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Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Sun damage that won't go away? Wrinkles keeping you up at night? Don't get mad, get powerful.
Item #: 801
  • Acne Breakouts, Anti-Aging, Brown Spots, Wrinkles
  • For All Skin Types
  • Firms skin, smoothing deep wrinkles and fine lines
  • Reduces dark spots and uneven skin tone, refines pore size

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Customer Ratings:

90 out of 100
(Based on 77 Reviews)
Page of 4 Next »
  1. Jannette B.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Effective, terrific!
    • Previously I was using a product that claimed to be 1.5% retinol nightly. I never appreciated any benefit from the product and when it ran out switched to 1% PC retinol. Now I know that my why the old product wasn't effective...certainly was not the concentration of retinol it claimed. I began PC at 3x/wk use and had red, peeling skin at the end of week 1. I backed off the every 5 nights, working up to every other night. No more redness or peeling, just happier skin!

  2. MARIA M.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 18, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Fantastic product!
    • Rx retinol (every brand) is on backorder in Canada with unknown re-supply dates so I was happy to see Paula's Choice offer this product. I was using 0.025% Retin-A every other day and sometimes every third day to avoid irritation. I'm able to use this product nightly with no irritation and my skin has never looked better! I use it with Paula's 2% BHA exfoliant and the vit C serum - incredible results!!

  3. Stanley B.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 14, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    .. Too pricey
    • I really want to love this as it has 1% retinol and I love all the ingredients and smell and texture and hydration... However I wish it was the same price as the serum.. 60$ is a crazy price for a moisturizer. Even though it works because it's all about preventing aging with sunscreen and retinol. Just because I'm a student doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to afford the basics of skin care .

  4. HEATHER E.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Superior Retinol Treatment
    • This is the only OTC product I've ever used that was as effective as prescription tretinoin. Though I've been alternating retinol, BHA, and AHA for years, I followed the instructions carefully, using one pump for my whole face every 3rd night. The other two nights I used RESIST 2% BHA followed by Skin Recovery Antioxidant Serum with Retinol. RESIST C15 and SPF 30 zinc oxide sunscreen every morning. Minor redness and peeling during week 2. Definite improvements to skin texture and tone in week 4.

  5. Jocelyn
    Reviewed on Monday, August 11, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    The REAL DEAL!
    • I'm really very pleased with this new retinol product! I have used all of Paula's products for years now, and now that I'm in my mid-thirties I have been hoping for something that really makes a significant different in the fine lines I'm starting to find, and the ruddy texture I seem to have acquired. Start SLOWLY! My skin was a bit angry initially, as is typical of retinol products. It's now growing accustomed to it, and I'm in love with the results. Thanks again, Paula!

  6. spencer c.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    1% Retinol
    • This is an excellent product ! I've searched for good retinol products for years and this is the real thing and it works. My 69 year old skin is looking smoother and brighter. Its better than the Retin A prescription strength I used years ago. Not as harsh but the same results. I LIKE this product !

  7. Leslie C
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    AWESOME product!
    • I have tried retinol products in the past and none of them worked with my sensitive, dry, mature skin. All of them irritated it. With this, I got a very slight amount of peeling during my first couple of uses, but voila - now ZERO problems and great results. I LOVE how this product makes my skin look and feel brighter, more even toned, less wrinkly and less blotchy. It's a miracle in a bottle! I use it with other products, but this is THE real winner with an excellent balance of ingredients. WOW

  8. Debra S.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 10, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Fried My Face!
    • I really wanted to love this product, as I have so many PC products. Instead, after a single application, my face felt like I had applied battery acid to it. Unfortunately, I went to bed with it on my skin and by morning my face looked like I had a severe sunburn. Even plain water hurt for days until this "wore off." I followed the directions precisely, and did not use BHA with it. I am now using my BHA again and returning the Retinol.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, August 11, 2014

    Thanks for your review! It definitely sounds like this retinol product was too strong for you. Please feel free to contact us for help with a return or exchange; we'd be happy to recommend one of our other serums, with or without retinol.

