Best Retinol for Men in 2024: Cleansers, Serums & Creams

By Katarina V.| Last updated on February 6, 2024
best retinol for men cover image
⏱️ 9 min read

This is an objective, non-biased article. We base our product choices on various factors, such as product reviews, ratings, and overall reputation of brands. It does, however, contain affiliate links for featured products.

Incorporating retinol can be a great starting point to enhance your anti-aging skincare routine. However, finding the right retinol product can be a challenging task.

You might need to try out several different products, which can be time-consuming and expensive OR you can explore our list of the best retinol products for men in 2024. Each product comes with a simple description of how it works and how to use it.

Best Retinol for Men 2024: Top Picks

So, take a look at the most popular cleansers, serums, and creams with retinol and find the perfect fit for you.

Retinol Cleansers

If you’re just starting to use retinol in your skincare routine, it’s recommended that you begin with a cleanser. This type of retinol formula is the gentlest and will leave your face feeling fresh and firm. Check out some of the top 2024 favorites.

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Face Cleanser

Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Face Cleanser is crafted explicitly for dry skin and offers a non-invasive solution for beginners. This fragrance-free and paraben-free cleanser is gentle enough for dry and mature skin.

It’s a mix of gentle exfoliators and a Vitamin B3+ Retinoid complex, which targets fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots and improves elasticity.

Its thick, grainy consistency ensures a thorough cleansing, removing impurities and rejuvenating your skin.

  • Fragrance & paraben-free
  • Hypoallergenic & clean formulation
  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Potential dryness for sensitive skin

Retinol Men’s Gel Cleanser

The Retinol Men’s Gel Cleanser is designed to suit all skin types and elevate skincare to the next level with its invigorating formula.

The gel contains micro-encapsulated beads that unleash Retinol – Vitamin A and Vitamin E when burst, ensuring a thorough cleanse and intense hydration.

It is an ideal choice for those seeking a deeper cleanse as it effectively removes impurities trapped in pores and contributes to smoothing and firming results. However, if you have sensitive facial skin, it may not be suitable for you.

This product is made in the USA and is cruelty-free, making it a reliable and ethical addition to any skincare routine.

  • Deep cleaning
  • Cruelty-free
  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

Best Retinol Serum for Men

Retinol serum has a higher percentage of water, which makes it quickly absorbed and non-greasy. The texture is thicker than a cleanser but lighter than a cream.

Depending on whether you are a retinol beginner or an experienced skincare enthusiast, you should choose an appropriate concentration of retinol. We have two suggestions for each of you!

Vichy LiftActiv Pure Retinol Serum

This retinol is a favorite among beginners, but not just because of its 0.2% pure retinol concentration.

Vichy LiftActiv Retinol Specialist Serum comes from a trusted French dermo-cosmetic brand known for its commitment to dermatological innovation.

The serum also boasts a precision applicator for optimal and controlled application. Press the center of the applicator to dispense the recommended 3-4 drops of serum.

The packaging is designed to prevent oxidation and contamination, so you can easily take it wherever you go and maintain your skincare routine.

  • Low retinol strength

The INKEY List Retinol 1% Serum

We have something specifically designed for seniors: The Inkey List Retinol.

It’s a higher-strength formula that can give you intense results. You can now say goodbye to post-acne scars, wrinkles, and dark spots thanks to the 1% pure retinol in it.

The serum also contains 5% Apricot Kernel Oil to help protect your skin against moisture loss and 2% Squalane to improve and protect your skin’s barrier.

You’ll be happy to know that this product is certified by The Vegan Society, so it aligns with vegan principles.

  • 1% Pure Retinol: Intense results
  • Moisture protection
  • Vegan certification
  • High retinol concentration, so it’s not great for retinol beginners

Men’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream With Retinol

Opt for a retinol cream if you’re searching for a thicker and more hydrating formula. Although the concentration of retinol in creams is slightly lower than in serums, they offer a more luxurious and moisturizing experience.

Plus, retinol creams are perfect for individuals with oily or combination skin.

