10 Best Drugstore Retinols for Acne in 2022

With so many options, finding the best drugstore retinol for acne can be overwhelming. There are so many things to consider such as ingredients, formula, brand name, price, and so much more. Needless to say, this can be pretty time-consuming.

To save you the hassle, we researched hundreds of products and sifted through thousands of customer reviews. Then we checked the ingredients, formula, efficacy, and price. Based on this, we bring you the best drugstore retinol for acne. Let’s have a look.

Top 10 Best Drugstore Retinols for Acne

SaleBestseller No. 1
CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin Texture | Pore Refining, Resurfacing, Brightening Facial Serum with Retinol and Niacinamide | Fragrance Free, Paraben Free & Non-Comedogenic| 1 Oz
  • [ ACNE RETINOL SERUM FOR FACE ] With encapsulated retinol, this serum helps skin look smoother and more even-toned. Pore-minimizing serum for face helps refine skin’s texture over time and helps visibly reduce the appearance of post-acne marks.
  • [ LIGHTWEIGHT SERUM ] Gel texture & a non-greasy feel. Apply Resurfacing Retinol Serum at night & apply sunscreen. Apply a pea-sized amount of CeraVe retinol serum in a thin layer and allow to fully absorb into skin before applying additional products.
  • [ BRIGHTENING SERUM ] Formulated with licorice root extract helps to brighten the appearance of skin and niacinamide helps to calm skin. Fragrance free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic.
  • [ 3 ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Ceramides are found naturally in the skin and make up 50% of the lipids in the skin barrier. All CeraVe products, formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II)to help maintain the skin’s natural barrier.
  • [ DEVELOPED WITH DERMATOLOGISTS ] CeraVe Skincare is developed with dermatologists and has products suitable for dry skin, sensitive skin, oily skin, acne-prone, and more.
Bestseller No. 2
Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant--Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle
  • GENTLE NON-ABRASIVE LEAVE-ON EXFOLIATOR: with 2% BHA (Beta hydroxy acid) to unclog & diminish enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles & brighten & even out skin tone. Combats redness, wrinkles, aging, enlarged pores, & blackheads. PACKAGING MAY VARY.
  • Dramatically improves skin's texture for radiant youthful even-toned skin. Beta hydroxy acid (BHA also known as salicylic acid) mimics the natural exfoliation process of younger skin by helping it shed extra layers while unclogging and clearing pores.
  • HYDRATE, BRIGHTEN & SMOOTH FINE LINES: Our unique, non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant is gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. Exfoliates dead skin cells while clearing pores for a more even tone, plus it visibly reduces fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Paula's Choice facial exfoliants are gentler on delicate skin of the face & neck than an abrasive face scrub, which can cause micro-tears. A BHA leave-on exfoliator delivers hydration & can exfoliate directly inside the pore & improve how the pore works.
  • Paula's Choice Skincare makes products that work. No fragrance, no parabens, no fluff. Just effective, science-backed formulas that target any concern from wrinkles to breakouts.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Acne Treatment Differin Gel, 30 Day Supply, Retinoid Treatment for Face with 0.1% Adapalene, Gentle Skin Care for Acne Prone Sensitive Skin, 15g Tube
  • Clears breakouts where they start (Deep in pores) and prevents new acne from forming, which ultimately restores skin's texture and tone
  • Differin works differently than other Acne treatments by normalizing skin cell turnover and effectively targets two primary causes of Acne, clogged pores and inflammation
  • Adapalene was created for superior tolerability compared to other prescription retinoid products not containing Adapalene; It is suitable for use as part of your morning or evening regimen
  • Water based formula, oil free, alcohol free, fragrance free, non comedogenic; Helps reduce the risk of scarring and Hyperpigmentation by treating Acne
  • In a clinical study, Differin gel provided up to 87 percent reduction in acne breakouts after 12 weeks, which will continue to improve with further use
SaleBestseller No. 4
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum for Face, Anti Aging Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Organic Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil, Hydrating & Brightening Serum for Dark Spots, Fine Lines and Wrinkles, 1 fl oz
  • ANTI AGING FACE SERUM - Vitamin C blends with Botanical Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E, Witch Hazel, and Jojoba Oil in an anti aging, skin brightening formula designed to improve wrinkles and dark spots
  • OUR CUSTOMERS KNOW BEST - Don't just take our word for it, see thousands of reviews from real Amazon customers rave about brighter, fresher looking skin
  • PLANT-BASED FORMULATION - No added synthetic colors, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, PEGs, or GMOs. Our active botanicals combine in a silky smooth anti-aging serum that can be used day or night.
  • CERTIFIED CRUELTY FREE by Leaping Bunny, our Vitamin C facial serum is also formulated, manufactured and bottled in the USA for guaranteed freshness
  • EXTENDED MANUFACTURER GUARANTEE - Love it or your money back! If for any reason you decide this product isn't a good fit for your skin, we offer a 90-day money-back refund. The expiration date is printed on the barcode sticker attached to the packaging.
SaleBestseller No. 5
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, Daily Moisturizer Face Cream with Ceramide and Niacinamide for All Skin Types, Oil Free, Fragrance Free
  • Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is formulated with dermatologist-recommended ingredients including ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water
  • Double action helps repair skin’s natural protective barrier after 1-hour and provide up to 48-hour hydration. Produces a unique prebiotic action on the skin microbiome and restores healthy-looking skin
  • Its lightweight cream texture easily absorbs into the skin to provide immediate comfort
  • Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. Fragrance free, paraben free, oil free, alcohol free, non comedogenic
  • Formulated with Ceramide-3: to help retain moisture and maintain a healthy skin barrier. Niacinamide: helps restore skin's moisture barrier, and visibly fading skin discolorations. Glycerin: hydrates skin
Bestseller No. 6
Skincare: The award-winning ultimate no-nonsense guide and Sunday Times No. 1 best-seller
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Hirons, Caroline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 296 Pages - 06/25/2020 (Publication Date) - HQ (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 7
Cetaphil Face Moisturizer, Gentle Clear Mattifying Acne Moisturizer With 0.5% Salicylic Acid, Hydrates and Treats Sensitive Acne Prone Skin, Skin Care for Sensitive Skin, 3oz
  • HYDRATES & CLEARS BREAKOUTS: Shine-free hydration with .5% Salicylic Acid clears and prevents breakouts while improving tone and texture in sensitive skin
  • BOTANICAL & PREBIOTIC COMPLEX SOOTHES ACNE REDNESS: Formulated with botanicals and prebiotic complex to help nourish skin and soothe acne redness
  • DEFENDS AGAINST FIVE SIGNS OF SKIN SENSITIVITY: Defends against five signs of skin sensitivity including a weakened skin barrier, irritation, roughness, tightness, and dryness
  • FROM THE #1 Doctor Recommended Sensitive Skincare Brand FACIAL SKINCARE BRAND
  • DEFENDS AGAINST 5 SIGNS OF SKIN SENSITIVITY: Dryness, irritation, roughness, tightness and a weakened skin barrier
Bestseller No. 9
theBalm Anne T. Dotes Tinted Moisturizer, 10 (For Very Fair Skin), 1 fl. oz,7168
  • Product Type:Skin Moisturizer
  • Item Package Dimension:3.5 cm L X 11.8 cm W X17.3 cm H
  • Item Package Weight:0.23 lbs
  • Country Of Origin: United States
  • Skin type: combination
Bestseller No. 10
Peace Out Skincare Retinol Eye Stick. Daily Under Eye Serum Balm Reduces Fine Lines and Dark Circles with Peptides and Astaxanthin (.14 oz)
  • Peace Out Retinol Eye Stick. Tired eyes? Dark circles? Don’t know them. This power-packed and do-it-all balm visibly boosts bounce and moisture levels and is safe for sensitive skin.
  • See Immediate and Long-Term Results. Formulated to refine, hydrate and guard against environmental nasties in one step, this daily eye balm helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dark curls and overall skin texture.
  • How To. After your nightly cleanse, glide the eye stick around the entire eye area in small, circular motions, careful not to tug on the skin. Try 1x/week to allow skin to adjust to the retinol.
  • Clean, Vegan and Effective Ingredients. Encapsulated retinol, power peptide complex, vegan squalane and astaxanthin target signs of aging for a more youthful appearance.
  • Make Peace with Your Skin. Peace Out Skincare’s mission is to help you bring peace to your skin through effective, clean and fun skincare solutions.

