Bestseller

Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum

Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 180 reviews

60-day treatment, 30ml/1oz

An entire skincare routine in a single bottle.

Regular price$88.00
/

For smoother, more youthful & blemish-free skin.

This award-winning serum captures the most gentle and effective form retinol on Earth (retinal)––estimated by dermatologists to be 20x more effective than regular retinol. This elusive ingredient is captured using Protocol's patented oxygen-free bottling technology, designed by our Lab Team in collaboration with aerospace engineers.

Most clients see improvements within 10 days.

Formulation and active ingredient found to be more effective at reversing wrinkles and dark spots than a $5,000 glycolic acid chemical peel applied in a clinical setting.*

Key Active: 0.1% retinal, the enzyme-calibrated form of retinol. (i.e., naturally-occuring retinaldehyde)

  • Lab-made batch, ready to ship
Protocol Skincare Retinol Serum Awards

All products are vegan, cruelty free and 100% recyclable through our Emptiez Recycling Program.

C. Rouvrais. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2018 Dec;17(6):1136-1143

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Water, Niacinamide, Cyclodextrin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Gluconolactone, Carnitine (L), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Enzyme-Active Retinol/Retinal/Retinaldehyde, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Bisabolol (L-alpha), Tocopheryl Acetate (D-alpha), Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract, Sodium Lactate, Lecithin, Ethanol, Pentylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate

Apply one pump at night after cleansing or rinsing with water while skin is still damp. Beginning users should wait a few minutes or until dry before following up with evening moisturizer. Advanced users can wait up to 30 minutes before applying moisturizer to maximize potency. This product is compatible with other toners or actives, however, as a general practice our lab team recommends a simple cleanser, active, moisturizer routine for all skin types. Our clients often find that this serum allows them to remove several steps from their routine with better results.

For further details, don't forget to check out our blog.

"This is simply the most advanced and effective non-prescription retinol serum on the market."

- Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Jen Haley

Don't take our word for it

★★★★★

This is unbelievable. I'm 32. I've been using retinol products and "Retin-'A'" 0.05 for about 6 years. I microneedle and get red light therapy. This is the best retinol I have ever used. I've seen more results from one week of use than I have from months of "Retin-'A'". I can also use it every night without drying which is insane. I'll report back in 6 months but this is not a drill. It is. The best.

Kate

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

I have most definitely climbed the fence into middle-age and have been attempting to deny that reality with myriads of products over the past decade. This one works! Over the past month, my wrinkles have diminished and my face is mad smooth and is more, dare I say, vibrant. Believe the hype!

Mark P.

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

Holy grail of retinoids for sensitive skin. This is the only retinol that I've been able to use without a single side effect. I'm actually impressed that it's been living up to all the promises.

Julie C.

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

I've seen real results with both, as has my partner who I coerced into testing right along with me (sorry not sorry), and they have a decent shelf life without a ton of preservatives

Hannah Baxter

Zoe Report

★★★★★

First time retinol user, my wife gave me an order of the Retinol Serum for my birthday. Prior to the gift I had never even heard of Retinol. I have been using it daily for about a month now and I have noticed a dramatic difference in my skin. I'm 47 years old and my skin looks great. The serum has evened out my complexion and my face has never felt to good.

MD

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

No Irritation. I've been using retinols for years, and this one doesn't cause any irritation, peeling, or dryness. I use it nightly with ease. It absorbs easily and quickly, and I follow it with moisturizer. I have oily skin, and I recommend this for anyone else who does also. I really appreciate the thoughtful packaging. I hate to see skin care go to waste from expiring, so it's good to know I can get full use out of this product.

Julia J.

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

OMG This by far has made more difference in my skin than any other product. It’s non irritating which is HUGE plus and it delivers! I’m on my 3rd bottle and I recommend it to women of all ages, go get it!

Jackie L.

