If you’re struggling with fine lines and wrinkles, your best bet to remove these is with retinol—an ingredient known to have anti-aging benefits. Retinol is a type of vitamin A that increases the production of collagen, improving skin tone and fading age spots visible on the skin.
In this article, we list 10 of the best retinol products you can purchase on e-commerce platforms in the country, like Lazada and Shopee. Furthermore, we will also be giving you a detailed buying guide, with insights and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz, to walk you through selecting one.
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
Buying guides reviewed by featured experts.
Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 01-16-2023. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Retinol products come in different concentration percentages. Choosing a percentage that will suit you depends on how your skin reacts or adapts to it. Below are some tips on how to pick the right percentage.
If you have sensitive skin or are a beginner at applying retinol, it’s best to start with a low concentration of 0.01% to 0.25%. This is because retinol can cause irritation when used on sensitive skin or when used too often. You can use retinol products around two times a week to help your skin adjust or acclimate to it.
For retinol newbies, it's always a good idea to start low and slow. Remember, retinol is great as it is backed by science to bring about effects like improving fine lines and wrinkles and stimulating collagen. However, it also comes with potential side effects like redness, itching, dryness, and flakiness, among others.
If you notice that using low percentage retinol does not cause any side effects on your skin after a couple of months of use, then you may already transition to moderately strong retinol products at 0.3% to 0.5%.
Because it is more potent, this strength will give you relatively faster results. However, it is still recommended for retinol users to observe any adverse effects. You may also consult a dermatologist to ensure safety.
To quickly remove age spots, wrinkles, and dead skin cells, you may consider using products with high retinol percentage of 1% to 2%, given that your skin can tolerate moderate strength retinol for a long period of time. Besides, 2% is the highest percentage of retinol you can avail without needing a prescription.
Before stepping up to an even higher strength retinoid, it is best to consult a board-certified dermatologist. Remember, retinoids are great, but they are not without risks (aka retinoid dermatitis).
Retinol might be effective in improving aging skin, but it may dry out your skin when used on its own. Therefore, you may look for retinol products that have ingredients that can be combined with retinol to give you maximum benefits.
As mentioned earlier, retinol can be rather drying, thus increasing the risk of skin irritation and redness. To counter this dryness, choose products with ingredients intended to moisturize your skin. Examples of these are hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, among others.
Try the sandwich technique! Moisturizer first, followed by the retinol, then seal in with a moisturizer!
As retinol can cause dryness, which can lead to irritation, it is recommended to avoid those mixed with exfoliating ingredients. Examples of these are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acids and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid. This is to avoid over-exfoliating your skin, which can cause further irritation and skin damage.
Some ingredients best avoided alongside retinol are AHAs such as glycolic acid or BHAs like salicylic acid. While some people can tolerate them in the same routine, they are better off either being used at completely different times (AM vs. PM) or on alternate days, if warranted.
If you want to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine, it’s important to pick a type that would suit your skin’s needs best. However, note that it is not recommended to use retinol products on days you’ll be using acids to treat your skin. Also, remember to put moisturizer after applying your retinol product for additional hydration and to soothe the skin, lessening the risk of skin irritation.
Cleansers remove makeup residue and other impurities from the skin, but they can sometimes be drying. Similarly, retinol cleansers may also have that drying effect on your skin. Thus, it is recommended to choose retinol cleansers that are also infused with moisturizing ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid to avoid such effects.
One of the known side effects of retinol is its drying effects. This is why moisturizers and retinol are musts together. Definitely, a stand-alone moisturizer is key. However, having moisturizing ingredients incorporated with the retinol itself is also a great add-on.
Toners are designed to prepare your skin to absorb skincare products that you will apply after it. Aside from that, it will also help repair aging skin. However, like with cleansers, make sure to pick one that’s combined with hydrating ingredients.
To tone or not to tone? Toners, in truth, aren't a must! However, if you will use a toner, it is advisable to choose one with hydrating (rather than exfoliating) ingredients, especially if retinol is in the picture.
Serums tend to be more concentrated to effectively target specific skin concerns like age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Moreover, they usually provide more visible results, as they are typically used after toners.
