The use of retinol on skincare is proven to be an effective treatment for reducing ageing symptoms. However, according to Healthline, it might come with potential side effects like dryness, redness, and itchiness on the skin. These side effects might improve over time, and that’s why new users should take a slow-start approach when using retinol to build up a tolerance before using it as a daily skincare routine. Another recommended solution to reduce the side effects is to apply the retinol 30 minutes after you wash your face. With an extensive variety of retinol skincare available in the market, which then is the best retinol in Malaysia? In our Best of Beauty series, we have curated the latest 10 Best Retinols in Malaysia, providing quality recommendations to suit your budget and lifestyle. For the ultimate beauty guides, also check out our best moisturizer, vitamin C serum, and facial cleanser recommendations!
This article was last updated on 10 January 2022
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10 Best Retinols in Malaysia
Despite its known effectivity at treating the skin ageing problems, retinols are very sensitive to light and air. A simple bad handling of a skincare product with retinol might reduce its effectivity, but the Elizabeth Arden found the solution with its latest Retinol Ceramide Capsules. Like its name suggests, this serum comes in a single airtight capsule form to keep the potency of every application, and is proven to be 76% more effective than un-encapsulated retinols. In other words, you’ll also always apply just the right amount of retinol, and can always use it when you’re on the go.
Featured in Vogue and Cosmopolitan as the best retinol serum in 2021, this luxurious, lightweight retinol is appraised for its wrinkle-smoother vigour and gives your skin a smoother texture after a month of application. Furthermore, it also has the added benefits of ceramides as a moisture-booster, which can help protect the dryness side effects often associated with retinol application. And for those who care of our earth, and i am sure you do, you’ll be happy to hear that every capsule of Elizabeth Arden is fully biodegradable.
Why buy this:
- Efficient capsule packaging
- Lightweight texture
- Moisture booster
- Biodegradable packaging
For new users
As dermatologists recommend to take a slow approach when start using retinols, it’s also wise to use a lower concentration of retinol if you’re just started. In that case, we recommend using the Ordinary 0.2% Retinol for your starting point. Containing only 0.2% of pure retinol in a hydrating plant-derived squalane, this retinol is safe for new users while still works effectively on reducing the skin ageing appearances from fine lines to pigment problem. In addition, this retinol is also a vegan product, water-free, alcohol-free and silicone-free, which claims its place as the best beginner retinol in Expert Reviews.
Once you develop tolerance with the lower concentration, you might to keep it as your daily routine or move to stronger formulas with 0.5% or 1% of retinols from The Ordinary to tackle deep line and wrinkles or any forms of skin damage.
Why buy this:
- Lower concentration of retinol
- Reduce ageing symptoms
- Vegan product
Best face oil
If face oil is a part of your skincare routine, you might want to include this Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil. It is multipurpose, containing retinol to reduce the signs of premature skin ageing like wrinkles and pigmentation and 2% Salicylic Acid to cure the occuring breakout and blackheads, which gives the added benefits for acne-prone skin. The formula is slowly absorbing and applied overnight so you can wake up with renewed skin with minimal irritation at the next morning.
Another good thing is the fact it’s a face oil, which means it contains natural oils like Argan, Rosehip Seed, and Golden Jojoba Oils. Not only these ingredients act as potent antioxidants, it also helps to reduce and prevent the side effects of retinol like flakiness, redness, and dryness. With all these benefits and the fact that it’s also a vegan and cruelty-free skincare product, Byrdie mentioned as one of their best retinols in 2021.
Why buy this:
- Reduce wrinkles and fight breakouts
- Good for acne-prone skin
- Rich of antioxidants
- Reduced side effects of retinol
For acne-prone skin
The unpredictability of acne-prone skin is infuriating. Without all the wrong reasons, your beautiful skin can suddenly turn to have breakouts with acne all over your face, not to mention it’s often occurred in important occasions. If you’ve experienced that, the Cosmedix Clarity Skin-Clarifying Serum can be an ultimate solution.
Appraised as the best retinol skincare for acne by Byrdie, this serum combines L-retinol A with Salicylic Acid that not only can treat ageing symptoms, but also help exfoliate congested skin and clarify clogged pores that can cause breakouts and blemishes, while still maintaining your skin moisture optimal balance. Even better, it also contains magical herbs like Willowherb, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera for soothing effects and balances skin oil production – smoother, calmer breakout-free skin is coming!
Why buy this:
- Anti-acne retinol serum
- Moisturizing skin
- Contains Willowherb, Tea Tree Oil & Aloe Vera for soothing effect
- Balances oil production on skin
For deep wrinkles
It can be maddening when skin starts showing deep noticeable lines and wrinkles, but sometimes all you need is a routine 3-minute application of the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer. While most retinols are applied at night, this moisturizer retinol can be applied in daytime to help moisturize and renew the look of your skin throughout the day, as well as smoothing the wrinkle lines and hides any ageing spots.
