Here's What Retinol Cream Actually Does

by Sienna Fantozzi

There are a lot of beauty buzzwords out there and products you "should" be using, but there's no shame in admitting you don't always know what they actually mean or what they really do for you. If you're unsure of what retinol cream does, then it's probably a good idea to learn some facts about it before buying it and applying the product to your skin. We all fall victim to it, but just because a magazine or a celeb recommends it, doesn't always mean it's right for you.

So first things first — you probably should know what retinol actually is. It's another name for vitamin A, and is commonly used as a treatment for acne as well as anti-aging. So those are some pretty wide-ranging benefits, but how does it actually work?

According to dermatologist Dr. Jennifer Linder, when the retinol is applied to your skin, enzymes in your body convert it to the active form of vitamin A, retinoic acid, which then increases your cell turnover, stimulates collagen and elastin production, hydrates your skin, fades hyperpigmentation, and even prevents cystic acne and eczema thanks to this ah-mazing cell turnover.

Another bonus? While direct retinoic acid can be harsh, retinol is milder, and much more suitable for sensitive skin. If you're ready to give it to a try, shop these eight retinol creams to help fight acne and aging without irritating your skin.

1. OZ Naturals

OZNaturals Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer Night Cream, $20, Amazon

This one also contains vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate your skin.

2. Amara Organics

Amara Organics Retinol Cream For Face, $20, Amazon

If you prefer all-natural products, try this vegan cream.

3. Advanced Clinicals

Advanced Clinicals Retinol Firming Cream, $10, Amazon

This cream is made with green tea, aloe, and chamomile, so you know it's soothing.

4. Foxbrim

Foxbrim Retinol Cream Advanced Complex Face Moisturizer, $22, Amazon

Have super sensitive skin? Choose the most delicate retinol cream you can find.

5. ArtNaturals

ArtNaturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer, $14, Amazon

If wrinkles are your concern, this is a good cream to try.

6. SkinCeuticals

Skinceuticals Retinol 1 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream, $75, Amazon

If you don't have sensitive skin and you think you can tolerate it, try this night cream for maximum strength.

7. TruSkin Naturals

TruSkin Naturals Retinol Moisturizer, $20, Amazon

Not only does this one have retinol, but it also has hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, B5, jojoba oil, and green tea.

8. PCA Skin

PCA Skin Intensive Brightening Treatment, $106, Amazon

This retinol cream works hard overnight to promote a healthy glow while also improving discoloration.

Images: Unsplash; Amazon