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CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment

Skin Type: All Skin Types
Skin Concern: Acne-prone | Anti-Ageing | Breakouts | Brown Spots | Enlarged Pores | Wrinkles
Full product name: Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Regular Price: £53.00

Special Price: £45.05

Size: 30 ml
Item: 8010

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Availability: In stock

Sun damage that won't go away? Wrinkles keeping you up at night? Don't get mad, get powerful.

  • Firms skin, smooths deep wrinkles and fine lines
  • Reduces dark spots and uneven skin tone, refines pore size
  • Uniquely formulated to minimize irritation
  • 100% fragrance and colourant-free

Never used a product with retinol before? Be sure to read our Application Tips and FAQs below.

prices are including VAT

Regular Price: £53.00

Special Price: £45.05

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  • 5 ml : £13.00
Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
Strong, but effective if used properly
Review by Jeanette
Like some others, I had difficulty using this serum, which gave me an irritation rash within a week. My solution is to mix it with moisturiser. No more irritation and still works a treat. It might be even more effective if it is applied neat onto the skin, but that's not for me. (Posted on 02/10/2016)
Review by valia
I have been using this for a year now. Just got my second bottle today. I've never seen ANYTHING that not only can change how your skin looks, but how it works as well. There were side effects yes. There was peeling and flaking specially in the eye area even though i never applied it directly there, and my concealer the morning after couldn't stay in place. Also, the weirdest side effect i experienced was that everything else i applied on my face burned like hell. Moisturisers i've been using for years, serums, sunscreen, everything. Not the product itself but everything else. I was patient and after a month or two....wiiiiii!!!!

I'm 27, normal to combination skin,with hormonal breakouts once a month that took forever to go away, heavy smoker, and from a beautiful but extremely sunny country. I started using a pump only at night and once a week after cleansing and toning. I followed with a serum and/or paula's face oil and my moisturiser. No BHA Liquid (LOVE OF MY LIFE) with it in the beggining, as the directions said. After a month i went to two applications per week. Still side effects, no bha. And after a while, my skin calmed down. Nothing burned, nothing bothered me. I added my bha. So cleansing,toning, exfoliating, clinical, serum, moisturiser, facial oil.

Well... I started waking up with beautiful radiant almost perfect skin. Also, did you notice the past tense when i said "they TOOK for ever to go away?" My breakouts went from 5 to 1-2. I still get one or two, but they fade immediately with no extras (tea tree oil solutions, blah blah blah). Just on their own. They can't survive for more than two or three days. A year has passed, and i'm on two or three times per week with no problems, only benefits. Only a pump. This thing lasts and works.

Bottom line : all i know is that i had three expression wrinkles on my forehead and fine lines under the eyes and now i don't. THANK YOU! I won't have to quit smoking any time soon! :D (kidding)....(no i'm not)

(Posted on 30/09/2016)
Too Strong
Review by AAI
Didn't work for me, was too strong gave me a rash and made me darker/discoloured my skin. I wouldn't recommend for people of colour.

Customer Care: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear that this product did not work for you. Although this is not a common response, we do understand that each customer is uniquely different in how they will respond to products or ingredients. We believe that colour is not a skin type and that there is more to your reaction. Therefore, our team will be contacting you shortly to assist you further with finding an alternative product. (Posted on 10/08/2016)
fantastic retinol serum, use with oil
Review by Zoe
Though my skin is sensitive, I've not had a reaction to this serum. I built up using it with PC serums with lower amounts of serum and followed the guidelines. I bought this as a power couple with the face oil, and used together it has stopped any adverse reactions while dramatically improving the look of my forehead where the skin is sun damaged and has frown lines. Great work! (Just follow directions in building up to using it).

