10 Best Retinol Serums In India – For Bright And Youthful Skin

Aging skin is inevitable! As much as you may wonder, your skin starts aging right from the age of 25! No matter how active you are or how consistent your diet is, aging is irreversible and starts showing on the face with time!

It’s hard to imagine how your skin would sag with old age. You would not be able to look your charming and youthful self, with your skin losing the bounce, radiance, and elasticity! Luckily, you can slow down the aging process with a magical ingredient called Retinol.

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A used actively in face serums and creams these days. It is known to have boosted skin cell regeneration to revive your skin’s youthfulness and overall radiance. However, choosing the right kind of Retinol serum is extremely essential when it comes to your skin!

Therefore, we decided to deep dive and did some research for you. After immense finding and asking several users ourselves, we reviewed the best retinol serums in India. So, take a sneak peek into our detailed buyer’s guide and reviews on some handpicked serums for your unique skin!


Top 10 Best Retinol Serums In India

Best Retinol Serum Brands Price
St. Botanica Retinol 2.5% Anti Aging/Wrinkle Face Serum St. Botanica Check Price
WOW Skin Science Retinol Face Serum WOW Skin Science Check Price
Mamaearth Retinol Night Face Serum Mamaearth Check Price
Olay Regenerist Night Serum Olay Check Price
Minimalist Anti-ageing Face Serum Minimalist Check Price
Himalayan Organics Retinol Serum Himalayan Organics Check Price
Dot & Key Collagen Restorative Retinol Serum Dot & Key Check Price
Plum 1% Retinol Face Serum Plum Check Price
Organix Mantra Retinol Face Serum Organix Mantra Check Price
Earth Rhythm Retinol Serum Earth Rhythm Check Price


Best Retinol Serum In India 2022

After researching for over 40+ hours, trying and testing a few products ourselves, and asking first-hand consumers – we bring exclusive reviews of the best retinol serums in India to revive your bright and youthful skin!!

St. Botanica Retinol 2.5% Anti Aging/Wrinkle Face Serum

St. Botanica Retinol 2.5% Anti Aging Wrinkle Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.8 out of 5

Just Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin E, the three essential and perfect ingredients needed for skin revival and rejuvenation. That’s what St. Botanica is all about. Suitable for all skin types, you can use this serum from your early twenties to age with grace. The serum is especially known to maintain the youthful elasticity of the skin.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E
  • Retinol concentration: 2.5%
  • Suitable for: All skin types, Light skin tones

Even Femina has nominated this serum for blemish-free and clear skin. The St. Botanical Retinol serum is formulated in such a way; it improves your skin texture while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, it helps restore the lost radiance of your skin to give the original look of the twenties back.

The retinol in the serum helps promote skin renewal and repair. In addition, it delays the premature signs of aging due to several environmental factors and pollution and toxic radicals.

Hyaluronic acid absorbs water from the atmosphere and helps keep your skin hydrated. It helps your skin feel moisturized and supple for long!

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant and protects the skin from free radicals produced due to UV exposure. Vitamin E also has incredible moisturizing properties and is a must-have ingredient in most skin care products.

The professional face serum comes in a pump-like bottle that makes it easy to use and apply. The fast absorbing formula gets deeply penetrated within the several layers of your skin. It is suitable for people with a light skin tone but works for all skin types: oily, combination, or dry.

It has no harmful ingredients that can cause side effects and irritation. The fragrance is also very mild and leaves the skin feeling supple and bouncy. We loved it after using the serum, and you can use it 2-3 times in a week.

The serum might be a little expensive, but considering the features it offers, it’s totally worth having this one! A compulsory night serum in your skincare kitty, we highly recommend St Botanica to be the best retinol serum of all.


