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SkinMedica Retinol Complex


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  • Renews skin, speeds up the cell cycle
  • Diminishes the appearance of fine lines
  • Brightens and increases radiance

1 fl oz


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Retinol Complex jumpstarts your cell turnover!

SkinMedica Retinol Complex renews skin and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines. This encapsulated retinol cream helps strengthen skin and enhances skin texture and skin tone. Formulated with advanced brightening, moisturizing, and antioxidant ingredients, Retinol Complex can increase radiance and help fade dark spots while accelerating cell turnover and addressing skin aging-related issues.

“Retinol is a MUST use ingredient if you are serious about your skin.” – Kelly Bomer, MD

Who should use SkinMedica Retinol Complex? Everyone should incorporate a retinol product into their skincare routine. Especially patients with acne, mature skin, sun damage, wrinkled, pigmented skin, and rough and uneven texture.

SkinMedica Retinol Complex Features & Benefits:

  • Diminished appearance of fine lines and coarse wrinkles
  • Enhances skin tone and texture
  • Antioxidants address existing sun damage and defend against free radicals
  • Speeds up cell turnover to reveal new skin
  • It helps fade dark spots and discolorations

Ingredient Highlights:

  • Retinol – Speeds cell turnover, fades dark spots
  • Squalane – An antioxidant that addresses sun damage and fights free radicals damage
  • Niacinamide – A form of Vitamin B that improves circulation and elasticity, enhances skin’s barrier function, fades discoloration, and minimizes wrinkles
  • Dunaliella Salina Extract (algae extract) – Rich in antioxidants, helps combat free radical damage
  • Vitamin E – Antioxidant that protects against UV damage
  • Ceramides –  Helps hydration and moisture retention
  • Bisabolol – Minimizes irritation
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8 – Peptide that helps to prevent and soothe inflammation in irritated skin
  • Paraben Free

Retinols are featured in Dr. Kelly Bomer’s Anti-Aging Series Video: How to Apply Retinol, watch the Videos below.

Available in these strengths: 0.5% and 1%

Retinol Complex Frequently Asked Questions:

Which SkinMedica Retinol Complex Strenght should I use?
The strength you use will vary depending on the exfoliation history of your skin as well as the level of sensitivity. If you never used Retinol, or are used to over-the-counter retinol products, you should start with a lower strength and let your skin acclimate to that before you move on. We recommend you apply it two days a week, 2-3 days apart on dry skin and increase frequency slowly until your skin is acclimated. Irritation is not always expected but can be minimized if it appears. If your skin gets irritated Retinol Complex can be mixed with a moisturizer. For more details read the Caution section below so you can learn how to acclimate. You can also watch Dr. Bomer’s Video How to Apply Retinol below.

Why is Retinol so important?
Your skin is constantly shedding itself and regenerating. The older cells make their way to the top layer of the skin and are sloughed away. Dead cells often clog the skin and contribute to rough patches, uneven texture, and pigmentation. Retinol helps speed up the cell cycle and helps exfoliate the dead cells. Studies also show that regular use of prescription strength Retinol like Retinol Complex can increase the production of new collagen.

How long does it take to see results?
Most people see results around 12 weeks. When you start using prescription-strength Retinol your skin goes through a period of adaptation. During this period you might see dryness, redness, and flaking. This happens as the Retinol breaks down the sticky cells that have caused a build-up in your cells. Do not give up, just modify your approach and increase the days in between use or mix it with a moisturizer. Retinol Complex has encapsulated retinol for less irritation.

When should I apply Retinol Complex?
Apply SkinMedica Retinol Complex in the evening after cleansing and toning and before a moisturizer. Always apply it on dry skin. Do not use if you are pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or are lactating. Always apply sunscreen when using any Retinol product. If a prescription strength retinol has not been used, begin 2 times a week, 2-3 days apart, increasing frequency slowly until daily use is tolerated.

I use TNS Advanced + Serum, when should I apply this retinol?
TNS Advanced + Serum always goes right after cleansing. Retinol Complex should go after that.

Retinol Complex is an excellent encapsulated retinol product that can help rejuvenate your skin!

Apply product sparingly over entire face every other evening for the first 1-2 weeks, then slowly increase usage, as tolerated, to 1-2 times daily. If irritation occurs, decrease the frequency of application to allow the skin greater time to acclimate.

Retinol is our most powerful skin rejuvenator. It exfoliates, tightens pores, thickens the dermis (deeper layer of the skin), reduces wrinkles, and increases the ability of the skin to build and maintain higher levels of hyaluronic acid.

Retinol requires acclimation initially and can cause irritation, dryness, itchiness , peeling and overall sensitivity if not apply correctly in accordance to your skin’s sensitivity.

If you are new to retinol, you should start with a low concentration and when the skin gets acclimated then you can work your way to something of higher concentration.