Combining the accelerating formula of Retinol SA, Glucose Complex, this retinol promises to fade the look of your stubborn wrinkles in just 1 week, while the Hyaluronic acid keeps your skin moisturizes for the whole day. In addition, it’s also brimming broad-spectrum SPF 30 to protect your skin from sun and other environmental influences.
Highly raved among the dermatologists and beauty influencers, it is mentioned as the best day cream retinol by Byrdie, and one of the best anti-ageing skincare by Allure, CNN Edition, and Mirror. It’s not a surprised though, considering the retinol moisturizer is affordable, yet offering the result of more expensive, high-end skincare. Plus, the one week result isn’t just a gimmick!
Why buy this:
- Smoothen the look of deep wrinkles in just 1 week
- SPF 30 for sun protection
Best body lotion
While most retinols skincare are made for face skin treatment, Paula’s Choice takes a revolutionary approach by using retinol for body lotion. Aside from containing 0.1% of retinol to firm wrinkles and combat skin damage and pigmentation, this lotion also has the added benefits of Shea Butter to super-hydrate dry skin and non-fragrant Primrose Oil to soothe and smoothen your skin surface. Besides that, the rich antioxidant in Shea Butter also support the function of retinol to treat your ageing skin.
Featured in Brides and Byrdie as one of the best body lotion retinols in 2021, this Paula’s Choice body lotion is also applicable on your face and around the eyes too, and can be added as the moisturiser step in your night skincare routine.
Why buy this:
- For body application
- With Shea Butter to hydrates your skin
- Smoothen the skin surface
- Treat ageing skin
Boosting overnight skin-repairing process
Giving yourself enough sleep is the best natural skin-repairing process, and it’s even better when you aid it with Boost Lab Retinol Night Renewal Serum. The latest Gold Standard retinol and granactive retinoids boosts the skin repairing process, while the organic Aloe Vera and Bisabolol acts as potent moisturizer and cleanser to hydrates your skin and treat breakouts. Free of oil, sulphates, parabens, fragrances, this night serum retinol is great for oily and sensitive skin.
Why buy this:
- For night time use
- Reducing skin damage and pigmentation
- Hydrating skin with organic Aloe Vera
- Deep cleansing
For premature skin-ageing
If you’ve experienced ageing symptoms in your late 20s, this Avoskin Miraculous Retinol Series is a great solution. Formulated with Peptide and Retinol Actosome, it works by triggering natural collagen production in your skin, stimulate regeneration of new skin cells, while offering 50% lower risk of irritation. After regular use, you’ll see improvement on your skin like less smooth lines and better skin elasticity.
If your skin is very sensitive, you’ll also be happy to hear that it also contains Natural Extracts like Camellia Sinnensin, Raspberry, and Pomegranate. These ingredients are helpful to tackle breakouts, while hydrates and protects your skin from environmental day the next day. Be note that this toner is only for night application.
Why buy this:
- 50% lower of irritation
- Triggering natural collagen production in skin
- Stimulate regeneration of new skin cells
The Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Moisturizer is our favourite drug store retinol. Easy to find and affordable, it’s a great solution for young and mature skin to treat ageing symptom while you sleep. It’s formulated with the blend of retinol and niacinamide that together help stimulates your skin’s collagen production and treat uneven skin tone while giving the hydration your skin needs for the next 24 hour. Wake up with plumper, younger-looking skin!
Why buy this:
- Affordable and easy to find
- Renews skin as you sleep
- Hydration effects to the next 24 hours
- Deep penetration into the skin
For around-the-eyes skin
Described by Byrdie board-certified dermatologist as a very moisturizing formula, the Olay Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment can rejuvenate your around-the-eyes skin. Like the previous Olay moisturizer, this eye cream is brimming with Retinol and Vitamin B3 to speed up your skin cell reproduction to reveal newer, brighter skin with minimized wrinkles and lines. Meanwhile, Peptides works to reduce skin irritation while firming your skin. This eye cream is claimed by many to give significant effects after four weeks of use.
Why buy this:
- Highly moisturizing
- Remove fine lines and pigmentation
Which is the best brand for retinols in Malaysia?
Dermatologists recommend introducing retinol to your skin with a slow approach. However, some retinol products are of better quality than others, which offer faster efficiency with less risk of side effects. For this, we recommend considering brands like Elizabeth Arden, The Ordinary, and Dermalogica.
Where to buy a retinol in Malaysia?
You used to only be able to buy a retinol in Malaysia in retail stores, but now you can purchase them online for the ultimate convenience and even enjoy discounted prices! Lazada and Shopee are my go-to for beauty and skincare products. It is also a great place to compare the price of retinols in Malaysia.
We hope that our guide on the 10 Best Retinols in Malaysia will help you to buy the best retinol in Malaysia. Do also read our other buying guides too. Please do share this along with your friends if you have found this useful. Do look forward to more buying guides that we will be releasing soon!
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