6 Best Retinol Products for Men in 2022: Is Retinol the GOAT of Skincare?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Geologie and contains affiliate links. Learn more.

by  David Martin | Last Updated: 

Aging isn’t fun. We get older, our responsibilities increase, and to make matters worse, we start to see signs of aging in the form of wrinkles, crow’s feet, and dark eye circles.

Lucky for us, there are ways to mitigate and reverse these changes to your skin and it starts with retinol. In this article, we take a look at the six best retinol products for men on the market this year so you can reclaim the skin of your youth.

Best Overall
  • Formulated with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and retinol to form the holy trinity of skincare ingredients, which are proven to have the best results on fine lines and wrinkles
  • The potent dosage of retinol ensures you get the full benefit of retinol usage
  • Inexpensive considering the dosage of retinol, quality of ingredients, and volume of product
  • Get 70% OFF first trial purchase with code TAM70
Best Budget Option
  • Affordable option if you want to dabble with a retinol product
  • Made with sodium hyaluronate and peptides to smooth the skin and wrinkles
  • Formulated as a serum, which allows it to penetrate deep through the layers of skin
Most Personalized
  • Personalized skincare products that take into account your age, climate of the area you live in, and specific skincare concerns you’d like to treat
  • Dosage of retinol in your products depends on how concerned you are with treating fine lines and wrinkles
  • Products are created with other high-quality ingredients, like Vitamin C and niacinamide to make your skin as healthy as possible
Best Dermatologist-Recommended
  • Retinol serum penetrates deeply through the layers of skin and moisturizes to restore the skin’s protective barrier
  • Lightweight serum that applies easily and without feeling greasy
  • CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist recommended brand, which ensures that you’re using a quality product
Best for All Skin Types
  • Lightweight cream that is great for oily, dry, and all other skin types
  • Proven to reduce visible wrinkles by 58% and improve skin texture by 54%
  • Fragrance and silicone-free, which is great if you have sensitive skin
Best Eye Cream
  • Gentle formulation that is appropriate for the sensitive under eye skin
  • Also made with hyaluronic acid and peptides to firm and lift the skin around your eyes
  • Helps to lighten dark eye circles, which gives a more youthful appearance
  • Get 70% OFF first trial purchase with code TAM70

The term GOAT (Greatest of All Time) gets a lot of traffic these days. 

Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Mohamed Ali, and Michael Jordan claim these titles with ease, and as I thought about this while inspecting the canyon of a wrinkle streaking across my forehead I wondered, “What is the GOAT of skincare ingredients?”

Many will squabble for the title of GOAT in their respective categories, but when it comes to skincare ingredients the answer is undisputed: retinol. 

Why? Because of its versatile use cases. 

Tired of seeing your fine lines and wrinkles? Use retinol.

Want your skin to look more full and youthful? Use retinol. 

Think you’ll never be free of your acne and acne scarring? You know where I’m going here.

This is all well and good, but if you’re like me you’d rather not just subject your face to experimenting with random, internet-recommended chemicals. 

This begs the question, what is retinol?

Retinol for Men: What Is It and Why Should You Use It?

Black man using Geologie Repairing Night Cream
Geologie 0.2% Retinol Night Cream

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that’s suitable for use on skin. This group of compounds derived from Vitamin A and appropriate for skin use is classified by the term “retinoid”, which you’ll see throughout this article.

So, how does the GOAT of skincare ingredients earn its reputation? 

On application, retinol penetrates through the first layer of skin and down to the dermis, the middle layer of skin. It then promotes the production of elastin and collagen, which serves to plump the skin and restore a youthful fullness. In many cases, this fills in fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing the skin and giving a more even texture. 

A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that after 12 weeks of retinoid application among its participants, fine wrinkles and other signs of aging showed significant improvement. 

12 weeks sounds like a long time, but skincare solutions are more about consistent application rather than single-instance fixes. Add retinol to your skincare routine and lock in those long term benefits.

