Does Indeed Retinol Reface Really Contain More Than One Form Of Retinol?

by Gio
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?

What’s In Indeed Retinol Reface?


Retinol, 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?


Siliconey and lightweight.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

A couple of nights a week, after cleansing. Slowly increase to every other day. Don’t use on nights you exfoliate.

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

Who Is This For?

Intermediate retinol users who are ready to up their game but not for prescription retinoids yet.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Sensitive skin
  • Retinol newbies


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.

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

£19.90 at Asos, Cult Beauty, and Look Fantastic

Do You Need 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


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



Dora January 19, 2018 - 7:34 am

Hi Gio,
Congratulations for your page. Very interesting review! Yet there are some things that confuse me.
First, as long as Indeed Labs Reface is concerned, the official site claims that it offers “Retinol Micro-spheres: a soft, pure retinol encapsulated in plant microspheres that slowly releases into skin. This optimizes the active’s effectiveness, working throughout the day after having applied at night with low irritant potential and maintained effectiveness”. Should we conclude that this is a time release retinol product or not?
Moreover, having contacted with Deciem’s customer service, I was informed that Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (or Advanced Retnoid 2%) doesn’t offer a time release system while their official site claims the opposite. I was trying to find a time released product because my skin can’t tolerate a straight dose of retinol hence all this research which ended up in conflicting descriptions. What do you believe on this sibject?
Thank you,

Gio January 19, 2018 - 2:24 pm

Hi Dora, yes Indeed Reface is time-released but it has a lot of retinol so don’t go overboard. Start small twice a week.

The Ordinary mentions a sustained delivery system so may not necessarily be time-released. I will contact the PR and see if she can shed some light on this mystery.

Dora January 20, 2018 - 5:40 pm

Thank you so much for your reply. What’s the difference between time released delivery system and sustained release delivery system? Another drawback of both products (which seem to share the same HPR and retinol complex) is that they don’t disclose the amount of retinol they contain.

Gio January 28, 2018 - 12:58 pm

Dora, I haven’t been able to figure that out yet! I’ll update the post when I know more. 🙂

Diane February 6, 2018 - 3:36 pm

Is indeed retinol reface good for older skin, I am in my late sixties.?

Gio February 10, 2018 - 5:05 pm

Diane, yes, it’s good for older skin. But if yours is dry/sensitive, you may want to use an oil afterwards or it could dry out your skin even more.

melanie February 21, 2018 - 6:16 pm

Hi i am a newbie to Retinol would indeed Retinol reface be a good place to start?

Gio February 24, 2018 - 10:57 am

Hi Melanie, Indeed Retinol is a wonderful products but should be reserved for the pros only It’s way too harsh for a beginner, especially if your skin is sensitive. Check out this post for the retinol products I recommend to beginners:

Lucy March 9, 2018 - 4:23 pm

What % is indeed retanol?

Gio March 16, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Lucy, I’m afraid I don’t know the exact % but it should be lower than 1%.

Naz March 19, 2018 - 9:10 pm

Hi Gio
Great post! However, I think you should list as one of the cons that you are more susceptible to sun damage and so will need to wear a good sunscreen every day ?

Gio March 23, 2018 - 7:54 pm

Naz, that’s true. Thanks for the remainder. 🙂

Samantha smith April 22, 2018 - 10:53 pm

Hi there
Which serum would you recommend to use in conjunction with the Indeed retinol and would I then finish with a usual night cream?
Also is this retinol safe for use around the eye area, if not could you suggest a retinol eye product to target crows feet?
Many Thanks

Gio April 27, 2018 - 9:47 am

Samantha, I’d use a hyaluronic acid serum first and, if that isn’t enough, a facial oil on top.

Is this your first retinol product? If so, I’d try something gentler first and slowly build up resistance to this cream. If not, yes you can apply it on the undereye area too. It’s not dangerous for the eye area but it may be a little drying.

Crisma November 10, 2018 - 4:29 pm

Hi Gio,
Taken your answer to Samantha, so your regime for retinol reface would be, correct me if i’m wrong,
HA serum – facial oul – retinol reface – night cream (if needed) ?

Gio November 10, 2018 - 6:23 pm

Hi Crisma, I’m sorry if my answer to Samantha wasn’t too clear. First hyaluronic acid, then retinol reface and then facial oil. Apply a night cream between retinol and face oil only if your skin still feels dry.

Comments are closed.