SkinCeuticalsRetinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream with 0.5% Pure Retinol
1 fl. oz. for $55
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Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream with 0.5% Pure Retinol makes many anti-aging claims, and because it contains a significant amount of retinol the claims you can bank on are building collagen and stimulating cell regeneration. However, since other ingredients can also do that, or at least assist in the process, it’s a bit overly optimistic to hang all your hopes on one specialized ingredient such as retinol. Fortunately, this water- and silicone-based serum does contain many other beneficial ingredients for healthy skin, including ceramides, cholesterol, lecithin, antioxidants, and the anti-irritant bisabolol. The opaque bottle with pump applicator helps maintain the stability of the retinol, which is a prerequisite for products with this ingredient. Retinol 0.5 is suitable for all skin types.

Getting back to the claims, SkinCeuticals boasts that this serum will also minimize pore size and correct blemishes. The first claim rests on a subjective judgment. The second claim that retinol is able to correct blemishes is at this point more theoretical than proven. In contrast, tretinoin (the active ingredient in Retin-A) has considerable research supporting its use as a prescription acne treatment. While it’s definitely possible that using a retinol serum like this one will result in fewer blemishes, it’s not as much of a sure thing as using a tretinoin product. The benefits of retinol versus tretinoin are that retinol has significantly fewer and comparably minor side effects, but the tradeoff is reduced efficacy (Source: Cosmetic Dermatology, volume 18, issue 1, supplement 1, January 2005, page 19). This product is not recommended for daytime application because it contains photosensitizing St. John’s wort.

Note: This product's original rating was "BEST," but it is now rated "GOOD" because it contains a preservative (methylisothiazolinone) that’s a known sensitizer when used in leave-on products. If you decide to use this retinol product, pay close attention to how your skin responds, and discontinue use if you experience a sensitized reaction.

Last Updated:12.17.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Helps reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and blotchiness. Ensures maximum amount of retinol reaches the target site, will not clog pores and eliminated the need for additional moisturizer.


Water, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Laureth-4, Laureth-23, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Propylene Glycol, Allyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone PEG-7 Isostearate, Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Bisabolol, Rosa Canina Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Methylisothiazolinone, Tetrasodium EDTA

Brand Overview

SkinCeuticals At-A-Glance

With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skincare market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C).

There are many good reasons to shop this line; it boasts a lineup up impressive vitamin C products, as well as some good retinol options and sunscreens. Even better is that the majority of its anti-aging products are packaged in containers that will protect their contents from light and air. Focusing on what Skinceuticals does best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. The main drawbacks of this line are some products that contain fragrance ingredients, as well as potentially-drying alcohol, though they represent the minority of the brand’s offerings.

For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.

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