The 8 Best Retinol Serums

These Retinol serums are an effective way to revolutionise your skincare and get glowing results.

Top 8 retinol serums 2020Top 8 retinol serums 2020

It’s likely you’ve heard of Retinol: the seemingly magic ingredient that can transform weatherbeaten skin into a glowing, youthful complexion. But what are Retinol serums, and can they actually make any significant difference? Put as simply as possible, yes.

Retinols are Vitamin A derivatives that help fight ageing by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. Consistent use of products containing Retinol can decrease the visibility of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, texture, and sun damage. The keys to using this highly potent ingredient are introducing it slowly, using as directed, and following with moisturiser and SPF to help prevent redness and peeling.

If you’re wondering what Retinol is best for you, we’ve recommended some serum formulas that apply effortlessly, penetrate deeply, and are available to buy online now in Australia!


The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane is recommended for those starting out in the Retinol game. Containing 1% pure Retinol in a water-free formula, this highly stable Retinol serum also contains Tomato Fruit Extract and Jojoba Oil. These botanicals mimic and replenish the skin’s natural oils, which might be stripped by Retinol treatments.

Gentle, cheap and effective: this serum is great for introducing Retinol into your skincare routine.


Introducing this low level of Retinol to the skin at night allows skin to build up a tolerance. You can then advance to more advanced Retinol formulations if desired, although many complexions respond quite well to low concentrations of Vitamin A. Because it avoids silicones, plant oils, and alcohols, The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane is one of the best Retinol serums to start with, and at an extremely affordable price!

Skinstitut Retinol is a high-intensity, fast-acting formula aimed at those serious about fighting aging, breakouts, and pigmentation. Using an advanced encapsulated delivery system, this gel-based Retinol formula is best used on dry, cleansed skin, every other evening, to build up a tolerance.

A highly potent gel formulation that will powerfully correct and promote cell turnover, leaving skin radiant and renewed.


By increasing collagen and elastin production, Skinstitut Retinol serum smooths, clears, and lifts the skin. This formula also includes the anti-aging benefits of peptides and Olive extracts to reinforce its impact. This is the product to buy if you’re looking for an advanced Retinol with a sophisticated formulation that really packs a punch.


Aspect Retinol Brulee has been recently reformulated for even higher results to help exfoliate, brighten, and firm the skin. Cell turnover is accelerated by powerful key ingredients such as Retinyl Palmitate Complex 0.5% and a Retinol Molecular Film. These ingredients are complemented by active antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients such as Kakadu Plum, Davidson Plum, Desert Lime, and Lemon Myrtle to support the skin’s rejuvenation process.

An advanced, refining, night-time Retinol serum with the added bonus of antioxidant protection, delivering a range of vitamins and nutrients to the skin.


This Retinol serum is specifically designed to penetrate deeply for more effective delivery of nutrients to the skin. Perfect for those with particularly problematic, congested, dull, and thickened skin, Aspect Retinol Brulee is great for those looking for a stable Retinol with noticeable results.

Medik8 Retinol 3TR Advanced 0.3% Vitamin A Serum speeds up the skin’s regeneration process and is specifically formulated to soothe and hydrate the skin in the process. This fast-absorbing night serum utilises ‘intelligent’ Time Release Technology, which delivers the Retinol gradually into the deeper layers of the skin overnight. This gentle process helps minimise irritation, a problem faced by many introducing Retinol to their skincare routine.

This ‘intelligent Retinol’ serum retexturises and hydrates your skin as you sleep, using expert innovation to combat problems commonly faced by those using Retinol.


Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil stabilise this formulation while also leaving the skin soft and hydrated. Particularly beneficial for oily, congested, breakout-prone skin,Medik8 Retinol 3TR Advanced 0.3% Vitamin A Serum 15ml helps decongest pores and manage sebum production. This Retinol serum is only sold in Australia and is available online.

Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum is formulated with Tri-Active Retinol Technology, a mix of 3 types of Retinol. The highly active formula of this Retinol serum is best for those looking for anti-aging properties in a serum that will return radiance and vibrancy to your skin. Suitable for all skin types, this Retinol serum will particularly help with improving elasticity, firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

A fast-acting Retinol serum, boosted by tri-active Retinol technology and Ceramides.


This breakthrough serum, although powerful in its effects, is also gentle on the skin. A base of Shea Butter, Squalane, and Hyaluronic Spheres guarantees moisturisation and comfort. You can expect an immediate impact from Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum 30ml : you’ll experience brighter, smoother skin that has a more even texture and tone.

Alpha-H Vitamin A 0.5% is a Retinol serum that’s perfect for improving rough, textured, and dehydrated skin. Whereas many Retinol serums aggravate these skin types, this gentle formula from Alpha-H is less likely to trigger irritation and makes a noticeable difference in the skin’s hydration levels.

A Retinol serum with a hydrating formula that contains the benefits of antioxidants—great for managing dry patches and texture.


This serum is a great introduction to Vitamin A for first-time Retinol users who want to protect their skin from environmental factors. Alpha-H Vitamin A 0.5 25ml is enriched with antioxidants and Evening Primrose to soothe and moisturise the skin. This is also a great product for you if you struggle with extra dryness in winter but want to boost your regular skincare routine nonetheless.

Société Refinishing Complex combines Retinol with AHAs, BHAs, and antioxidants for powerful results. This multi-action approach makes it one of the best Retinol serums you can buy online, particularly if you’re struggling with pigmentation issues caused by sun damage, scarring or aging.

A Retinol serum that does more than retexturise the skin, this formula specifically targets dark spots and pigmentation.


This Retinol serum not only combats and regulates pigment production; it also helps prevent pigmentation using Société’s patented technology. Containing Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Hyaluronic Acids, Société Refinishing Complex 50ml is an excellent and efficient multitasker. It’s the perfect facial serum for you if you have pigmentation concerns and are looking to buy a Retinol serum that does more.

SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5% is perfect for targeting problem areas as well as improving the general appearance and texture of the skin. This Retinol serum has a highly stable formula that minimises irritation with the addition of calming Chamomile. It’s an ideal facial serum for blemish-prone skin.

A non-comedogenic Retinol serum that’s perfect for combating blemishes, pigmentation, and irritation.


By enclosing its potency, this serum’s advanced delivery system allows for highly concentrated forms of Retinol to target a larger surface area. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 is the perfect Retinol serum to buy if you want a powerful Retinol treatment that won’t inflame or aggravate sensitive skin with acne.

Everything you need to know about Retinol


Want to discover more amazing Retinol/Vitamin A products? Check out some of our guides:



Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.



So, let's recap our 8 Best Retinol Serums

  1. The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane

  2. Skinstitut Retinol

  3. Aspect Retinol Brulee

  4. Medik8 Retinol 3TR Advanced 0.3% Vitamin A Serum 15ml

  5. Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum 30ml

  6. Alpha-H Vitamin A 0.5 25ml

  7. Société Refinishing Complex 50ml

  8. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5




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Anti-Ageing and Retinol Serums

/Anti-Ageing Skincare