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  • Writer's pictureNaya

The Inkey List Retinol Serum, Review

The Inkey List Retinol Face Serum Review

your new bedtime friend


It has been a minute since we chatted about The Inkey List on this platform. But fear not! Today's post will be all about the brand's newly trending Retinol Serum. Thankfully, I had enough time to properly test this one, so I have got a lot to share.

Curious? Then please keep on scrolling

My Skin: dry, sensitive.

About the Product

The Inkey List Retinol Face Serum Review

The Inkey List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum (10.99 USD; Made in USA) - is a face serum that promises to promote a smoother, more radiant complexion as well as diminish signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, texture).

Packaging: similar to most products from the brand, the Retinol Serum comes in a signature black and white packaging. The tube contains 30 ml/ 1.0 fl oz of product and is small enough to fit into most travel makeup bags.

Formula: according to the brand, the Retinol Serum contains 1% of Retistar aka stabilized Retinol compound (Vitamin A) plus 0.5% of Granactive Retinoid. This is a slow-release formula, which means the key actives will start working throughout the night, thus helping avoid irritation often associated with Retinol products. This formula is rich in Glycerin (hydration), Propanediol (humectant), Dimethicone (type of silicone used as skin protectant), and Soybean Extract. Hyaluronic Acid is also present but is mentioned almost at the end of the ingredients list (which means its content is low).


Texture image source: The Inkey List

Texture: watery gel consistency that absorbs easily and sinks completely into the skin. The Retinol Serum has a slight natural tint to it, yet it goes on clear. This almost "melting sorbet" texture feels incredible.

Scent: although there is no added fragrance, you can still smell a slight scent. One that is hard to label, but it reminds me of the black tea a bit. In any case, it is not strong and will fully disappear once the product is applied.

Application: PM routine only; after cleanser and toner. The brand mentions that you can use the Retinol Serum alongside other serums. Take a pea-sized amount and apply it to your face and neck. Follow up with moisturizers/creams. Make sure to always wear SPF throughout the day.

Start slowly, using it once a week and gradually add more days as the time goes by. With Retinol products consistency is key. I use mine 3-4 times a week.

first impression

Instantly hydrating and refreshing feel on the skin. The Retinol Serum spreads easily and dries clear. Since the concentration of Retinol is on the light side, the commonly associated side effects such as dryness, itching, and redness are nonexistent. There is no flaking or increased skin sensitivity. Skin glows and feels plump and soft. Pores are minimized.

long-term use

Skin gets extra smooth. I have noticed the biggest improvement on my forehead - little bumps have practically disappeared. I have some minor fine lines above my brows (from constantly raising them), which become less visible whenever I use the Retinol Serum consistently. Pores don't get as clogged; skin is generally plump and healthy-looking.

who is going to like it

I am a Retinol beginner in general, so this is my first time using this active and so far I think this The Inkey List creation is getting its job done. For the longest time, I was afraid that Retinol would just burn my skin, making it extra sensitized and red. I thought my skin would peel like mad and that was stopping me from trying Retinol products altogether. However, my perspective changed once I tried The Inkey List. I got it on a whim but am so glad that I did.

I think this formula will work for all skin types. Best for Retinol beginners (think 25+).

If you are not new to Retinol and want something potent, you might want to consider other options.

The Inkey List Retinol Serum Review


As far as beginner-friendly formulations go, the Retinol Serum is great. Although gentle, it is effective enough to show results in a matter of weeks. Having sensitive skin, I had my concerns, but I was worrying for nothing. This is one of those skincare serums that I am looking forward to applying as I know my skin will glow the morning after. I am particularly happy with how it handled discoloration and smoothed out the texture. I am not sure if this formula is strong enough to reduce the size of deeper wrinkles or lines, however, as far as early aging concerns go - it is a wonderful product to consider. And for this price, you really can't go wrong. I give it A+.

More online:

Purchased product; full disclaimer here


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