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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:

89 out of 100
(Based on 110 Reviews)
Page of 5 Next »
  1. April M.
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 19, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great product
    • I initially visited paulaschoice.com for her reviews of other product lines. When it was time for me to up my game from a 0.5 % retinol, I thought, why not at least try her product line before dropping big $$ at the medspa? So I tried the Clinical 1% retinol. WOW. I abide by the usual retinol caveats, and this product is making a noticeable difference in my 47 year old skin. My face is...dewy. I can't see those fine forehead lines. Thanks, Paula!!

  2. Karen M
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 15, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Wonderful product/use with caution.
    • This product will work for most of you if you follow the directions. I started using less than a pea size with serum every night. I did peel some, so I back off to 3 times a week. I think it's been 2 months now and I'm just now starting to see some forehead lines diminish. Oh be sure not to put under eyes, it will dry skin out.

  3. Jennifer K.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Great Product That Makes a Visible Difference!
    • I've been using the PC retinol serum in the pump for awhile but now that I'm in my 40's, I wanted something a little stronger for the lines around my eyes and mouth. This product is great! I've used other retinol products around 1% and wasn't able to tolerate them - the redness and sensitivity made me nuts. I had to increase my use of this gradually. It's been a month, and I now use this product 3-4 days a week It really works well. I've noticed my skin is definitely firmer. Highly recommend!

  4. Julie T.
    Reviewed on Monday, October 13, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Impressive!
    • It took a bit of time for my skin to become acustomed to the Clinical 1% Retinol, but the wait was worth it! My complexion is markedly more even. My smile lines are drastically dissipating. Deeper lines on my forehead are less prominent. Having had much success with Paula's Choice products, thus far, I'm stunned at the results I'm experiencing having added the Clinical 1% Retinol to my routine. I cannot believe the difference!

  5. Nancy P
    Reviewed on Sunday, October 12, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Most Effective Non-Prescription Retinoid
    • I use a prescription retinoid at night. However it's too strong for my neck and chest. That's where I love Paula's 1% Retinol Treatment. I started using it (neck and chest only) every third day, and now I use it six nights a week. I have some slight discolouration on my chest in particular -- even though I've been wearing sunscreen forever -- and this has really helped lessen it. It also just makes your skin look better I also use this at night on the backs of my hands -- to great effect!

  6. Sarah R.
    Reviewed on Friday, October 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Exceeded expecations
    • I don't typically write reviews (even though I love all of the PC products I've used), but this product far exceeded my expectations! I have been using it for about 3 weeks now, and, while it's too soon to notice a difference in my acne scars, it has worked wonders to clear up my whiteheads and blackheads! I use it every other day and alternate with my CeraVe PM lotion. I haven't had any issues with redness or peeling, even though I have sensitive skin. I'm so happy with the results so far.

  7. LH
    Reviewed on Thursday, October 09, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this product, worth it
    • After using over a month I do see an improvement in the texture of my skin, definitely does shrink large pores, particularly on my nose! This has boosted the results of the AHA lotion I use along with skin lightening treatment, and I wake up to an even brighter complexion than before. I did have an initial reaction for the first 3 wks. (flaking, redness) but no longer. I use the Resist Replenishing toner in conjunction with this, which helps calm/soothe the skin when using this potent product.

  8. Kaley
    Reviewed on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Smooth and soft
    • I'll start out by saying I'm in my mid-twenties with skin prone to burning and dryness from certain products/ingredients. I've been prescribed retinols since my teenage years for acne and post acne marks but they've always irritated my skin. I was hesitant to use this since I have not used retinols in almost 2 years however I'm pleasantly surprised. I apply it after the Resist 5% AHA and have had no burning or flaking. I do mix it with a fragrance free facial oil and my skin is responding well!

  9. PaulaT
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    Does what it says it does - good and bad
    • It really does fill in the lines and plump up the wrinkles so that they are barely visible - it's truly powerful. It's also really irritating if you put it on more that one day in a row, use it with an exfoliant, or apply a wee bit too much. You will flake and peel if you don't follow the directions, even if you've been using retinol products for years with no problems. At 47 I had definite worry lines between my brows, light creasing on my forehead and they're mostly gone now!

