9 Best Serums to Use with Tretinoin

Tretinoin is one of the best skincare products for addressing many common facial skin disorders. One of the products most frequently suggested by dermatologists to prevent skin aging is tretinoin (Retin A).

It could be challenging to select the best skincare products to use with tretinoin. Particularly serums have a thin, highly concentrated solution that can support tretinoin’s effects. They can improve the overall results of your skincare routine and target particular skin issues.

We came up with a list of the top 9 best serums to use with tretinoin to help you choose the right one. These serums are chosen with care based on their formulation, tretinoin compatibility, and positive user feedback.

Whether you want to hydrate, brighten, or target specific skin concerns, these serums will take your tretinoin routine to the next level. So, include the best skincare routine with tretinoin and Say hello to healthier, more radiant skin!

What is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin, sometimes referred to as a retinoid, is used to treat rough skin, UV damage, acne, dark spots, and fine wrinkles. It is a topical gel or cream with a prescription strength and is a derivative of vitamin A. Tretinoin lightens the skin, lessens dullness and dark spots, promotes cell renewal, and decreases wrinkles and uneven skin texture.

Benefits of using Tretinoin

Numerous studies have shown that many benefits to the long-term use of these medications, which include-

  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Boost the growth of new cells
  • Reduces oil production
  • Treat sun-damaged skin
  • Speeds up the removal of dead skin cells
  • Decreasing the frequency and severity of breakouts
  • Keeps pores clean of bacteria
  • Improves skin texture
  • Target areas of skin pigmentation or discoloration
  • Clearing up existing acne
  • Fades dark scars

Can I use a serum with tretinoin?

Of course, most experts say that serums are a great way to prevent overstimulating your skin while beginning tretinoin. Serums enhance the benefits of tretinoin and balance out the side effects when using serums in the morning and using tretinoin at nighttime.

Good serums are ones that enhance the effects of your retinoid. Niacinamide soothes sensitive skin and protects the skin barrier. Hyaluronic acid serums help to keep your skin from becoming too dry. And finally, vitamin C serums encourage the formation of collagen.

9 Best Serums to Use with Tretinoin

1. PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Face SerumCheck Price
2. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face SerumCheck Price
3. Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face SerumCheck Price
4. COSRX Niacinamide 15% Face SerumCheck Price
5. Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face SerumCheck Price
6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid SerumCheck Price
7. DIME Beauty Hyaluronic Acid SerumCheck Price
8. EltaMD Skin Recovery Hydrating SerumCheck Price
9. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops SerumCheck Price

9 Best Serums to Use with Tretinoin

We compiled a list of serums that work well with tretinoin to prevent possible side effects and accelerate the healing of your skin.

1. PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Face Serum

PCA skin-boosting face serum is the best serum to use with tretinoin which has a smoothing blend of ingredients that gives rich, long-lasting moisture on three levels.

It contains hyaluronic acid, which when combined with other potent moisturizing ingredients gives skin a more youthful appearance and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

It increases the skin’s natural production of hyaluronic acid and moisturizes the skin from the inside out. In order to provide the skin with long-lasting anti-aging hydration, a revolutionary HA-Pro Complex encourages the skin to manufacture its own hyaluronic acid.

When applied topically, hyaluronic acid keeps the skin hydrated while also rapidly filling in and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.

Ceramides work to restore and maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Skin is immediately hydrated, and wrinkles are smoothed away.

This anti-aging face serum is appropriate for dry skin, but it is also suitable for anti-aging and firming skin types.

Price: $124 for 1 fl. oz


  • Paraben-free and sulfate-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Deeply hydrates the skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Supports hydration retention
  • Best for aging skin
  • Plumps fine lines and wrinkles
  • Great for redness
  • Good for uneven skin tone


  • Expensive
PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Face Serum, Hyaluronic...
  • PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Face Serum delivers instant hydration and...
  • This face serum for dry skin gives you skin deeper hydration and reduces...

