Glossier's New Retinol Gave Me Cloud Skin Without Irritation

Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol


Absorbs quickly

Ideal for all skin types and a number of concerns

Great for sensitive skin

Feels moisturizing

Results take time

Your skin has to build up a tolerance for more regular use

This uncomplicated retinol is gentle, effective, and affordable. It's ideal for skin concerns for all skin types, even sensitive skin. If you've built up a tolerance you can use this retinol nightly.

Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol


  • About My Skin
  • The Feel
  • The Ingredients
  • The Results
  • The Value
  • Similar Products
  • Final Verdict
  • Specs

We put the Glossier Universal Pro-Retinol to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I am probably exactly who retinol was meant for. I just turned 30, and when I’m not dealing with acne, I’m inspecting my skin for fine lines. As of right now, the only anti-aging aspect of my skincare routine is diligently applying sunscreen. Like many, I've heard the buzz about retinol and have tried to work it into my skincare routine but to no avail.

Retinol has a reputation for being a miracle anti-aging product, it handles fine lines, acne, hyperpigmentation, dullness... the list goes on. However, the powerful ingredient also has its downsides: dry skin, irritation, breakouts, and photosensitivity. For that reason, I haven't been able to stick to a retinol routine. Using it can get complicated—especially if you don't know how your skin is going to react. Rather than risk any adverse side effects with my occasionally sensitive skin, my retinol serums and creams sit collecting dust after the first use.

When Glossier revealed they would be launching "uncomplicated" retinol, I was more than willing to try. "Somehow, this most celebrated skincare ingredient is also the most complicated, and we were craving a more straightforward experience. One that didn’t compromise on powerful, visible results, but held your hand a bit more; for whether you’re a first-time user or a retinoid expert looking for the ultimate forever formula," said Chenaya Devine-Milbourne, Senior Director of Product Marketing and Development at Glossier, of the launch.

Making retinol less complex is pretty in line with the beauty company's identity —consider their right-to-the-point serums Super Bounce, Super Pure, and Super Glow, whose results are quite literal. With that in mind, I was sold on trying it out and couldn't pass up a chance to test Glossier's Universal Pro-Retinol. Keep reading to find out in my full review.

Best for: All skin types

Uses: improve the appearance of dull skin, uneven tone and texture, dark spots, pores, and fine lines.

Star Rating:

Active ingredients: Retinyl Sunflowerate, Stevia Extract, and Mondo Grass Root Extract

Clean?: Yes

Price: $35

About the brand: Glossier makes skincare, makeup, body care, and fragrance under the belief that beauty is about having fun, wherever you are in your journey. The products create dew, glow, and follow a "skin first" ethos.

Read more on: retinol