indeed retinol reface review

“What’s the best product to reduce wrinkles, Gio?” I get this question ALL the time. As soon as I mention I’m a skincare junkie, everyone wants to know my anti-aging secrets. My answer? Retinol (or any other form of vitamin A. It just happens that retinol is the most common). You can recognize a retinol face a mile off. It looks smoother, brighter and younger than its real age.

Retinol is SO good, once you’ve dipped your face in it for the first time, you’ll want to meet its siblings, too. Because, why stick to just one form of vitamin A when you can use two or three?One word: irritation. Retinol is strong and strong in skincare often translates into dryness and flakiness.

Indeed Retinol Reface got around this by using retinol-like ingredients. This cream features, retinol, its natural alternative bakuchiol, and palmitoyl oligopeptide, a retinol-like peptide. Should you make the switch?

Key Ingredients In Indeed Retinol Reface: What Makes It Work?


I’ve already mentioned retinol is a form of Vitamin A. Like all forms of vitamin A, does wonders for your skin:

Basically, you’ll age better if you use it. The catch? Retinol is irritating, especially when you use it for the first time. The trick is to start with a small dose a couple of times a week and build up both dose and frequency gradually.

Related: The Complete Guide To Retinol: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It


Derived from the seeds of Psoralea Corylifolia (a.k.a. Babchi), Bakuchiol is said to be the natural alternative to retinol. Word on the street is that it gives you all the same anti-aging benefits without any of the irritating side effects. Is that too good to be true? Mmmmm….

Let’s be clear: chemically-speaking, Bakuchiol doesn’t resemble retinol at all. It just happens to regulate the behaviour of skin cells in a similar way. Research shows that, just like retinol, Bakuchiol boosts the production of collagen and downregulates MMP (the enzyme that destroys collagen). More collagen = firmer skin.

A 12 week study that compared 0.5% Bakuchiol with 0.5% retinol found that bakuchiol is comparable to retinol in its ability to improve photoaging and is better tolerated than retinol“. Impressive, right? Keep in mind, it’s just one study. Retinol has decades of research backing up its effectiveness. To say that Bakuchiol is the natural alternative we were all waiting for is premature.

While we’re talking about Bakuchiol, initial research shows it also hydrates skin, fights free radicals, and has anti-bacterial properties that can help fight acne (but it works better when used with salicylic acid). Bakuchiol is definitely a promising ingredient – and one you should keep an eye on. But I’m not throwing away my retinol serums just yet… It’s good Indeed Retinol Reface has both.

Need help creating an anti-aging routine that really works? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Anti-Aging Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).


Like Bakuchiol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 (trade name MATRIXYL™ synthe’6) is said to be a retinol-like alternative, yet chemically-speaking, it has nothing in common with it. The manufacturer claims this peptide can boost the production of 3 different types of collagen.

Collagen is the protein that keeps your skin firm. More collagen = fewer wrinkles. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any independent studies supporting these claims. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It’s just too premature to say it rivals retinol, yet.

Related: Peptides In Skincare: Do They Really Work?


The base of this sunscreen is made up of silicones. It’s not as bad as you think. Silicones do a lot of good things in skincare:

  • Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
  • Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.

They don’t even cause pimples: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.

But if you use anything comedogenic before this cream, then yes, silicones can trap them underneath their protective barrier and cause breakouts.

Bottom line: don’t use comedogenic ingredients in your skincare and you’ll be fine.

Related: Are Silicones In Skincare Bad?

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Water: The main solvent in the product, it helps other ingredients dissolve. It also hydrates skin.
  • Isodecyl Neopentanoate: A synthetic emollient with silicones-like aesthetics that makes skin softer and smoother to the touch.
  • Isononyl Isononanoate: A synthetic emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Propanediol: It increases skin’s hydration levels and helps active ingredients better penetrate skin.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol: A fatty alcohol that makes skin softer and smoother. Yes, alcohols can be moisturising, too.
  • Cetyl Alcohol: Another fatty alcohol used to moisturise skin.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and binds water to your skin from the air. The extra moisture makes skin softer, smoother, and brighter.
  • Pentylene Glycol: A humectant that attracts and binds water to the skin for maximum hydration. It also helps skincare ingredients better penetrate skin.
  • PEG-100 Stearate: It has emollient properties that make skin softer and smoother.
  • Glyceryl Stearate: An emollient that also prevents the oily and watery parts of a formula from separating into a gooey mess.
  • Cetearyl Glucoside: It’s a texture enhancer and emulsifier. It helps water-based and oil-based ingredients mix together and create a lovely texture.
  • 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol: It’s a fatty alcohol that moisturises skin and reduces the redness and stinging from retinol.
  • 1,2-Hexanediol: A synthetic preservative that helps skincare products last longer. It also has emollient properties.
  • Caprylyl Glycol: A humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, helping to keep it hydrated for hours.
  • Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer: It improves texture, stabilises emulsions, and increases opacity of skincare products.
  • Isohexadecane: It’s a solvent that also enhances the texture of skincare products.
  • Butylene Glycol: It hydrates skin and increases the penetration of active ingredients in the skin.
  • Xanthan Gum: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Glycine Soya (Soybean) Oil: A non-fragrant oil that deeply moisturises skin and has antioxidant properties to boot.
  • Polysorbate 80: It’s an emulsifier that helps the watery and oily ingredients in a formula to blend together seamlessly to create a texture that’s a pleasure to use.
  • Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin: A chelating agent, a fancy way of saying it binds to the metal ions in the water and neutralises them before they can spoil the formula.
  • Sorbitan Oleate: It helps water and oil to mix together, creating a lovely formula.
  • Carbomer: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Acacia Senegal Gum Extract: It makes skincare formulas smoother and improves their adhesion on the skin.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E, it has antioxidant properties to help fight wrinkles.
  • Propylene Glycol Alginate: It’s a thickening agent with emollient and antioxidant properties.


