Best Retinol Cream For Acne Prone Skin

Best Retinol Cream For Acne Prone Skin In 2020

Next time you take a stroll through the skincare section of your local pharmacy, take a look at all the acne treatments. From salicylic acid to benzoyl peroxide, many ingredients can help get rid of breakouts and blemishes.

One of the most effective treatments is retinol. This synthetic derivative of vitamin A can help to banish even the most stubborn of blemishes. This guide will give you the information you need to choose the best retinol cream for your acne prone skin.

What Is Retinol?

​Over the counter retinol products are derived from vitamin A, and they offer a wide variety of skin benefits. When used as a topical treatment, retinol dissolves dead skin layers, allowing new, revitalized skin to come to the surface. It reduces the buildup of dead skin cells, and also reduces the number of clogged pores. This means fewer blemishes, blackheads, and other types of acne.

​Retinol doesn't just work for acne. It's also a favorite ingredient of people with aging skin. Its potent restorative properties mean that retinol can improve many skin types.

​What Are the Benefits of Retinol?

​Retinol has many revitalizing effects on the skin. These include minimizing the appearance of large pores, improving radiance, enhancing skin tone, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, balancing the skin's oil production, and getting rid of acne and blemishes.

​How Long Does It Take to See Results?

​Don't expect to see immediate results. Some people start to see improvements in their skin after a month, while others don't see changes until three months. With retinol products, it's important to give them time to alter the overall quality of the skin.

​Who Is a Candidate for Retinol Products?

​Retinol products come in a variety of strengths, and most people can find a product that suits their skincare needs. People with acne-prone skin tend to have success incorporating a retinol product into their skincare regimen, as thick, oily skin tends to be less sensitive. If you have this type of skin, look for a retinol product that contains 0.5% to 1% retinol. Higher strength retinol products provide faster, more effective results.

​For people with combination skin who need to combat dryness and acne simultaneously, they may find that higher concentrations of retinol will be too harsh on their skin. People with sensitive, acne-prone skin should look for a retinol product with a concentration of 0.01% to 0.04%.

​Are There Any Side Effects?

​When people first incorporate retinol into their skincare regimen, they often experience redness, dryness, and flaking. This is a normal side effect of using retinol, especially products with higher concentrations.

After a few weeks, most people find that their skin adjusts to the ingredient, and they begin to see revitalized, blemish-free skin. If your skin doesn't adjust after a few weeks of use, you may want to try a retinol product with a lower concentration. Not all skin types can withstand retinol products with strengths of 0.5% and higher.

​What's the Best Way to Apply Retinol?

​To get the best results from a retinol product, it's important to apply it correctly. Most people apply retinol creams at night, as they can make the skin more sensitive to UV rays. Using retinol at bedtime also gives the cream the chance to soak into the skin, providing the most effective results.

​First, make sure the skin is thoroughly cleansed and toned. If you use an exfoliating product that contains an AHA or BHA, apply it before your retinol product. Some skin types may not be able to tolerate an exfoliant and a retinol cream, while others will be improved by the combination of ingredients. Experiment to see what combinations of ingredients work well for your skin.

​Once you've applied an exfoliating product, apply the retinol cream to the face and neck. With many retinol creams, you only need to use a small amount. Check the directions to make sure you're applying the product appropriately.

​After the retinol cream has been fully absorbed into the skin, apply a moisturizer. Even people with oily, acne-prone skin need to use a moisturizer with retinol products.

​If after a few weeks of use you find that your retinol cream is too harsh for your skin, try waiting 30 minutes after cleansing to apply the cream. This can make the skin more receptive to the retinol while blunting the harsher side effects.

​Retinol and SPF

​People who are using a retinol product need to use a daily sunscreen. Retinol speeds up cell turnover, and the newly revealed skin cells are more likely to be damaged by the sun. This could lead to sunburn, sunspots, discoloration, or the creation of fine lines and wrinkles. To make sure that you don't reverse the benefits of retinol, slather on a product containing SPF 30 or higher every morning.

​Top Retinol Creams for Acne Prone Skin

​If you're looking for an effective retinol cream, here are five great options:


Amara Organics Retinol Serum 2.5%

Amara Organics Retinol Serum 2.5%

​This retinol serum combines its main ingredient with jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid. They provide the skin with potent hydration, which minimizes the irritation associated with retinol. This serum is formulated to help clear up existing acne, treat acne scars, and reduce the appearance of blackheads.


  • Some users say that this product helps to treat hormonal acne, which is notoriously difficult to correct with over the counter products.
  • Many users say that this product reduces the discoloration and pigmentation associated with acne.


  • While most users find this product to be beneficial, others find it noticeably less effective than prescription retinol treatments.
  • Some users feel that this retinol product leaves their skin feeling tight and dry.