  • It has a mild pleasant fragrance
  • Minimal ingredients with zero side effects
  • It leaves the skin feeling moisturized and supple
  • Easy to use a pump like bottle


  • Slightly expensive


WOW Skin Science Retinol Face Serum

WOW Skin Science Retinol Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.3 out of 5

If you are looking to revive and restore your young skin and prevent the signs of aging, then the WOW Skin Science Retinol Face serum is the perfect skin treatment for you. It reduces or rather slows down the aging effects on your skin and reduces hyperpigmentation and acne.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B3, Jojoba Oil
  • Retinol concentration:
  • Suitable for: All skin types

The serum is infused with the goodness of Retinol derived from Vitamin A. Alongside it also has Witch hazel extracts, aloe vera leaf juice, and jojoba oil. Witch Hazel as an ingredient helps minimize pores and purify the skin. It also reduces the production of sebum which can cause acne breakouts.

Aloe vera is known for its moisturizing properties, and jojoba oil has antibacterial properties too. It also has Vitamin B3 and Vitamin E that act as skin cell boosters and potent antioxidants. They help restore the suppleness and lipid barrier of the skin to prevent it from drying.

The serum has been known to reduce acne flare-ups and breakouts and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. If you have scars and marks due to broken acne on your skin, it helps reduce the scars too. The WOW skin serum is a perfect repair mechanism at a budget price for your aging skin.

The serum is ideal for use, for those who experience fine lines, wrinkles, patchy skin tone, and acne. It helps to even out your skin complexion and gives a natural shine to your skin.

The best part is that the serum is free of mineral oils, silicones, and parabens, making it very skin-friendly. The dropper-like bottle makes it easy to dispense the serum with adequate drop size. The dark-colored bottle makes sure the retinol remains stable, unlike other products sensitive to light and oxygen.

We tested this retinol serum from WOW Skin Science and found it effective against dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Unfortunately, it does not have a good smell and seems a bit medicated. But, it helps in improving your skin tone and texture overall for a bright and smooth finish.


  • Good packaging helps keep the product stable
  • Effective against scars and pigmentations
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Improvises overall skin texture


  • Does not have a pleasant smell
  • Can cause side effects as claimed by certain users


Mamaearth Retinol Night Face Serum

Mamaearth Retinol Night Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.2 out of 5

Mamaearth is known for its range of natural and quality skincare products. The Retinol Face serum is no exception and has a unique set of ingredients to revitalize your skin. Packed with the goodness of retinol and Bakuchi, it reduces fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and is rich in antioxidants.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Bakuchi, Linseed Oil, Cottonseed Oil
  • Retinol concentration: 0.2%
  • Suitable for: All skin types

Retinol alters the process of your mature skin cells and slows down the overall cell maturation process. Bakuchi helps to give you natural, even-toned skin. The serum is lightweight and fast-absorbing that does not weigh your skin down, and gives a non-sticky appearance. The serum also contains linseed oil that keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles that come with dry skin.

The retinol serum also has cottonseed oil that is a rich source of Fatty acids, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. When applied to the skin, Cottonseed oil has potent anti-aging properties that enhance the overall performance of the serum.

The mamaearth serum is totally safe for all skin types thanks to the natural ingredients used. The easy-to-dispense pump bottle makes sure you use 2-3 drops for the most affected areas of your skin. You can use it at night daily to observe relevant results over time.

We tried the retinol serum from Mamaearth ourselves and fell in love with the serum’s texture. It is fast-absorbing and lightweight and has very little density. The serum also has a pleasant and mild fragrance and helps to keep the skin highly moisturized. The packaging is also appealing that helps keep the retinol stable and safe from unwanted reactions.

Mamaearth comes across as a very reliable and safe brand to use; however, the results may take time. The hydrating and moisturizing effects and the blend of bioactive ingredients reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, making it worth the buy!


  • Lightweight and non-sticky
  • Highly moisturizing
  • Has a mild yet pleasant fragrance
  • Comes in an appealing and stable packaging


  • Results take time
  • Some people claim the product is not worth the price


Olay Regenerist Night Serum

Olay Regenerist Night Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.2 out of 5

Now, here’s a serum that promises that you wake up with plumper and youthful skin. The Regenerist serum from Olay keeps your skin hydrated 24 by 7. This reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles more prominent with dry skin.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol with Niacinamide
  • Retinol concentration: 0.3%
  • Suitable for: Combination skin

Olay is a brand that is known for its anti-aging range of skin products. This retinol-based serum from Olay is also scientifically proven to reduce signs of aging in just as 28 days. In addition, it has concentrated levels of Retinol that aids in faster cellular regeneration and repair.