If you’re looking for a retinol product that will help repair your skin while you sleep, you may opt for retinol creams. Retinol creams are best used before bed and left overnight to let it work on firming your skin, making it softer and smoother. They are also suitable for clearing away sun damage that your skin may have incurred during the day.
If you're applying retinol at night, don't forget it's an absolute must of a partner - sunscreen in the morning!
Retinol, while super effective in improving skin, is quite unstable and can easily be spoiled. When exposed to heat and air, it could quickly degrade, which will make it ineffective or, worse, very irritating to the skin. Thus, it is recommended to pick a retinol product that’s enclosed in a dark or opaque bottle or packaging.
Packaging is a key consideration for skincare products as it keeps the key ingredients in the products stabilized and, thus, effective. Another consideration for the packaging would be one that is suited for your lifestyle. Always on the go? Then tube packagings are good options to prevent spillage.
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Retinol Ceramide Capsules Line Erasing Night Serum
Award-Winning and Highly Potent Encapsulated Serum
Retinol Essence Toner
An All-Rounder Toner With Double Retinol
Age Miracle Anti-Aging Night Cream
Get Anti-Aging, Brightening, and Moisturizing Benefits in One
Gentle Retinol Cream
Gentle Anti-Aging Treatment for Beginners
Antioxidant-Rich Toner That's Suitable for All Skin Types
Regenerist Retinol24 Night Moisturizer
Hydrate Skin for 24 Hours With This Retinol Cream
Retinol 0.5% in Squalane
Medium-Strength and Water-Free Solution
Advanced Anti-Aging Age Spot Erasing Serum
A Hypoallergenic and Non-Comedogenic Formula
SOME BY MI
Retinol Intense Advanced Triple Action Eye Cream
An Anti-Aging Eye Cream With Triple Benefits
Retinol Face Wash
A Vegan Retinol Cleanser With Natural Oils
Claiming to be 76% more potent than regular serums, this product ensures that its retinol content remains stable through its capsule packaging. This also allows its users to apply an amount that's just enough for their skin, which also guarantees little to no product waste.
Moreover, aside from the wrinkle-reducing retinol, this encapsulated serum contains ceramides that help strengthen the skin's moisture barrier. It also contains peptides, which aid retinol in smoothening out wrinkles while also promoting skin elasticity.
What's even more exciting is that this serum is a rave among beauty editors in magazines like Vanity Fair, who even called it "The Modern Fountain of Youth." Furthermore, this product has already earned multiple awards in the beauty scene, like the Best Retinol title in Glamour Beauty Power List 2019, among others.
Packed with nutrients that your skin needs, this toner leaves firming and smoothening effects on the skin as early as 4 weeks! Its claim to fame, the "black technology" formula, features the combination of nicotinamide and two types of retinol-stable and highly active. This formula aids in reducing pores, wrinkles, and other visible signs of aging from the skin.
Not only that, it contains vitamin E, trehalose, and hyaluronic acid which hydrates and firms the skin. Furthermore, its alpha-arbutin also works in brightening your complexion, while its vitamin C protects your skin from damage.
Vibrant Glamour also ensures that this toner contains only all the good things, as it does not contain any additives that would harm the skin. It also has multiple certifications from product safety regulation bodies like the Philippine Food and Drug Administration and more.
This anti-aging cream promises to help you look and feel your best by protecting your skin from premature signs of aging! POND'S cream is infused with its advanced technology, Retinol-C Complex, which works to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by releasing potent anti-aging retinol actives into the skin for 24 hours.
Anti-aging is not its only benefit, as it also strengthens the skin's protective barrier, brightens and evens out dark spots, and improves skin dullness, thanks to the addition of niacinamide. It also has hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which hydrate, plump, and rejuvenate skin while you sleep.
Formulated with 0.1% retinol, this cream gently reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Because of its low concentration, this serum is perfect for those who are just starting to use retinol. It also contains bakuchiol, an antioxidant-rich retinol alternative that boosts the effects of retinol without irritating the skin.