  10. Charlotte M
    Reviewed on Friday, September 26, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    great price!
    • I used rx retin-a for about 10 years with no problem. this stuff is really strong and i can't apply it directly to my skin. i mix it in with my night time moisturizer at least 3 times a week and it works wonderfully this way. i am very acne prone and this stuff, along with my other facial regimen, keeps me completely acne free.

  11. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 25, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    shed like a dog
    • I wanted to love this product, but I have experienced more trouble than benefit this product brings me. I love its smooth, non-fragrant, lotion-like texture. It lifted a few fine lines on my forehead, but it made me shedding crazily each time after using it. I know it's a proof that the product is working, but it totally turned my favorite make up to mud. Those dead skins fell between my hairs and on my jacket really made me look like I'm having a lot dandruff. Considering other retinol options.

  12. Angela B
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Are you freaking kidding me?
    • This product is ahh-mazing! I was skeptical and didn't want to pay the full price so I bought the trial size. Let me tell you this stuff is worth more than the full price! And let's be honest, beauty isn't free! I've only used it one time but in 24 hours I saw a 75% reduction of blackheads on my nose and my skin feels so much firmer. I'm 41 years old, very dry skin, no acne but do have some fine lines and a little bit of blackheads on my nose. Can't wait to see the fine lines disappear!

  13. TAMARA F.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Worth it's weight in gold...
    • I am very skeptical of non-Rx skincare products. But I sing the virtues of this treatment. It's the best product I've ever used. With daily use (I know, 3x week suggested, but my skin's tough...) for 5 wks, I've seen serious results. The medium-fine wrinkles on my forehead are invisible. The deeper creases at the comers of my mouth have softened somewhat - no easy feat. My face is glowing; I get compliments constantly, even after a 6-mile run. I'm 46 and getting hit on by 25-yr-olds. Nuff said.

  14. Pam E
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 21, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Best product EVER!
    • I've had trouble some past acne marks that just weren't going away with my 2% bha, bha 9, and hydroquinone lightner. So I decided to give this a whirl. With my experience I saw drastic results in 2 weeks using this 3 times a week. I can tell this also helps with minor breakouts forming because goes away quickly. I wish I would have taken before and after pictures...yeah.. this stuff is just that good and worth the price. Thank you Paula's Choice!

  15. LAURA W.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    Not for the eye area...
    • I am glad I only ordered a sample size of this product. I applied it very carefully and avoided the eye area completely. The next morning my eyes were itchy and red. So I waited a week and tried applying it again over a serum and again avoided the eye area completely. My eyes were red and itchy the next morning. Maybe I am allergic to an ingredient. I have never had a reaction like this before, so be careful with this product because it is strong. I wish this product worked for me.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Thanks for your review! We're sorry this product didn't work for you, and agree that you likely experienced an allergic reaction to one or more ingredients in this treatment. Please contact us to discuss a refund or exchange.

    —Admin
  16. Lori
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 14, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    This really does work!
    • I was going to take a before and after picture, but thought this is going to be a failure just like everything else I try. This is fantastic, my skin is clearer, wrinkles aren't as deep, and I need less makeup! I do have a suggestion for the bottle, a clear strip down the bottle would be great so we can see how much product is left and can replace it before it runs out.

  17. Lili
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Love this!
    • I've only been using this for less than 2 weeks but I LOVE it so far. I have been using it every night and have just started to get a little flaking but no irritation. My skin feels smooth and nourished in the morning. The consistency is moisturizing but not slippery or overly "silicony"...I love it. I can't speak to the long term improvements to my skin but so far i have definitely noticed my skin feeling more "youthful". Another great product!

