Product Reviews

SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0% Refining Night Cream Review

May 18, 2011

My skin has always been pretty clear but for the last 2+ months, I have fallen under the curse of clogged pores. Out of nowhere, these nasty little white bumps (milia perhaps?) cropped up on my cheeks right next to my nose. Regardless of how much I exfoliate and try to extract them, they just kept coming back. Out of desperation, I decided to return to my favorite SkinCeuticals Retinol. Only this time, I upped the potency to the maximum strength, 1.0%.


Just like the Retinol 0.5%, the SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0% Refining Night Cream utilizes a dual protection/time-release system to help stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots from both photo- and intrinsic- aging. Additionally, it helps minimize the appearance of pore size, while correcting blemishes and blotchiness often associated with problematic skin.

Since retinol can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, I always apply it after I remove my makeup at night. I use one pump, which gives me roughly a pea-sized amount. The texture is very light-weight and the product sinks into my skin immediately.

To see how effective the Retinol 1.0 % is, I started a journal documenting my experience. Below is what happened during the first week:

Day 1 and Day 2: I used one pump for the whole face, applying it first on the bumps before using the remaining product on the T-zone and the rest of my face. The next morning, I woke up to smoother skin and the clogged pores seemed a little smaller. Zero irritation or side effects so far. Yay!

Day 3: My skin is feeling much smoother and my pores definitely looked smaller. I noticed some flakes on my cheeks and T-zone so I added my favorite Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè over one pump of the retinol to help soothe the skin.

Day 4: Uh oh, the irritation has finally started. The areas where I applied the most retinol (the bumps and the T-zone) are starting to peel and sting. I kept applying the Embryolisse throughout the day and did not use the retinol at all.

Day 5 and Day 6: My skin is a complete wreck! It is flaky, red and just feels raw (ouch!) I have been applying the Embryolisse once every 2-3 hours and have also switched over to a sunscreen with higher SPF. Not using the retinol.

Day 7: Still got a little bit of flakes here and there but the redness has faded. My pores are almost invisible and my skin feels and looks firmer too. As for the bumps? Completely gone! Can’t wait to start using the retinol again in a few days!

Update on 9/28/11: Once the irritation subsided, I started to go back on the retinol. Only this time, I decided to gradually ease my way back in. I started out with a pea-sized amount once every 3 days then eventually increased the frequency to once every 2 days. It has been almost four months since I started using this on a regular basis and my skin has been so soft and smooth! The evil milia has never returned either! Yet another rave from SkinCeuticals!

Have you tried SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0% Refining Night Cream or any other retinol products? How was your experience? Did you experience any peeling? Share with us!

Disclosure: This review contains product that was purchased by us. It may also contain an affiliate link, which gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. Please see our Disclosure for more information on our posting policy.

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  • Reply Desi May 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    would recommend to use it every other night for 1%, that what my derm suggest

    • Reply Phyllis May 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Thanks for the tip =) I knew I should have started slow. I tried the 0.5% wayyyyyyyyy back and didn’t really react much to it so I figured my skin could take on more. Lesson here – PATIENCE!!!! *lol*

      • Reply Desi May 29, 2011 at 8:12 am

        since i switch kose sekkisei lotion and mosturiser, my skin gettin clogged too. but using skII made my skin dehydrated so i keep using kose since it made my skin more hydrated without using too much steps. i have combination and dehydrated skin.i dont use retinoid coz it made my skin more drier and 1% iritated the skin coz too derm gave me duac to try and i saw improvement as my skin not as clogged.i applied it after mosturiser every other night as recommended and i tried to put a little bit on nose area where i have blackhead. I’m quite happy with the result as it more clearer. Yesterday, I bought this Lush ocean salt too from random shopping -,-‘, I tried it at night follow with sekkisei lotion and mosturiser, the next day wake up my partner say my skin glowing. u might want to check this scrub as apparently i just realised it have good review on MA =) hope it helps

  • Reply Katie September 1, 2011 at 9:12 am

    hi, Phyllis!

    I must tell you how much I loooooove your website blog! It’s amazing! Thank you a lot for doing such a wonderful job!
    I have a few questions for you… 🙂 Can I use other creams with Retinol such as RoC Retinol correction or something like that? Can you recommend any other products for me (I have same combination and dehydrated skin, plus on top of that I have clogged pores around my nose and blemishes in the T-zone area, which I am trying to get rid of using products with salicylic acid, and I have eczema, so if I experiment too much with different skin care products, my skin fights back with some dry red patches popping up on my face and body (but all in all, it’s not as bad and severe). thanks a lot in advance!!!

    • Reply Phyllis September 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks Katie =)

      Yes you can use other Retinol products. You just have to check the concentration and if you eczema, I would not suggest anything too strong (0.5% should be right).

  • Reply Tess November 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    I used skin ceuticals retinol for a month. It srarted to get dry after a month and after two days it started to peel which the doctor where I got the product didn’t warn me. I went to see him and told me to stop using it because I have a very sensitive skin and just use moisturizer for now. I called the doctor’s office. And the secretary told me the she would call me back after talking to the doctor. I’m so disappointed and never got a call back. This happened twice already . I don’t know what to do now if I have to continue using the retinol or what….

    • Reply Phyllis November 5, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Hi Tess,

      If you’re peeling, I’d wait a few days for your skin to get back to normal before slowly easing your way back in.

      • Reply Rick November 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

        Hi Phyllis are you still using skinceuticals retnol cream..?

        • Reply Phyllis Li December 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm

          Nope I’m using different products now but will I ever go back to it? Definitely!

  • Reply Cristina November 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    OMG, i had the exact same experience.
    I just started to use it twice a week after that terrible experience you have had. really hope to find a good rhythme.

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