S RAW SCIENCE Men’s Face Cream

This cream combines Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Collagen to deliver deep moisturizing and unmatched wrinkle resistance, making it the perfect solution for fighting signs of aging.

The light formula of this face moisturizer is precisely formulated for men, feels refreshing, and is non-greasy, resembling a face lotion.

You can transition it seamlessly from daily to night use, ensuring round-the-clock hydration for vibrant, youthful skin.

This versatile face cream is suitable for all skin types and caters to various skin care needs, making your skincare routine super easy.

  • Deep moisturizing
  • Light and non-greasy texture
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Patch test recommended to prevent irritation

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol

Neutrogena Retinol cream contains 0.3% pure retinol and is specially designed with patented technology to combat signs of aging. It provides instantly softer, smoother skin.

The cream is non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog your pores and cause acne, and is suitable for all skin types.

It also does not contain any perfume, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin. Therefore, if you are looking for a reliable brand, visible results, and a gentle scent-free formulation, Neutrogena Retinol cream is the perfect solution.

  • 0.3% Pure retinol: Effective concretation
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free
  • Results take time

Best Retinol Night Cream for Men

It’s important to note that while most retinol creams are applied at night, not all of the additional ingredients listed are equally suitable for nighttime use.

Consider incorporating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and peptides to enhance your evening skincare routine.

These components work well with retinol, providing optimal hydration, nourishment, and support for your skin’s rejuvenation process. Here are some of our suggestions:

Geologie 0.2% Retinol Night Cream

Geologie offers a product that blends 3% Niacinamide with 2% Hyaluronic Acid to deeply nourish, hydrate, and plump the skin while reducing fine lines. Only premium, clinically proven ingredients are cut, ensuring high quality.

This night cream is suitable for most skin types and is easy to apply with just 2-3 pumps. It is designed to be used in your evening skincare routine and maximizes effectiveness during the skin’s overnight regeneration phase.

  • Deeply nourishes, hydrates, and plumps the skin
  • Easy application
  • Skin sensitivity caution

NAELI Retinoid Cream

This potent 4.25% retinoid, collagen, and peptide complex offers exceptional features. Besides retinol, the star ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain skin suppleness and prevent dryness while you sleep.

Vitamin C repairs skin from daily environmental stressors, and the lemongrass essences provide overall relaxation, promoting a restful night’s sleep.

The blend of ingredients works synergistically to increase firmness, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and reveal a revitalized complexion.

The formula also contains botanical antioxidants, shea butter, mango butter, and argan oil to rejuvenate and protect the skin’s moisture barrier, leaving it soft, supple, and nourished. The formula is rapid-absorbing and non-greasy.

  • Powerful concentration
  • Prevents Dryness
  • Repairs Environmental Damage
  • Fragrance

Retinol Oils

Oils are lipid-based formulations, providing a nourishing, sometimes thicker texture. It is absorbed more slowly than serums but faster than creams, offering a balance between hydration and quick absorption.

That makes them ideal for those with dry or mature skin seeking both the benefits of retinol and the nourishment of facial oils.

The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

The Ordinary’s Retinol 1% in Squalane is a powerful solution for fine lines and wrinkles. This product stands out for its high retinol concentration, which enhances collagen and elastin, essential for youthful skin.

The Ordinary guarantees integrity by providing a water-free solution with a 1% concentration of retinol.

Moreover, this formula is enriched with Squalane, a natural moisturizer for your skin. It ensures optimal hydration, counteracting the dryness that may sometimes occur with retinol use.

  • High Retinol Concentration
  • Water-Free Solution
  • Natural Moisturization
  • Possible Breakouts

COSRX Retinol 0.5 Oil

COSRX Retinol 0.5% Oil is an excellent choice for mature skin or those who want to start their anti-aging journey. This blend contains 0.5% pure Retinol and is complemented by soothing agents like Squalane and Super Vitamin E.

It helps to reduce wrinkles, enhance skin elasticity, and achieve a radiant complexion.

COSRX is a renowned brand in the cosmetic industry, and it adheres to strict standards, ensuring that the product is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and free of parabens and sulfates.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Parabens and sulfates-free
  • Soothing Agents
  • Low retinol concentration

Best Retinol Eye Cream for Men

The skin around the eyes is thinner than on other areas of the face, making it more prone to wrinkles. Facial expressions, smoking, genetics, and inadequate care can cause eye wrinkles.

