Best 6 Retinol Serums in Nigeria

Retinol serum is a highly used skincare product that has substantially grown recognition in the skincare industry. This serum is formulated with a derivative of vitamin A known as retinol. Retinol acts on the nucleus of the skin cells and causes a specific change in the DNA. It is very effective and an antioxidant that penetrates deeply into the skin to improve collagen synthesis reduces fine lines and dark spots, and increases cell turnover to avoid skin dullness. 

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Also, it acts on the sebaceous gland, thus reducing the excessive production of sebum on the skin leading to acne reduction. In this article, I will recommend the best retinol serum in Nigeria based on your skin type and the skin concerns you want to address.

My Recommended Retinol Serum in Nigeria ― Quick Overview

Although, reading this article in full is best recommended as there is more benefit worth your time. However, if you’re someone looking to get a quick overview of what this product contains, you are as well good to go. Simply go by clicking on the link to your product choice for more info. 

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum — Overall Best Retinol Serum. It is a multi-functional skincare product with superstar ingredients that brightens the skin, smooth wrinkles, help in anti-aging, and reduce fine line. 

OLAY Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum — Best Fragrance-Free Retinol Serum. It is alcohol and essential oil free, thus, it hydrates the skin for 24 hours and does not cause any form of dryness.

LA ROCHE-POSAY Retinol B3 Serum — Best Pure Retinol Serum for Face and Neck. The serum is formulated with pure retinol, reduces lines, wrinkle, and premature sun damage, and promote skin cell turnover. As a result, it gives an even skin tone and youthful brightening looks.

Double Strength Retinol Night Repair Serum — Best Retinol Serum for Skin Nutrition. This serum is effective in skin repair, moisturizes, and it’s perfect for dry skin type. It has pro-vitamin B5 that soothes your skin and also protects your skin from injuries.

Dr. Rashel Vitamin A Retinol Age-defying & Rejuvenation Face Serum — Best Retinol Serum for Facial Skin. This retinol serum is one the most purchased in Nigeria. Additionally, it helps in anti-aging and skin rejuvenation. Unlike La Roche-Posay, which is best for the face and neck, this retinol serum is best for mainly facial skin.

Pei Mei Retinol C Serum — Best Pocket-friendly Retinol Serum. Very affordable, but not a retinol as many perceive it to be. It has no ingredient of retinol, so do not put your hopes up or see retinol base serum results, as it mostly works as a moisturizer. I do not recommend this product as a retinol serum. you can try CeraVe, OLAY, La Roche-Posay, Double Strength, or Dr. Rashel for a retinol skincare routine.

Top 5 Retinol Serum in Nigeria

Briefly explained above is the precise summary of this content. But I recommend you read to the end, as this section will help you decide without a doubt the best retinol serum for your skin type and skin issues you want to routinize. You sure don’t want to miss out.

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum — Overall Best Retinol Serum

My first recommended retinol serum in Nigeria is CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum. It is one of the most known skincare products prescribed by most dermatologists. Looking by its key ingredients that set it above others on the list is Niacinamide, a multi-functional skincare ingredient that has been clinically proven to be an anti-acne and a superstar that brightens the skin and smoothing wrinkles. 

Niacinamide or vitamin B3 as an ingredient can alone fade off brown spot or combines with amino sugar acetyl glucosamine. It boosts the strength of ceramide synthesis to give stronger, hydrated, and healthier skin. With its retinol portion, there is availability of pure vitamin A. This will be converted to retinoic acid to help in anti-aging. Aside from that is Phytosphingosine which serves as a natural antimicrobial and antibacterial defense system to protect your skin. 

You don’t have to worry about your skin experiencing dryness or any other irritating skin issues; its sodium hyaluronic penetrates deeply into the skin and moisturizes. The dipotassium glycyrrhizinate act as an anti-inflammatory effect to regulate sebum from the sebaceous gland and prevent excessive production of skin lipids.

