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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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Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

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Customer Ratings:

88 out of 100
(Based on 189 Reviews)
Page of 8 Next »
  1. Iris H.
    Reviewed on Friday, April 17, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    I give up
    • I spent over 6 months trying to get this to work, but still it dries and irritates my skin like no other. I have used prescription Tretinoin before up to 0.1%. Thought this would give similar results with a cheaper price tag and less side effects. I eased into this as slowly as I could, started with once a week to twice to every two days and so on. Just can't get used to it. It leaves my skin looking dull, dry and I end up with more wrinkles than I started with. So disappointed!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, April 17, 2015

    How sad! We're sorry this didn't work well for you. Please contact us to discuss a return or exchange, as we have other retinol products that may be more compatible with your skin and the rest of your routine.

    —Admin
  2. Alice N.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    It's cheaper and it works! Try the sample first if you're hesitant
    • I used prescription Differin to manage my acne for a long time but I wanted something cheaper. My Derm said to look for a product with 1% retinol. I liked paula's choice products and the extra anti-aging ingredients couldn't hurt. I finished the sample and its kept my acne controlled just as well as my Rx. quick tip: I mixed this with jojoba oil and applied every other night, now nightly. Jojoba oil is similar to our skins oil so it doesn't make acne worse and its only $4 at Trader Joe's!

  3. Brittney S.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    amazing product
    • I've been using is product everyday for the past week with no peeling, dryness or irritation. It's clearing the clogged pores I have and my skin is so soft and smooth. I mix 1 pump with a few drops of rosehip oil. I also notice my skin is a little less oily which is great. This serum may seem pricey bit its not it has great ingredients and will last awhile. Definitely worth it.

  4. Ann K.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this Product
    • I have seen a huge improvement after using this product. I'm in my 40's with fair skin and have pink/purple spots on my cheeks from acne. This retinol treatment helped to lighten the spots and my skin is super soft. My skin is oily/combination and I haven't had any peeling and I use a small amount every night. I only use Paula's Choice products on my face: cleanser, toner, treatment, moisturizer, makeup, and lips! I love how PC offers samples, it helped me find the right products for my skin.

  5. Dara M.
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 11, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best Retinol I've Ever Used
    • This is the first Retinol product I've used that doesn't make me peel like crazy yet is still effective. I've tried prescriptions and otc products but all of the prescriptions caused massive peeling & irritation & the otc products did the same or nothing at all; some even worsened my breakouts. I have oily, acne-prone skin which is showing the first signs of aging. I hate having to worry about both at the same time but this product takes care of them.

  6. Rosa O.
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 11, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Disappointed
    • I'm so disappointed because this was a splurge I had to save up for, and ended up having a bad reaction: bumpy, uneven, angry looking skin. I started very, very gradually and patiently, and really tried to build up my tolerance. It took a couple of months before I was at the point of using it daily. I just hated the way it made my skin look. When I stopped using it, my skin returned to normal. So sad about this. :(

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, April 13, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  7. Laura
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 11, 2015
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Good thus far
    • I have sensitive skin, but my main issue is contact dermatitis/ungodly stinging brought on by specific ingredients. Sadly that keeps me from using some of PC's other products, but this luckily has none of my triggers. I use it only 1x/week and will stick to that for a while. I notice some peeling 1-2 days after use, but otherwise my tone appears more even and PIH fading faster which is impressive. No irritation or breakouts, so I will be interested to see what the long-term benefits will be.

  8. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 08, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Thank you Paula!
    • I really, really adore all Paula's treatments. Unfortunately I have never had any luck with Paula's moisturizers as they are rather dry or pile on my skin, but the treatments are the best! And this one... where can I start? Just to make the story short, it exceeded my expectations 100 times and more! THANK YOU!!! Please never stop making this one or any of your other treatment products including exfoliating treatments . But the last one is a separate subject for another great review!