Customer Care: Thank you for your review. We are very happy to hear that this wonderful product is indeed working for you and that you are following the directions. However, please be careful as products with high percentage retinol may cause a delayed response with some people. Nonetheless, we hope you enjoy it and all other PC products. (Posted on 03/04/2016)
Too strong! Ended up with skin rash
Review by JOANNA K
I have ordered this retinol treatment in January(there was a deal), but didn't open it until March as was finishing my retinol product by other brand. Retinol 1% treatment didn't agree with my skin at all. I only used it twice a week and my skin was getting dryer and tighter. After 4th use I got a bad skin rash on my neck. I had to use hydrocortisone cream for 3 days to calm it down. This treatment is just too strong for me (age 35) and it's upsetting to spend a lot of money on the product which can't be used. (Posted on 21/03/2016)
It works
Review by Peter
This absolutely has worked for me. I introduced it very slowly and my skin when a bit nuts when I put it in too often or too much. A really small amount is all thats needed - more just increases the likihood of irritation. Took me about 6 months to work up to nightly application. Its not the be-all and end-all and has not eliminated the need for other products but its earned a nightly place in my routine that I would not be without.

It is expensive but not too bad when compared with other similarly formulated retinols, particularly in the UK. (Posted on 09/03/2016)
Review by MaryKathryn
While I have been using this product for a short, I am so pleased with the results. I am very family with retinol, as for years I used only retinol on my skin when going to a doctor. For years I have looked for a product such as this, and I am extremely happy. (Posted on 19/01/2016)
Been using it for 1 year : great results !
Review by Véronique
I've been using the retinol 1% for 1 year and I can confidently say that this is the PC product that gave me the most dramatic and "across the board" results.

My skin appearance is better overall : my skin is even-toned, brighter and feels plumper. Fine line have been reduced, pores are smaller, dark spots faded (not gone but smaller/lighter).
It also seems to have normalized my skintype : one year ago I had very dry skin and now it's more normal-dry.

How it went :
I'm 43, have sensitive skin and some products I can not use : strong vitamin C serums, daily 5% AHA (I use the 10% liquid once a week and only started using it once my skin was ok with using the Retinol 1% every night)... So I knew I had to introduce the Retinol 1% slowly if I didn't want to get red angry skin.

I started using the Retinol 1% only once a week (Sundays) for 3 weeks, then twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays)for 1-1.5 month, then every other night for 2-3 months.
I then went to every night but mixing the Retinol 1% with a drop of oil every other night (1 night undiluted/1 night mixed with oil). Now I use it undiluted 5 nights a week (Sundays are 10% AHA night now) on my face with no irritation.

Routine :
I use 1 pump for the face, I dot it around and then spread it.
I use 1 pump for my neck also BUT I still can't use it every night there so it's 3 times a week tops for now or else my neck gets red patches and itches.

I apply the Retinol 1% at night only, 15 minutes after cleansing/toning. I then apply the Skin Recovery Antioxidant Serum around my eyes (best eye cream ever !). And I top it all with few drops of oil (PC's or regular Jojoba oil).
Most importantly : I never forget to use sunscreen during the day ;)

Customer Care: Thank you for your review. We are delighted to hear of your journey with this product and what a success it is. We are also happy that you were patient with building up the use. Enjoy!
(Posted on 07/01/2016)
Another staple!
Review by AD
Was sceptical about this product because I have quite sensitive skin but I am so glad I did. I love how my skin feels the next day after using this product at night. I am forever touching my face. My skin is the best it has ever been. I am glad I tried it and the other PC products I use. Love love love! (Posted on 08/12/2015)
Review by Charlotte
I've been a suffer of Acne for years and i'm now getting to the age where I'm also concerned about ageing.. I wanted something to help with both issues and this is it!
This is such a well developed product, gentle but truly effective! You only need a little which is good as my only qualm with this product is the price! I know I know it's a well developed product so it shouldn't be cheap but for the average person it's quite a bit of expenditure and for a product this good you just want to continue to buy buy & buy again!! (Posted on 20/11/2015)
Fantastic stuff
Review by Benjamin
This product teamed with the retinol serum and 2% bha liquid has been wonderful for me. I could not be happier. Thank you (Posted on 14/07/2015)
Wouldn't be without it!
Review by Marlene
I use this 1% Retinol Treatment on alternate nights mixed with a little Resist Super Antioxidant Serum and together they make my skin feel and look great. I initially started using this product on its own and apart from a little redness which was almost gone by the morning, as part of my Paula's Choice skincare regime, it helped my skin feel and look great. But I find mixing it with a couple of drops of Antioxidant Serum is the perfect combination for me. My skin has never looked and felt so good. I have used so many different brands of creams with retinol in the past and have given up using them after a couple of weeks - my skin would come out in red blotches, feel sore and generally look terrible. But not with this cream. A great product. (Posted on 29/05/2015)
Very good
Review by Justin
This is very good, the results are noticeable very quickly. It goes on clear and doesn't leave any residue behind. I didn't get any irritation at all and I use it every day so for me it is really fantastic. The reason I have given it 3 stars is because the packaging is awful, the pump sometimes squirts a bit out and sometimes doesn't, and also the delivery is rubbish - four working days. On a product this price it just isn't good enough.

