Retinol is one of the best ingredients for improving signs of skin aging, such as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimizing pore size, increasing skin firmness, improving skin tone and texture, and more. After reading about all of the benefits retinol has to offer, you’re probably ready to add this superstar ingredient into your skin care routine. But choosing the right retinol product can be a daunting task.
While we have curated lists of our top recommendations for retinol serums and creams, in this review we’ll specifically focus on the La Roche Posay retinol products.
We’ll cover the formulation details, including the key ingredients and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skincare. And to get a better idea of how well these retinol products perform, we’ll share some La Roche Posay reviews from real customers. Let’s get started!
What’s Inside La Roche Posay Retinol Products?
You already know that retinol is the key ingredient in all three La Roche Posay Retinol products, and that it provides numerous benefits to the skin. But how exactly does retinol work?
Before retinol can provide any benefits, it must be absorbed into the skin and converted to retinoic acid (the active form).
Retinoic acid works deep within the skin where it boosts collagen synthesis, increases elasticity, and repairs connective tissue. It also increases cellular turnover, which helps to prevent clogged pores and also promotes smoother, healthier skin.
According to a publication in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, retinoic acid can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores.
It’s best to use retinoids at night. We recommend this retinoid oil serum. It contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, an ingredient that provides similar benefits with less irritation.
The brand combines retinol with several more beneficial ingredients in the La Roche Posay retinol products, one being niacinamide.
Niacinamide is a multi-tasking ingredient that provides many benefits to the skin. For instance, a publication in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.
Niacinamide is also an antioxidant that helps the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum because it combines niacinamide with seven plant-based neuropeptides and soothing, brightening botanicals to promote a youthful glow.
Caffeine is used in some of the La Roche Posay retinol products because it functions as an antioxidant while also tightening the skin. When used in eye products, it can help to reduce under eye dark circles and puffiness.
The caffeine in Carrot & Stick The Moisturizer helps to revitalize skin, while five distinct coconut elements promote overall conditioning. It delivers multi-level hydration leaving skin feeling smooth and looking radiant.
What Are The Best La Roche Posay Retinol Products?
At the time of writing this review, La Roche Posay offers three retinol products. Here’s the details on each one:
What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2023?
La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum
This lightweight serum contains pure retinol, one of the gold standard ingredients for reducing signs of aging like lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. We’ll give you all the details on retinol in the Key Ingredients section below.
The “B3” in the name of this serum stands for niacinamide, the amide form of vitamin B3. Just like retinol, niacinamide is truly an amazing, multi-tasking skin care ingredient that offers numerous benefits to the skin.
For example, a publication in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, states that niacinamide can repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling. Pretty impressive, right?
We love that both retinol and niacinamide are used in this La Roche Posay retinol serum, but we cannot recommend this product, unfortunately. Why? Well, if you take a look at the ingredient list, you’ll see that “Alcohol Denat.” (denatured alcohol) is the fourth highest concentration ingredient in this serum.
Denatured alcohol offers some benefits, for instance, it dries up excess oil, it provides a temporary tightening effect, and it helps other ingredients penetrate the skin better. But these short term benefits are not worth the consequences of using alcohol-based products long term.
Alcohol can cause excessive skin dryness, which in turn causes the skin to compensate by producing more oil. Over time, this can lead to oily skin and breakouts.
Furthermore, alcohol disrupts the lipids that make up the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin), according to a publication in the journal BBA Biomembranes.
Lastly, this serum contains a synthetic fragrance blend, which has the potential to cause skin sensitivity reactions. What makes matters worse is the fact that this serum is marketed as a gentle option for sensitive skin!
Bottom Line: It’s great that La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum combines both retinol and niacinamide into one formula, but we cannot recommend this product due to the denatured alcohol and fragrance in the formula.
La Roche Posay Redermic R Pure Retinol Cream
This retinol cream has a very light, creamy texture that absorbs into the skin quickly without feeling greasy or heavy.
While the retinol in this cream offers several benefits, the rest of the formula is pretty basic. There’s a couple of humectants that help draw moisture into the skin, as well as emollients that help to soften skin.
The only other anti-aging ingredient in this cream is adenosine, a yeast-derived ingredient that functions as a skin-soothing and restoring agent.
A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that adenosine demonstrated efficacy in as low as 0.1% concentration for improving crow’s feet and glabellar frown lines (aka the 11’s).
Unfortunately, this is another La Roche Posay product that contains fragrance, which is strange since it’s marketed as a gentle option for sensitive skin.
Bottom Line: A lightweight cream that combines pure retinol with adenosine to help reduce signs of aging, but keep in mind that the formula includes fragrance.
La Roche Posay Redermic R Retinol Eye Cream
The La Roche Posay Retinol Eye Cream has a lightweight, silky texture that smooths onto the skin easily, instantly softening and hydrating the delicate skin around the eyes.