OLAY Regenerist Retinol 24 Night Serum — Best Fragrance-Free Retinol Serum 

OLAY is another recognized skincare product that proves to be extremely effective. It is quite expensive compare to others on this list. This serum comes with a blend of vitamin B3 plus retinoid complex to hydrate your skin. What you will come to like is its fragrance and essential oil-free nature, which makes it suitable for all skin types. And this includes both sensitive and skin that are prone to allergies. Apply OLAY in the night and it will do its job correctly and hydrate your skin for 24 hours. 

Unlike other skincare products that will promise what they can’t give, as a result of my research, many users and top dermatologists recommend this product. It promises anti-aging with a less negative effect, thanks to its retinyl propionate portion. It is alcohol-free. Thus, it does not cause any form of dryness. Since it contains glycerin, your skin hydration and general skin health are guaranteed. 

Other of its ingredients include dimethicone, niacinamide, crosspolymer, polyacrylamide, and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 which helps to reduce fine lines, and wrinkles and improve your skin texture.  This is one product I do not doubt about, so, I highly recommend it, if you can afford it.

LA ROCHE-POSAY Retinol B3 Serum — Best Pure Retinol Serum for Face and Neck

LA ROCHE-POSAY is a dermatologist's go-to brand. Now, what do I mean by that? This product has gained not only cognizance in Nigeria but as well the world at large. As regards my personal intensive and extensive research, added with touches of thousands of users and dermatologist reviews, I can confidently recommend this retinol serum as top-rated. Though it is not pocket-friendly, it is recommended by 90,000 dermatologists worldwide as well as users and reviewers, and Nigeria is not an exception. This is possible because the brand is partnered with various dermatologists to develop effective skincare that makes a difference.

It offers effective outcomes coupled with its hypoallergic formula of vitamin B3. Looking at user reviews on e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, this serum is top-notch. Worry no more about burns and reediness that may occur on your sensitive skin, this retinol serum will give you great results in no time. Interestingly, the serum is formulated with pure retinol, vitamin B3, and glycerin which reduces lines, wrinkle, and premature sun damage and promote skin cell turnover. As such, it gives an even skin tone and youthful, brightening looks.

La Roche-Posay has tocopherol ingredients containing both vitamins E and C. This further act as an antioxidant that provides significant photoprotection. The serum is suitable for the face and neck and is best applied in the evening with just 3-4 drops. Essentially, it features a dermatological active booster and buffer ingredient which make your skin looks luminous and hydrated.  

Double Strength Retinol Night Repair Serum — Best Retinol Serum for Skin Nutrition

Double Strength retinol serum is yet another powerful skincare product in Nigeria. This serum contains retinol and Hyaluronic acid, which is the two major scientifically proven ingredients that fight the signs of aging and help in skin turnover, restoration, and regeneration. It has a fine constituent that helps reduces pigmentation, which can result in dark spots, flaky complexion sunburn, and red skin. With its potent strength acne formula, it minimizes pores and blackheads.

This serum is effective in skin repair, moisturizes and it’s perfect for dry skin types, all thanks to its alcohol, fragrance, and essential oil free. It has good packaging making it easy and flexible to use. With the presence of vitamin B3, it helps in anti-aging and skin glowing. Double strength is also an antioxidant and has pro-vitamin B5 that soothes your skin and also protects it with its wound healing properties.

Titanium Dioxide is another good ingredient contained in retinol serums that act as a colorant and sunscreen to prevent your skin from UV rays. By my reviews and assessing reviewers that have used the product, this serum is sure what it says it is and result orientated to your skin concerns. I strongly recommend this you go for it if you can’t afford products like OLAY and CeraVe.

