This Luxurious Retinol Body Cream Is Only $12 at the Drugstore

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It’s a multi-tasking formula that performs like a much (much) pricier one.

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There’s a TikTok trend in which creators document themselves squeezing entire tubes of Tretinoin or other retinoids into giant tubs of body cream and then mixing the two together, expecting to, (1) avoid the irritation and dryness that can accompany retinol by buffering it with moisturizer and, (2) wind up with a potent anti-aging cocktail to slather all over their bodies. While I can certainly understand this impulse — especially as I make my way through my 30s and start considering how I can prevent wrinkles from forming on my body as well as my face — experts agree that this method isn’t actually a smart one, since mixing the retinoid into a giant, air-exposed tub of product doesn’t just dilute it, it also undoes the preservative measures in place and renders the Tret basically powerless. (Those ugly little aluminum tubes serve an actual purpose, people!)

So instead of wasting precious retinol by dumping it into a random body lotion, why not seek out a product that’s been intentionally formulated by actual scientists who know what they’re doing to deliver that same combination of moisturizing-and-anti-aging benefits to the body? See: Gold Bond Age Renew Retinol Overnight Body & Face Lotion, my new favorite body cream.

Gold Bond Age Renew Retinol Overnight Body & Face Lotion, $12, available here.

Gold Bond Age Renew Retinol Overnight Body & Face Lotion, $12, available here.

Let me state the obvious: This is not a sexy or luxurious product in appearance. But you can’t always judge a body cream by its bland drugstore packaging; the thick, almost frosting-like formula inside feels plenty fancy. The balm-like lotion spreads easily and absorbs into skin in a few minutes, and it’s unscented, so it doesn’t compete with other products. I’d be willing to bet that in a blind test, it would be impossible to guess that this is, in fact, a drugstore formula that costs only $12.

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Then there are the actives: In addition to the titular retinol, the lotion is formulated with exfoliating urea, tightening peptides, brightening niacinamide, moisturizing shea butter, glycerin, jojoba, squalene, macadamia seed oil and cocoa seed butter, plus vitamin-rich watermelon, apple and lentil extracts. There’s a whole lot going on here for what on its surface appears to be a simple drugstore lotion.

I’ve been using it in the evening after my post-workout showers, and my skin still feels smooth and quenched the next day (which, in the winter, is really saying something). While the formula is made for use on both the face and the body, I personally haven’t put it on my face, as it feels a bit heavy for my congestion-prone complexion. (And I have a prescription retinoid I use on my face anyway.) But I do think it would be a great starter face retinol for those who haven’t used prescriptions and are prone to sensitivity and dryness.

I’ve already gone through one tube of this stuff, and I definitely plan to stock up on more, stat.

Gold Bond Age Renew Retinol Overnight Body & Face Lotion, $12, available here.

Please note: This product was gifted. Occasionally, we use affiliate links on our site. In no way do either affect our editorial decision-making.

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