(Posted on 29/03/2015)
Best retinol cream in Western Europe
Review by Olivier
This is an awesome product on so many levels, but first and foremost because it works and does exactly what it claims to do. The ingredients are top-notch, the quantity of retinol pretty high (something seldom found in Western Europe), and the results really impressive. Now don't expect this little wonder to make you look 20 years younger, because it won't... but I personally think that 5 to 10 years is a pretty good compromise! One last thing, I did experience a little peeling and redness here and there during the first month of using it, but nothing a good moisturizer/facial oil couldn't handle. (Posted on 08/02/2015)
Gentle yet effective
Review by Gio
My skin is very dry and can get red, especially in cold weather, so I was slightly daunted to begin using Clinical 1% in January. Following advice, I worked up to using Clinical 1% by first using the Resist Barrier Repair with Retinol for a few months (it contains much less retinol, I believe) so as to acclimatise my skin. 4 weeks into using Clinical 1% I have had a very small amount of 'shedding' more than 'peeling' and that was only for a few days and only for the first week. By now I am using Clinical 1% every other night without any unwelcome effects, and I must admit that my skin looks and feels way smoother than before. I don't know if this is even possible from a cream, but my skin appears tighter to me? Full disclosure; I use Paula's Choice C15 Serum, which I buy in USA, with this 1%, so maybe my results are a combination of these two products? Either way, the results have left me very pleased and impressed.

Some small is way more than I would like to spend on any skincare product. The only reason I might not reorder it is the price, which is comparable to the (very similar) Skinceuticals 1.0. Secondly, the (very elegant) packaging makes it hard for me to know how much of the cream is left- the bottle is weighty, robust and (thankfully for the antioxidants!) opaque, so I suppose I have to guess when to reorder?

Overall, a spectacular product with a hefty price tag! (Posted on 02/02/2015)
amazing product
Review by andigone
I have extremely oily, sensitive skin.... I've just been using it 3 times a week
and I skip BHAs on the days I use it.. this product is amazing my skin is glowing (Posted on 21/01/2015)
Get excited whenever Paula brings a product
Review by Joseph
This company and especially this product is getting close to skincare perfection. For the quality of packaging and the percentage of retinol this product is brilliant. However, I disclude my exfoliant on the nights I use this just to safeguard against irritation. Since using PC products exclusively my dermatologist is starting to doubt if I have acne at all and I have suffered for years and years, there is real science backing up these products. (Posted on 05/01/2015)
Better than prescription cream
Review by Trey K
I've used a 0.1% prescription cream in the past and granted it was achieving what I needed it to and I was noticing a difference (keep in mind I was using it for anti-ageing purposes, not acne), the recoil damage effect on my skin was both annoying and painful to deal with - high sensitivity, excessive peeling (I was moisturising with everything under the moon & more!) and overall extreme dryness.

This gem right here, however, achieves the same results (have been using it for almost 4 weeks now, twice a week) with NO "side effects" whatsoever.
-No peeling
-No dryness
-No sensitivity on the following day (or ever for that matter).
My verdict: 5/5 stars, will be ordering again, I do recommend at least trying it out, if you're interested in anti-ageing. (Posted on 25/12/2014)
A first in 1% retinol
Review by Rhys
What to say except this is the game changer when it comes to stronger retinol it left me without redness peeling or breakouts unlike other products that have been at this high a percent . It's texture is unlike all the others in that it feels like a light serum/lotion it's like a lighter version of hydra light . I tend to put 2-3 small rice sized on the front of my hand then put it on my face bit by bit . And be persist and to get full results from a retinol product of 1% can take 3-6 weeks to see proper results . (Posted on 19/08/2014)

Apply a pea-sized amount after cleansing and toning, and then follow with your Paula's Choice serum and/or nighttime moisturizer. When first using the Clinical 1% Retinol, start with no more than three evenings per week, then gradually increase frequency to every other night and, finally, every evening as tolerated (measure how your skin responds). Avoid the lips, direct contact with the eye, and corners of the eyes. You may apply up to the orbital bone of the eye area.