  9. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 08, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Similar to retinoids
    • In the past I used MicroRetinA and Tazorac to help with adult acne, melasma, and wrinkles. Fast forward several years of not having these retinoids in my arsenal anymore, I decided to purchase this instead. I find it to work similar to the retinoids except not as aggressive. I can only use it 3x/wk otherwise the peeling gets a little out of control. I also use Clarisonic Mia brush (a little miracle tool) so I dont know if the retinol is more effective because of it. I limit the Mia to 3x/wk

  10. Erika L
    Reviewed on Monday, April 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Thank you.
    • I wanted to take the time to write a review on this product. I had been suffering from adult acne since I was 19 yrs old, I'm now 25. I tried a lot of products w/ salicylic acid & B.P, nothing cleared up my skin, until I tried this product. It stopped my break outs, I was getting acne every week on my cheeks/chin, after trying this only 1 time it stopped my break outs. I'm very grateful for the invention of this product & my skin is finally starting to look like when I was in my teens. Thank you

  11. Katie C.
    Reviewed on Monday, April 06, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Holy Grail Product
    • I've been using Paula's Choice products for a little under a year, and can truly vouch for the quality and price! The Clinical 1% Retinol has been the missing piece for my skin. I've tried almost all of the BHA/AHA variations, but this is what my skin needed! I started off as recommended, a small amount mixed with my regular nighttime moisturizer every other evening, for about a week. The next week I went ahead and tried using the Retinol alone, with almost no redness or flaking. Very impressed!

  12. Evelyn B.
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 04, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Extremely effective, but respect it's strength!
    • I used this for three days in a row when I first received it. My face became totally raw, bright red, weeping, cracked, dried out disaster a few days later. It took a month and a half to get back to normal, but I looked ten years younger after it cleared. I was terrified and didn't try it again until I mixed it with the Resist Oil Booster. I can now apply it every other night and my wrinkles look noticeably better with every use, but do heed the warnings regarding it's potency!

  13. Jacqueline T.
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 02, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    AMAZING!
    • Love this product! I experienced only slight dryness in the first few applications, which I spaced out 3 days appart and now 3 weeks later I am using the treatment every night with no problem at all. I actually look forward to my nightly skincare routine and even more to waking up with healthier younger looking skin every morning.

  14. Veronica D.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    LOVE
    • WOW!!! this stuff is a hardcore miracle worker... I was worried about sensitivity issues but didn't really have any, mixing this in with another PC serum then putting on moisturizer every other night is perfect. The 2% BHA liquid has done a lot for my skin but there were still blackheads on my nose as well as these odd stubborn clogged pores that never come to a head... the Retinol has made HUGE improvements for issues like these, and has helped prevent acne breakouts as well. My skin glows!

  15. Aneta K.
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 29, 2015
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    So disappointed
    • I've been using this for a month, my skin peels and it reduced my black heads it looks old, unhealthy, grey and tired. There is something in that serum that makes me skin look really bad. It didn't shrink my pores, it cleared them of blackheads but left them huge and open and my skin texture is horrid, my skin looks thick and my pores are enlarged.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 30, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  16. ELISA M.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 27, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works!
    • This treatment really works. I had a major break out when I first started using it, but cut back my use and started gradually and have not had any issues since. I have been using for just over six months and notice my skin has improved significantly. I have less wrinkles around my eyes and forehead and my makeup goes on so beautifully. (in my early 40's)

  17. Julia N.
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 19, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I am so glad I found this!
    • I couldn't believe how nice this felt in combination with the oil. My skin just loves it! It gets absorbed completely and I never have any adverse effects. I feel my skin is getting firmer and more even toned already even though I only used it for a couple of months (not every day though). I started out slow because I really didn't want to have a reaction to this. I used it only twice a week for the first couple of weeks; now I am using it every other day and I love it. I highly recommend it!