It helps eliminate dead skin cells that cause your skin to look dry. In addition, the retinol 24 complex in Olay along with Niacinamide helps reduce pigmentation, acne and makes your skin smoother and glowing.

You can use the serum daily, suitable for women only. The serum works on all skin types but is better for combination and oily skin types.

The serum also has chemically formulated amino peptides that are branched chains of amino acids. These help in skin repair and are building blocks of new skin cells.

The product packaging is very attractive and unique. The serum can be dispensed in a pump-like bottle. However, we suggest you get a patch test done before trying it on your face, as it can cause possible side effects on certain skin types.

We tested it, and after asking several users, they had to say that the serum may not be very suitable for irritable skin. However, for normal skin types, it acts as an excellent moisturizer and does help in eliminating wrinkles and fine lines.

The serum is a bit highly-priced but fast when providing results. In addition, it’s relatively easy to apply and does give visible results within a month. These reasons make it worth the buy.


  • Fragrance-free
  • Has Niacinamide that helps reduce acne
  • Keeps your skin hydrated and visibly reduces wrinkles
  • Provide fast results


  • Highly-priced
  • The ingredients list is not transparent


Minimalist Anti-ageing Face Serum

Minimalist Anti-ageing Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.2 out of 5

The Minimalist anti-aging face serum is suitable for both men and women. It helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles and is suitable for use at night. This retinol serum comes in a highly stable packaging while the retinol is encapsulated in squalene. In addition, the packaging is UV protected, which makes it safe from photooxidation, unlike other retinol serums, which are sensitive to light and oxygen.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol with Squalene, Coenzyme Q10
  • Retinol concentration: 0.3%
  • Suitable for: Dry, Normal, Combination, Oily, Sensitive and Acne-Prone skin

With no side effects, this serum is totally non-comedogenic and is dermatologically tested on most skin types. It is a transparent formula that is fast absorbing and nonsticky as well.

The other unique ingredient is Coenzyme Q10 which acts as a radical scavenger. It is a very active antioxidant that reduces wrinkle depth and the density of fine lines. The serum is coupled with Tocopherol (Vitamin E), which is highly moisturizing and acts as a potent antioxidant.

The serum is suitable for men and women above 20 years of age. It mainly helps in targeting fine lines, wrinkles, saggy skin, dullness, and pigmentation due to age. In addition, the serum helps in improving skin elasticity and firmness.

The serum is totally lightweight with no irritants or hidden ingredients. It has no fragrance or dyes, is free of sulphates and parabens, making it totally safe for your skin. The serum sources all its ingredients from Germany, making it a high-quality product automatically.

You can use it 2-3 times a week or as recommended by your dermatologist. The dropper makes it easy to suspend drops in your target areas. The serum is minimally priced, which makes it a pocket-friendly and safe to use retinol serum.

We loved how natural the retinol-based serum is. It has no chemicals, is extremely light on the skin, and is suitable for all genders and skin types. 93% of people have noticed reduced wrinkles and fine lines. 95% felt their skin was firmer and bouncier, and 97% claimed that their skin feels softer and smoother using the serum.

The serum is safe and versatile, making it one of the best choices to purchase. Minimalist is a must-have in your nighttime routine.


  • Stable packaging keeps the serum safe from photooxidation
  • Uses minimal ingredients, therefore no side effects
  • Suitable for both men and women
  • Pocket friendly


  • Users claim that the serum is slightly oily, causing clogged pores


Himalayan Organics Retinol Serum

Himalayan Organics Retinol Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Overall Ratings: 4.5 out of 5

The Retinol-based serum from Himalayan Organics lets your skin twinkle without a wrinkle! Packed with the goodness of retinol and natural extracts, the serum gives a bright and younger-looking skin, so you shine every day!

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Aswagandha, Vitamin E, Glycerin, Aloe vera, Moringa Oil
  • Retinol concentration:
  • Suitable for: All skin types

The serum accelerates the process of cellular regeneration and repair while enhancing collagen production. This minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines while restoring skin moisture. Collagen also helps in skin tightening to give a firm and plump appearance.