2. L’Oréal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum

L’Oréal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Serum is the best hyaluronic acid serum, a 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid serum that is fragrance-free, intensely hydrates, noticeably plumps skin, and diminishes wrinkles.

This vitamin C-infused hyaluronic acid serum for the face quickly hydrates skin for a dewy glow and dramatically plumped skin, as well as minimizing wrinkles and enhancing skin luminosity.

This hyaluronic acid face serum instantly deeply hydrates skin and is noticeably plump for skin that feels softer more elastic, radiant, and looks younger.

Hydrating serum is a lightweight, water-based solution that quickly absorbs into the skin, making it an excellent layering agent for tretinoin cream and other skin care products.

Hyaluronic acid has a low molecular weight, which allows it to retain moisture, preventing the drying effects of tretinoin on your skin. It is the best fragrance-free moisturizing serum. It is created and tested to be effective on all skin tones and safe for sensitive skin.

Price: $16 for 1 oz


  • Dermatologist tested
  • Fragrance-free
  • Paraben free
  • Lightweight gel serum
  • Provides rapid hydration for dry skin
  • Non-greasy
  • Absorbs fast with no tacky feel
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Effective for all skin types


  • Can feel drying
L’Oréal Paris Revitalift 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face...
  • Intensive hydrating 1.5 percent Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum for face with...
  • Instant relief for dry skin; This hyaluronic acid moisturizer for face...

3. Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum

If you have sensitive skin or are experiencing sensitivity from tretinoin, Aveeno’s Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum is a must-have in your beauty kit.

It is the best serum for sensitive skin to use with tretinoin because it supports the skin barrier, which helps to keep out irritants and seal in moisture while also helping to reduce inflammation.

The face serum is made with soothing feverfew and a nourishing triple oat complex that instantly calms skin and strengthens its moisture barrier. The lightweight formula of this moisturizing serum rapidly absorbs to relieve dry skin.

The non-comedogenic serum is alcohol-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sensitive skin tested. The soothing formula makes it a great addition to your daily skincare routine.

The calming, quickly absorbing cream effectively calms irritable, dry skin while enhancing the moisture barrier for healthier, firmer skin that feels supple and smooth.

Price: $9.99 for 1 fl. oz


  • Lightweight texture
  • Fragrance-free
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Paraben-free and Alcohol-free
  • Non-comedogenic face serum
  • Lightweight and non-greasy serum
  • Can be worn under makeup
  • Dermatologist-recommended
  • Absorbs easily
  • Soothes skin


  • No immediate results
Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum for...
  • 1-fluid ounce of Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Hydrating Face Serum with...
  • Aveeno Calm + Restore designed for sensitive skin with nourishing oat goes...

4. COSRX Niacinamide 15% Face Serum

COSRX face serum is the best niacinamide serum to use with tretinoin. This niacinamide serum is highly soothing and moisturizing, and it is ideal if you have skin sensitivity after starting tretinoin.

It is a highly concentrated serum that combines the highest amount of niacinamide with the best ratios of other ingredients that work together to control acne completely.

Niacinamide will improve tone and texture and works well with retinoids. It reduces sebum and oiliness while also fading dark spots, making it the perfect serum for acne-prone oily skin.

Niacinamide and zinc PCA reduce excess oil and tighten pores to rapidly improve skin texture and brightness.

This non-sticky, light-textured serum will leave your skin feeling relaxed, smooth, and beautiful. Its watery texture absorbs easily and gives the skin a revitalized feeling.

Price: $13.75 for 0.67 fl. oz /20 ml


  • Dermatologist tested
  • Light, watery texture
  • Calms breakouts
  • Non-comedogenic tested
  • Controls sebum and oil
  • Evens skin tone
  • Moisturizing
  • Fragrance-free and paraben-free
  • Diminish post-acne scars


  • It works but also dries up the skin too quickly.
COSRX Niacinamide 15% Face Serum, Minimize Enlarged Pores,...
  • Redness Relieving Serum: Refine Pores, Smoothen Skin, Relieve Redness. The...
  • Key Benefits: Based on real results from consumers' self assessments, the...

5. Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum

Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum is the best vitamin C serum to use with tretinoin. After using tretinoin, this serum is a great complement to your skincare routine.

It contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a bioactive fruit combination, a vitamin C complex with gold, and highly stabilized l-ascorbic acid that promotes healthier-looking skin and protects skin from environmental stresses.

A compound with a high concentration of extremely pure, Kakadu plum and stable l-ascorbic acid, one of the greatest sources of vitamin C, helps treat the indications of aging by lessening the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.

The serum is simple to use because of its light, quickly absorbing texture. Overall, this serum has become an important part of my skincare routine, and I heartily endorse it to anybody wanting to enhance the texture and appearance of their skin.

Price: $20.99 for 1 oz


  • Dermatologist Tested
  • Fragrance-Free
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • Paraben free
  • Brightens skin
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Non-greasy and sticky
  • Lightweight and absorbs quickly
  • Helps skin look more radiant


  • Did not state the exact amount of vitamin C in the product.
Naturium Vitamin C Complex Face Serum, Brightening &...
  • CLINICALLY SHOWN RESULTS: Our vitamin C complex serum instantly hydrates...
  • CONCENTRATED, POWERFUL FORMULA: The high concentration of our complex...

6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Neutrogena hydro boost serum is the best drugstore serum to use with tretinoin. The formula addresses the dry areas of your skin that require hydration and increases their moisture content.

This facial serum’s formula targets dryness to offer hydration and contains hyaluronic acid, a hydrator that draws moisture to the skin and seals it in.

The moisturizing face serum formula is unique in that it helps you get a fully hydrated complexion that is soft and supple and glows from the inside.

The fragrance-free serum offers weightless, long-lasting hydration. This hyaluronic acid serum for the face rapidly moisturizes and is excellent for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

This lightweight hydrating face serum for dry skin can help you add that noticeable glow if you’ve been struggling with dullness for a while.

Price: $15 for 1 oz


  • Oil-Free
  • Lightweight watery formula
  • Non-Comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Fragrance-Free
  • Leaves skin glowing and hydrated
  • Gentle hydrating formula
  • Absorbs instantly into the skin


  • None as such
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum,...
  • 1-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid...
  • Contains hyaluronic acid, a hydrator found naturally in the skin, attracts...

7. DIME Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Dime Beauty Hyaluronic Acid serum is the best hydrating serum to use with tretinoin, making it an ideal addition to your morning and evening skincare routine.

DIME Hyaluronic Acid Serum helps to offer powerful hydration where it is most needed, improve bounce, and rapidly quench dehydrated skin upon application.

It is made with the finest type of water-soluble hyaluronic acid, and it has the amazing ability to give the skin long-lasting hydration by continuously bringing moisture to the skin’s surface and locking it in.

When used with other products, it also smoothes and pumps for a perfect, oil-free base and adds an extra moisture boost for drier skin types. It is an ideal serum for use with tretinoin on a daily basis.

Price: $30 for 1 oz


  • Vegan & cruelty-free
  • Helps to continuously promote hydration
  • Sulfate-free
  • Boost’s skin bounce
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Smooths and plumps the skin


  • Little drying
DIME Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Non-Greasy Hydrating Face...
  • HYALURONIC ACID POWER: It's the holy grail of skincare! The hyaluronic acid...
  • LONG-LASTING HYDRATION: Our pure hyaluronic acid serum helps to instantly...

8. EltaMD Skin Recovery Hydrating Serum

If you’re already using a retinoid to treat acne, this one is an excellent complement to your regimen. It is simple to layer it over your retinoid.

EltaMD’s Skin Recovery Serum is an enhanced blend that helps to restore and relax your skin. It is powered by AAC Technology, which is made up of three amino acids, and it helps to keep skin moisturized and resilient.

