Before we discuss the best retinol serums in India, let us go over some key points about using retinol. This includes when to start using retinol based on your age, tips for beginners on how to use retinol correctly, which active ingredients can be used alongside retinol and which ones to avoid, and how to get the most out of your retinol for your skin. Following these guidelines will help you use retinol safely and effectively.
WHEN TO USE RETINOL SERUM
If you are 25 or older and thinking about adding retinol to your skincare routine, it would be the best time to start. Make sure not to rush into it. Begin slowly with a 0.025% concentration and use it only twice a week at night. Remember to make sure your face is thoroughly clean and dry before applying retinol, as applying it to damp skin can cause irritation. You can use it after your moisturiser or sandwich it between moisturisers to prevent skin irritations. When it comes to retinol, taking it slow and steady is the way to go.
WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT USE WITH RETINOL
To maximize the effects of retinol, understand which active ingredients can be used with it and which to avoid. You can use niacinamide with retinol, but apply niacinamide first and then add retinol. Hyaluronic acid is fine too, but apply it after retinol. AVOID mixing retinol with Vitamin C, AHA & BHA (like glycolic acid and salicylic acid), or benzoyl peroxide, as they can lead to irritation. Save these ingredients for your morning routine, and avoid overloading your skin with harsh substances to keep it happy.
HOW TO USE RETINOL SERUM
If you have a dermatologist prescribed retinol cream, use a small amount like about half a pea size and gently massage it into your face and neck. For over the counter (OTC) serums, follow the instructions on the label. Allow the serum or cream a minute or two to absorb before adding other products. Finish with a moisturizer that contains ceramides for repair or a soothing option to calm your skin. Always apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from UV rays.
On to today’s main topic, We have compiled a list of the top 8 best retinol serums in India. Before you start, remember to do a patch test to avoid any unexpected reactions. We have provided the pros and cons of each serum to help you make the right choice. Hope you find it useful. If you are interested, Read my compilation of the best affordable Retinol Creams recommended by dermatologists in India.
DECONSTRUCT RETINOL & PEPTIDE SERUM
PRICE – 799rs for 30ml product
✅ DECONSTRUCT serum is a unique skincare product that combines 0.2% Retinol and 1% Peptides to combat visible signs of aging. It’s gentle for beginners and sensitive skin, with a non-greasy, easily absorbed formula that doesn’t cause irritation or breakouts. This serum fades fine lines, improves skin texture, and is free from harmful ingredients like parabens and silicones. Plus, it’s budget-friendly, making it a cost-effective choice for effective anti-aging skincare.
NEUTROGENA RAPID WRINKLE REPAIR NIGHT SERUM
PRICE – 1355rs for 29ml product | SALE – 700-800+
✅ Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer is a great addition to your skincare routine for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Use it twice a week, avoiding the eye area. It is light, quick to absorb, and perfect for people on the go. With hyaluronic acid for moisture and improved skin texture, it comes with a pleasant fragrance. Regular use leads to smoother, brighter skin and tighter pores. This moisturizer softens fine lines and wrinkles in just 4 weeks.
⛔ During the initial use of this product, a slight warm tingling sensation may occur but disappears after a few minutes. It contains artificial fragrance, which may not be suitable for sensitive skin. The product may be considered expensive for its size of just 29ml.
OLAY RETINOL 24 SERUM
PRICE – 1799 for 30ml product | SALE – 999rs
✅ Olay Retinol 24 is an excellent choice if you want a lightweight serum with potent ingredients. It combines vitamin B3, retinol, niacinamide, glycerine, and peptides for impressive results. The non sticky, non greasy formula is easily absorbed without causing irritation or breakouts. Regular use can reduce pore size, minimize acne scars, and firm the skin, with visible changes in just 4 weeks. It is also free from parabens and fragrances, suitable for all skin types, and budget friendly, so it is a cost effective option for fantastic results.
⛔ The exact percentage of retinol in the serum is not mentioned, which can make it difficult to gauge its potency. It may not work on deeper wrinkles as effectively as it does on fine lines and texture.
THE ORDINARY RETINOL 0.5% IN SQUALANE
PRICE – 700rs for 30ml | SALE – 15% OFF
✅The Ordinary Retinol has a unique, oil like texture that is easy to apply and massage into your skin. It effectively reduces the appearance of marks and fine lines while preventing clogged pores, leaving your skin clean and refreshed.
⛔In the early days of using The Ordinary Retinol serum, you might face excessive dryness and skin peeling. With continued use, the skin adapts, and the dryness lessens. For those with oily or acne prone skin, the serum may cause purging, be patient and consistent with the serum, as it can take several weeks for your skin to fully adjust to the retinol.
MINIMALIST 0.3% RETINOL FACE SERUM
PRICE – 599rs for 30ml | SALE – 589rs
✅ The Minimalist retinol face serum is reasonably priced and comes in travel friendly packaging. It contains beneficial ingredients like squalane, bakuchiol, coenzyme Q10, and retinol to nourish the skin. The serum is lightweight, non sticky, and suitable for all skin types since it is free from essential oils and fragrances. Plus, it is non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores. This serum is beginner friendly and with regular use, it does promote healthy and vibrant skin.
⛔ It leaves an oily finish that may be a problem for those with acne prone, oily skin and also, it may not be suitable for use in summer since it does feel heavy on the the skin.
INNISFREE RETINOL CICA REPAIR AMPOULE
PRICE – 2850rs for 30ml | SALE – 2000rs
✅ Innisfree serum has a thin light weight consistency and gets absorbed quickly. It did not cause any sensitivity or redness upon use but, gives a slight tingling sensation. Innisfree serum has soothing and hydrating ingredients which makes it just perfect for beginners. It does not have a scent to it and While it did not cause flaking, it could leave your skin feeling consistently tight. This product is known for its long term effects, so the user doesn’t expect immediate results.
⛔ If you are new to using retinol, this product is a perfect for you due to its low percentage of the active ingredient. But, if you are looking for a retinol product to specifically target fine lines and wrinkles, you should skip this one.
MEDI-PEEL BAKUCHIOL MIRACLE FIRMING AMPOULE
PRICE -1650rs for 30ml | SALE – 10-25% OFF
✅ This product contains note worthy ingredients, including antioxidants, soothing agents like niacinamide, adenosine, bakuchiol, peptides, centella extracts, and glycerine. Though it has a thicker consistency, it is easily absorbed without causing irritation. It has a non sticky finish and leaves the skin soft and supple. The pleasant scent is not overwhelming. This product has the ability to reduce wrinkles, and when used alongside a retinoid treatment, it becomes even more effective. After consistent use, there is a noticeable improvement in fine lines.
⛔ Price is on the higher side
SESDERMA RETI AGE ANTI AGING FACIAL SERUM
PRICE – 3100rs for 30ml | SALE – 2800rs
✅ I bought this product on the recommendation of a dermatologist. It contains Retinol, Vitamin CE and Hyaluronic Acid. I highly recommend this product, especially if you have sensitive skin. It has a pleasant smell and has a thicker consistency than a normal serum.
Sesderma reti age serum does not irritate sensitive skin like some other retinol products can, but it is still really effective. It does leave the skin is clearer, more hydrated and helps reduce blemishes and fine lines. It does not cause flaking and also leaves the skin feel really smooth. With consistent use, it does help even tone the skin and minimize pore size.
⛔ It is a bit pricey.