In the vast universe of skincare formulations, there's one ingredient that consistently gets name-checked by derms and beauty editors alike: retinol. The vitamin A derivative is a powerhouse product when it comes to helping smooth and brighten complexions — and lucky for us, we don't need to splurge in order to slide it into our beauty rotations.
From affordable-formula stars hidden at Sephora to iconic potions for cheap by Neutrogena and Olay, there are tons of available options for trying retinol on a drugstore budget. Scroll ahead into all the eye creams, serums, moisturizers, oils, and more that are infused with this premium ingredient — and available for a steal.
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The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum
It's not technically a drugstore buy, but this $10-Sephora tube is still a hidden gem. The Inkey List's creamy retinol serum hydrates and soothes skin for an ultimate glow.
The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, $, available at Sephora
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules
These single-dose serum ampoules (which are totally biodegradable, BTW) feel unbelievably luxe and work to smooth skin's uneven texture with continued use.
RoC Retinol Correxion Line Smoothing Night Serum Capsules, $, available at Ulta Beauty
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
You may know CeraVe best for its gentle hydrating products, but don't sleep on the brand's retinol serum. This under-$20 drugstore pick contains ceramides, niacinamide, and licorice root extract that brightens and plumps skin.
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum, $, available at Target
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane
$6 usually won't get you far when it comes to a skincare routine — unless you're dealing with The Ordinary's retinol-infused squalane oil. It's formulated from a mild concentration that gently resurfaces to help maintain healthy-looking skin that glows.
The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream
This top-rated eye cream contains retinol and vitamin B3 to minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark circles.
Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Eye Cream, $, available at Walmart
Pixi Overnight Retinol Oil
Pixi's retinol face oil has already sold out on Ulta, but you can still snag it at Target. Sweet almond, jasmine flower extract, and jojoba seed oil help hydrate skin while the vitamin A derivative does its thing.
Pixi Overnight Retinol Oil, $, available at Target
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair
According to Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, "It's important to choose the right formula to make sure you're getting an effective treatment that is well-tolerated" — which is why he's been using this particular drugstore top-seller with a delivery system for smoothing wrinkles and brightening discoloration that's been, "well-studied and has proven effectiveness."
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum, $, available at Ulta Beauty
L'Oréal Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Face Day Moisturizer
This face moisturizer contains a potent trifecta to brighten, plump, and resurface skin. Unsurprisingly, it's also racked up thousands of reviews poising it to hit the ranks of drugstore-beauty stardom.
L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Face Day Moisturizer, $, available at Walmart
Honest Beauty Honestly Pure Retinol Serum
According to one satisfied reviewer, Honest Beauty's retinol serum beat out the prescription stuff with the noticeable effects of brighter skin and less visible pores in just a week. We have no choice but to stan!
Honest Beauty Honestly Pure Retinol Serum, $, available at Target
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
In addition to being a go-to ingredient for concerns like fine lines and dullness, retinol (in this case, a retinoid) can also help keep acne at bay. This two-pack of Differin gel addresses everything from whiteheads to pore-clogging dirt, so don't miss your chance to stock up.
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment, 15 g, (Pack of 2), $, available at Amazon
Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Serum
From acne scars to dullness, this $20 retinol serum helps improve skin texture and tone by boosting cell turnover.
Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Serum, $, available at Ulta Beauty
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