CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment
Based on 498 reviews
A potent and uniquely formulated retinol solution that hydrates and delivers remarkable anti-aging benefits with a controlled-release delivery system to allow for even, consistent absorption.

CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

Based on 498 reviews
A potent and uniquely formulated retinol solution that hydrates and delivers remarkable anti-aging benefits with a controlled-release delivery system to allow for even, consistent absorption.
  • Advanced hydrating complex absorbs quickly
  • Diminishes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines
  • Light lotion texture delivers powerful results
  • Use after cleansing, toning & exfoliating skin
Skin Types:
All Skin Types
Wrinkles, Anti-Aging
    1 oz
    Travel Size...
Why is it different?
Combined with potent antioxidants, CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment is a specially formulated light lotion that absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to enhance hydration and diminish the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tones. Licorice, oat extract and other soothing ingredients help to calm redness.
What does it do?
Goes to work immediately to visibly refine pore size and diminish the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and uneven skin tone. The light lotion formula is supplemented with nourishing licorice extract, oat extract and other soothing plant extracts to calm skin and ease redness. You’ll be amazed at how much younger-looking, firmer, and radiant your skin will look and feel.
How to use

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 amount after cleansing and toning. Carefully avoid the lips, eyes (including eyelids) and corners of the eyes. Can be used on the perimeter of the orbital bone if desired. To minimize irritation, try combining with 2-3 drops of Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster.

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 product 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 30 or greater.

Show details

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2016, issue 1, pages 49-57

Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, March 2015, issue 3, pages 271-280

Phytotherapy Research, August 2015, issue 8, pages 1117-1122

Skin Research and Technology, August 2013, issue 3, pages 291-298

Inflammopharmacology, October 2011, issue 5, pages 245-254

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2008, issue 4, pages 281-289

Indian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology, March-April 2012, issue 2, pages 142-145

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, issue 2, pages 107-129

Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, 2013, volume 2013, article 827248

Pharmacology and Physiology, March-April 2005, issue 2, pages 81-87

Dermato-Endocrinology, July 2012, issue 3, pages 253-258

Indian Dermatology Online Journal, April-June 2013, issue 2, pages 143-146

Product Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Dimethicone (skin-softening), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Butylene Glycol (hydrating), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Castor Isostearate Succinate (skin-softening ), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (texture enhancer), PEG-33 (stabilizer), Polysorbate 20 (texture enhancer), Behenyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), PEG-100 Stearate (texture enhancer), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (stabilizer), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (texture enhancer), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), Retinol (skin-restoring), Ceramide NG (skin-replenishing) , Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (skin-restoring), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hyaluronate (skin-replenishing ), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (antioxidant plant extracts/skin-soothing), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (licorice extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (oat extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Arctium Lappa Root Extract (burdock extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Salix Alba Bark Extract (willow bark extract/antioxidant/skin-soothing), Glycine Soja Sterols (antioxidant/skin-softening ), Lecithin (skin-restoring), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (antioxidant/skin-softening), Sorbitan Laurate (texture enhancer), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester (skin-soothing), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Hydroxyethylcellulose (texture enhancer), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (skin-restoring), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tribehenin (emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-softening), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin-softening), Pentylene Glycol (hydrating), PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides (emollient), PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer (stabilizer), PEG-10 Phytosterol (fatty acid-based emollient), PEG-8 Dimethicone (skin-softening), PEG-14 (texture enhancer), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Glucoside (texture enhancer), Arachidyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Sclerotium Gum (texture enhancer), Carbomer (gel-based texture enhancer), Phenoxyethanol (preservative), Benzoic Acid (preservative).

Ratings & Reviews



The day I purchased this product I had no idea that it would change my beauty regime right around. When I saw the difference in my combo skin (even tone, texture, firmness) I said to myself, "Hold cleanser, toner, moisturizer needs an upgrade just to Keep Up with this Wonderful product." I didn't experience irritation or peeling. when I'm applying my Paula's choice creams at night plus the retinol, I honestly just glance down at this product and Smile cause I remember when I first purchased it.


Bronx, NYC


Love, love, love!!!


This stuff is seriously good! I started using it every 3rd day initially, but was able to move forward to every other day, and then every day pretty quickly. I'm sure this is only because I've been using another retinol regularly for about the past year. I wouldn't recommend a new retinol user move to daily use as quickly as I did because you will likely experience a lot of irritation. As for me, I had some slight sensitivity around my eye area, but no redness or peeling. And my face is absolutely GLOWING. I'm 36 now, but throughout most of my 20's, I was an avid tanning bed user; I now have tons of freckles and sun damage on my face as a result. I never felt confident enough to go without makeup, but I feel like I may soon be able to. My skin already looks so much clearer and brighter, with a healthy, youthful glow that I haven't seen in ages. I don't have much in the way of wrinkles yet, so I can't speak to it's effectiveness there, but it definitely improves skin tone. For the last couple nights, I've used it in conjunction with the Azelaic Acid booster and that has vastly improved upon the already impressive results from the use of retinol alone. My skin is super smooth and soft and I couldn't be happier. Thanks for a great product!!