    —Admin
  9. DIANE M.
    Reviewed on Sunday, August 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Got rid of milia
    • When Paula's Resist BHA 9 alone didn't work, I was about to go to the dermatologist to have the milia removed. Then I tried the 1% Retinol with the BHA 9 on top and the milia is almost completely gone. I couldn't be more pleased.

  10. Northstar5
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great even on sensitive skin
    • I had been using Paula's Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum for about six months before trying this 1% product. I was scared it would be really irritating but it absolutely was not at all. Not in the least. I just want to say that this may be because I was used to using retinol in weaker concentrations. The 1% is wonderful! It goes on smoothly and did not leave me the slightest bit red or itchy or flaking/peeling at all. I am tempted to use nightly but PC says to not do that, so don't. :-)

  11. Janice G.
    Reviewed on Friday, August 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Just what I've been looking for . . for years!
    • After turning 40 some years ago, I had to stop using Retin-A as my insurance deemed I was too old for acne products -- and Retin-A was deemed just an acne product. I could have purchased it outright, but it was far too expensive for me. I just purchased started using Clinical 1% Retinol treatment three days ago and am experiencing the same sort of peel that I had with Retin-A. I am delighted with these results!

  12. LAURA M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 07, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    So far thumbs up
    • I ordered a sample since my skin has definitely been drier and more sensitive lately. I did well with the sample and ordered the regular size. My skin naturally looks good for my age, but I do think it has improved. Pore size seems smaller. Initially I broke out, but those cleared and I am not experiencing any sensitivity. When I did start using it daily my face was starting to look red so I went back to every other day. Definitely start out slow and follow the instructions.

  13. Barbara D.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 07, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A wonderful product !
    • I LOVE all of Paula's products and this one is no exception . I used the 1 % Retinol according to Paula's instructions and I experienced neither redness nor peeling. Taking into consideration the fact that I have a very sensitive skin, that is saying a lot ! As a result of using the 1% Retinol, my skin is very smooth and very soft and I could not be any happier ! I ordered a sample of the product but, seeing what it does to my skin, I am ordering a full size today. Thank you Paula !

  14. Jessica C.
    Reviewed on Thursday, August 07, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not Strong Enough
    • Another product that I can honestly say I can't complain about. I am used to a higher concentration of Retinol as I was on Retin-A for years. I wanted a cheaper option so I tried this. No peeling, or tightness which I kind of expect from a Retinol in the beginning use. I think my face is too tough for it. I will finish it regardless because I haven't experienced any negative effects, but my search will continue for a cheaper, higher concentration of OTC Retinol.

  15. Kerry B.
    Reviewed on Monday, August 04, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    "Baby Feet" for the Face!
    • Anyone who's used the "Baby Feet" foot peel will understand...3 days after applying this retinol I experienced a thorough and complete light facial peel. I have tough skin so there wasn't any redness or ultra sensitivity involved, just a thin total skin peel. Took two days. It was as amazing a result as the Baby Feet peel!! Soft, smooth BABY FACE. So don't use this the first time just before a big event (i.e. wedding) where you'll be viewed up close. Start with sample size. Love the results

  16. JennT
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent product!
    • This product is the first non-perscription retinoid I have ever used that can truely replace my RX Tretinoin .05% cream. The risk of irritation (less really IS more!) is more than covered in the directions for use. I have whole heartedly recommeded Clinical 1% retinol (and DAILY USE of effective spf30 sunblock, of course!) to all of my friends & family (well, only the ones concerned with anti-aging and skin health/ appearance! LOL.)

  17. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, August 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    a must have for discoloration
    • This product works perfectly with Obagi's Clear #3 for discoloration. I've been using this routine for a month now and I am happy to see that my skin is almost an even tone now. I can't believe what I'm seeing as I've been battling discoloration for 2 years now. I will probably include a lower percentage retinol treatment for the nights that I'm not using this, and may also switch to Paula's 2% hydroquinone gel for maintenance once I'm out of the Obagi Clear.