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

It's simply AMAZING
This Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum product is something really special and extremely effective, so I can see the result on my skin is very obvious: younger, smoother more hydrated skin I ever had...

Thanks guys for this creation!

Galina G.

Verified Buyer

★★★★★

It's totally changed the game for me. It brightens my skin and clears breakouts without overdrying, which is truly all I've ever wanted my retinol to do.

Maria Del Russo

BusinessInsider.com

clinically Proven
Nature's most powerful and gentle renewing ingredient. Finally captured in a bottle.

There are A LOT of ingredients that can technically be called "retinol" in skincare products (retinyl palmitate, hydroxypinacolone retinoate, retinaldehyde, retinol retinoate,...and on and on).

However, only one form has been clinically measured to reduce wrinkle depth within weeks...and without drying or irritation. This form, which we call Enzyme-Active Retinol (more commonly known as "retinal" with an "a"), is the form that is naturally created by your skin when you apply regular retinol (Vitamin A) to it. By applying this super-bioavailable form directly, you save your skin the irritation of converting it and instead get just pure, renewing power.

Protocol Skincare Retinol Serum Airless Pump Technology
LITTLE ORANGE INGREDIENT FORTRESS
Bottled in a 100% oxygen-free and UV-free environment

This form of retinol is extremely fragile and needs to be made and bottled in a 100% oxygen-free and UV-free environment. Protocol's lab team uses patented containment technology that was designed for the nuclear and aerospace industry to ensure each serum is made without exposure to a single oxygen molecule or ray of light.

The secret that brings it all together though, is what we call our Little Orange Ingredient Fortress.

Our clinical-grade, totally airless and UV-proof bottle that's built like the space shuttle to protect our advanced and fragile ingredients. The quality of product it delivers will be apparent from the first pump.

FAQs

The best time to use the Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum is in the evening, but you can use it in the daytime if that suits your routine better. It makes the most sense to apply our retinol serum in the evening to help your skin self-repair as you sleep without being exposed to oxidative damage. Plus, this gives you room in the daytime to use our protective Vitamin C Superserum.

The Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum is appropriate for all skin types, and it’s not known to cause any issues for clients with eczema or rosacea. In fact, our clients with either condition report seeing great results! Note that this isn’t intended as medical advice. If you think you might be suffering from any skin or health conditions, speak to your doctor about appropriate treatment.

Yes, Most people can use retinol every day! However, everyone's skin is different. If you have never used retinol before you may choose to ease into use by only applying every other day before transition to daily application. You can also mix it with your moisturizer the first few weeks in order to reduce the absorption rate. Once you are ready, we recommend applying retinol at night, letting it sit for 5 to 30 minutes do allow for absorption and then applying a hydrating moisturizer.

The Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum contains 0.1% retinal, which is estimated to be 20 times stronger than retinol. Studies show that at 0.05% to 0.1%, retinaldehyde can effectively reduce skin roughness and signs of aging without irritating the skin.

Retinol acts like a super nutrient for your skin cells. It boosts dozens of important renewing processes in your skin to visibly fill in wrinkles and fine lines, fades dark spots and encourages natural collagen production. Overall, you'll see smoother, more even, and youthful-looking skin! Our Enzyme-Active Retinol Serum includes the only form of retinol that is clinically measured to reduce wrinkle depth within 14 days, without irritating your skin.

Different age groups use retinol for different purposes. Younger clients or clients who still struggle with breakouts use retinol for breakout control and skin clarifying. Clients who are seeing signs of aging (at any age) use retinol to reverse signs of aging as well as to prevent aging signs from forming! If you see no visible signs of aging, we recommend focusing on the daily application of Vitamin C Serum and the once-annual application of retinol. After your first visible signs of aging, we recommend daily use of retinol as well.