So including an anti-aging product for the eye area in your skincare routine is essential.

Neutrogena Retinol Eye Cream

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Eye Cream is a best-suited 0.5-fluid-ounce tube for individuals with sensitivity concerns. The cream is formulated with pure retinol, a superior form of Vitamin A, and hyaluronic acid.

Combined, these ingredients work synergistically to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Additionally, the fragrance-free formula minimizes the potential for irritation.

It is dermatologist-recommended and does not contain parabens, mineral oil, or dyes, making it gentle yet potent in addressing under-eye concerns.

  • Pure retinol
  • Hydrating
  • Fragrance-free
  • Limited amount

Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream

Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream has become a sensation on TikTok. It is packaged in a cool design with a practical dispenser for easy application, making it a must-have on your vanity.

What sets this product apart is the cream’s features. It contains nutrient-rich Avocado Extract, encapsulated Retinol, skin-loving Niacinamide, and antioxidant-packed Coffeeberry.

That makes the cream ideal for all skin types, especially those combating dullness, dark circles, and signs of aging. It is also dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes.

  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Innovative design
  • Paraben, sulfate-free, and free of synthetic dyes
  • High price compared to other eye creams

Best Body Lotion with Retinol

Retinol-infused lotions specially formulated for body use offer a balanced concentration of retinol with nourishing ingredients. Explore these popular retinol body lotions to get the best benefits.

Medix Retinol Body Lotion

Medix 5.5 Retinol Body Lotion is a skincare product designed to help men fight the signs of aging visible on the skin of the body, like the neck.

It contains Vitamin A (Retinol), which can reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, sagging, and sun damage.

The formula is improved with Ferulic Acid, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, and Green Tea, which help to firm and nourish the skin. Additionally, it has Green Tea and Chamomile extracts, which protect against environmental damage.

This lotion is non-greasy, vegan, and cruelty-free. It is free from harmful ingredients such as parabens, drying alcohols, and sulfates, making it suitable for different skin types.

  • Nourishing ingredients
  • Parabens, alcohols, and sulfates – free
  • Potential sensitivity

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin

This lightweight lotion is made with a mid-strength 0.1% retinol concentration, antioxidants, and natural shea butter.

It effectively hydrates the skin, reduces discoloration, and improves its texture without leaving any greasy residue behind.

This fragrance-free lotion is a game-changer for those who want visibly smoother and firmer skin. Additionally, its sustainable packaging aligns with our commitment to the planet.

  • Lightweight lotion
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Eco-friendly
  • Light concentration

Why Retinol Is Great for Men’s Skin + Other Beneficial Ingredients

In your mid-twenties, your skin’s collagen production naturally decreases, making it look thinner and looser.

The results are wrinkles and fine lines. To keep a youthful appearance, make smart skincare choices. One of the best anti-aging ingredients is retinol.

When searching for an anti-wrinkle cream, make sure it contains ingredients that are known to be effective, such as:

  • Retinol: This is the most effective ingredient for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and softening existing ones, giving you a youthful glow.
  • Peptides: These are collagen’s best friend, speeding up its production for firmer, more resilient skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: This ingredient attracts moisture to your skin, helping it to stay hydrated and firm.
  • Shea Butter: A rich source of fatty acids and vitamins, shea butter deeply hydrates your skin, promoting suppleness.
  • Vitamin C: An antioxidant that helps support collagen production, maintaining skin elasticity.
  • Vitamin E: This ingredient protects against external aggressors like UV rays, safeguarding your skin’s health.

Choose skincare products that combine these age-defying elements to keep your skin looking young. By doing so, you can create a grooming routine that defies the hands of time.

Need More Help Figuring Out a Skincare Routine?

Click here to scroll through our simple guide for establishing a skincare routine for men, along with specific products you should buy!

Cover image source: Freepik




Exclusive insights into the PMU industry right in your inbox.

FREE newsletter. 100% good stuff.