This product has a lightweight texture that feels very siliconey. I personally like the feel of silicones on my skin, it’s so smooth! But I have clients who can’t tolerate it at all. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, this isn’t the right retinol product for you.


Like all the best skincare products, it’s fragrance-free. Fragrance makes products smell good, but it’s the most irritating ingredient in skincare. Retinol can irritate skin too, but at least it reduces your wrinkles. Fragrance has no added benefit. And no, this product doesn’t stink. It just doesn’t smell like much of anything.

How To Use It

Like with all retinol products, start with a couple of nights a week, after cleansing. Slowly increase to every other day. Don’t use on nights you exfoliate. It’s just too much for skin. A little goes a long way. If you overdo it, you need to stop using retinol until your skin heals, slowing down results.


A white and red tube that keeps the retinol safe from the light and air that would make it go bad faster. It’s not the prettiest, but it’s practical and gets the job done.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Indeed Retinol Reface is a cream but I use it as a serum. I cleanse my skin, put it on and finish off with a facial oil. Why?

It’s not emollient enough on its own. It works well on my oily t-zone, but my cheeks always feel dry when I use the cream alone. Some skin types need the extra moisturizing help to make retinol work for them.

Its lightweight texture sinks immediately into my skin without leaving any greasy residue behind. Within a couple of weeks, it made my skin clearer and brighter. My fine lines look a bit smaller, too.

But, be careful. Indeed Retinol Reface isn’t for newbies. I wouldn’t recommend this to those of you who are looking for your first retinol product. Start with a smaller concentration of retinoids and work your way up slowly (check out what strength of retinol you should use at each stage + where to find it here).

The lightweight texture makes it more suitable for oily than dry skin (unless you’re willing to use it as a serum, like I do on my dry cheeks). For sensitive skin, this is a no go.

Related: What Strength Of Retinol Do You Need?

Indeed retinol reface

What I Like About Indeed Retinol Reface

  • Silky smooth, fast-absorbing texture
  • Fragrance-free
  • Practical packaging
  • Helps reduce wrinkles and makes fine lines look smaller
  • Makes skin brighter

What I DON’T Like About Indeed Retinol Reface

  • Harsh, not suitable for sensitive skin
  • Not moisturizing
  • If you don’t like the feel of silicones, this isn’t for you

Who Should Use This?

Intermediate retinol users who are ready to up their game but not for prescription retinoids yet. If you’ve never used retinol before or have sensitive skin, this isn’t for you.

Does Indeed Retinol Reface Live Up To Its Claims?

retinol reface™ is a 3-in-1 formula combining retinol, bakuchiol, and a retinol-like peptide to help deliver softer, smoother, and visibly younger-looking skin. True.
This super-concentrated night cream quickly and effectively targets signs of aging by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while minimizing redness. It can reduce the look of fine lines, but it doesn’t minimise redness.
Additionally, it enhances skin tone, hydration, elasticity, firmness, radiance, and brightness. Retinol can help with all these things, but it takes time.
retinol reface™ is gentle enough to use on all skin types. I wouldn’t recommend it to sensitive skin.

Price & Availability

$24.99 at Sephora and Ulta

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you’re ready to up your retinol game but don’t want to go down the prescription route just yet, this is a good option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Paula’s Choice Clinical 0.3% Retinol + 2% Bakuchiol Treatment ($64.00): It features retinol, Bakuchiol, and peptides to reduce wrinkles. It’s more hydrating and has soothing ingredients that make it gentler on the skin. Available at Cult Beauty, Dermstore, Paula’s Choice, Sephora, and SpaceNK


Water, Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Propanediol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Bakuchiool, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, 4-T-Butylcyclohexanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Glycine Soya (Soybean) Oil, Polysorbate 80, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Sorbitan Oleate, Retinol, Carbomer, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Acacia Senegal Gum Extract, Tocopherol, Propylene Glycol Alginate