy after they offered us the secret 50% off discount code SECRET50. It gave the Retinol Glow Wand one of the most affordable prices of any retinol product. So cool! The balm is easy to apply with just a few swipes needed every night on the areas of skin that need your help. Highly recommended!
We liked Nourish Max a lot for a serum. Serums are more concentrated than creams, and can be highly effective. Of course, be aware it takes about 3 hours for a serum to really penetrate and be fully absorbed by the skin, so you’ll need to be careful with what you do with your time. Nourish Max is filled with a lot of amazing ingredients, including retinol, vitamin C, B, and E. All which will help moisturize and revive your skin. What slowed us down from putting this at top of the list was the outrageous price of $49.99. For a small amount of serum, you need to make a pretty big investment. To us, it’s just not worth it.
If you agree that Nourish Max’s price is a little outrageous, get ready to drop your jaw. StriVectin is our most expensive recommendation, but we can say it’s a really good duo to help fight aging skin. StriVectin offers daytime and a nighttime retinol moisturizers for you to use throughout full time. The daytime cream offers SPF protection, while the night time cream is highly concentrated to help provide a full powerhouse cocktail of retinol, proteins, and micronutrients. If this price wasn’t through the roof we may be happy to highly encourage a purchase. But with a more affordable option like The Glow Fairy’s Retinol Glow Wand, which is just as effective, it’s hard to want to give this the rating it needs to be at the top.
This night cream feels amazing and was a lot of fun to use. It uses a retinol tri-active technology, which helps keep retinol working throughout the night and even into the day. It does well in treating skin by making it firmer, but we didn’t find it to help as much with fine lines and wrinkles. As much as we loved it, the effectiveness just wasn’t there for us. This would maybe be a great cream to use additionally with another product that is a little stronger for max effectiveness.
A highly concentrated retinol moisturizer that’s great for overnight use. It has a great texture and skin feel. Loaded with retinol and vitamin C, it helps boost collagen overnight. The price is a little high for us, but we’ve seen good results with this cream. The only thing to be careful of is it’s intense strength. Retinol is a great ingredient, but overuse can be damaging, and with such a strong formula, this one needs to be used lightly. Keep that in mind!
But for us, if we had to choose one, The Glow Fairy Retinol Glow Wand is top choice!
While we feel we recommended some great retinol products for your face, we believe The Glow Fairy's product was the top choice. We wanted to talk further with our investigative reporter Stephanie Marianne who helped create the rankings list and how The Glow Fairy Retinol Glow Wand worked for her. Stephanie tells the story.
Personally, I never believed in the effectiveness of anti-wrinkle anything. “Time cannot be reversed,” I used to tell my friend. I’ve had too many friends tricked into buying some wild cream just to find out it’s a waste of money. So I’ve avoided it at all costs.
But then my best friend, who I trust with my life, swore by The Glow Fairy Retinol Glow Wand. She would swipe it on every night before she went to bed. After a few weeks her skin looked tighter and her fine lines were greatly reduced. I, of course, didn’t believe her. But then she showed me a before and after. I was stunned. Week by week the fine lines and wrinkles became less noticeable all together! I begged her to let me borrow her Glow Wand. Instead she gave me a 50% OFF code SECRET50, and I ordered my own Glow Wand immediately.
I received a package in the next few days and applied that night. The application is super simple, just open the Glow Wand and swipe it on! LOL, but actually, for best effectiveness, make sure your face is clean and dry. Do your nightly routine and leave the Glow Wand for last. Warm up the balm a little by rubbing onto your finger or the edge of your eye for an easier swipe. Then, apply the balm around the eye, on the sides and under. You can also apply to laugh lines, and even around the brow at the T-zone. Leave it on over night and viola!
I, of course, expected results immediately. But it will take a few weeks to see the real results (so I made sure to snap a few before photos). While I waited, I ended up doing a little research on the ingredients that go into the Glow Wand and found the retinol wasn’t the only thing helping my fine lines disappear…
Of course, there’s retinol, which helps neutralize free radicals in the skin and encourage the production of collagen. The rich source of vitamin A is so effective in helping boost collagen that it’s almost the only ingredient needed. But Glow Fairy did an amazing thing of adding the extra punches with some of these other ingredients…
Another amazing ingredient that’s naturally found in the body. Hyaluronic Acid is used by the body to retain water in the skin. And, as we know, moisture and hydration is essential to healthy, ageless looking skin. That’s why Hyaluronic Acid is so popular in beauty products.
Not many people are aware of how amazing this ingredient is for your skin. It helps remove dead skin cells from the skin to reveal the soft, more youthful tissue underneath. So when you’re looking for that more youthful glow, it’s not retinol doing the work. It’s Allantoin.
Allantoin with a combination of this ingredient, stearic acid, is your ultimate duo for cleaning the skin and giving you that extra glow. While allantoin removes dead skin cells, stearic acid, removes excess oil and dirt that regular cleansers can’t get to. Really awesome stuff!
The last ingredient I was so happy to see in the Glow Wand was beeswax. A lot of retinol creams forget that too much retinol can damage the skin but making it very sensitive. You need something to protect against that. Buzz buzz buzz hello beeswax! Beeswax is a natural protector, it creates an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral barrier that will help keep your skin safe!
So, finally, after 4 weeks, I decided to check if I could see results… and wow! The area around my eyes was more youthful and glowing, and some fine lines that I was concerned about were totally gone. I was blown away!
I was converted into a Glow Wand believer! I hope you will, too!
My absolute FAV!!
WAYY cheaper than plastic surgery.
Hi GlowFairy, I have been using the glow wand for three weeks and am starting to notice a difference around crow's feet.
Hey! Just a reminder to my fellow sensitive skin-users, retinol is STRONG! So if you have sensitive skin, try using this every other day at first and wear that SPF!
Love this stuff. My sister put me onto it.
Anyone else receive two by accident?