The serum also helps in neutralizing the effects of free radicals with its antioxidant properties. Therefore, it is perfect for stressed skin prone to acne and scars. Talking about the ingredients, each one of them is sourced naturally, which has beauty-boosting benefits.

With retinol, the serum has the natural goodness of Aswagandha, which helps in clearing clogged pores. Vitamin E acts as a skin lightening agent and a good moisturizer. It is also a natural antioxidant. The glycerin in the serum helps in retaining moisture. Moringa Oleifera Oil helps rejuvenate dry and dull skin and reduces the tired appearance on your skin. It also has aloe vera, which helps in combating skin dryness.

You may want to use the serum with a skin roller for a smooth application, followed by the Himalayan Organics night cream for best results. The serum effectively reduces fine lines and wrinkles, promotes even skin texture, intensifies skin cell turnover, and prevents hyperpigmentation.

We tried the serum first hand, and the natural blend of ingredients makes it smell refreshing. It increases skin elasticity, makes your skin shine, and reduces spots and acne marks. It also comes in stable packaging and is suitable for all skin types, both men and women.

The serum is highly versatile and effective, making it an ideal buy for your skincare routine.


  • Reduces acne marks and spots effectively
  • Has a pleasant fragrance
  • Good for all skin types
  • Can be used in the morning as well as evening



  • Packaging received as damaged as claimed by certain users
  • Not effective for certain skin types


Dot & Key Collagen Restorative Retinol Serum

Dot & Key Collagen Restorative Retinol Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Buy Now on DotandKey

Buy Now on Nykaa

Overall Ratings: 4.1 out of 5

Dot & Key Restorative Serum promises to reverse time and give you youthful, glowing skin like your younger days. It restores the collagen to your skin which helps in faster cell regeneration and repair.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Rosehip Oil, Helichrysum, Tripeptides
  • Retinol concentration: 0.25%
  • Suitable for: All skin types

The anti-aging face serum is suitable for 28+ years of age and does not contain nasty chemicals. It includes 100% botanical ingredients that is totally safe for your skin. The serum helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while also reducing spots that develop with age.

The serum also enhances your skin’s elasticity and natural firmness to make it softer and plump. Infused with the goodness of antioxidants, your skin feels fresh and looks stress-free with just a few applications.

Talk about the active ingredients of the serum, it has its very own retinol that helps reverse the signs of ageing. It also fights hyperpigmentation and removes the dead cells from your skin surface. Retinol leaves your skin feeling bright and moisturized.

Rosehip oil is another magical ingredient that is rich in Vitamin A. The small Vitamin A molecules penetrate deep within the several layers of your skin tissues. This increases your skin’s overall moisture levels and collagen levels to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.

Helichrysum is a collagen restorative plant that restores the protective benefits of your skin. It also has several anti-inflammatory properties that aid in cell repair. Tripeptides help in skin renewal through faster collagen regeneration.

The serum is very easy to apply with a dropper provided. You need to rub it all over the face gently, and just a few drops do the overall trick. Apply it especially in the affected areas where you have spots and wrinkles for a wonderful effect in a few days!

We tested the serum and loved the overall effects it has to offer. Although, the entire ingredient list is hidden, which makes us a bit skeptical about the product. The overall effects are good, and the serum is suitable for all skin types.

Some people claim that the serum did not work as much on their skin. The results may vary based on person to person. However, Dot & Key comes across as a reliable brand that gives guaranteed results, which makes it worth the buy!


  • Made using botanical ingredients
  • Free of chemicals and dermatologically tested
  • Contains antioxidants that promote anti-aging
  • Easy to use dropper bottle



  • Highly-priced
  • Results take time


Plum 1% Retinol Face Serum

Plum 1% Retinol Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Buy Now on PlumGoodness

Buy Now on Nykaa

Overall Ratings: 4.1 out of 5

Plum Retinol Based face serum is light and refreshing for the skin. When used correctly, it provides amazing benefits even in the night and day. It has 1% retinol concentration which is mild and does not cause side effects or irritation on your skin.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Retinol, Bakuchiol extracts
  • Retinol concentration: 1%
  • Suitable for: All skin types

It acts as a natural collagen booster and has bakuchiol extracts as well. Bakuchiol is an organic plant that helps to reduce marks and hyperpigmentation. Retinol smoothens the skin texture and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

The serum is a quick-absorbing formula and is neither sticky nor greasy, leaving you with a radiant appearance. It has no artificial colors or synthetic ingredients but only the goodness of Retinol and Bakuchiol.