You don’t need to avoid anything specific while using retinol, but you’ll want to introduce new products carefully and watch out for signs of irritation or over-exfoliation, such as redness, tightness, or flaking. There is a lot of outdated information out there suggesting that you shouldn’t combine retinol with certain ingredients when, in reality, combining retinoids with AHAs, vitamin C, niacinamide, or benzoyl peroxide often leads to better results. To maximize the efficacy of your retinol, we recommend using it at night before any other leave-on products.

Scientific solutions work for all skin types.

average rating 4.8 out of 5
Based on 180 reviews
  • 5 Stars
    156 Reviews
  • 4 Stars
    19 Reviews
  • 3 Stars
    2 Reviews
  • 2 Stars
    3 Reviews
  • 1 Star
    0 Reviews
97% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Customer photos and videos
180 Reviews
Reviewed by Kimberly
Verified Reviewer
I recommend this product
Age
35 - 44
Skin Type
Combination
Skin Concerns
  • Acne
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Pores
My Results
  • Brighter Complexion
  • Glowing Skin
  • More Even Tone
  • Reduced Sun Spots/Discoloration
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

My 10 year old acne scars literally fell off my face

I thought I was imagining it at first but 3 weeks in my whole family was commenting on how good my skin looked and asking what I was doing. I took before pic a few days in because it already seemed to be changing so quickly. The after pics are from my 2nd round of the complete line and the improvement is REAL. I'm shook. THANK YOU PROTOCOL!!

Loading...
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by connie l.
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

I love the moisturizer

I am 68 years young and just coming off chemo and radiation treatments which is so hard on your skin. I have been using Protocol for just over 3weeks and really can tell a difference.

Loading...
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Julia B.
Verified Reviewer
I recommend this product
Age
35 - 44
Skin Type
Dry
Skin Concerns
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Wrinkles & Fine Lines
My Results
  • Glowing Skin
  • Brighter Complexion
  • Firm & Lifted Skin
  • Reduced Age Signs
  • More Even Tone
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Superior retinol!

I’m on my 3rd bottle of this product— I never write reviews but I’m a huge fan of this retinol! As a licensed esthetician, I understand the great importance of this ingredient in a balanced regimen and have tried MANY products, often with high price-points. This is the best BY FAR. I experienced no “purge,” no sensitivity, and almost immediate results. This retinol is the unsung hero of the market. If you’ve have negative experiences with retinol in the past, don’t give up until you’ve tried this one. 🙏🏻

Loading...
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Bee
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Age
25 - 34
Skin Type
Normal
Skin Concerns
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Dullness
  • Pores
  • Wrinkles & Fine Lines
My Results
  • Healthy Skin
  • Glowing Skin
  • Smoother Skin
  • Skin Radiance
  • More Even Tone
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Serum of Eternal Youth

This has been the gentlest retinol serum I’ve ever come across. I absolutely love it. I have sensitive skin and haven’t always reacted well to retinol products in the past but I loved the Vitamin C Serum so much I figured I’d give it a go. It was so easy to use and without any overly drying/flakey effects that I’ve experienced with retinol use in the past. After using it for only a few weeks my skin had reverted to what it was like in my 20s. I was so impressed with how quickly the texture smoothed out, and how glowy and dewy it makes my skin look. It’s magic in a bottle and well worth the price.

Loading...
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Erika T. W.
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Age
45 - 54
Skin Type
Oily
Skin Concerns
  • Age Defense
  • Dark Spots
  • Oiliness
  • Pores
  • Wrinkles & Fine Lines
My Results
  • Glowing Skin
  • Smoother Skin
  • Firm & Lifted Skin
  • Skin Radiance
  • Fewer Lines & Wrinkles
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Excellent

Though I wish there was a product that could erase every single fine line, I think that product would be named a Time Machine. This is the closest to that. You can tell the product is different from the minute that you open it. I've used retinol/Retin-A for years, but this is the first that smelled like an orange and was orange. And the impact on my fine lines has been profound. A definite reduction. I suppose my only minor complaint is that I wish that it would dispense just a little bit less with each pump? But again, minor complaint.

Loading...
Was this helpful?