May be applied at the same time as your AHA or BHA exfoliant, but pay attention to how your skin responds. If you notice signs of sensitivity, apply your AHA or BHA exfoliant in the morning and this treatment at night or reduce frequency of application of Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment.

Note: Some people may experience a delayed sensitized reaction to 1% retinol. Do not assume that if no reaction is seen after a few applications that you can apply this treatment more frequently. Pay close attention to how your skin responds and adjust usage accordingly.

If sensitization occurs (redness, flaking, tenderness, or drying of skin), reduce frequency of use or mix one pump of the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with your favorite Paula’s Choice serum or PM moisturizer. If sensitization persists, discontinue use. Protect skin daily with sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater, or layer sunscreens (moisturizer, foundation with sunscreen, and pressed powder with sunscreen) if they are all rated SPF 15 or greater (and greater is better).

Do not apply this treatment on the same day as facial waxing or sugaring. Doing so may increase the risk of an irritant response.


+ Can be worn under or over your PM moisturizer.

+ May be combined with any prescription retinoid product. Discontinue or reduce frequency of use if irritation develops or persists.

+ Despite the many benefits retinol has, there is no single “best” anti-aging ingredient for skin. The retinol in this product is combined with other anti-aging ingredients for optimal results. The antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients in this formula were chosen for their well-researched track records and history of being able to improve multiple signs of aging. We’ve also included potent anti-irritants to ensure compatibility with sensitive skin.

+ Remember, not everyone’s skin will be able to tolerate a high percentage of retinol, especially if you’re already using a prescription retinoid or other skincare products that contain retinol.

Additional info

What makes this product unique?

Combined with potent antioxidants, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is specially formulated to smooth and firm skin by helping to boost cell regeneration and stimulate collagen production. Its light, silky texture absorbs quickly and goes to work immediately to refine pore size, reduce deep wrinkles, fine lines, brown spots—it can even help breakouts, too! Licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the irritation some people may get from products containing high amounts of retinol. You’ll be amazed at how much younger and radiant your skin will look and feel.

A consumer panel test showed that 92% of users preferred this retinol product over other, similar products they've used.

Who is this product for?

Those looking for a more potent product designed to preserve young skin and repair more advanced signs of aging, including: deep wrinkles, fine lines, and brown spots. In addition, Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment will help prevent blemishes and correct red marks from past breakouts.


  • Discontinue or reduce frequency of use if irritation develops or persists.
  • Despite the many benefits retinol has, there is no single “best” anti-aging ingredient for skin. The retinol in this product is combined with other anti-aging ingredients for optimal results.
  • The antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients in this formula were chosen for their well-researched track records and history of being able to improve multiple signs of aging.
  • We’ve also included potent anti-irritants to ensure compatibility with sensitive skin.
  • Remember, not everyone’s skin will be able to tolerate a high percentage of retinol, especially if you’re already using a prescription retinoid or other skincare products that contain retinol.
Aqua, Dimethicone (silicone slip agent), Glycerin (skin-repairing ingredient), Butylene Glycol (slip agent/penetration enhancer), Isononyl Isononanoate (emollient), Castor Isostearate Succinate (skin conditioning agent), Glyceryl Stearate (emulsifier), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (thickener), Dimethicone Crosspolymer (silicone thickener/texture enhancer), PEG-33 (binding agent), Polysorbate 20 (emulsifier), Behenyl Alcohol (fatty alcohol thickener), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C/antioxidant), PEG-100 Stearate (thickener), Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate (binding agent), Polymethylsilsesquioxane (silicone-based opacyfying agent), Retinol (cell-communicating ingredient), Ceramide NS (skin-repairing ingredient), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 (cell-communicating ingredient), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (cell-communicating ingredient), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 (cell-communicating ingredient), (skin-repairing ingredient), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (antioxidant plant extract/anti-irritant), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract/anti-irritant), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (antioxidant plant extract/anti-irritant), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract/anti-irritant), Salix Alba (Willow) Root Extract (antioxidant plant extract/anti-irritant), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols (antioxidants/skin-conditioning agent), Lecithin (cell-communicating ingredient), Allantoin (anti-irritant), Tocopheryl Acetate (vitamin E/antioxidant), Hydrolized Soy Protein (antioxidant), Sorbitan Laurate (emulsifier), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester (anti-irritant), Disodium EDTA (stabilizer), Hydroxyethylcellulose (thickener), Sodium Hydroxide (pH adjuster), Tribehenin (emollient), Caprylyl Glycol (skin-conditioning agent), Ethylhexylglycerin (skin conditioning agent), Pentylene Glycol (slip agent), PEG-75 Shea Butter Glycerides (emollient), PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer (film-forming agent), PEG-10 Phytosterol (fatty acid-based thickener), PEG-8 Dimethicone (silicon-based skin-conditioning agent), PEG-14 (thickener), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (slip agent), Arachidyl Glycoside (emulsifier), Sclerotium Gum (thickener), Arachidyl Alcohol (thickener), Benzoic Acid (preservative), Carbomer (gel based thickener), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