Alongside, there are plant polypeptides and amino acids that boost the natural production of hyaluronic acid to keep the skin plump and radiant. In addition, it reduces spots and hyperpigmentation that come with age.

The Plum serum works both under and over the skin with regular use. Under the surface, its boosts collagen and elastin production. Over the surface, it speeds cell turnover and produces cells rapidly to make the skin more plump and youthful.

The serum is yellow and works best when used with sunscreen or moisturizer. Include this every day in your cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine at night, and apply sunscreen during the day.

We found this serum to be safe and effective after use, although results may vary from person to person. The retinol concentration is moderate, which does not cause any side effects. This serum from Plum is definitely to be tried.


  • Moderate concentration of retinol reduces chances of side effects
  • Works to give a smooth texture and makes skin supple
  • Has the goodness of botanical ingredients
  • Fragrance-free


  • Results take time


Organix Mantra Retinol Face Serum

Organix Mantra Retinol Face Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Buy Now on Organix Mantra

Overall Ratings: 3.8 out of 5

Organix Mantra Retinol Face Serum is 100% natural and safe for your skin because it uses organic ingredients. With 3% retinol and the blend of natural oils, you can redefine your skin texture and get your glow back, just like the good ol’ days.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, Retinol, Hyaluronic acid, Moroccan Argan Oil, Rosehip Oil
  • Retinol concentration: 3%
  • Suitable for: All skin types

The retinol derived from Vitamin A helps in reducing fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing your skin tone. Retinol in the serum also boosts collagen production and creates a hydration layer to make your skin look bright and plump. Retinol also provides aid from environmental damage.

The serum also contains Rosehip oil that helps fight acne and moisturizes your skin. Rosehip oil acts as an excellent nourishing and antibacterial agent for your face. The serum also has Moroccan Oil, commonly known as Liquid Gold. Moroccan oil helps in hydrating and softening the skin. It is also easily absorbed and accepted by your skin, giving a non-greasy feel.

The goodness of aloe vera gel aids in fighting acne as it possesses antibacterial properties. It also acts as a moisturizer for dry skin. Jasmine oil in the serum helps in faster cell healing and skn repair. Jasmine oil is proven to have certain anti-aging properties too.

The lavender oil imparts a great fragrance to the serum while the 2% Hyaluronic acid effectively reduces fine lines and wrinkles. With the blend of various natural ingredients, this organic face serum from Organix Mantra is bound to give you flawless skin within days.

It reduces hyperpigmentation, sun spots, improves the production of collagen, and enhances skin radiance. It comes with a dropper-like bottle for ease of application. You may want to use it 2-3 times a week for the best results.

We tried the serum personally and loved the moisturizing effect that it offers. However, it seemed a bit sticky and weighs down your face. It has a very refreshing fragrance, but you may need to be patient to see actual results.


  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Very moisturizing
  • No side effects
  • Good for all skin types


  • The texture of the serum is sticky
  • Actual results take time


Earth Rhythm Retinol Serum

Earth Rhythm Retinol Serum

Buy Now on Amazon

Buy Now on Earthrhythm

Buy Now on Nykaa

Overall Ratings: 3.9 out of 5

Earth Rhythm Bio Retinol Serum is absolutely skin-friendly that gives an ultimate smooth finish and glow with just a few applications. It helps in hydrating your skin and smoothens the fine lines and wrinkles. The hyaluronic acid in the serum penetrates through the deepest layers of your skin to reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.

Key Features:

  • Quantity: 30mL
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Bio Retinol, Salicylic acid, Hyaluronic acid
  • Retinol concentration: 2.5%
  • Suitable for: All skin types

When your skin is hydrated, it automatically nourishes the skin cells and helps in faster cell regeneration. The magical ingredient is Bio retinol that uses the same process as bio retinoids to minimize skin ageing. As a result, your skin appears younger, plump, and more firm.