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Drugstore Retinols for Acne

Ingredients

When it comes to choosing the best drugstore retinol for acne, the most important thing to consider is the ingredients. If you’re particularly allergic to a specific ingredient, make sure to only choose products that don’t contain it. This way, you won’t experience allergies or irritation when using a drugstore retinol.

Price

Another important thing to consider is the price. You shouldn’t always chase the cheapest product on the market as it can cause problems in the long run. Similarly, just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean that it’s the right product for you. Make sure to do your due diligence when shopping for the best drugstore retinol for acne.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When looking for the best drugstore retinol for acne, it’s better to avoid harsh chemicals. Generally, it’s better to look for a product that doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, etc. Even the reputable products can sometimes contain these chemicals, it’s important to look at the formula. Too much of these chemicals can be bad for you.

Star Rating

If a product is well-received on Amazon, chances are it’s usually pretty good. These reviews are generally a testament to the efficacy of a product. When shopping for the best drugstore retinol for acne, you should usually go with product with the star rating of 3. 5 or more. The higher the better!

Read Customer Reviews

Reading customer reviews can also be helpful when purchasing the best drugstore retinol for acne. It’s possible that someone else who has the same needs as you has already tried and reviewed the product. Reading their review will give you an idea on whether or not the drugstore retinol you’re looking to buy is worth your time and money.

Brand Name

Finally, when it comes to beauty, skincare, or hair care products, it’s usually better to stick with reputable products. There are so many products available on the market, but the brands which have stood the test of time are the ones that you should generally go for. At the same time, don’t be afraid of experimenting with new products.

Patch Test

No matter which drugstore retinol you’re considering, it’s important to do a patch test first (even if a product is well-received). Everyone is different and so are their needs. So, always be sure to do a patch test when you try out a new product.

Conclusion

It can be challenging to find the best drugstore retinol for acne. However, we’ve done all the heavy-lifting for you. We hope this article helped you find the best drugstore retinol for your needs.

Which one of these drugstore retinols are you going to try? Let us know in the comments below. If you have any questions, ask away.

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