  18. Holly C.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    So Sad
    • I really hate to leave a bad review but if you have break out prone skin……this stuff might be a problem!! When I first started using it I really did like it but after about a week my whole face was broken out with painful acne! Im starting to think my skin just can't handle Retinol! I didn't peel or have any other problems using this everyday until my face was a mess! Im sure if you don't have acne issues this product would be amazing!! Wish it had worked for me :(

  19. Cherl M.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 08, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Works great love it
    • I am 57 have oily, sensitive skin and large pores and fair skin! I love this my skin looks great. My wrinkles and pores look so much better and I have only used five times so far. I was able to use 3 nights in a row without in redness. I ordered the trail size but reordered the large size. It is a great price for 1%. I had tried Poetry in Lotion and Help me but had issue with both.

  20. LACEY M.
    Reviewed on Thursday, September 04, 2014
    20 out of 100
    • Rating
      Worst / 4
    Didn't work for my acne/oily skin
    • I used it sparingly as the directions suggest to let my skin adjust to it but it never did. I got tiny red pimples around my mouth and nose where I normally don't break out. It didn't seem to help at all but just gave me more acne. I hoped a cream formula like this Clinical Retinol treatment would be an improvement over the Resist Intensive Retinol Serum which is too heavy for me to use nightly, it makes me breakout too but not as bad as this Clinical one does. I will go back to the Resist.

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Friday, September 05, 2014

    Thanks for your comments! It's possible your skin is allergic to retinol, in which case the breakouts you're seeing are an irritant dermatitis. These can resemble acne breakouts, but are not the same thing. You may want to experiment with anti-aging treatments that do not contain retinol.

    —Admin
  21. jann
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 03, 2014
    40 out of 100
    • Rating
      Poor / 4
    Too strong for my skin
    • I bought a sample of this and read the instructions so I only used it once a week to begin with. I started with week one and my skin seemed to tolerate it. On week two my skin reacted with redness and soreness. By week three I had started to break out with whiteheads. I really wanted to try a retinol product but I guess my combo skin found it too strong. It was nice to try but I think I'll stick to my BHA. I'm glad that PC has samples to try out before committing to a full size.

  22. Elizabeth N.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
    60 out of 100
    • Rating
      Neutral / 4
    I really wanted to love this
    • I have used 1% tretinoin for a long time with no problems. I was surprised when I had so much difficulty tolerating this product, even when following the directions exactly. I ended up with peeling, burning and extreme irritation and gave it a chance up to 60 days. When I went back to the prescription product, I was fine again. I don't understand why this happened. it seems like such a wonderful product from all the other reviews. I truly love Paula's line overall!

    Customer Service Response
    Replied on: Wednesday, September 03, 2014

    Thanks for your review! We suspect this product was too strong for you. Also, just to clarify, tretinoin is not offered commercially in a 1% strength. You can get a 0.1% or 0.2% strength, or lesser amounts, but 1% tretinoin would be too potent.

    —Admin
  23. John H
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Overnight results
    • Outstanding addition to my routine. For anyone who has found the product a bit too strong, try diluting it with your nighttime moisturizer. I mix a pea size amount of the retinol treatment into my Resist Clear Skin Hydrator and I am able to tolerate nightly use and using this over my Resist 2% BHA. No irritation and noticeably brighter, smoother skin each morning.

  24. ginav
    Reviewed on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
    80 out of 100
    • Rating
      Good / 4
    re-review
    • I tried again in the eveneing. This time no red face. I am going to purchase based on my marionette lines looking so much better. They looked deep to the bone and I am not even 50 yet! After the treatment they looked 60-70 % filled.

  25. Alexandra M.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 01, 2014
    100 out of 100
    • Rating
      Best / 4
    Excellent retinol product and it's even affordable! (compared to other brands)
    • It took me 6 weeks to get my skin to accept this every day, but WOW, what a difference! My skin is looking and feeling thicker, and minor wrinkles and the "crepey" look is slowly disappearing. The milia are nearly gone, acne is clearing, and dark spots are fading. I hate to use the word miracle because it's so overused in cosmetic advertising, but seriously, this is a miracle product. I use it on the backs of my hands, forearms and neck/upper chest with the same great results.

Page of 5 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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