With a good understanding of why retinol is the GOAT of skincare ingredients, it’s time to look at the best retinol products for men. 

6 Best Retinol Products for Men

Best Overall: Geologie 0.2% Retinol Night Cream 

Our top pick goes to Geologie’s 0.2% Retinol Night Cream. Formulated as a moisturizer rather than a serum, the Night Cream is designed to be used after washing your face in the evening so that it can administer healthy benefits to your skin while you sleep. 

The ‘0.2%’ describes the dosage of retinol in the product. While 0.2% doesn’t sound like much this is actually a high dosage, as retinol is an exceptionally potent skincare ingredient. 

Geologie’s Night Cream also contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, two other major players in the best skincare ingredients lineup. Niacinamide helps to reduce the signs of fine lines and wrinkles while soothing the skin, and hyaluronic acid helps to even the skin complexion and deeply moisturize. 

Model Holding Geologie Retinol Night Cream

All three of these ingredients in one product pack a serious punch that earns the Night Cream our top spot for men’s retinol product. 

The Night Cream applies easily and absorbs quickly, which I appreciate. I’ve used other night creams that made my face feel damp and sticky when going to bed, which is an uncomfortable sensation against your pillow. 

Geologie’s Night Cream avoids this completely, and gets down into your skin and to work almost immediately. 

If you struggle with sensitive skin, Geologie offers a separate formulation of its Night Cream that only uses 0.05% retinol. Since retinol can be so potent, a lower dosage ensures a more gentle experience with the product and less irritation.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to maximize your retinol usage Geologie also offers an ultra strength Night Cream that’s formulated with 0.3% retinol.

What I Like

  • The Night Cream is also formulated with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to optimize the benefits to your skin. 

  • The cream absorbs quickly and easily and works all night to rejuvenate skin.

  • Three separate formulations of the Night Cream ensure a product that works well for your skin and skincare needs.

What I Don’t Like

  • Geologie’s Night Cream may be a bit expensive for some, but they have frequent sales that make it easy to get your foot in the door, such as our TAM70 code which gets you 70% off your first trial purchase. )

What Other Reviewers Say

Users of these retinol products love them, with hundreds of reviewers swearing by Geologie’s Night Creams and citing ease of use, a more youthful complexion, and less fine lines and wrinkles. 

The only negative reviews I found were a few users disappointed in how long it took to see results, but those were likely the fault of unrealistic expectations. Retinol can take 12 weeks or more to have a deep effect on the skin, so patience is key.

The Verdict

Geologie’s focus on high-quality, simple ingredients is showcased in their night creams. A selection of retinol dosages for your skincare preferences and other potent ingredients in the formulation make this a hard product to beat. 

If you’re looking to lock in the powerful benefits of retinol with little effort, I recommend starting with Geologie’s Retinol Night Cream.


Best Budget Option: Tiege Hanley Super Serum

Getting the pick for our best budget-friendly option, Tiege Hanley’s Super Serum takes a different approach to retinol products than Geologie by using a serum. Serums differ from moisturizing creams in that they are designed to penetrate deeply through the layers of skin and heal from the inside out.

Moisturizing creams, on the other hand, deal with the upper layers of skin and help to create a protective barrier. Neither one is a better method for applying retinol, they’re just slightly different. 

View this post on Instagram

The Super Serum is designed to be used twice per day after washing and helps to firm the skin and reduce the signs of aging. Apart from retinol, Tiege Hanley’s serum uses peptides and sodium hyaluronate to treat the skin.

Peptides help to encourage collagen and elastin production, which are responsible for the full, youthful appearance of healthy skin. Sodium hyaluronate is derived from hyaluronic acid, and has the same powerful moisturizing properties. 

At the time of posting, the Super Serum costs $25 for a single purchase, but if you purchase as a subscription, the price drops to just $11.50. 

This is a great price for the quality of ingredients in the Super Serum, and encourages consistent use month after month, which is the best way to see the benefits of its use.

What I Like

  • The Super Serum uses peptides and sodium hyaluronate alongside retinol to maximize the healthy benefits to your skin.

