Retinol is the superstar of all skincare ingredients. It has been around for decades and it’s the golden standard when it comes to acne and photoaging. But, our skin concerns are not limited to our face. Back acne, strawberry skin and stretch marks are just a few concerns that float on our minds.
Being such a versatile ingredient, retinol can target multiple skin issues and anyone can benefit from it. As we age, the collagen production starts to decrease. This is manifested in loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles. The first place where we can see the signs of aging (especially photo aging) is the hands, followed by our face, neck and chest.
Retinol can also exfoliate dead skin cells, resulting in smoother skin and a more even skin tone. It’s a great ingredient for acne-prone skin as well.
If you’re looking to integrate this powerful anti-ageing ingredient into your body care routine, read on for 7 of the best retinol body lotions you can find in Australia.
7 of the Best Retinol Body Lotions
Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin Smoothing Body Treatment
Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin Smoothing Body Treatment is a skincare gem for those seeking total body rejuvenation. Infused with potent retinol, it actively targets concerns like uneven texture, skin tone, and aging skin, delivering visibly smoother and firmer skin. In 2021, it was awarded the Byrdie Beauty Award as the best retinol body lotion for hyperpigmentation.
This body treatment is formulated with 0.1% retinol. It can help improve skin texture, reduce signs of aging, and promote a more even skin tone in larger areas of the body. This lower concentration is generally well-tolerated, making it suitable for addressing concerns like roughness and sun damage without the risk of excessive irritation.
In addition, it’s formulated with hydrating ingredients like Glycerin, butter, and plant oils to hydrate dry skin. A highly stable form of vitamin C is also present, which protects the skin from oxidative damage and collagen breakdown
This non-greasy, fragrance-free body lotion ensures a comfortable experience, even for sensitive skin. Loved by skincare enthusiasts worldwide, it stands as a trusted choice for achieving celebrity-worthy skin transformations.
Advanced Clinicals Retinol Cream
The Advanced Clinicals Retinol Advanced Firming Cream is an incredibly effective body cream that ‘leaves your skin feeling like butter’ and is also by far the best value for money.
The cream contains encapsulated retinol (undisclosed percentage) enriched with botanical extracts like Green tea, chamomile extract, and Aloe Vera leaf juice which hydrate and soothe sensitive skin. This formula works to target signs of ageing on the body, and firm and moisturise the skin.
Another major benefit of this cream is that is it fragrance-free so you won’t have an overpowering and lingering perfume smell on your body. Additionally, it comes in a big jar with a pump dispenser making it very convenient and hygienic. You can pick up the spa-size (454 grams) for $45.00 on Amazon.
Medix 5.5, Retinol + Ferulic Acid, Body Treatment Cream
Medix 5.5 Retinol + Ferulic Acid Body Treatment Cream is a skin-smoothing body treatment that harnesses the potent duo of retinol and ferulic acid, two skincare superheroes.
Retinol stimulates skin cell turnover, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. Ferulic acid is a potent antioxidant and enhances retinol’s effectiveness.
This body treatment cream isn’t just about reversing the signs of aging; it’s also deeply hydrating. With shea butter and glycerin, it delivers intense moisture, leaving your skin feeling silky smooth, and replenished.
Versed Skincare Press Restart Gentle Body Lotion
Versed Skincare’s Press Restart Gentle Body Lotion is a soothing oasis for your skin. Crafted with care, it blends retinol with nourishing ingredients, making it a perfect match for flaky and sensitive skin.
Formulated with 0.1% encapsulated retinol, it stimulates collagen production and fights signs of aging without irritation. The encapsulated retinol can reach deeper layers of the skin and release the retinol slowly, avoiding irritation and flakiness.
The addition of cocoa Butter and squalane nourishes and replenishes even the driest skin. While the Vitamin E provides antioxidant benefits and serves as a stabilising ingredient for retinol.
With a fast-absorbing and non-greasy formula, your skin is silky-smooth, without any annoying residue. It’s fragrance-free and recyclable.
Sol de Janeiro Collagen Boosting Beija Flor Elasti-Cream Body Cream
Sol de Janeiro’s Collagen Boosting Beija Flor Elasti-Cream Body Cream is not just another retinol product. This luxurious body cream is infused with powerful ingredients like Brazilian Joia Strengthening Technology, which is a blend of Brazilian exotic extracts that aid in the production of collagen and elastin.
Cacay oil, rich in natural retinol-like compounds such as vitamin A and linoleic acid, offers a gentle yet effective alternative to synthetic retinol. It helps promote skin cell turnover, diminish fine lines, and improve overall skin texture, all while providing hydration and nourishment, making it a popular choice for those seeking the benefits of retinol with a reduced risk of irritation.
