As this editor approaches the big four-oh (next month!), my mind is, more than ever, on my skin. Aging gracefully appeals to me—but so does doing what I can to maintain a healthy glow. Hence my renewed interest in retinoids/retinol, said to improve skin texture, pigmentation and tone in just a few drops of serum or dabs of cream. Below, a roundup of top products containing this anti-aging wonder ingredient (but note: it's highly recommended to get advice from a skin-care or beauty pro before hopping onto the retinol train; this stuff can pack a punch). Happy birthday to me! —Noa Nichol
skinceuticals. A brand-new product from this superstar skin-care brand perfectly fits the retinol bill. SkinCeuticals' Retinol 0.3 Refining Night Cream ($72) provides an introductory dosage of retinol enhanced with soothing ingredients like bisabolol and boswellia serrata extract to minimize inflammation and irritation. If you’ve shied away from retinols before, consider this new product a powerful baby step toward optimizing your anti-aging routine!
neostrata. From this brand's "correct" collection, the Comprehensive Retinol 0.3% Night Serum ($92) targets skin’s hydrating matrix to reduce the look of fine lines and coarse wrinkles. Use it by applying to clean skin once or twice weekly, at night, working up to every day as tolerated (pro tip: store the tube inverted on its cap).
dermalogica. Talk about a customizable treatment! Every box of Overnight Retinol Repair ($125)—a concentrated nighttime treatment cream with active 0.5% microencapsulated pure retinol to help increase cell turnover—includes a moisturizing buffer xream to help acclimate your skin to this highly active form of retinol (simply mix the two together and apply to cleansed skin at night, when cell renewal is at its prime).
elizabeth grant. Available as both a day ($75) and night ($80) cream, Elizabeth Grant’s Retinologist With Silver is impressively bursting with the brand’s exclusive Synchronized Retinoid Complex-10 technology (a combo of five types of retinol and five retinol precursors). Expect incredible anti-aging benefits like tightened pores, increased elasticity, smoother skin, decreased lines and wrinkles and an overall more radiant skin tone.
elizabeth arden. This award-winning product ($106) is 76 per cent more potent than unencapsulated retinol and works to visibly diminish lines and wrinkles while improving skin texture and tone. We've been using these luxurious single-use capsules, each one preservative and fragrance free, and noticing a fantastic difference in our skin.