Another wonder ingredient is Vitamin C that boosts collagen production in your skin. Collagen is a protein that fastens the cellular regeneration process. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that make your skin look tired and dull while giving a natural, stress-free glow.

The serum also includes salicylic acid that acts as a peeling agent and sheds out the dead layers of your skin. It penetrates deep within the skin cells and eliminates debris, and clears clogged pores.

The serum is very easy to apply as well. All you need to do is just take 2-3 drops on your fingertips. Then, you can apply the serum on an even and cleansed skin surface. Rub it across the face until the serum is well absorbed. You can use it with a moisturizer at night or with sunscreen during the day.

It comes in a pump-like bottle that makes it easy to dispense measured drops. The serum is crafted for all skin types. In fact, studies carried out by the brand claim that 36% of users have experienced reduced skin roughness in 42 days. In addition, 28% of users claim that they have seen a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.

The best part is that the serum is chemically stable even if exposed to light and oxygen. It does not degenerate upon storage either. You may see some pigmentations and marks when the skin is peeling off while removing the acne from your skin. Else, the blend of these ingredients is an absolute delight for your skin.


  • Easy to dispense pump like bottle
  • The Vitamin C in the serum offers good antioxidant properties
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Has offered proven results as claimed by consumers


  • The retinol concentration is very high, which may cause irritation

The skin peeling process can be irritating for a few days as claimed by users


What Does Retinol Do To Your Skin?

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A known as retinoid. When retinoid is combined with ethyl alcohol, it forms Retinol. Vitamin A and its derivatives are known for their skin-enhancing properties. Therefore, retinol is used in several serums and creams to revitalize and improve skin quality.

So, what exactly does Retinol Do?

Once you reach your early or mid 30’s, the skin starts sagging and shows signs of aging. These signs include pigmentation, wrinkles, lost skin shine, dark spots, etc. These signs are caused because cellular regeneration slows down in our bodies.

Each time a skin cell dies, a new cell is regenerated every 30 days to replace the dead ones. But, as we age, this regeneration process slows down by 50-70 days. The main protein that contributes to the regeneration process is collagen. Collagen maintains the skin’s elasticity and makes your skin look younger.

Retinol helps in enhanced collagen production and slows down your aging process. This makes your skin feel like new, with the plump, shine and bounce like in your 20’s.

Here is a range of benefits that Retinol offers for your skin:

  • Retinol, when applied, combines with retinoid receptors on your skin. This increases the rate of cellular regeneration and enhances the production of elastin and collagen.
  • Retinol helps in improving the uneven texture and skin tone and reducing pore size.
  • It thickens the deeper layers of your skin and aids in water retention keeping your skin hydrated. This reduces fine lines and wrinkles to give you a youthful, glowing look.
  • It also controls the oil secretion from the oil glands and follicles on your skin. This is useful for controlling acne.
  • Retinol also reduces spots and pigmentations when applied in targeted areas of your skin.
  • Thickens the dermis of your skin
  • Has exfoliation properties, eliminates dead skin cells


Retinol Facts and Trivia

In a study conducted by Seite and Colleagues in 2005, it was seen that a 0.07% application of Retinol along with Vitamin C – 3.5% showed effective results when applied twice daily.

After a three-month intensive treatment in volunteers on applying retinol twice a day – they observed a thickening of their viable epidermis and thinning of the stratum corneum. After a six-month intensive treatment, they saw reduced photooxidative effects on the skin.

A wide band of eosinophilic material developed below the epidermis within the group that continued the retinol and Vitamin C treatment!

This study clearly indicates that retinol shows slow but gradual effects on the skin by penetrating and thickening the layers. Basically, it does not allow the skin to degenerate easily!


Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Retinol Serum?

With a range of skincare brands producing retinol-based creams and serums, it’s all over the Indian market. However, not only serums and creams are safe and suit your unique skin type.

Therefore, we decided to list the most significant factors to consider before buying a retinol serum for your skin.

