Retinol is like the spinach of your skincare routine — nutritious, fortifying, but not always fun. You know that it’s good for you but not what it does to your complexion in the short term. It’s true that the anti-aging, acne-erasing results that you get from regular retinol use sometimes come with a side of redness, sensitivity, and peeling. We get it — once temperatures drop below 40 degrees, the last thing you want is to dry out your skin even more. This winter, instead of skipping the ingredient altogether, consider switching your usual serum, treatment, or cream for a retinol oil that will give you the same complexion-boosting benefits with an added dose of soothing hydration. Who knows; you might just find yourself using it year-round.

1. The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane ($7): This powerful yet affordable serum contains a blend of one percent retinol and squalane oil. It’s an especially beneficial pick for sensitive skin because the vegan formula is free of alcohol, nuts, silicone, and gluten.

2. Zelens Power A Treatment Drops ($195): Anti-aging retinol, antiseptic geranium oil, and barrier-supporting omegas 3 and 6 combine to strengthen the skin, regulate sebum production, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots.

3. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($105): Trans-retinoic acid ester, an ingredient that encourages cell turnover without the irritation of traditional retinol, mixes with soothing blue tansy, German chamomile, and hydrating chia seed oil to promote healthy, hydrated, younger-looking skin.

4. StriVectin S.T.A.R. Light Retinol Night Oil ($99): This powerful formula is designed to mimic the skin’s natural processes so that the retinol, squalane, and chia seed oils can sink deep within pores to combat signs of aging and replenish moisture loss.

5. Pestle & Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil ($109): Formulated with a mix of cold-pressed hydrating oils — including grapeseed, avocado, jojoba, and pomegranate seed — this anti-aging retinol cocktail balances sebum production, stimulates collagen, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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