Sources to support the claims made for the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2013, ePublication; Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, May 2013, pages 533–540; March 2013, pages S42–S44; and January 2012, online; Pharmaceutical Research, February 2013, pages 538–551; Advances in Skin and Wound Care, May 2013, pages 224–229; Journal of Dermatological Science, April 2012, pages 51–59; Experimental Dermatology, July 2011, pages 572–576; International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2011, pages 62–69; British Journal of Dermatology, December 2010, pages 1,157–1,165; Bioscience, American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Volume 9, 2008, pages 369–381; Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, October 2008, pages 2,589–2,597; and New England Journal of Medicine, May 1993, pages 1,438–1,443.

What is the difference between the Resist 1% Retinol Booster and the Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?
To start, there are similarities between the Resist 1% Retinol Booster and Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment. Both contain a high-level of 1% retinol, and each is formulated with peptides and a significant amount of antioxidants and anti-irritants. Where they really differ is in terms of texture, usage, and which skin types they are ideal for (although both products are suitable for all skin types).

The Resist 1% Retinol Booster has a fluid texture that allows it to be mixed in with your favorite serum or moisturizer. Its formula is thinner, lighter, and especially well-suited for normal to oily or breakout prone-skin. It’s also a phenomenal option for ANYONE who wants to boost their current skincare routine with a higher strength of retinol. Adding Resist 1% Retinol Booster to your serum or moisturizer allows it to work more gently on your skin, so you can use it more frequently – even as a daily part of our routine.

The Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment has a creamy lotion texture that is most ideal for normal to dry skin. It’s an intensive high-percentage retinol treatment that a consistent retinol user looking for powerful results will love. It’s best to slowly add this to your routine – no more than a pea-sized amount up to 3 times per week to start – and adjust based on your individual experience.

At what point in my skincare routine would I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

This nighttime treatment is best applied after cleansing and toning. If you use an AHA or BHA exfoliant, apply that first, then follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment, followed by your serum and nighttime moisturizer.

If you are planning to use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with a prescription retinoid, apply the prescription retinoid after cleansing, toning, and exfoliating. Follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment and the rest of your skincare routine. Note that combining this product with a prescription retinoid increases the risk of side effects such as dryness, flaking, and sensitivity.

How does Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment differ from the other retinol products Paula’s Choice offers?

The most notable difference is that Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment contains a higher amount of retinol than our other products with retinol. It is formulated for those whose skin can tolerate prescription-strength retinol but want an over-the-counter alternative or whose skin has more advanced signs of sun damage, including deep wrinkles.

The percentage of retinol needed for efficacy is generally between 0.01%–1%, which is quite a range, but further proof of just how powerful retinol is! Below is the percentage of retinol in other Paula’s Choice products that contain this ingredient:

Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer: 0.01%
Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Repair Retinol Serum: 0.1%
Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum: 0.01%
Resist Intensive Repair Cream: 0.01%
PC4Men Night Time Repair: 0.01%
Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum: 0.03%

All of these products may be used with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment or on their own, as each treats skin to a beneficial range of anti-aging ingredients.

Can I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if I am using other Paula’s Choice products that contain retinol?