1. The Concentration Of Retinol In Serum

Retinol is available in different concentrations in every retinol-based skincare product. These concentrations work differently on different skin types and needs. Ideally, it is available in 3 forms:

1. Low strength retinol – 0.01% – 0.03%

If you are using retinol for the first time and have dehydrated and sensitive skin, you should use a lower-strength formula. However, even if applied twice daily, you will see significant results and benefits.

Overall, lower concentrations of retinol have proven to reduce pore size and gradually improve skin health. When used with an antioxidant-based sunscreen daily, it gives even better results. In addition, you can combine low-strength formulas safely with other creams and skincare routines.


2. Moderate strength retinol – 0.03% – 0.3%

If you are experiencing more severe signs of aging and skin concerns like uneven skin tone, open pores, and sagging skin, try a moderate-strength retinol formula. Start with 0.03% to 0.2% formulas 2-3 times a week.

Do not combine any skin routine to check how the concentration reacts to your skin. Then, gradually, you can increase your usage for better results.


3. High strength retinol – 0.3% to 1%

For stubborn spots, extremely fine lines, and wrinkles, you should use high-strength retinol-based serums. These wrinkles and spots may not go easily with lower concentration formulas.

As always, try it for a day or two without combining it with any other skin product. Then, increase the usage gradually to see how it reacts with your skin.

Note: Lower retinol concentrations in serums have been proven to be more effective. They also cause lesser side effects and irritation that dry the skin. Therefore, it is always safer to try lower concentrations initially and then increase the dosage if necessary!


2. Skin Type

Ideally, retinol is suitable for all normal to dry skin types. But, if you have particularly sensitive and irritable skin, you must reconsider your thoughts about using retinol. Retinol is, again, not a ‘one type fits all’ formula, and different skin types may have different needs.

Retinol is a highly unstable compound that can be fairly difficult to manage on irritable skin. Therefore, we always recommend performing a patch test on a small portion of your skin to check for results.

Dry skin ideally needs lesser concentrations of retinol, whereas oily skin types should use more amounts of retinol. Retinol helps control the production of sebum in oily skin, which prevents pores from getting clogged. This is beneficial for reducing acne breakouts when combined with specific antibiotics.


3. Stability

Retinol is a volatile compound and is not safe to use just like that! The technical and most ideal way of using it is through stabilizing the compound. For serum-based retinol products, you should look for retinol that is microencapsulated in a liposome membrane.

The liposome membranes act as potent carriers of active ingredients like retinol that are unstable. The carriers help in stabilizing and releasing the active compound rather slowly. Liposomes are commonly made of lipids, polysaccharides, phosphatidylcholine, etc. They encapsulate active ingredients like retinol and aid in the controlled release of unstable ingredients.

However, the encapsulation procedures are tedious, and hence, the overall cost of the retinol-based serum might increase. But, encapsulated retinol reduces the chances of side effects and irritation on your skin.

Retinol-based formulas are also available mixed with oils or silicone. But, these formulas are not recommended for irritable and oily skin types as it may further lead to clogged pores. However, if your skin is comfortable with silicone-based products, the retinol can be equally effective as its encapsulated counterparts.

The ultimate factor to consider is that how is the product stabilized so that it works best on my skin?


4. Opaque And Airtight Packaging

Retinol being a very sensitive and unstable compound, should be stored and packaged very carefully. You’d be making a big mistake if you buy retinol-based serums or creams in transparent packaging.

Retinol is very sensitive to oxygen and light. Therefore, even the slightest exposure to light and oxygen can render the compound unstable and reduce its potency. It is also very sensitive to extreme temperatures. Therefore, the serum bottles should be stored in a cool and dry place away from light and heat.

If you find the packaging of the retinol serum tampered or in a transparent bottle, exposed to air and light, stay away from it. Look for retinol serums in opaque bottles or boxes and stored in a proper sealed airtight container.


5. Ingredient Blend

Retinol serums and creams also contain other active ingredients. This mix and match of ingredients may or may not always go well in combination with retinol. For example, serums containing glycerine or hyaluronic acid can go well as solvents with retinol. You can also combine ceramide-based ingredients or SPF usually found in sunscreen along with retinol.