Directions for use:

  1. Cleanse the skin and apply Retinol to DRY skin-Use Retinol at night only
  2. Start with 1/2 pea size of Retinol and apply on outer face first and then work inward, avoid the corners of the eyes, nose and mouth, wait few minutes and then apply moisturizer.
  3. Apply product twice a week and slowly increase to every night over a month or two as your skin get acclimated and gradually increasing the amount of product to ½ pea size to 1 pump.
  4. ALWAYS use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher during the day when using retinol . Retinol increases sun sensitivity and irritation can occur.
  5. When skin gets acclimated, AM usage can be effective, but only using it correctly can give you rejuvenating effects.
  6. The neck reacts differently to retinol compared to the face. Side effects are itchy and red pumps when scratched, peeling, dryness ,and redness. Retinol can rejuvenate the neck as well when tolerated. Be careful when starting retinol on the face to not pull it onto the neck without it being a planned event. Proceed with gentle acclimation over months and careful not to scratch, if it starts to itch. Scratching will create red pumps that take about 2 weeks to resolve.

Watch Dr. Bomer’s Anti-Aging Retinol video and learn how you should apply Retinol products. (click on the Video tab)

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycine Soja Oil, Niacinamide, Polyacrylate-13, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Retinol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Magnolia Grandiflora Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Ceramide 3, Bisabolol, Phytosterols, Squalene, Tocopheryl Acetate, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Palmitate, Laureth-23, Trideceth-6 Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Dicaprylyl Ether, Lauryl Alcohol, Polyisobutene, Dextran, Potassium Sorbate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Ingredients may change, refer to packaging for the most current information.

Do not use if you are pregnant, lactating or planning to become pregnant. Mild redness, peeling and irritation are expected when using this product. Use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week following.

YouTube video

YouTube video

Allē Members: You can earn Allē points on all your SkinMedica purchases! Let us know in the checkout process and we will submit the order to the Allē Program! If you would like to redeem Alle points on your order please call to order at 877-800-2147.

  • 1 fl oz

Skin Type
  • Acne Prone

  • Aging Skin
  • All Skin Types
  • Combination
  • Dry
  • Mature
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Sensitive
  • Sun Damaged
Product Type
  • Face Treatments & Serums

  • Rejuvent Bestsellers
  • Skin Resurfacing
  • Acne/Blemish

  • Age Spots
  • Aging Skin
  • Crow's Feet
  • Dark Spots
  • Hormonal Acne
  • Irregular Texture
  • Large Pores
  • Loss of Skin Firmness
  • Melasma
  • Milia
  • Rough Skin
  • Skin Laxity
  • Sun Damage
  • Uneven Tone
  • Wrinkles
Ingredient Preference
  • Bisabolol

  • Ceramides
  • Medical Grade
  • Niacinamide
  • Paraben-Free
  • Peptides
  • Retinol
  • Squalane
  • Vitamin E
  • Face

  • Cream

  • 0.5%

  • 1%

SkinMedica is committed to advancing the science of skin rejuvenation through research and innovation. Their products work with your skin’s natural healing properties to help you achieve transformative results from the inside out. SkinMedica is committed to research and clinical data. Instead of providing quick fixes, they’ve developed products to promote the long-term health of your skin. These medical-grade products work synergistically to address skin concerns such as aging, sun damage, acne, hyperpigmentation, loss of firmness, uneven tone, and texture. SkinMedica’s age-defying skincare products are rooted in science and deliver transformative results.

Rejuvent Skincare is an authorized SkinMedica reseller and sells 100% authentic SkinMedica products. Shop SkinMedica.

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4.33 out of 5 stars

3 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Good product

    Suzanne S.

    1- How is your skin? Dry

    2- What is your skin's complexion? Fair

    3- How are your pores? Small

    4- How is the weather where you live? The weather is dry

    I have very dry skin so it was important to follow the directions carefully. I did that and had no adverse reaction to the retinol.

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  2. Great product

    MINDY N.

    1- How is your skin? Oily in the t-zone

    2- What is your skin's complexion? Fair

    3- How are your pores? More Noticeable on nose and chin

    4- How is the weather where you live? The weather is dry

    Very good for making fine lines fade over time if used consistently

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  3. This one my skin likes


    1- How is your skin? Oily in the t-zone

    2- What is your skin's complexion? Medium

    3- How are your pores? Mostly large

    4- How is the weather where you live? The weather is dry

    I have tried 2 other medical grade type retinols and my skin did not like either. With both other ones my hormonal acne flared up and I did not like the red irritated look I got. I was ready to give up and use the weak stuff from stores but a friend recommended this one. This one did not irritate my skin. I followed the suggestion for use and started slow. Now I use it almost every night and my skin is fine, no breakouts or irritation. It has been a month or so, so in a few months I will see, but so far it has been great. It is pricey bit a little goes a long way.

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