  • Since it’s formulated as a serum, it works deep down in the layers of skin to encourage collagen and elastin production, which leads to more youthful skin.

  • It’s easy on your wallet, especially when you buy it as a subscription.

What I Don’t Like

  • Tiege Hanley doesn’t offer alternate formulations of the Super Serum with differing dosages of retinol, which could be problematic for those with sensitive skin.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers of the Super Serum are generally very positive, with satisfied customers reporting a reduction in their signs of aging and ease of use. 

The only negative reviews I found had to do with the size of the bottle. Each bottle is designed to last 30 days, but it’s a small volume of product and some users ran out of serum before their product was restocked.

The Verdict

Tiege Hanley’s Super Serum is an impressive product in a small package. High quality ingredients like peptides and sodium hyaluronate work alongside retinol to lift and brighten your skin with minimal effort on your part, and with minimal effort from your wallet.


Most Personalized: Proven Skincare Night Cream 

If you’ve ever wanted skincare products that are completely personalized to you based on where you live, your demographics, heritage, and skincare concerns, Proven is the brand for you. 

The company is responsible for the Skin Genome Project, which is the world’s largest skincare database that enables Proven to tailor-make its products to your individual needs. The Skin Genome Project also won MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence Award, which is no small feat. 

Proven accomplishes this through a 3 minute, detailed quiz that helps them understand your background, age, concerns, and a host of other factors. If you are looking to deal with signs of aging, wrinkles, and fine lines they’ll incorporate retinol into your products, along with other natural, potent products like Vitamin C and niacinamide.

Proven Skincare 3

After taking their skincare quiz Proven will formulate three skincare products to suit your needs and to make for a simple, complete skincare system. This system includes a cleanser, a day moisturizer, and a night cream.

Since retinol use can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, the retinol will not be included in the day moisturizer but instead in the night cream, like Geologie.

What I Like

  • Proven uses artificial intelligence and a detailed skincare quiz to develop products that are most effective for your needs and concerns.

  • High quality ingredients like Vitamin C and niacinamide are used throughout their products to ensure the maximum benefit for your skin.

  • Proven’s products are great for people of all skin types.

What I Don’t Like

  • The technology and personalization of these products comes at a premium price, which may be restrictive if you’re just getting started with skincare.

What Other Reviewers Say

Proven’s products have a massive number of positive reviews, with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 over 25,000 reviews. Common positive sentiments centered on the fact that the products weren’t one-size-fits-all, and that they were actually working for their skin. 

Of the few negative reviews I could track down, several users reported increased skin sensitivity and breakouts. These reviews were few and far between, however.

The Verdict

Proven has been described as the “Tesla of skincare”, and with good reason. Combining powerful technology, potent ingredients, and in-depth personalization, their products are almost guaranteed to yield positive results. However, such advanced products come at a steep price and likely won’t attract those on a budget or who are just getting started with skincare products.

Most Personalized
PROVEN Personalized Night Cream

Proven has been described as the “Tesla of skincare”, and with good reason. Combining powerful technology, potent ingredients, and in-depth personalization, their products are almost guaranteed to yield positive results. However, such advanced products come at a steep price and likely won’t attract those on a budget or who are just getting started with skincare products.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Dermatologist Recommended: CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

CeraVe is a long-standing skincare brand that develops its products alongside qualified dermatologists. Their products are simple, affordable, effective, and easily accessible in stores like Target. 

Their Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is no exception to their impressive reputation, and is formulated with hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides to ensure the maximum benefit to your skin. 

Ceramides are fats that naturally occur in your skin and make up 50% of the skin’s composition. When you’re young, your body readily produces ceramides that keep your skin full and healthy, but this production drops off as we age and it’s helpful to supplement their production. 

CeraVe’s Retinol Serum does just that, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while working alongside retinol’s rejuvenating properties. 

This product is dermatologist recommended, which should give you confidence that you’re getting bang for your buck and an effective skincare solution.