In addition, this cream is enriched with an array of plant extracts and oils and vegan collagen, which keeps all the moisturising ingredients of the cream in the skin and strengthens the skin barrier.
This cream’s rich texture absorbs quickly, leaving skin hydrated and delicately scented with Sol de Janeiro’s signature Cheirosa ’62 fragrance. It’s a beauty treat that pampers your skin and indulges your senses, all in one.
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Fragile Skin Therapy
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Fragile Skin Therapy is formulated to address the specific needs of delicate and sensitive skin. Improves the appearance of thin, crepey skin, leaving it feeling smooth and firm.
In addition to retinol, this body lotion is formulated with hydrating ingredients like small molecule hyaluronic acid (able to penetrate better the first layer of the skin) and peptides.
This innovative treatment is powered by the Cold Plasma Plus+ technology. It nourishes and rejuvenates fragile skin, targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity.
Aspect Hand & Body Cream
Aspect Hand & Body Cream is a skincare essential enriched with a host of key ingredients to nurture and protect your skin.
Infused with Shea Butter, Macadamia Oil, and Jojoba oil, it delivers intense hydration, soothing dryness, and promotes a silky, smooth complexion.
The addition of antioxidant-rich green tea Extract and vitamin E defends your skin from environmental stressors, helping to maintain its youthful appearance.
This body lotion is suitable for any skin type and it can be used on the entire body, from cuticle to your hands and feet.
The Best Overall: Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment
$43.00 AUD at Paula’s Choice
There’s a reason why this body lotion has won a few awards. Actually, there are a few reasons that make this our top pick and overall the best retinol body lotion.
Paula’s Choice retinol skin smoothing body treatment is formulated with 0,1% retinol, a moderate concentration of retinol, effective for several skin concerns like aging skin, uneven skin tone, body acne, and skin texture, but yet gentle enough for the majority of people.
On the other hand, this retinol body lotion has a well-rounded formula. It’s enriched with antioxidants, hydrating ingredients, and skin-repairing agents. It’s fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and on the affordable side. The airless pump bottle preserves the retinol, which is very unstable when exposed to air and light.
Using Retinol in Your Body Care Routine
Even though our body skin is not as sensitive as our face, you still need to slowly introduce your retinol lotion to prevent dry and sensitive skin.
Just like with every other product, you should always patch test beforehand in a clean dry spot. If your skin doesn’t react negatively, you can go ahead and start using it.
Unlike other body lotions, you need smaller amounts of retinol body lotions for the entire body. Dispense a little amount on the hands and start layering it from the neck down.
Give it a few minutes to absorb and go ahead with your traditional body lotion and/or sunscreen.
SPF is your BFF!
Retinol can make the skin sensitive to sunlight, so wearing sunscreen all over the body is crucial.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with two in three Australians developing some form of skin cancer before age 70. This makes sun protection very important for all Australians.
Remember to apply sunscreen to your face and body.
What to Look for In a Retinol Body Lotion
Every good has a bad side and so does retinol. This ingredient is very unstable and can be irritating to the skin. This is why it’s important to look at the type and strength of the retinol and the ingredients combined with it in the body lotion.
Retinol body lotions come in various concentrations from as low as 0.1% to 1% or higher. The specific strength you should use depends on your skin type. In general, it’s recommended to start with a lower concentration of retinol, around 0.1%-0.2% and depending on your skin type and tolerance, you can increase it. A higher concentration means faster results but more irritation and sensitivity, and with retinol, it’s better to keep it slow but steady.
Since retinol can be drying and irritating, it’s good to pair it with skin-repairing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or butter and oils (shea butter, Argan oil, cocoa butter etc.)
Plant extracts and antioxidants are always a valuable addition to the products and they can soothe, hydrate and protect the skin while retinol does its wonders on the skin.
Retinol is a very unstable ingredient; it can lose its effects quickly, especially when exposed to sunlight, air and high temperatures. Some ingredients are added to the formulations to stabilize retinol, like tocopherol (Vitamin E) or ferulic acid.
Packaging is very important when it comes to retinol stability. Look for airless pump dispensers, to minimize air exposure, and opaque and dark-coloured containers to block sun exposure.
The lotion consistency may be another factor you will want to consider. Lotions have a thinner texture and are the best option for oily skin or acne-prone.
Retinol products that are formulated with butters, generally have thicker consistency and they are a great option for dry and crepey skin.