  18. Fran L>
    Reviewed on Friday, August 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Warning
    • This is a great product and does what it is supposed to do. However be careful about having any facial hair waxing done. I had this done yesterday and my skin reacted with intense redness and burning. It is better today but still red and burns some. I was using this product on the occipital bone of my eyes and upper lip and that is the area I had waxed. I found some info with regard to prescription strength retinol and suggests that retinol and waxing should not be combined.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, August 01, 2014

    Thanks for your review! You raise a good point: An more active product like this should not be used the same day facial waxing was done. We will add that info to the product details.

    —Admin
  19. CHRIS
    Reviewed on Sunday, July 27, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Paula's best product hands down
    • I have benefitted from Paula's products for over 2 years, and I am finally compelled to write my first review. I have used the Retinol treatment for about 3 weeks and I can already see a difference in texture, a more even tone, and a more youthful appearance in general. I have used prescription Retin-A very minimally since starting Paula's products, so I took it slow on the 1% product as well. I use less than a pea sized amount only about 3 times per week mixed with Barrier Repair Moisturizer.

  20. Danielle C.
    Reviewed on Saturday, July 26, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Works but watch out for the peeling
    • I never had a problem with Paula's products before, but this one was potent. I was red and peeling for a week. After researching, this is actually a normal reaction to the retinol. It was similar to having severe sunburn on my face. I did suspended all my other lotions while using this product so I know it was this lotion that I reacted to. That being said, my pores and skin look amazing after a week of redness and peeling. I am actually going to try it again but just once a week.

  21. Maggie
    Reviewed on Saturday, July 26, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    good product but it won't last long
    • I love Paula's Choice Retinol 1 % with combination of BHA 2% I use them both every night within 1 week my skin peel a little and after a couple of days it get better and my pimple marks start to disappear as well as my tiny breakout start to dry fast, I can see my pores is shrinking and my face is soft to touch. My only suggestion to the product Retinol 1% please make it at least 2.6 or 3 ounces because it won't last that long and the price is not reasonable but over all I love it.

  22. Trish C.
    Reviewed on Friday, July 25, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Refined Texture, Prettier Pores
    • My slackish, 1/2 century, confused, melasma blighted skin is now smooth as a rose petal and pores appear smaller after 7 wks, alternating nightly with Resist 5% AHA. I had to switch to a richer moisturizer, & if I notice the slightest irritation, I back off for a night or 2. Paula has taught me to "listen" attentively before my skin goes into full blown revolt! Effective w/out the hassle of obtaining a Rx! Pls don't downrate this b/c it's strong or the pump fails. Just contact amazing Cust. Svc!

  23. Ginny P.
    Reviewed on Thursday, July 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Very nice!
    • Wow! Even after reading the info on this new retinol product and realizing it was about 10X stronger than any of Paula's other retinol products, I still wasn't ready for this! I applied a pea-sized amount to my whole face, and one to my neck. Within three days, I was peeling like crazy! I was only able to apply that amount once a week, so now I've backed off to mixing one pea-sized pump with the Resist retinol moisurizer, and applying that to my entire face and neck, twice a week. Great stuff!

  24. JESSICA L.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Love product but hate packaging
    • This product is amazing and I saw a real difference in my skin very quickly. I want to reorder - but the packaging is really bad. At least in the bottle I got. I can tell there's a lot of product left in the container, but the pump or something simply doesn't work to get it out. (I had a similar problem with another product.) I would buy this product forever if it came in a screw top bottle that I could access with a q-tip. ;-) As it is, it's way too expensive to buy to only get to use half of.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Thanks for your review! The pump for this packaging should dispense every last drop of product. There's a disc mechanism inside that "lifts" the product with each use, so the user is not left with excess product that won't dispense. It seems you have a faulty pump, and we'd be happy to supply a replacement product (please contact us). Sadly, the type of packaging you mentioned as being preferred wouldn't work for this formula, as it would easily expose the retinol to light and air, causing it to begin breaking down.

