Why is retinol night cream suddenly so popular?


Several premium skincare brands offer night skincare sets that include retinol cream, as well as serums, eye creams and moisturizers. This takes the hard work out of effective product pairing and may maximize results.

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Why is Retinol night cream so popular?

With a return to face-to-face meetings and social gatherings, many people have a renewed interest in skincare. More than anything, they want to put their best face forward, and for some individuals, that means adding retinol night cream to their skincare regimen. 

Retinol night creams are said to minimize the appearance of fine lines by boosting collagen production. According to a recent interview with Dr. Jordan Carqueville on Daytime Chicago, retinol night creams should become a staple part of nighttime skincare routines for individuals in their thirties, who may begin to see more fine lines around the eyes and lips. 

What you need to know about retinol night cream

What is retinol?

Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that promotes healthy cell turnover and collagen production, which may minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With prolonged use, particularly in nighttime skincare routines, retinol may have a firming effect that makes skin appear more “filled in.” Retinol may also repair and heal UV-related damage like dark spots.

What is retinol concentration?

Retinol concentration refers to how much retinol a night cream contains. However, a higher concentration doesn’t necessarily produce better results for everyone, as high-potency formulas may trigger reactions or irritations for some people. Individuals with sensitive skin and those new to retinol products should start with lower retinol concentrations, such as around 0.05 to 0.1%. Other retinol night creams, often used by those with normal or non-sensitive skin, may have concentrations of 0.2% and higher. 

Why retinol creams are applied at night

Retinol night cream, as its name implies, is specially formulated for nighttime use. These creams are often thicker and greasier than daytime skincare products, and they don’t wear well under foundation and other makeup. Additionally, retinol makes skin more sensitive in direct sunlight and may result in sunburns, irritations or UV damage for some individuals. 

How to use a retinol night cream

To maximize results with retinol night cream, it’s key to use it alongside other skincare products— particularly in the correct order. Here’s how many people arrange their nighttime skincare routines around these creams:

  • Begin by washing the face with a gentle cleanser followed by a toner if the skin can tolerate it.
  • Apply nutrient-dense serums, such as those with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or niacinamide. 
  • Gently dab a small amount of eye cream around the lids, corners of the eye and under the eyes. 
  • Apply retinol and gently massage it in an upward motion, starting at the chin and working toward the forehead.
  • Finish with a nighttime moisturizer suitable for your skin type.
  • If possible, sleep on satin pillowcases instead of cotton ones to further reduce friction, irritation and overdrying of skin. 

Who should use a retinol night cream?

Retinol night creams are usually added to skincare routines by individuals in their thirties. Generally speaking, this is usually when they may begin to see fine lines, wrinkles and other age-related skin changes. The thirties are also when some UV-related damage becomes more noticeable. 

While retinol night creams are recommended for most individuals and skin types, some people may experience mild irritations with them. Some should limit use to every other night to avoid triggering irritations or breakouts. Fortunately, many skincare companies have become keenly aware of retinol-related sensitivity and have released several sensitive skin-friendly formulas in recent years.

Top 5 retinol night creams

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream

This Murad formula features Retinol Tri-Active Technology that minimizes the appearance of fine and deep lines. The cream also contains niacinamide and nicotinamide, which boost the skin’s protective barrier and promotes hydration retention. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta

Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Max Night Hydrating Moisturizers

Olay Regenerist Retinol24 Max Night Hydrating Moisturizers

A deep moisturizer for the face and neck, this Olay Regenerist cream contains 20% more retinol complex and nourishes skin for up to 24 hours. The gentle, fragrance-free formula is ideal for sensitive skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta

Origins Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer

Origins Plantscription Retinol Night Moisturizer

The Origins nighttime retinol moisturizer is formulated with alpine flower to support collagen production, which gives skin a firm, supple appearance. To boot, it’s one of few vegan options on the market.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Macy’s 

Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Solutions 0.2% Retinol Correcting Night Concentrate

Lancôme Visionnaire Skin Solutions 0.2% Retinol Correcting Night Concentrate

A high-potency formula, this Lancôme retinol night cream promises to smooth over patchy areas and minimize the appearance of deep wrinkles. A little goes a long way, and several people indicate they noticed results after four weeks of use.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Sensitive Skin Night Cream

RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging Sensitive Skin Night Cream

While it’s a budget-friendly option, the RoC retinol night cream doesn’t compromise on results. It’s specially made for sensitive skin since it’s non-comedogenic and won’t leave a greasy residue.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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