Yes, though you may wish to alternate rather than layer—this will depend on how your skin responds. You can also apply your usual retinol product (serum or moisturizer) all over your face and neck, then apply Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment to areas showing more advanced signs of aging: Crow’s feet around the eyes, laugh lines, expression lines, and dark spots.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment suitable for sensitive skin?

Yes, although of course it always depends on how skin reacts. Our fragrance-free formula contains several anti-irritants designed to minimize any discomfort those with sensitive skin may experience from using a stronger retinol treatment; however, if skin is very sensitive it’s best to apply this treatment less often, perhaps twice per week rather than every night.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment suitable for rosacea-affected skin?

Yes, although of course it always depends on how skin reacts. There’s research showing retinol can help reduce the inflammation that’s an underlying factor in rosacea.

Can I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if I have oily skin and breakouts?

Yes; in fact, the amount of retinol is akin to prescription-strength retinoids which are often prescribed by dermatologists to manage all types of acne. The silky-smooth finish won’t make oily skin look or feel greasy.

How does Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment compare to prescription retinoids?

This product contains retinol, which is weaker than prescription retinoids but, over time, produces comparable anti-aging and anti-acne results. A prescription retinoid may produce faster results, but it does so with the added risk of side effects like redness, flaking, and increased sensitivity.

As with most well formulated anti-aging products, consistent use and daily sun protection will produce the best results.

Is it OK to use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment with an anti-acne product that contains benzoyl peroxide?

Yes. For best results, apply the benzoyl peroxide product to breakout-prone areas, allow to dry, then follow with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment.

Are there any products I shouldn’t combine with Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

No, it can be used with any other skincare products. However, if you’re combining it with more “active” products such as AHAs, BHA, anti-acne products, other retinol or prescription retinoid or prescription anti-acne products, it’s important to pay attention to how your skin responds and adjust usage accordingly. You don’t want to tip the scale in favor of irritation!

How soon will I see results?

From the first use, you will see improved skin texture and radiance. Over the next few weeks, these improvements will continue and you will begin to see a reduction in breakouts, red marks from past breakouts, brown spots, deeper wrinkles, and loss of firmness. After three to four months of consistent use along with daily sun protection (every day, no exceptions) you will see dramatically younger-looking skin with a smooth texture and remarkably even skin tone.

Why should I use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment instead of one of your other retinol products—and why should I use one of those other retinol products instead of Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment?

You should use Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment if you feel your current retinol product isn’t giving you the results you hoped for after several weeks to months of consistent use (along with daily sun protection, a key component of any anti-aging routine). Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment is a more potent product designed to repair more advanced signs of aging.

You should consider using one of our other retinol products if you suspect your skin may react negatively to a stronger retinol product because attempts to use more potent retinol products (including prescription retinoids) haven’t been successful. Even then, you may still want to consider using Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment once or twice weekly, combined with your regular retinol product or used alone.

Is this the strongest retinol product I can buy over-the-counter?

No, there are a few companies selling over-the-counter products with higher amounts of retinol. Although those may seem intriguing, our in-house and external panel testing revealed that amounts of retinol above 1% came with a much higher likelihood of unwanted side effects such as redness, persistent flaking or peeling, and a sunburn-like sensation. Retinol is an active ingredient, and with any such ingredient you never want to tip the scale from benefits to irritation.

Is Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment safe for me to use while pregnant or nursing?

Due to the higher amount of retinol being closer to the strength of prescription retinoids (which are contraindicated for use while pregnant or breast feeding), we advise against such use unless OK’ed by your physician. If your physician does not provide a clear answer, it’s generally best to be cautious and refrain from use until you are no longer pregnant or breast feeding.

If I see great results after the first or second use, is it OK to begin applying Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment every night?

Because potential side effects from a high-strength retinol product may be delayed, we advise you to not apply this product nightly or every other night until you have been using it for 2–4 weeks with no signs of sensitivity (such as flaking, dryness, or redness). This is very important for those who’ve never used a high-strength or prescription retinoid product, as not everyone’s skin can tolerate stronger retinoids—and you never want to tip the scales in favor of irritation.

Remember: Only a pea-sized amount is needed for the entire face and neck. Using more than this per application will not provide better or faster results.

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