    —Admin
  25. Jody
    Reviewed on Monday, July 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Effective stuff- follow directions!
    • This is a spectacular product. I have used other retinol products in the past and none can touch the effectiveness of this one. After using for about a week (every other day), my pores are pretty much invisible, and my skin's clarity is better than it's been in a long time. As excited as you might be to see results from this product, you *must* follow the directions. I am now using it every other night and that's probably all I need. This is very potent stuff- don't overdo it!

Page of 4 Next »

What makes this product unique?
Combined with potent antioxidants, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is specially formulated to smooth and firm skin by helping to boost cell regeneration and stimulate collagen production. Its light, silky texture absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to refine pore size, reduce deep wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots—it can even help breakouts, too! Licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the irritation some people may get from products containing high amounts of retinol. You’ll be amazed at how much younger and radiant your skin will look and feel.

A consumer panel test showed that 92% of users preferred this retinol product over other, similar products they've used.

Who is this product for?
Those looking for a more potent product designed to preserve young skin and repair more advanced signs of aging, including: deep wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots. In addition, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment will help prevent blemishes and correct red marks from past breakouts.

Sources to support the claims made for the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2013, ePublication; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, May 2013, pages 533–540; March 2013, pages S42–S44; and January 2012, online; Pharmaceutical Research, February 2013, pages 538–551; Advances in Skin and Wound Care, May 2013, pages 224–229; Journal of Dermatological Science, April 2012, pages 51–59; Experimental Dermatology, July 2011, pages 572–576; International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2011, pages 62–69; British Journal of Dermatology, December 2010, pages 1,157–1,165; Bioscience, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Volume 9, 2008, pages 369–381; Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, October 2008, pages 2,589–2,597; and New England Journal of Medicine, May 1993, pages 1,438–1,443.

Key Ingredients: Salix alba extract, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, Arctium lappa, phytosterol, cetyl esters, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, retinol, tribehenin, Glycine soja sterols, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, Avena sativa, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, lecithin, dimethicone, laurdimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein, Glycyrrhiza glabra, ceramide 2, palmitoyl hexapeptide-12, tocopheryl acetate

Product Ingredients:

Water, Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Butylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Castor Isostearate Succinate (skin-conditioning agent), Glyceryl Stearate (emulsifier), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone thickener/texture enhancer), PEG-33 (binding agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Behenyl Alcohol (fatty alcohol thickener), Retinol (cell-communicating ingredient), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Ceramide 2 (skin-repairing ingredient), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (cell-communicating ingredients), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-repairing ingredient), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (antioxidant plant extracts/anti-irritants), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidant/skin-conditioning agent), Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Allantoin (anti-irritant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (antioxidant), Sorbitan Laurate (emulsifier), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester (anti-irritant), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tribehenin (emollient), Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin (skin conditioning agents),Pentylene Glycol (slip agent), PEG-100 Stearate (thickener), PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides (emollient), PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer (film-forming agent), PEG-10 Phytosterol (fatty acid-based thickener), PEG-8 Dimethicone (silicone-based skin-conditioning agent), PEG-14 (thickener), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (binding agent), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (silicone-based opacifying agent), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (slip agent), Arachidyl Glucoside (emulsifier), Sclerotium Gum (thickener) Arachidyl Alcohol (thickener), Benzoic Acid (preservative), Carbomer (gel-based thickener), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

DIRECTIONS: Apply a pea-sized amount after cleansing and toning, and then follow with your Paula's Choice serum and/or nighttime moisturizer. When first using the Clinical 1% Retinol, start with no more than three evenings per week, then gradually increase frequency to every other night and, finally, every evening as tolerated (measure how your skin responds). Avoid the lips, direct contact with the eye, and corners of the eyes. You may apply up to the orbital bone of the eye area.

May be applied at the same time as your AHA or BHA exfoliant, but pay attention to how your skin responds. If you notice signs of sensitivity, apply your AHA or BHA exfoliant in the morning and this treatment at night or reduce frequency of application of Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment.