  18. Julia H
    Reviewed on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    HG
    • I got the trial with the trial Oil Booster, I don't think my skin has ever looked better. I'm in my mid-20s and struggle with acne and dry skin with an uneven complexion. After one use two large and painful spots were almost completely annihilated. Five uses and my skin tone is more consistent, acne is minimal and not as painful, and the texture of my skin is vastly improved. I feel like I could leave the house without makeup and not hide from other people. No negative side effects so far.

  19. Peggy R.
    Reviewed on Monday, March 16, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    I love this product
    • I have use this skin treatment for just 3 days and have already seen a great improvement in my skin tone. Its already become firmer and the wrinkles around my mouth have dramatically improved. My only thought when first seeing the product is the packaging. Why have the product in such a superior package and give just one ounce of treatment ? I and I think most people would rather have more of the product (2 0z.) in just a simple jar. This product is great and will sell itself :)

  20. Francie
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 15, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    A++
    • THIS STUFF IS POWERFUL. I started using Paula's Choice 5 years ago to help with my very complicated and breakout-prone skin. PC products got my skin to about 80% perfect, I still had a breakout about every six weeks or so. The Clinical retinol has been the magic product to get me that last 20%. My skin has been clear ever since I started using this in October. It was the final oomph my routine needed. I love this stuff!

  21. TERESE L.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 13, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best treatment
    • This is the best skin care product I have ever used. I followed the instructions and started out using it once every other day. I didn't experience any irritation, so moved to using it every night. My skin is clear, smooth, glowing, bright... everything I could ask for. After seeing what this did for my skin in just a few months, I am convinced that every woman should be using a retinoid based product like this one.

  22. Lucia
    Reviewed on Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Effective
    • I use this every other night over the PC Oil. The oil buffers the retinol and allows the pea-sized amount I use to spread easily. I am noticing that my skin is a lot smoother on this regimen. Due to the potency of this retinol I have stopped any other PC products that also contain retinol and this is working well. I am 53 and appreciate having a product that is so effective at encouraging cell turnover.

  23. jen
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 07, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    great product
    • My skin used to be really bad. Huge pores, oily, blackheads. Started this, it was rough for nearly two weeks. Flaky, peeling skin. But then, finally the skin I've always wanted. I still have pores, visible, but they are much smaller. Blackheads reduced, 2% BHA did not work on those. I were less makeup, with less touch ups throughout the day. I typically take a week or two off, then start again. Will never be without if I can afford it.

  24. Angela C.
    Reviewed on Friday, March 06, 2015
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Tried, disappointed
    • I wanted this product to work for me but it just does not. I used after getting accustomed to the resist with retinol moisturizer, thinking that since my skin has been responding well that I could ramp up the retinol %. Unfortunately, every time I use this I break out on my sensitive skin areas: on my nose and upper/outer lip area. And I have never had acne or been prone to breakouts! Sorry to have to give a bad review, however if you have pale, dry-ish, thinner skin, order the sample first

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Monday, March 09, 2015

    Hello, and thank you for sharing your experience with us - we're sorry to hear this didn't work as expected for you! Please contact a member of our Customer Care team, who can assist you with a possible exchange or refund.

    —Paula's Choice Research Team
  25. KK
    Reviewed on Thursday, March 05, 2015
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great under makeup!
    • I used to use Retin-A Micro gel on my nose and cheeks (for pores) in the morning, but I almost always had to then wipe it off before putting on makeup, no matter how long I waited or how little I used. When I received this as a sample, I tried it instead, and it works wonderfully under makeup. I've never seen any results from my years of using prescription R-A Micro, despite all the studies, but for some reason this product has made my pores look better already!

Page of 8 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 NS, 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: Limit initial use to three times per week; gradually increase frequency to every other night, then finally each evening as tolerated. Apply a pea-sized amount after cleansing and/or toning. Carefully avoid the lips, eyes and corners of the eyes. Can be used on the perimeter of the orbital bone if desired. Do not apply to eyelids. To minimize irritation, try combining with 2-3 drops of Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster.

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! For more on percentages of retinol in Paula’s Choice products, see our article Which Strength of Retinol Do I Need?

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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