What I Like

  • The CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is packed with helpful ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide to reduce the signs of aging in your skin. 

  • The serum is lightweight and won’t clog pores, which makes it easy and comfortable to use. 

  • It’s dermatologist recommended, which helps solidify that it’s a quality and beneficial product.

What I Don’t Like

  • The serum isn’t specific about the dosage of retinol, which can make it hard to know if the product would be harsh for those with sensitive skin.

What Other Reviewers Say

CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Retinol Serum has a massive number of positive reviews, with many satisfied customers posting photos of the improvements in their skin and aging signs. 

The serum also has quite a few negative reviews, mostly among those who have sensitive skin. Many reported an increase in sensitivity, with several leading to breakouts and rashes.

The Verdict

CeraVe’s Anti Aging Retinol Serum is packed with natural, beneficial ingredients that will firm the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This dermatologist recommended product is an excellent choice for most users, but may be inappropriate for those with sensitive skin, as the reviews suggest.

Best Dermatologist Recommended
CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is packed with natural, beneficial ingredients that will firm the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This dermatologist recommended product is an excellent choice for most users, but may be inappropriate for those with sensitive skin, as the reviews suggest.

Check Best Price on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best for All Skin Types: Eau Thermale Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream 

Eau Thermale is a French skincare company that makes the powerful and widely-usable RetrinAL 0.1% Intensive Cream. This product gets the top pick for all skin types because it’s formulated to be hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic.

Noncomedogenic means that this cream won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts, and will absorb easily and quickly. 

View this post on Instagram

Eau Thermale’s Intensive Cream is also silicone and fragrance-free, which are typical irritants in skincare products. The formulation has a 0.1% dosage of retinol, which is potent enough to be effective, but is unlikely to cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. 

A Monocenter study of this cream found that 8 weeks of consistent application yielded a 58% reduction of visible wrinkles, and 54% improvement in the skin’s texture, which is significant. 

What I Like

  • The RetrinAL Intensive Cream was made without silicone, fragrances, or dyes to make it usable by those with historically sensitive skin.

  • A 0.1% dosage of retinol ensures powerful benefits to skin without being too harsh. 

  • A clinical study found it to reduce wrinkles by 58% and improve the skin’s texture by 54%.

What I Don’t Like

What Other Reviewers Say

Eau Thermale’s RetrinAL Cream has a good number of positive reviews, with happy customers reporting a reduction of visible aging signs and a smoother complexion.

There were quite a few negative reviews for this product, with several users saying they saw no results from consistent use and that the product runs out quickly.

The Verdict

If you struggle with sensitive skin but want to start using a powerful retinol product, Eau Thermale’s RetrinAL 0.1% Intensive Cream is an excellent choice provided you don’t mind the high price. Its gentle formulation and absence of fragrances, dyes, and silicone make this an easy to use and safe product for all skin types.

Best for All Skin Types
Eau Thermale Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream

If you struggle with sensitive skin but want to start using a powerful retinol product, Eau Thermale’s RetrinAL 0.1% Intensive Cream is an excellent choice provided you don’t mind the high price. Its gentle formulation and absence of fragrances, dyes, and silicone make this an easy to use and safe product for all skin types.

Check Best Price on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Eye Cream: Geologie Anti Aging Eye Cream

The majority of retinol products tell you to avoid the eye area on application. This is because the skin beneath your eyes is thin and has a higher chance to react poorly to a strong retinol product than skin on the rest of your face. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use any retinol to reduce the signs of aging in the under eye region, however. Under eye products with retinol are typically formulated with other products to create a balanced treatment that won’t irritate your skin.

Our favorite of these products is Geologie’s Anti Aging Eye Cream. Like other Geologie products, this eye cream is packed with simple and potent ingredients that have proven track records. 

Tattooed man dispensing Geologie Anti Aging Eye Cream

To be gentle to the under eye areas, the retinol dosage in Geologie’s flagship eye cream is only 0.01%, which is considerably less than all their other products. 

