Why Retinol and Skin-Softening Hyaluronic Acid are a Match Made in Heaven

Peanut butter and jelly. Laverne and Shirley. Retinol and hyaluronic acid. Get your hands on this dynamic duo, stat.

woman with beautiful skin
Softer, glowier, more youthful-looking skin? Sign us up.Unsplash

Whether you’re trying to prevent aging or reverse it, retinol and hyaluronic acid are two of the wonder ingredients you’ll need. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, speeds up cell turnover to reveal a smoother, fresher layer of skin; HA replenishes and moisturizes it. Together, they’re your two-step fountain of youth.

Anti Aging Serum 3-Pack for Face - Vitamin C Serum, Retinol Serum, Hyaluronic Acid Serum - Face Serum Full Regimen
Devised by a microbiologist, this organic threefer promises smoother, softer, more radiant skin at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s paraben-free, cruelty-free and made in the USA.Flawless. Younger. Perfect.

Serum typically goes on after you’ve washed your face and before your moisturizer. But retinol can irritate sensitive types, so if yours is in serum form, applying it after your moisturizer can help temper those side effects. If your retinol and hyaluronic serums are separate, use the retinol first, then the calming, hydrating HA.

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Regenerating Anti-Aging Face Cream & Hyaluronic Acid; Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Moisturizer & Neck Cream, with Hyaluronic Acid & Retinol, 1.7 oz
Glucose complex in this rich and concentrated jar strengthens the skin’s surface. Plus, it’s gentle enough for daily use.Neutrogena

Your first few weeks of retinol can result in dry, peeling, reddened skin. If you don’t feel like watching your skin get worse before it gets better, there are preventative steps you can take to make the transition less harsh. For one, make sure your skin is moisturized. (That means getting on a serious hydration regimen the day before.) Start slow, applying retinol a couple of times a week instead of daily. See how your skin reacts, then increase usage. And remember: No one knows your skin better than you do. If the redness doesn’t go away or feels more like an allergic reaction than an adjustment, stop usage immediately and see your derm!

Vitamin C Serum Plus 2% Retinol, 3.5% Niacinamide, 5% Hyaluronic Acid, 2% Salicylic Acid, 10% MSM, 20% Vitamin C - Skin Clearing Serum - Anti-Aging Skin Repair, Supercharged Face Serum (1 oz)
In addition to its youth-promoting properties, this pick targets spots, blemishes and hyperpigmentation with ingredients like methylsulfonylmethane and B₃. SA is particularly good at exfoliating pores for a clear, clean complexion.Eva Naturals

Know your ingredients! Methylsulfonylmethane (or MSM) reduces inflammation by strengthening keratin; niacinamide, a form of vitamin B₃, improves texture, balances oil production and minimizes the look of pores; salicylic acid (SA) removes dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria. And all of them play well with retinol and HA!

Also Consider:

Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer by L’Oreal Paris Skin Care, Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Moisturizer with Pro Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin C to reduce wrinkles, firm and brighten skin, 1.7 Oz
This drugstore brand’s cream, which is light enough for day, is available in fragrance-free or SPF 30 versions.L'Oreal Paris
CeraVe Anti Aging Retinol Serum | 1 Ounce | Cream Serum for Smoothing Fine Lines and Skin Brightening | Fragrance Free
This non-comedogenic brand is gentle enough to use once or twice a day. Three essential ceramides (or lipids) help you retain moisture.CeraVe
Belei by Amazon: Retinol Vitamin A Refining Moisturizer, Fragrance Free, Paraben Free, 1.7 Fluid Ounce (50 mL)
An unscented option that combines squalene and hyaluronic acid. Plus, no sulfates or phthalates.Belei