Cerave Renewing Retinol Serum is a night-time serum that can help with fine lines and wrinkles, which are often the first signs of aging.

Key Takeaways

  • Encapsulated retinol makes it an attractive, gentle formulation
  • Perfect for targeting fine lines, wrinkles and early signs of aging
  • Plenty of moisturizing ingredients ensure skin barrier health
  • Appropriate for all skin types

Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

Anti-aging retinol serum for fine lines

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum

Skin types: All skin types
Best for: Diminhsing fine lines, wrinkles and early signs of aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply a few drops of product and gentle message into desired areas
See on Amazon

CeraVe's Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is a great addition to fight against fine lines, wrinkles and early signs of aging.


  • Contains key ingredients: retinol and niacinamide
  • Gentle and fragrance free
  • Affordable


  • May not be strong enough on advanced signs of aging

Retinol is able to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve overall texture. Additionally, the serum contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides, which soothe, hydrate, and calm the skin.

If there's one thing that is essential to a great anti-aging skin routine, it's retinoids! Retinoids, as we know, are the most efficacious ingredients when it comes to addressing concerns of skin aging.

Retinol is a milder form of retinoids, which get converted to retinoic acid when applied to the skin. Retinol has been clinically proven to reduce subtle signs of aging.

Product Overview

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol serum is an anti-aging serum containing the actives retinol and niacinamide.

What stands out is its encapsulated formula along with a host of moisturizing ingredients that make it tolerable yet effective.


The CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Serum is touted as a gentle, daily retinol serum with effects anti-aging benefits.

The product claims to:

  • reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • improve skin texture and radiance

It is suited to all skin types, with a non-comedogenic formula. Additionally, the patented MVE technology provides continuous moisture.

Key Ingredients

1. Retinol

Retinol is the primary active ingredient in CeraVe's Renewing Retinol Serum.

Unfortunately, the CeraVe website has no mention of the percentage of retinol used in the product. However, some sources believe it is 0.3%.

What is great is that the retinol is in an encapsulated form, allowing for slower but sustained release. This ensures minimal irritation, even for someone new to retinols.

2. Niacinamide

Niacinamide targets blemishes and pigmentation due to its effect on melanin transfer in the skin.

It has a soothing effect so it helps with irritation which normally accompanies use of retinols, especially for dry skin.

3. Ceramides

The product contains three ceramides: Ceramide NP, Ceramide AP, and Ceramide EOP). This is a great addition as it increases the tolerability of the product.

These, incorporated using Multivesicular Emulsion technology, are released slowly over the course of hours, into the skin. This provides continued hydration to the skin and maintains the skin barrier integrity.

4. Other Notable Ingredients

Shea butter, hyaluronic acid, glycerin: moisturizes with emollient/humectant properties.

How to Use

You should apply CeraVe's Skin Renewing Retinol at night, after cleansing.

  • Step 1: Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser, and pat dry
  • Step 2: Apply a few drops of the renewing retinol
  • Step 3: Followup with your favorite moisturizer

You can start off with using it thrice a week initially (every alternate day) and slowly switch to daily usage.

Other Tips

  • Apply it on dry skin as wet/damp skin will increase the absorption and possibly irritant potential from the retinol.
  • It can be applied all over the face and around the eyes too for the fine lines and wrinkles in this area too - its low concentration makes it safe to use around the eyes.
  • Just be careful so as to not let it enter the eyes.

Important: The one thing that cannot be skipped while using retinols of any kind - sunscreen! Be sure to use sunscreen a couple of times during the day because retinols make your skin photosensitive and more reactive.

What to Expect

CeraVe Renewing Retinol serum is definitely a great product for fine lines, wrinkles and early signs of aging. The addition of niacinamide makes it effective against hyperpigmentation too.

It is a great option for someone who is just starting out with retinoids (Note that retinoid is an umbrella term for all kinds of topical vitamin A derivates from tretinoin to adapelene to retinol and retinaldehyde).

Once tolerance to retinol builds up, one can slowly switch to more potent products. Luckily, side effects like skin peeling are generally not seen with the use of gentler retinol-containing products.

The downside to this is that retinols are typically weaker than retinoids. They take longer to act. One would need 4-6 months of consistent retinol usage to see a change in the skin quality and texture in terms of fine lines and wrinkles [1].

This product would not be suitable for more mature skin with advanced signs of skin aging. Retinoid creams would be a better alternative in that case.


How long will it take to see results?

Regular use for 4-6 months is needed to see significant results with retinols.

How can I incorporate Retinol into my skincare routine?

Retinols are to be used at night. You can layer them with a moisturiser on top. You may also opt for a 'sandwich' technique - moisturiser, retinol product, moisturiser. This is the ideal way to use retinoids. For retinols (especially this kind formulated with ceramides, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid), the sandwich technique is generally not needed.

Does this product contain fragrance or other irritants?

No, it doesn't. The irritation potential is minimised in this particular formulation.

The Bottom Line

CeraVe's Skin Renewing Retinol is a great option for someone just setting foot into the world of retinoids.

Gentle but effective, it is worth adding to your PM routine.

If you're a newbie, this is definitely for you!