Besides retinol, the Anti Aging Eye Cream includes peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid to deeply moisturize and restore the skin so your dark eye circles can be a thing of the past. 

Man applying Geologie Anti Aging Eye Cream

This eye cream is also great for around the edges of the eyes, where crow’s feet and wrinkles frequently form. Retinol rejuvenates the skin in these areas to smooth the skin and give it a fuller, younger appearance. 

What I Like

  • Formulated with a robust mix of anti aging ingredients to reduce signs of aging substantially.

  • Easy to apply, absorbs quickly, and small enough to be TSA compliant.

  • Winner of the 2021 AskMen Grooming Awards for Best Eye Cream.

What I Don’t Like

  • Geologie has another eye cream that’s made with kojic acid, which is known to powerfully lighten dark eye circles, but doesn’t include kojic acid in this eye cream.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Anti Aging Eye Cream has several hundred rave reviews, with customer after customer reporting less eye baggage, crow’s feet, wrinkles, and dark eye circles. 

Of the few negative reviews I could find, most focused on not seeing visible results. Like other retinol products, this eye cream will take time and consistent application to work. If you’re not seeing results quickly, stick with it!

The Verdict

Geologie’s Anti Aging Eye Cream is a must-have if you struggle with crow’s feet, dark and puffy under eyes, or any other frustrating under eye conditions. The combination of retinol, peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid ensures the maximum positive benefit to your skin and will keep your skin looking full and smooth.


Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Retinol Product

Best Skincare Sets for Men Geologie Complete Skincare Trial
Get 70% OFF your first trial purchase at Geologie with code TAM70

When it comes to deciding on a retinol product to turn back the time on aging, the decision largely comes down to your skin sensitivity and budget.

Retinol is a potent skincare ingredient that can cause your skin to peel or become irritated on application, so it’s important to start slow and with a low dosage. Many retinol products suggest usage only a few times per week, every other day at most. 

It can take time for your skin to adjust before it’s ready to up the dosage, especially if you have sensitive skin to begin with. If you have irritable skin, I suggest you look for a retinol dosage of 0.05% or less to start out, and then work up from there.

If your skin is more resilient, I recommend that you start with a dosage of 0.1% and see how you fare after several weeks of use. If you want maximum age reduction and already have retinol-seasoned skin, jump straight to the 0.2% dosage or higher.

The other factor to consider is your budget. Retinol products—especially the more potent varieties—can get expensive quickly. If you’re just getting started with retinol, try out a cheaper product and see how you do with it. 

If you’re familiar with retinol, know what you’re after, and have the cash to drop, go for a more premium retinol product.

Aging Can Get Lost

Man Holding Geologie Eye Cream to Eyes

Across these six retinol products you should be able to find a moisturizer or serum that fits your needs and budget. 

If you want to choose the dosage of retinol and like the idea of having niacinamide and hyaluronic acid combined into one super-powered product, I highly recommend Geologie’s Retinol Night Cream

If money is tight but you still want a potent retinol serum, try out Tiege Hanley’s Super Serum.

Those who want a skincare product that’s specifically tailored to where and how they live will be well served by Proven Skincare’s Night Cream.

If you only like to buy skincare products that are stamped with a dermatologist’s seal of approval, check out CeraVe’s Anti Aging Retinol Serum.

Do you struggle with sensitive skin? Eau Thermal’s RetrinAL Intensive Cream is made without dyes, fragrances, or silicone to guarantee non-irritating age reversal.

Lastly, if you’re looking to tighten up the bags and lines around your eyes, Geologie’s Anti Aging Eye Cream is an easy and surefire pick.

If you know a guy who wants to age like Ryan Gosling, share this article with him! Effective skincare isn’t just for the rich and famous.

FAQs

Is retinol good for men’s skin?

Retinol is good for the health and longevity of men’s skin. It helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and rejuvenates the skin to look fuller and younger.

Why should men use retinol?

Men should use retinol to encourage the production of collagen and elastin in their skin, which will make their pores smaller and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.