A photo of a pipette laying on it's side with retinol serum pooling around the tip.

Do You Struggle With Acne? Retinol Cream May Be Your Answer

Retinol Cream for Acne

Are you someone who struggles with acne, pimples, or breakouts of any sort? Unfortunately, many men and women (especially teens) end up experiencing dramatic hormonal changes and breakouts during puberty. If you are someone who wants an effective solution for your acne and you’re trying to incorporate retinol into your routine, keep on reading. We’ll explore its pros and cons and discover some of the best kind of retinol cream for acne you can find on the market.

What is Retinol Cream?

Retinoid was used for acne back in 1971 and is nowadays one of the best treatments for mild or severe acne. Dermatologists recommend it since it can unclog pores and allow other products to work and penetrate the skin with ease. They also help with dead skin cells that you can find in your pores. First-time users may notice a slight change in their skin texture, as well as mild redness. The best way to avoid any downsides or side effects is to use it two times a week and  mix it with your moisturizer.

What Else Can You Use it For?

Did you know that retinoids can also be used for wrinkles and fine lines? This is because it can produce collagen production and help with age spots and premature fine lines. However, as with most retinol products, it will take you 3-6 months to see an improvement in your texture, which is why it is crucial to stay persistent.

How to Apply Retinol Cream

Step 1: Use a small amount and work with a pea-sized dot over your entire face. Ensure that you avoid areas around your eyelids or your lips since your skin there is quite thin and prone to irritation.

Step 2: Be slow and gentle since you don’t want to overwhelm your skin with this new ingredient. Start by applying 2-3 times a week and work your way from there.

Step 3: Although retinoid creams are moisturizers themselves, sometimes these aren’t good enough. This is why you need to incorporate an additional moisturizer with a non-comedogenic formula and apply it on top if you lack additional hydration.

Step 4: If you’re headed out, it is crucial to apply sunscreen on top of your skin and over your retinol cream. Protect your face from UV rays and sun exposure while being safe and protected with at least SPF 20.

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How is it Different from Other Creams?

The most significant difference in your regular creams or retinol creams is in its list of active ingredients and application process. Retinoids and retinol are derivatives of vitamin A. They have some type of active retinoic acid that can boost your cellular turnover and give you smoother and less problematic skin.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Retinol Cream for Acne?


  • Not too pricey
  • Can be used for collagen production
  • Helps with acne and breakouts
  • Helps with clogged pores
  • With time you can use this cream every day
  • Helps with texture, wrinkles and fine lines
  • Makes your pores smaller


  • Doesn’t have an SPF, meaning you will have to incorporate your own
  • Can feel uncomfortable or irritating as you get used to it 
  • Some redness can occur for super sensitive skin types

How Does Retinol Cream Help with Acne?

On the skin’s outermost layer, also known as the epidermis, retinol will exfoliate the skin and remove any dirt, debris, and oil from your pores. It gets deep underneath your skin, and with the right customized and combined approach and products, it clears out your skin completely. In a few months, your skin will be glowing and acne-free.

Top 3 Best Retinol Creams and Brands

1. SkinBetter Science

This brand has an amazing AlphaRet Overnight cream that can boost your lactic acid and retinoids. The brand is quite popular among stars and celebrities, while the cream itself might help mature skin types the best. This product is filled with ceramide and hyaluronic acid for proper moisturizing properties. It sells for $125.

2. The Ordinary

The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalene serum is a popular choice among younger women and those on a budget. The main feature of this product is its power to quickly adjust and adapt to every skin type and age group. It has 0.5% squalene which will mimic your natural oils and help with any dryness. This little bottle sells for $6 only.

3. Olay

Olay makes some of the best skincare items on the market, and it is well-loved due to its variety of products. Their Olay Retinol 24 Fragrance-Free facial moisturizer is the perfect night-time product. This product line also has serums and eye creams for deep moisturizing properties. Enjoy its niacinamide and peptides for any mild skin concerns. The cream itself usually sells for $38.

Are You Ready to Try Retinol Creams?

If you’re ready to try out some new products and creams (while also dealing with acne), you should give retinol creams and retinoids a chance. You won’t regret it!