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.

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.

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Devised by a microbiologist, this product is paraben-free, cruelty-free and made in the USA. Flawless. Younger. Perfect.

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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.

For Dry Complexions

Glucose complex in this rich and concentrated jar strengthens the skin’s surface. Neutrogena

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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!

Gentle Exfoliant

This pick targets spots, blemishes and hyperpigmentation with ingredients like methylsulfonylmethane and B₃. Eva Naturals

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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:

For Sensitive Complexions

This drugstore brand’s cream, which is light enough for day, is available in fragrance-free or SPF 30 versions. L’Oreal Paris

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This non-comedogenic brand is gentle enough to use once or twice a day. Three essential ceramides (or lipids) help you retain moisture. CeraVe

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Botanical Complex

An unscented option that combines squalene and hyaluronic acid. Plus, no sulfates or phthalates. Belei

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