Note: Some people may experience a delayed sensitized reaction to 1% retinol. Do not assume that if no reaction is seen after a few applications that you can apply this treatment more frequently. Pay close attention to how your skin responds and adjust usage accordingly.

If sensitization occurs (redness, flaking, tenderness, or drying of skin), reduce frequency of use or mix one pump of the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with your favorite Paula’s Choice serum or PM moisturizer. If sensitization persists, discontinue use. Protect skin daily with sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater, or layer sunscreens (moisturizer, foundation with sunscreen, and pressed powder with sunscreen) if they are all rated SPF 15 or greater (and greater is better).

Do not apply this treatment on the same day as facial waxing or sugaring. Doing so may increase the risk of an irritant response.

TIPS AND TROUBLESHOOTING:

  • Can be worn under or over your PM moisturizer.
  • May be combined with any prescription retinoid product, including Renova, Retin-A, Refissa, Differin, Tazorac, or Avita. Discontinue or reduce frequency of use if irritation develops or persists.
  • Despite the many benefits retinol has, there is no single “best” anti-aging ingredient for skin. The retinol in this product is combined with other anti-aging ingredients for optimal results. The antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients in this formula were chosen for their well-researched track records and history of being able to improve multiple signs of aging. We’ve also included potent anti-irritants to ensure compatibility with sensitive skin.
  • Remember, not everyone’s skin will be able to tolerate a high percentage of retinol, especially if you’re already using a prescription retinoid or other skincare products that contain retinol.

Detailed instructions on how/when to apply your Paula's Choice products can be found in our How to Put Together Your Own Skincare Routine article.

At what point in my skincare routine would I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

This nighttime treatment is best applied after cleansing and toning. If you use an AHA or BHA exfoliant, apply that first, then follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. If you use a skin-lightening product that would be applied next, followed by your serum and nighttime moisturizer.

If you are planning to use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with a prescription retinoid, apply the prescription retinoid after cleansing, toning, and exfoliating. Follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment and the rest of your skincare routine. Note that combining this product with a prescription retinoid increases the risk of side effects such as dryness, flaking, and sensitivity.

How does Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment differ from the other retinol products Paula’s Choice offers?

The most notable difference is that Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment contains a higher amount of retinol than our other products with retinol. It is formulated for those whose skin can tolerate prescription-strength retinol but want an over-the-counter alternative or whose skin has more advanced signs of sun damage, including deep wrinkles.

The percentage of retinol needed for efficacy is generally between 0.01%–1%, which is quite a range, but further proof of just how powerful retinol is! Below is the percentage of retinol in other Paula’s Choice products that contain this ingredient:
  • Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer: 0.089%
  • Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum: 0.1%
  • Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum: 0.01%
  • Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum: 0.03%
All of these products may be used with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment or on their own, as each treats skin to a beneficial range of anti-aging ingredients.

Can I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if I am using other Paula’s Choice products that contain retinol?

Yes, though you may wish to alternate rather than layer—this will depend on how your skin responds. You can also apply your usual retinol product (serum or moisturizer) all over your face and neck, then apply Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment to areas showing more advanced signs of aging: Crow’s feet around the eyes, laugh lines, expression lines, and dark spots.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment suitable for sensitive skin?

Yes, although of course it always depends on how skin reacts. Our fragrance-free formula contains several anti-irritants designed to minimize any discomfort those with sensitive skin may experience from using a stronger retinol treatment; however, if skin is very sensitive it’s best to apply this treatment less often, perhaps twice per week rather than every night.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment suitable for rosacea-affected skin?

Yes, although of course it always depends on how skin reacts. There’s research showing retinol can help reduce the inflammation that’s an underlying factor in rosacea.

Can I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if I have oily skin and breakouts?

Yes; in fact, the amount of retinol is akin to prescription-strength retinoids which are often prescribed by dermatologists to manage all types of acne. The silky-smooth finish won’t make oily skin look or feel greasy.