Annapolis, MD


I can't believe it took me so long to try!


I have combination skin and very rarely get an actual pimple, but have more clogged pores around my chin and a few every once in a while on my cheeks. I have tried everything- monthly facials, various peels, diet, changing my BC prescription.. nothing has worked. I've easily spent hundreds of dollars trying to get rid of the texture and flair ups. I finally thought to try retinol as it works from the bottom up. What a game changer! I've only used this product twice, but I used this product on Thursday and on Saturday and this morning I barely put any foundation or make up on. Since this is my first time with retinol, I read a ton of reviews and decided to use Herbivore's Emerald face oil (about 3 drops) and a pea size of the Retinol. I pat it on my face, focusing heavily on my chin and cheeks, and I am just amazed! I haven't had any peeling or burning, my skin is glowing in ways I have never seen before, and my texture is becoming more even. I will stay using this every other day or every 2 days for the first month so that I don't have any dryness or peeling, but I think the add moisture from the oil is what has saved me so far. It's very early in but I have to say I'm a believer so far!




Get it!


This stuff works. I thought I knew better than Paula and started out using it two nights in a row. First night nothing dramatic happened. So I applied it the next night too THAT'S when my skin peeled off. The next morning I was like what the heck! Should have listened to Paula. Nothing that wasn't fixable with some VERY light exfoliation and moisturizer but it was a bit shocking to look in the mirror in the morning let me tell you. I was molting like a snake. So! Follow the directions people! She's not kidding!


Macomb, MI




This retinol is wonderful! If I could afford the full size bottle I would get it! However, until that day I buy the travel size and use it once a week (or as spot treatment for acne). I have sensitive, dry, breakout-prone skin and this retinol smooths and brightens my skin.


Boston, MA


Will not go without this ever again


I am typically not a person that leaves reviews, but this one is worth reviewing!! This product is a game-changer. Before, I was using a retinol that was $110 for three months. This one is SO MUCH better and cheaper!!! Definitely worth the price. My skin is GLOWING and so smooth. It will go through phases where your skin peels (mine does this about every three weeks) but I just use more moisturizer. With this, I almost never wear face makeup, and if I do, it is very little. I have always struggled with breakouts and acne scarring, but this product is helping it so much!!




I would recommend this to others!


I struggled with redness and acne scars so I thought I'd give this product a try. I was skeptical at first so I just bought the travel size, but just that small tube did wonders. So of course when I ran out I bought the normal size of this product and my skin has never looked better.


Cuba, MO




I bought the sample size a month ago and even though it takes about 3 months for results to show, I see a difference in my skin already. I'm hoping that in 3 months or more I see a reduction in the wrinkles around my mouth. I started out slow (every other night) and now I use it every night with my usual AHA routine and so far this product has not irritated my skin or caused redness. I understand retinol takes awhile before you see any results, but so far I am happy with this product and will continue to use it regularly.


Jersey Shore


Best OTC Retinol on the market!


This has been my go to, holy grail retinol product for about 3 years. I have oily, acne prone, sensitive skin which I'm sure you can imagine comes with complications. PC products are skin care super stars. It took me some time, some, trial and error but now I have the perfect routine that works for me and this retinol is essential to that. It is rich but it absorbs quickly and has never caused blocked pores or breakouts. I suggest if you have oily skin to apply in very, very small amounts in patting motions. Instead of rubbing the product in, use your ring finger to pat and again use a very small amount for each section of your face. I apply this under my eyes and everywhere with no irritation. When originally applying for the first time, if I remember correctly I used it once every 2 days then graduated the amount on a bi-weekly basis. I apply it every night now but only bc MY SKIN CAN TOLERATE that frequency. PC just released a retinol booster and I'm buying that today just bc I'm curious as to how it works and what the differences are if any. I also want to see if any improvement happens. All in all PC's Clinical 1% retinol is worth your time and worth trying.


Mobile, Alabama


My first retinol experience


I'm 27 and just recently started to up my skincare game. I have been a smoker for half my life so my skin isn't as youthful as should be at my age. Anyway, this is more of a first impression review since I have only used it twice. Definitely mix with half parts lotion if is your first time because my skin flaked off even with diluting it. At first I regretted using it because my skin was so sensitive and I couldn't use any active ingredients or acids on my it for 3 days.I also looked a bit sunburnt. But after the initial sensitivity went down I noticed how much my skin was glowing. My main concerns are textured skin and fine lines. It hasn't helped the lines much yet but my skin is really smooth. My pores are smaller. This is the first time I have used a skincare product that actually delivered really noticeable results so fast. My advice would be to spend the $11 for the trial size. It's super tiny but you don't need a lot in the beginning anyway. It also is still in a safe pump container. Just a super tiny one. I just wish all of Paula's products were available in the travel size.


Baltimore, MD


CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

4.3 498