Furthermore, it contains nourishing and soothing ingredients like glycerin and grape seed oil to help hydrate the skin and minimize the irritation risks of retinol. This ultra-gentle formula is also fragrance-free, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin as well.
If you're looking for a gentle toner that offers the benefits of retinol, this product might be for you! This toner contains time-released retinol that works best while you sleep and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is also paraben and alcohol-free, making it tolerable for people with sensitive skin.
Moreover, it has skin-loving ingredients like jasmine flower extracts that heal and repair skin while also providing it with a rich amount of antioxidants that protect the skin from damage. It also contains peptides, a type of amino acid that boosts collagen production to hydrate and improve skin elasticity.
Infused with the ever-wonderful niacinamide and moisturizing agent glycerin, this cream will hydrate your skin for up to 24 hours despite the drying effects of retinol. Moreover, this product is scientifically proven to transform your skin in just 4 weeks, with visibly reduced fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and pores.
What also makes this a great option is that it is fragrance and dye-free, ensuring little to no irritation risks. It is best used before bedtime as a night moisturizer, so you can wake up with plumper and younger-looking skin.
Made with 0.5% pure retinol, this moderately strong serum promises to reduce the appearance of fine lines, photo damage, and other issues related to skin aging. Not only that, it is infused with squalane, a moisturizing ingredient, to help counter the irritation risks of the high retinol concentration of this product.
Moreover, this serum has a water-free formula that quickly gives more visible results. It also does not contain potential allergens like soy, gluten, silicone, alcohol, and more. Note that because of its high concentration, it is not suitable to be used with other retinol products.
With its unique ReverCell Complex that is infused with retinol, this serum will help stimulate skin renewal, which in turn reduces age spots and wrinkles. Moreover, it has skin brightening benefits brought about by artemisia capillaris extract, as well as rose hip seed oil that evens out skin tone.
It also contains vitamin E, a nutrient that will help protect your skin from free radicals. Furthermore, this serum is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it has little to no risk of causing allergic reactions and will not block your pores. However, it's recommended to use this serum for two weeks, then rest for about 1 to 2 weeks before resuming use.
Say goodbye to eye bags and wrinkles with this triple-action eye cream! Formulated with retinol and peptides, this product will smoothen out your skin, especially under the eyes, by facilitating the production of collagen. It also contains glutathione and tranexamic acid, which will brighten dark circles around the eye area.
On top of that, Its hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and trehalose content will also effectively hydrate your skin. And despite being packed with moisturizing agents, this one feels surprisingly light and refreshing on the skin. In fact, according to loyal users, they love how it doesn't feel sticky or heavy at all.
Made with 68.9% naturally derived ingredients, this vegan facial wash offers deep cleaning for all skin types. Aside from the anti-aging benefits of retinol, this product also contains rose oil that soothes inflamed skin while giving it a mild and natural scent.
It also promises to give your skin a dewy look through its moisturizing botanical oils like argan and avocado oils. Moreover, this product is free from additives like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances. Users love how it isn't abrasive and drying at all and leaves their skin soft and supple.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Katrina
One retinol product in a routine is enough! You want to reap the benefits of retinol without the side effects (which using too much retinol and/or retinol products can bring about!).
While some retinol formulations may contain moisturizing ingredients, retinol cream is not a moisturizer, nor should it be your standalone moisturizer. Hand in hand with a retinol cream, it is best to have a basic moisturizer to keep your skin plump and, yes, well-moisturized!
Retinol cream, per se, doesn't cause acne. However, introducing new products like retinol in your routine can potentially cause what is referred to as "the purge." Since retinol works by regulating epidermal turnover, sometimes comedones that are scheduled to come out 2 to 4 weeks from now sort of get pushed to come out earlier.
As we grow older, preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from appearing becomes a difficult feat. However, there are products out there with anti-aging benefits to help ward off these skin problems. Check out the links below for more products that will help you achieve that younger-looking skin!
Author: Kate Basa
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
For expert-reviewed articles, we ask experts to check and review our buying guide to make sure there aren't any false, misleading, or outdated information. Our experts do not participate in choosing the recommendations, and they do not endorse any of the products we mention.
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