How does Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment compare to prescription retinoids?

This product contains retinol, which is weaker than prescription retinoids but, over time, produces comparable anti-aging and anti-acne results. A prescription retinoid may produce faster results, but it does so with the added risk of side effects like redness, flaking, and increased sensitivity.

A product with 1% retinol is more comparable to a prescription retinoid with 0.02 tretinoin (the active ingredient in Renova and Retin-A).

As with most well formulated anti-aging products, consistent use and daily sun protection will produce the best results.

Is it OK to use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with a product that contains hydroquinone, such as Resist Dark Spot Eraser?

Yes, this is fine. Apply the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment first, and follow with the skin-lightening product, either applied to areas of concern or all over the face.

Is it OK to use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with an anti-acne product that contains benzoyl peroxide?

Yes. For best results, apply the benzoyl peroxide product to breakout-prone areas, allow to dry, then follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment.

You may have read or heard that retinol and benzoyl peroxide cannot be used together for fear they will adversely affect each other’s stability.  However, what is often missing from these claims is any cited corroborative studies, and with good reason, because the scientific and medical research actually says the two ingredients can complement each other—which is good to know, whether you’re dealing with acne alone or the unwelcome mix of wrinkles plus breakouts! (Cutis 2009 & 2012, Journal of Drugs and Dermatology 2013).

Are there any products I shouldn’t combine with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

No, it can be used with any other skincare products. However, if you’re combining it with more “active” products such as AHAs, BHA, skin-lightening products, anti-acne products, other retinol or prescription retinoid or prescription anti-acne products, it’s important to pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust usage accordingly. You don’t want to tip the scale in favor of irritation!

How soon will I see results?

From the first use, you will see improved skin texture and radiance. Over the next few weeks, these improvements will continue and you will begin to see a reduction in breakouts, red marks from past breakouts, brown spots, deeper wrinkles, and loss of firmness. After three to four months of consistent use along with daily sun protection (every day, no exceptions) you will see dramatically younger-looking skin with a smooth texture and remarkably even skin tone.

Why should I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment instead of one of your other retinol products—and why should I use one of those other retinol products instead of Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

You should use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if you feel your current retinol product isn’t giving you the results you hoped for after several weeks to months of consistent use (along with daily sun protection, a key component of any anti-aging routine). Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is a more potent product designed to repair more advanced signs of aging.

You should consider using one of our other retinol products if you suspect your skin may react negatively to a stronger retinol product because attempts to use more potent retinol products (including prescription retinoids) haven’t been successful. Even then, you may still want to consider using Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment once or twice weekly, combined with your regular retinol product or used alone.

Is this the strongest retinol product I can buy over-the-counter?

No, there are a few companies selling over-the-counter products with higher amounts of retinol. Although those may seem intriguing, our in-house and external panel testing revealed that amounts of retinol above 1% came with a much higher likelihood of unwanted side effects such as redness, persistent flaking or peeling, and a sunburn-like sensation. Retinol is an active ingredient, and with any such ingredient you never want to tip the scale from benefits to irritation.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment safe for me to use while pregnant or nursing?

Due to the higher amount of retinol being closer to the strength of prescription retinoids (which are contraindicated for use while pregnant or breast feeding), we advise against such use unless OK’ed by your physician. If your physician does not provide a clear answer, it’s generally best to be cautious and refrain from use until you are no longer pregnant or breast feeding.

If I see great results after the first or second use, is it OK to begin applying Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment every night?

Because potential side effects from a high-strength retinol product may be delayed, we advise you to not apply this product nightly or every other night until you have been using it for 2–4 weeks with no signs of sensitivity (such as flaking, dryness, or redness). This is very important for those who’ve never used a high-strength or prescription retinoid product, as not everyone’s skin can tolerate stronger retinoids—and you never want to tip the scales in favor of irritation.

Remember: Only a pea-sized amount is needed for the entire face and neck. Using more than this per application will not provide better or faster results.

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