While taurine helps stressed skin recover and restore its smooth and even appearance, glycine works to stop tissue breakdown. Additionally, it contains strong antioxidants that protect against free radicals, which quicken the skin’s aging process.

It strengthens and renews the skin’s natural barrier, enhancing skin health from the inside out and noticeably lowering redness.

It has been dermatologist-tested, is non-comedogenic, paraben-free, dye-free, fragrance-free, and good for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Price: $63 for 1 oz


  • Vegan
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Paraben-free and oil-free
  • Noncomedogenic
  • Fragrance-free and dye-free
  • Calm redness and improves hydration
  • Repair a damaged skin barrier
  • Minimize the risk of irritation


  • None
EltaMD Skin Recovery Hydrating Serum for Face, Redness...
  • EltaMD Skin Recovery Hydrating Serum for Face is a Hyaluronic Acid serum...
  • EltaMD Skin Recovery Face Serum reduces skin redness in under 24 hours and...

9. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Hydrating Serum

Get your hands on Glow recipe watermelon glow dew drops hydrating serum if you’re looking for a serum that will give you glowing skin after tretinoin.

This radiance serum has a lightweight, buildable texture and a cooling pink formula that rapidly absorbs, making it appropriate for all skin types.

This highlighting serum with niacinamide is free of mica, glitter, and pearls, providing a dewy glow immediately and over time.

It significantly brightens skin and imparts an effortless glow both immediately and over time, while also helping in the reduction of pigmentation without leaving a gray residue.

It can be applied as the final step of your routine to create an instant glossy finish or as a moisturizing highlighting serum before moisturizer.

Price: $35 for 1.35 fl. oz


  • Lightweight Gel
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • Gives glow quickly
  • Helps visibly brighten skin
  • Quickly absorbs
  • Helps even out skin tone


  • May cause breakouts
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  • Skincare + Makeup Primer Hybrid - Reveal a dewy glow instantly and over...
  • The Power of Niacinamide - This vitamin and antioxidant helps even out skin...

Potential Side Effects of Tretinoin

A medication may have some undesirable side effects in addition to its fantastic benefits. Consult your doctor right away if any of the following negative symptoms manifest themselves:

  • Burning, itching, stinging, or redness of the skin
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Increase in acne sores
  • A little skin peeling
  • Dryness, or flaky skin in the treatment area
  • Lightening of normal skin color
  • Tingling sensation
  • Areas of application feeling warm

Final Verdict

Overall, the best products to use with Tretinoin can make a major impact on the efficacy of the treatment and the overall health of the skin. Tretinoin can help you have beautiful skin, but it’s crucial to use the proper serum to pair with it. Serums containing hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinol each have particular advantages. By including a good serum in your skincare routine and following our expert advice, you’ll unlock the full potential of tretinoin for a radiant, beautiful complexion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What serums not to use with tretinoin?

Avoid using strong acids when using retinoids, topical acne treatments, or skin care products containing a peeling ingredient, such as sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or AHA/BHA peel.

Can I use vitamin C serum with tretinoin?

Yes, you can combine tretinoin with vitamin C serum. While tretinoin is soluble in oil, vitamin C is only soluble in water. However, in order to maximize their effectiveness, they must be used correctly. Although vitamin C can be applied both throughout the day and at night, it is best used during the day and retinol at night.

Do you put tretinoin before or after the serum?

Tretinoin is typically advised to be applied immediately after cleaning and before any additional treatment serum or moisturizer. This is because serums are made to enter and hydrate the skin, whereas tretinoin is a topical drug that must be absorbed straight into the skin.

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I am a cosmetic enthusiast. Welcome to this beautiful journey into the world of cosmetics and ingredients. Beautyslash is a project that I’ve always wanted to do. Blogging is my love, and reviewing products is my passion. So join me as we decode the world of cosmetics and many other topics.​