Foxbrim Delicate Retinol Moisturizer

Foxbrim Delicate Retinol Moisturizer

​The Foxbrim Retinol Moisturizer is designed to treat all skin types. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin, but it contains enough retinol to revitalize and rejuvenate acne-prone skin.

The formulation is full of great ingredients, including vitamin E, jojoba oil, panthenol, and green tea. In combination with retinol, these ingredients help to soothe and repair acne-prone or aging skin. This gentle moisturizer can do everything from reducing pore size to improve uneven skin tones. It's a great option for acne-prone people with sensitive skin.


  • This multi-purpose serum serves many purposes, from serum to moisturizer, and it can cut down on the number of steps needed in your nightly skin care regimen.
  • This moisturizer doesn't leave skin feeling sticky or greasy. It's formulated so that it is easily absorbed by the skin.


  • Some users break out while using this product. Some people go through a purging period when starting new retinol products, and that may be responsible for these users' issues.
  • Other users found the product too irritating to continue the regular application.

Pure Body Naturals Retinol Moisturizer

Pure Body Naturals Retinol Moisturizer

​This moisturizer from Pure Body Naturals contains 2.5% active retinol. This high concentration ensures that the product effectively reduces the appearance of acne, pores, discolorations, scarring, and more.

It also contains skin-friendly antioxidants like wheat germ oil and green tea, which help to ward off the environmental toxins that can clog pores and cause blemishes. This product is also ideal for consumers who value natural formulations. The Pure Body Naturals Retinol Moisturizer contains 71% organic ingredients, ranging from vitamin E to jojoba oil.


  • The packaging uses a convenient pump feature, which makes application easy.
  • The lightweight formula goes on smooth and is absorbed quickly.


  • Some users still notice peeling and redness, despite the inclusion of hydrating ingredients.
  • Other users feel that the 1.7 Fl. oz. Size is simply too small.

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer

​While other retinol products cause dryness and peeling, this LilyAna product is designed to provide the benefits of vitamin A without any of the drawbacks. It contains great hydrating ingredients, like green tea, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter.

These maximize the effectiveness of the retinol, allowing this potent skincare weapon to transform the skin. This product can reverse the effects of sun damage, reduce the signs of acne, and even improve the appearance of stretch marks.

It's also gentle enough to be used all over the face, even on the delicate skin around the eyes. It can help to correct milia, bags, and under eye circles. This LilyAna Naturals product is formulated without parabens, gluten, or artificial fragrances, making it an ideal option for people with sensitive, acne-prone skin.​


  • This retinol cream has a lightweight formula that doesn’t leave behind an oily residue.
  • Thanks to the addition of green tea and aloe vera, it has a fresh, pleasant scent.


  • Some users notice some mild breakouts when they first use this product.
  • Other users feel that the product doesn't absorb quickly enough.

Eva Naturals Retinol 2.5%

Eva Naturals Retinol 2.5%

​This retinol serum from Eva Naturals is designed to restore the skin to its former glory. Thanks to its potent dose of retinol, it can enhance skin-building compounds. It speeds up the rate of cellular turnover, which helps to correct a wide variety of skin concerns, ranging from blackheads to scarring.

This product also contains witch hazel. This ingredient helps to brighten and revitalize the complexion. Eva Naturals also added vitamin E and jojoba oil, which provide a much-needed dose of moisture.

Green tea offers antioxidant protection, and hyaluronic acid helps to shield the skin from further damage. When combined, these great ingredients pack a powerful, acne-busting punch.​


  • This formula is designed to penetrate up to four layers of skin, which maximizes cell turnover and enhances results.
  • The serum is lightweight and dries quickly.


  • Some users find the serum too drying.
  • While most users appreciate the lightweight formula, others find it too thin, comparing it unfavorably to thicker, more substantial serums.


There are many great retinol creams on the market, and you should choose one based on your skin type and your skin goals. A 40-year-old battling adult acne and the first signs of aging skin will have different needs than a 17-year-old with oily skin looking to get rid of acne scarring.

​The clear winner of this product roundup is Amara Organics Retinol Serum 2.5%. This effective retinol product is specifically formulated to improve the condition of the acne-prone skin.

The vitamin A gets rid of the dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to breakouts, blackheads, and blemishes. It also stimulates collagen, which helps to reduce the appearance of acne scarring.

​Thanks to the inclusion of jojoba oil, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid, the formula isn't too harsh for sensitive skin. Most users find it easy to tolerate. The 2.5% strength retinol ensures that it works quickly and effectively, and most people see results within the first 12 weeks. This Amara Organics product offers great results with minimal irritation. People interested in trying retinol should give it a try.

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