The formula is similar to the Redermic R Pure Retinol Cream with key ingredients like pure retinol, adenosine, humectants, and emollients. But the good news is this eye cream is fragrance free!
There’s also quite a few silicones in this eye cream. Silicones give this cream a nice silky texture that smooths onto skin easily. Silicones also help to blur the look of lines and wrinkles, while also locking moisture into the skin.
Like most eye care products, this La Roche Posay Retinol Eye Cream includes caffeine. As a natural stimulant, caffeine causes vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessel) when applied to the skin.
Vasoconstriction can tighten and firm the skin due to the removal of excess fluids and possible stimulation of the lymphatic drainage system. This effect also aids in reducing the amount of blood that accumulates under the eyes — a major factor that contributes to dark circles.
Bottom Line: A fragrance free eye cream with many beneficial ingredients (retinol, adenosine, caffeine) to help reduce signs of aging around the eyes.
Which La Roche Posay Retinol Product is Best?
After evaluating all three product formulations, we believe the La Roche Posay Redermic R Retinol Eye Cream is the best product. The eye cream has a nice texture that feels light and silky on the skin, and it’s fragrance free. Furthermore, the formula includes many beneficial ingredients that should help to reduce signs of aging around the eyes, such as retinol, adenosine, and caffeine.
Related: Best Retinol Creams
How Much Do La Roche Posay Retinol Products Cost?
Here are the current prices for each La Roche Posay Retinol product:
- Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum $39.99 USD
- Redermic R Pure Retinol Cream $49.99 USD
- Redermic R Retinol Eye Cream $46.95 USD
Where to Buy La Roche Posay Retinol Products?
La Roche Posay retinol products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party online retailers, such as Dermstore.com, Amazon.com, Ulta.com, and more.
You can also find this brand in drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS, as well as beauty supply stores like Ulta. The brand has a store locator on their website so that you can find La Roche Posay skin care products near you.
What is The La Roche Posay Return Policy?
The La Roche Posay return policy states, “If for some reason you’re not happy with your order, you can return it in its original packaging with a receipt within 30 days and receive a full refund. Simply complete the Return Form attached to the bottom of your invoice with the information requested. Pack the item(s) to be returned, along with the Return Form, in the original package if possible. Orders are limited to 1 complimentary return label per order. We cannot process exchanges at this time.”
Is La Roche Posay Cruelty Free?
No, La Roche Posay is not cruelty free because La Roche Posay skin care products are sold in mainland China where animal testing is required by law.
Is La Roche Posay Vegan?
La Roche Posay may offer some vegan products, but this is not a 100% vegan brand.
La Roche Posay Retinol Reviews
La Roche Posay Retinol reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. The product with the most reviews is the La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum, which has earned an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars after more than 500 customer reviews.
The positive reviews for the La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum mention how well it works to promote a smoother, brighter complexion and a more even skin tone — without causing dryness or irritation.
For example, one review says, “Best serum ever, it helped fix my uneven skin tone and dry skin. It’s not harsh on the face or too oily but it’s still hydrating. Feels amazing on skin.”
And another 5-star review says, “Been using this product for over a month now and can see results on my skin. Smooth, complexion is much better as well. Takes time for the skin to adapt though great to work into your nightly routine!”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum from customers who were disappointed that they did not see the results they were hoping for.
For example, one review says, “I honestly haven’t seen any real results with this serum. If anything I feel like I have more wrinkles. I also greatly dislike the smell of it. Serums shouldnt be scented at all. Not worth the price.”
And a similar review says, “I have been using it for nearly 4 weeks and have not noticed any difference in the deep lines on my forehead.”
There are also negative reviews from customers who understand that fragrance and a high concentration of denatured alcohol should not be used in skin care, as one reviewer points out, “Product has fragrance so it might irritate the skin. Would not recommend the product because there’s alcohol in the top 5 ingredients and will be drying in the long run.”
Overall, we think that the La Roche Posay Retinol Eye Cream is formulated well, but the other two products in the collection contain problematic ingredients like denatured alcohol and fragrance.
- Formulas contain evidence-based ingredients (i.e. retinol, niacinamide, adenosine, etc.)
- Many positive La Roche Posay Retinol reviews
- La Roche Posay is not cruelty free
- Some La Roche Posay retinol products contain fragrance, which could lead to skin sensitivity reactions
- La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Pure Retinol Serum contains a high concentration of denatured alcohol, which could lead to skin dryness and irritation
What Are Some Alternatives to La Roche Posay Retinol Products?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend this serum.
J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010 Feb; 3(2): 22–41
BBA Biomembranes, May 2012, pages 1410-1419
Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Nov; 447-451