Dr. Rashel Vitamin A Retinol Age-defying & Rejuvenation Face Serum — Best Retinol Serum for Facial Skin 

Dr. Rashel is one of the most famous skincare brands known in Nigeria. Its retinol serum has been purchased and used by many Nigerians who are into a skincare routine. By the details on the product, it is stated to be for all skin types, however, this is not something my users experience. I got my reviews about the product from friends who have used the product before now, but the result is otherwise. i.e., it does not go for all skin types knowing is it not fragrance and essential oil free. What to do is to do a patch test on a small portion of your skin to see if it's compatible with yours.

One thing I can assure you is that, it does not dry up your skin, knowing it contains zero alcohol. Using this product is not completely 100% as some claims it solves their problem and others complain. The best pick for this is to test it before fully getting into using it. My users confirm it protects delicate skin, as some of them have this skin type. It encourages healthy skin cell production, provides quick hydration and rejuvenates, and brings on that youthful glow you desire. 

Mind you, it does not anti-age your skin. But it smooths wrinkles and fine lines and reduces hyperpigmentation. Unlike La Roche-Posay which is best for the face and neck, this retinol serum is best for mainly facial skin.

Pei Mei Retinol C Serum — Best Pocket-friendly Retinol Serum

If what you want is affordability coupled with effectiveness, then, Pei Mei retinol serum is best for you. It is cheap and used by many, which has truly made it easy to review this product and make my recommendation. Looking at the reviews on Jumia, Konga, and other e-commerce stores in Nigeria, many users have purchased and used this product. While some claim it works well and resolves their skin issues concerns, others complain about the product.

What to note here is that Pei Mei might be labeled and displayed online as a retinol serum, but this product is not a retinol. It has no single ingredient of what makes up retinol. It only moisturizes the skin. Although some users said it works for them, and they apply it directly to their skin without the need for moisturizer. The issue here is, retinol is a great irritant to the skin, and that’s why some dermatologists recommend applying moisturizer before and after its usage.

Many people purchase this product as retinol, however, if you need just a skincare product that will moisten your skin, this product will help. But as a retinol, you should try CeraVe, OLAY, La Roche-Posay, Dr. Rashel, and Double Strength retinol serums. Those are my recommendation if you truly want to see the results of using a retinol base serum.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Retinol Serum Good for My Skin?

Yes, retinol serum is good for your skin. Its usage is of various beneficial effects. Among some good effects is the reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin look younger and more vibrant. Fading of dark spots, sunspots, and hyperpigmentation, leads to a more even skin tone. Retinol serum is effective in managing acne breakouts by unclogging pores and promoting skin cell turnover. It also helps stimulate collagen production, which further leads to improving your skin texture, and makes it softer and smoother. 

How Long Does It Take Retinol Serum to Work?

When retinol serum is applied to your skin, it penetrates the outer layer and reaches the deeper layers where it interacts with skin cells. Using retinol serum requires patience and consistency if you want to see result. Normally, it will take up to 3-6 months before you start seeing results of whichever product of the serum you are using. Some will even take up to a year, depending on the skin issues.

What are the Side Effects of Retinol Serum on My Skin?

Retinol serum can be powerful, and depending on skin type, some individuals may experience slight side effects, especially when starting to use it. These include flakiness, redness, dryness, peeling and skin purging or irritation to mention a few. If you are someone with a sensitive skin type, do not just jump into the over-the-counter (OTC) use of retinol serum. Make sure you get a proper prescription from a dermatologist so you are guided right in your routine. Please do not use retinol serum when you are pregnant and breastfeeding.


Based on my personal research and patch test, the above-mentioned are the 5 best rated among various types tested and used by several retinol serum users. All you need is the right type that will suit your skin type and the concerned skin condition you want to get read of. This is because the formulation that suits your skin will boost the healthiness of your skin and give you the result you want. Hence, I recommend those that made it to this list aside from Pei Mei as the best in Nigerian skincare market. They are available offline in most cosmetic stores with good credibility and also in any Nigeria e-commerce platform, be it Jumia, or Konga among others. 

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