13 Best Retinol Body Lotions of 2024 for Firmer, Smoother Skin

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Editor’s tip: For those who apply products with abandon, you can get the formula jumbo size 13.5 fl oz. (compared to his 8 fl oz in the original tub).

Main ingredients: Retinyl palmitate, argan oil, pink algae | Target audience: Those who prefer scented options

What are the benefits of retinol body lotion?

Retinol body lotions can help address a variety of skin care issues, the most common of which are signs of aging. “As we age, collagen production naturally declines, which causes skin laxity, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Dr. Yadav. “Retinol stimulates the skin’s fibroblasts, which are the cells that produce collagen, and helps create firmer skin.” Dr. Yadav says it can help improve sagging and flaky skin on the arms and legs.

In addition to eliminating wrinkles, retinol also helps prevent acne and pimples on the body by balancing sebum production and promoting faster cell turnover. “Excess oil and dead skin cells can contribute to acne formation, but retinol’s ability to remove dead skin cells and regulate oil production makes pores less clogged.” Dr. Yadav explains.

Finally, if you’re dealing with discoloration or age spots, as you might imagine, retinol can help. “Retinol is known as a tyrosinase inhibitor, an enzyme in the body that triggers the production of melanin, the pigment that determines skin color,” says Dr. Yadav. “Sun exposure, age, and skin damage (such as age spots or scars) can cause hyperpigmentation.” Retinol can help reduce hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots on the shoulders or darkening of the skin in areas such as the armpits and elbows. It helps combat this process by diluting existing discoloration.

When and how should I use retinol body lotion?

While most retinol body lotions tend to be milder (lower concentration of retinol) than face treatments, it’s best to start slow, especially if you have sensitive skin. “Retinol can be a bit irritating, so we recommend applying it once a week for a few weeks at first,” she says. “Once you’re sure your skin can tolerate it, increase the frequency of application and follow the same method until you’re applying it daily.”

Similar to retinol used on the face, retinol in body lotions can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it’s best to use it at night. (Although it’s almost obvious at this point, it’s worth repeating that you should also apply sunscreen to your body during the day to protect your skin from damage. After all, sun damage is something we That’s what many of us are trying to correct with retinol, says Dr. Yadav.)

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