Best Retinol Cream UK 2021 Buyer’s Guide

If you want to maintain a youthful complexion, there is one ingredient (Retinoid) an expert dermatologist will always prescribe. They consider these beauty products as the holy grail of noninvasive wrinkle-prevention. So we consulted an expert dermatologist to reveal the list of best retinol creams.

Retinol Cream Review


Our Top Picks
  • Murad  Luxury brand, night cream, 50 ml, results in 4 weeks but may vary.
  • LilyAna Naturals Day and night cream, contains 2.5% retinol, 48g and 71% organic.
  • Kleem Organics For day and night, 50 ml, contains 2.5% retinol, only natural and organic ingredients.
  • Poppy Austin  For ay and night, contains 2.5% retinol, 100ml, 71% organic formulation.
  • Radha Beauty For day and night, contains 2.5% retinol, 50ml.

The mountains of studies and research have been carried out supporting retinol’s status as one of the best super-powered ingredients for your skin-care routine to achieve smooth, evenly-toned, acne- and line-free skin — and the fact that most of you will be benefited from using it way more than you do now.

“Many of you are exposed to the sun in our daily life. This sun-related ageing changes, textural changes to your skin, fine lines, sun freckles and melasma all benefit from the use of this retinol or prescribed retinoid,” confirmed by the dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon. “If you also have acne, may also see an improvement in their breakouts.

But for all the good things it can do, many creams may leave a greasy residue, feel too rich for your oily or acne-prone skin, or can’t rival the luxe experience of our favourite night creams — which means no matter how good they are for your complexions, many of us just aren’t using retinol as much as we should. That’s where this retinol comes in: The lighter formulas tend to absorb more quickly and still leave room for you to apply your favourite moisturizers before sliding into bed every night.

Since finding the best quality retinol products, we polled top dermatologists from the UK to find out which product they reach for in their own skin-care routines.  So we are offering top 5 brands with all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks.

List of Best Retinol Cream in the UK


  List of Best Retinol Cream UK 2021

Murad Youth Renewal







 LilyAna Naturals


LilyAna Naturals






Kleem Organics

Kleem Organics






Poppy Austin

Poppy Austin






Radha Beauty

Radha Beauty




What to Look for When Buying:


a. Retinol Strength

Retinol comes in multiple strengths; the most common are 1%, 0.5%, .0.3% and 0.25%. If it doesn’t specify the % of retinol on the label, it usually means the concentration is weaker than .25%, which may not offer you the full benefits of retinol. “Studies suggest you need to use at least 0.25% retinol or 0.025% tretinoin to be effective, so we advise using a product that specifies the %.”

When choosing, it is best to start with the lowest concentration before moving up. Another thing to consider is your type of skin. “If you have thick or greasy skin, try a higher-strength. If you have thin or want to get rid of dry skin, use the lower-strength.

b. Skin type

Retinol is strong stuff – and not everyone’s skin will react to it the same. You should make sure that the product you are buying corresponds to your matching skin, or you can experience some unpleasant side effects.

c. Your Age

We do not advise for people in their 20s to be using this because it is a very powerful ingredient. Applying it too early can cause the skin to actually break down due to being overstimulated. It is best to wait until you are in your early 30s.

d. Packaging

Retinol is so delicate that it can deactivate fast if the formula inside the container is exposed to light—even if it is encapsulated.  This is why it is important to look for the right kind of wrapping or box. The worst offender is a clear bottle with no box. If you buy retinol with no box, it has likely been sitting on a shelf under lights. The light is literally rendering this ineffective. You’ll also want to keep the bottle out of the heat.

e. Trusted Brand & Review

It takes a very skilled and experienced formulator to know how to make the high standard retinol skincare product to be effective. For the formula to work, it must be made in a high-tech lab. Like with any vitamin A-type product, it all comes down to how the formula is made, the percentage used, how it is delivered into the skin and how stable it is. They should openly share the percentage used in the formula as well as notes on the product’s stability.

That is one of the keys when you buy retinol. You want to get the most for the money you are spending. Reading reviews will help you to learn where to find the best deals on the internet. Saving a little money for the quality assures that you are buying the best when it comes to shopping for new skincare product you have no idea.

Murad Youth Review 

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Rediscover your skin’s youthful capacity with luxurious brand Murad’s Retinol, a breakthrough, anti-ageing formula that works to combat common concerns as you sleep. It is powered by breakthrough retinol tri-active technology claims that it minimises lines and wrinkles, smoothes skin texture and has peptide-rich red algae extract which promotes firmness and elasticity. It is free from parabens, and the intensely nourishing formula promotes suppleness.


Powered by Retinol Tri-Active Technology (a fast-acting Retinoid, a time-released Retinol and a Retinol booster), the lightweight, quick-absorbing ingredients helps to minimise the uneven tone, wrinkles and rough texture for a smoother, younger-looking complexion come morning.


This luxurious brand is ideal for thirstier skin, this rich, lightly scented moisturizer hydrates with shea butter, squalane, and a pack of fatty alcohols. Suspended in the mix are retinol and the vitamin-A derivative retinyl propionate. This form is less efficacious than retinol but by pairing the two, you get the almost-instant hit of the retinol along with the longer-term action of the retinyl propionate. This combination should help reduce irritation and dryness.