Another compound to look for with retinol is niacinamide. The combination of these two works wonders on dark spots and acne breakouts.

If you have serums or creams containing Vitamin C, AHA or BHA, and retinol, it can cause skin irritation. Even if oily solvents like silicone, it may not go very well with oily skin types. The blend of these ingredients can usually cause irritation and side effects on your skin.

Compounds like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, lactic acid, glycolic acid can neutralize the results of Retinol altogether.

In such cases, we always recommend you consult your dermatologist before choosing the right skincare routine. Ask your dermatologist about the blend of ingredients you can use with retinol that will suit your unique skin type.


6. Brand And Quality

High-quality brands and skincare products always share their formulation procedures and list of ingredients with their consumers. That is what develops trust in high-quality skincare products. Especially with any Vitamin A-based derivative like Retinol, keeping the formulations and compositions right and duly sharing it with consumers is essential.

Retinol-based serums require an excellent and reputable laboratory setup, which is possible with high-quality, trustworthy brands. A local retinol-based serum may not be all that trustworthy unless its manufacturing procedures and standards are reputable!

Therefore, look for brands and certifications that you can trust blindly when choosing a retinol serum for your skin!


How To Use Retinol Serum?

It is very easy to use Retinol and include it in your daily skincare routine. However, there is a right way of using Retinol serums for effective results. Here is how:

  • Wash your face properly and pat dry with a soft towel
  • Use the serum dropper or applicator and apply a drop each on your cheeks, forehead, and nose.
  • Spread it evenly until it gets absorbed into the skin.
  • Allow it to dry and follow up with a moisturizer when using at night.
  • During the day, make sure to top your skin up with an SPF-based sunscreen. Retinol can make your skin sensitive to sunlight, causing sunburns and tanning.


It is essential to use sunscreen and a moisturizer when using retinol-based serums. Sunscreens protect your skin from harmful UV light when otherwise your skin gets sensitive to sun exposure due to retinol.

Secondly, retinol has a somewhat drying effect on the skin as it exfoliates dead skin cells. Therefore, using a good moisturizer that contains ceramide and Vitamin E can help restore the moisture in your skin



1. How often can I use Retinol?

You can use retinol 1-2 times a week, depending upon the skin type and the concentration of retinol in the serum. If you see no side effects, gradually increase the use to 3 to 4 times a week. You can also include it daily with your nighttime routine, as retinol makes your skin sensitive and prone to environmental damage.


2. When should I start using Retinol?

There is no set time to start using Retinol. However, you can start using it in your mid-twenties if your skin is prone to pigmentation and marks. Start with retinyl palmitate or retinol as an ingredient in the serum and a lower concentration serum. Use it consistently for a few months with a gap of a month or two in between.


3. Can Retinol damage your skin?

If your skin is irritable or sensitive, then retinol may cause certain side effects on your skin. These may include redness, itchy skin, peeling skin, etc. Once the skin gets used to the product, the effects start wearing off automatically.


4. How do you know that Retinol is working?

Generally, it takes a few weeks to see ideal results with regular Retinol use. This depends upon the concentration of retinol in the serum and the amount of damage and repair needed. Ideally, the results start showing within 2-3 weeks of use. After that, you would start seeing reduced spots, reduced acne breakouts, and even-toned skin.


You May Also Like To Read:

Best Under Eye Creams In India

The Best Face Scrub For Women

Best Skin Whitening Cream In India



We all dread the effects of aging. But when it starts showing on our skin, it becomes more dreaded and evident! There are various anti-aging treatments available to slow down the natural process. One of the most common ingredients used in all these treatments is Retinol.

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A and a highly unstable compound. Therefore, it needs to be packaged and used with care to see its potent benefits on your skin. Luckily, our reviews are based on India’s most sought-after Retinol serums that work wonders on your skin.

Of all the retinol serums we reviewed, the best one, according to us, is the St. Botanica 2.5% Retinol Serum. With the goodness of retinol, hyaluronic acid, and Vitamin E, it nourishes, moisturizes, and restores the bounce in your skin.

Read our reviews on the best retinol serums in India. Tell us, which is your personal favourite through the comments section below.

Until then, stay young and beautiful!

Leave a Comment