It will deliver long-lasting moisture and hydration on your face, its blend of Swertia flower extract and peptide-rich extract from algae creates a lifting and firming effect to help improve elasticity and redefine facial contours. This intensely nourishing overnight cream melts into skin for a supple, vibrant complexion.


25 years ago Dr. Howard Murad founded the first modern doctor brand of clinical skincare products, with a goal of making beautiful and healthy skin attainable for all.


28 days later, testers saw the improvement and said it ‘looked refreshed’ and that lines around their eyes and mouth were reduced a lot’. Other have said that they felt luxurious, was easily absorbed and had a pleasant but nice smell.

Most of them agreed that wrinkles were less visible, and that skin felt firmer, more radiant and the overall tone had improved. Its a bit expensive but worth it. Check price in Amazon.


 LilyAna Naturals Review 

LilyAna Naturals

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LilyAna Naturals, a little potion designed to help you deal with everything, from fine lines to sun damage to spots, acne, acne scars, stretch marks, uneven tone, skin texture, and basically the overall appearance.


This is pretty good if you are looking for extra hydration and plumped skin. It is thick and creamy and goes on the skin like satin, makes your skin feel extremely soft. Easy to apply, and just one pump will cover the entire face and neck.


Just a few days after using this, you will notice a big difference in the hydration and redness of your skin. Your skin will feel soft and plump and it will calm down the redness in your skin. It will surprise you when you will see the results!


Doesn’t have an oily feeling, absorbs quickly without a sticky feeling. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin because it won’t clog your pores, is a great way to help minimize dark circles and under-eye bags, and works for firming the skin on your hands and neck.


It is made with a variety of organic ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green leaf tea, shea fat extract, and jojoba oil. The retinol concentration is set at 2.5% which delivers just the right amount of nourishment to ramp up the vitamin A delivery.


You can’t argue that LilyAna Naturals is one of the best options out there. It has been a best-seller since it was launched and nothing but praise can be found for its age-defying effects.

The best part: It is totally cruelty-free!! Check price in Amazon.


Kleem Organics Review

Kleem Organics

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This is one of the best to reap the benefits of this superstar ingredient. This one has a whopping 2.5% of retinol. This luxe moisturizer deeply nourishes the skin while encouraging the production of youth-restoring collagen.


The Kleem is made with natural and organic ingredients known to moisturize, rejuvenate, and nourish the skin to help fight the signs of ageing. While it can actually moisturize, many other users complained of dryness, oiliness, and breakouts. This is something to consider especially if you have dry, sensitive skin.


As we age the composition, texture and appearance of our skin changes. Signs and symptoms of ageing include wrinkles, sagging skin, loss of moisture, uneven tone, and dull, tired-looking face. There are countless anti-wrinkle products on the market promising to make you look and feel younger. Many anti-wrinkle products promise everything short of a facelift or to provide the much sought after “fountain of youth”. In reality, most are just moisturizers marketed as anti-ageing skincare products.


It is not just a one-note product though. Contains antioxidants, green tea extract, and E vitamin along with skin-plumping hyaluronic acid for skin health. Who knew that one product could do so much? So how much is it? Check price in Amazon.

Poppy Austin Review 

Poppy Austin

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Get ready to lose yourself in a lush, velvety, triple milked cream from Poppy Austin. This is a pretty average but it will help to protect skin cells from the elements while fending off future damage.


The texture and feel of Poppy Austin are super thick when you first apply it, but as you spread it out, it becomes much more lightweight and leaves the skin feeling really soft and smooth.


It is really easy to use; it comes in a bottle with a pump which you will always appreciate, and you only need about 1-1.5 pumps to cover your entire face, neck, and chest.


Bursting with essential vitamins and natural antioxidants, this decadent daily moisturizer contains 2.5% retinol. The ingredients include vitamin E, green tea, and shea extracted butter. The content of this cream comprises of derivatives of vitamin A blended with organic aloe and wild-crafted tea which promote healthy young-looking face.


For women and men, it is specifically formulated to fight free radical damage and the signs of premature ageing. An incredibly lightweight, quick to absorb, non-irritating to diminish the lines, wrinkles, age spots and hyperpigmentation. Gentle enough for day and night use.


Made fresh in small batches each day at the women-owned and operated facility in the USA. Check price in Amazon.

Radha Beauty Review

Radha Beauty

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The Radha Beauty Retinol Moisturizer is a non-greasy retinol moisturizer that absorbs really well into your skin and improves the texture of the skin, reduces free radical damage, softens lines and wrinkles and reduces mild acne scars.


This retinol is inexpensive and it lasts a long time; you only need a pea-size amount of this day and night for each application. It is largely organic. This has a soft and not too heavy consistency that applies easily. It feels nice on the skin and dries fairly quickly.


Many reviews claim almost immediate results after using this brand. With a unique dispensing feature, the right amount of moisturizer is always released for every use, resulting in a lot less waste. It keeps the product from growing bacteria and it also helps control the amount that comes out.  About one full pump will cover your entire face as well as your neck and chest, which is nice that you don’t need much.


This not only contains vitamin E to hydrate but also hyaluronic acid, which is said to help increase your skin’s elasticity and green tea which is loaded with antioxidants to help fight inflammation. It also has a 2.5% retinol complex — an ingredient thought to be vital for improving the texture and tone and reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores.


It does not have any kind of off-putting scent or unwanted fragrance. If you want to look younger, give it a try. It is an inexpensive way to get great results without doing anything crazy! Check price in Amazon.


How Retinol Skincare Cream Works

According to Dr Dennis Gross, retinol is one of the most important ingredients that you must use if you’re looking for perfect, better-looking and looking for younger brighter skin. Its is actually a derivative of vitamin A. In the lab, it has been modified to create retinol.  So it comes from something natural.

It does something called increasing cell turnover. It actually makes your skin rejuvenate itself faster. When that happens you look younger because you are regenerating and rejuvenating your skin and that freshens the look and diminish reduce premature ageing.

It also does other things like it helps any discolouration of your rough skin tones. By increasing cell turnover it sends a signal to the lower layers of skin to produce more collagen and that firms your skin. So it is going to help your wrinkles look better too. It will also increase collagen production, which in turn helps look plump and young. Its an alternative to collagen supplements as it will help to rebuild and boost collagen. This decreases wrinkles by thickening the skin from the inside out.

It can be drying and irritate your skin. So my best advice is to use a pea-sized drop and remember you want to use it at nighttime. If you have dry sensitive skin or a redness-prone they need to be approached with caution and are probably best used under the guidance of dermatologists. They can be irritating especially when you use it for the first time.

If you want to smooth out battle lines and banish crow’s feet around your eyes then you can try this retinol eye cream from YEOUTH. This brand is formulated especially for the delicate eye area.

Most of the products contain some moisturizing ingredients like mineral oil or petrolatum. It may clog pores. So retinol is always recommended if your skin is dry or sensitive.

But it is best to use retinol serum if you have an oily or acne-prone face as most serums are water-based and tend to contain higher concentrations of the “active” ingredients. Retinol serum is meant to penetrate the skin faster. We recommend Paula’s Choice or Elizabeth Arden retinol ceramide capsules night serum to try. These are a few of the premium brand and best retinol products in the market.

If your skin is a little bit sensitive and you may get to get irritation so try it in a small area first. If you’re pregnant however retinoids are best avoided.

Right Time To Start

A lot of you may ask “when should I start using retinol products?” So let me tell you our recommendations. We typically recommend retinol in your early to mid-30s. The reason being twofold, one is retinol is a corrective product. It only corrects. So if there’s nothing in your skin to correct, it’s not useful to incorporate retinol.

Secondly, retinol does have a more aggressive profile in terms of ingredients. So we typically, especially at the beginning when you start incorporating it into your routine, it comes with a little bit of dryness. Maybe some flaking, some redness and some sensitivity. Typically we find that slightly more mature women tend to be better at managing those symptoms. You have to make sure that you’re using proper SPF care every single day.

You have to avoid sun exposure. You have to be a little bit more careful about your skin, usually a younger woman. A younger lady is not really up for those types of side-effects. Those are the main reasons why we recommend retinol in your early to mid-30s.

Another way to think about when you should start incorporating retinol on your skincare routine is to take a look at yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself with kindness. Try to think about what are the symptoms of ageing that you’re seeing. Typically we recommend retinol to someone who you can tell, she or he has been taking really good care of their skin, they have been using serums and eye creams and moisturizers and SPF and all those wonderful things.

However, you can already see some signs of ageing in their skin despite all of those amazing products. Because that is the natural way of life and so if you know that you’ve been taking great care of your skin and if you see fine lines and the area maybe a couple of wrinkle in the upper lip, a smattering of brown spots here and there, that probably means that you’re ready to incorporate retinol into your skincare routine. but again typically you want to start doing that in your early to mid-30s.


Tips to Use for Best Results

  • We usually recommend that it needs to be built up gradually. Allow a couple of applications a week initially, before building up to daily usage.
  • The skin is more permeable during sleep so it is an optimal time to use it at night.
  • Begin with only a small amount and apply it to your entire face at night. Remember that it takes several weeks to adjust depending on your skin types, so it is best to use it sparingly at first and then gradually increase your use as time goes on.
  • Avoid using high dose retinoid serum or cream around the eyes because the skin is thinner.
  • If you want to use high strength pure retinol then you can mix it with niacinamide.

There are actually several forms of retinol products are available from over-the-counter to prescription strength. Our recommended products have fewer side effects than retinoic acid (prescription strength), which works significantly faster than these products.

Finally, we want to say, if you want your skin to be the best possible skin that it can be and you want to start getting compliments from strangers on the street about your skin then you’ve got to be using retinol. We hope you guys have enjoyed reading this guide to find the best over the counter retinol moisturiser to buy online. This is the only skincare ingredient that can do a lot of things.