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Advanced Resurfacing Serum

Advanced Resurfacing Serum is a pure retinol cream treatment for sensitive skin to smooth and repair the look of sun damaged wrinkles without causing dryness.

Advanced Resurfacing Serum is a retinol cream treatment to repair sun damage, lift brown spots, smooth the skin and reduce the look of lines, wrinkles and large pores over time. It is formulated for sensitive skin types and for those whose skin has been unable to tolerate prescription forms of vitamin A retinoids. This exceptional serum performs a synergy of anti-aging actives and contains 0.4% of stable, time-released retinol to engage the retinol receptors for 8 hours while you sleep. The skin thickening properties of retinol are enhanced by a potent firming matrixyl peptide and glucosamine HCL to accelerate smoothing and brightening. These are carried deep into the skin by a liposomal delivery system for maximum effectiveness.

This encourages the dermis' lower layers—in which collagen and elastin resideto repair, while soothing extracts keep the skin calm without dryness, peeling or irritation. With continued use, the skin will look smoother and younger each day. If you’re serious about wanting to improve the look and feel of your skin’s texture without downtime, this retinol serum is perfect for you. The result? Beautiful, younger-looking skin by Renée Rouleau. Read The Beginner’s Guide To Using Retinol and Retinoids

Size: 1 fl oz

"My skin is too sensitive for Retin-A at night but the next best retinol bet has been Advanced Resurfacing Serum."


Is this serum right for you?

Take our Skin Type Quiz to learn which products are recommended for your skin.

NOTE: The results of the quiz recommend this product for specific skin types; however, these recommendations are meant to serve as a guide, not as rules. If this product sounds right for you, we encourage you to try it!

See all Renée Rouleau serums.

Other Uses

  • Neck, chest and hands - skin smoothing, lifts brown spots while preventing signs of future aging.

Key Ingredients

  • Microencapsulated Retinol - 0.4% (pure and bioactive) repairs visible damage while reducing the look of wrinkles and large pores.
  • Matrixl Synthe’6 (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38) - encourages tighter, firmer skin by strengthening chain links that hold skin layers together.
  • Extracts of Mugwort, Algae, Licorice - provides soothing relief to keep skin calm.
  • Retinyl Palmitate - storage form of retinol for enhanced performance.

"We rave about this retinol. You should use this."

— Brit+Co

Formulated WITHOUT

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Gluten
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petrolatum

This product is not tested on animals. We are certified with Leaping Bunny as a cruelty-free company.

    • How it Feels / Smells / Looks 

      • Off-white in color and barely scented, this absorbs easily leaving the skin feeling silky smooth. Our airless packaging allows light and air to stay away from the product ensuring maximum stability and effectiveness. 
    • Ingredients 

      • Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Retinol (Vitamin A), Glycerin, Mica, Octyldodecanol, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Lecithin, Glucosamine Hcl, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Urea, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Retinyl Palmitate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Beta-Carotene, Tocopherol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 80, Propanediol, Laureth-4, Phenoxyethanol, Laureth-23, Ethylhexylglycerin, PEG-8, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Methylisothiazolinone. To learn more about choosing a product based on its ingredients, read this post.
    • How to Use

      • To effectively use Advanced Resurfacing Serum to smooth and reduce the appearance of sun damage: in the evening, after cleansing and toning, leave your alcohol-free toner damp and apply a dime to nickel-size amount (one pump) to face and neck. (Leaving toner damp increases the spreadability while acting as a carrier for maximum retinol absorption.) Moisturizer is optional but if you choose to use one, wait three minutes before applying.
      • Night #1 and #2 (two nights in a row): Use Advanced Resurfacing Serum followed by a moisturizer for your skin type.
      • Night #3 (one night): Use a mild exfoliating acid serum followed by moisturizer. (View our collection of exfoliating serums.)
      • Night #4 and #5 (two nights in a row): Use Advanced Resurfacing Serum followed by moisturizer.
      • Night #6 (one night): Use a hydrating serum such as Firm + Repair Overnight Serum or Skin Drink Concentrate. (View our entire collection of serums.)
      • Repeat.
      • The process for using this product is two nights on, one night off, two nights on, one night off, alternating with an acid serum and hydrating serum for your skin type. We realize that you may lose track along the way. No worries. To the best of your ability, try to use the Advanced Resurfacing Serum about 75% of the nights, or five nights a week, but just not all in a row. The reason why we suggest this method is because your skin responds better to a variety of ingredients, which will give it the best results. Using a gentle, exfoliating acid serum will keep the surface dry skin cells off and using a hydrating serum will give other needed high-performance ingredients to repair the skin.
      • Watch this video on YouTube of Renée sharing the real benefits of using retinol or prescription retinoids.
    • Frequently Asked Questions

      • What is retinol? It’s a type of vitamin A that is found in over-the-counter, non-prescription creams that can stimulate the metabolism of skin cells and encourage collagen production. It can be absorbed within the skin and when combined with certain enzymes, it can be converted into tretinoin, the acid form of vitamin A also known as retinoic acid. It does not require a prescription but it can deliver prescription like results with continued use. Using a well-formulated and stable product with retinol will visibly reduce the appearance of sun damage, brown spots, lines, wrinkles and large pores.
      • How does Advanced Resurfacing Serum differ from prescription retinoids like Retin-A or Renova? Over-the-counter retinol is scientifically proven to mimic the benefits that a prescription retinoid offers, but it can be tolerated for those with sensitive skin. It will not give the harsh side effects like dryness, redness, peeling and irritation commonly associated with prescriptions.
      • You suggest alternating it with other serums. What if I don’t want to purchase the other serums right now? For best results, we do suggest using it as recommended by alternating with other serums, however if you can’t, just use moisturizer only (after cleansing and toning) on the other nights.
      • I use a serum and/or moisturizer that contains exfoliating acids. Can I use that underneath or over the Advanced Resurfacing Serum? You can use any acid product like those with salicylic, lactic and glycolic however; you don’t want to use them at the same time as the retinol product to avoid a possible interference of active ingredients.
      • Can I use it in the summer time? Yes, but only if you are someone who avoids getting a tan and wears sunscreen (applied generously and often). If you expect to spend time out in the sun, it’s best to discontinue use a week beforehand and start back up when you’ll have less exposure. To protect the skin from damaging UV rays that will cause any anti-aging product not to work as effectively, you must protect your skin daily. Recommended product: Daily Protection SPF 30.
      • What side effects might I experience? Some may get some slight dryness in the first month, but most will not experience any side effects, especially if you follow the recommended usage by alternating with a mild acid serum and hydrating serum for your skin type.
      • Can I use this product if I’m pregnant? No, retinol should not be used while pregnant. You can safely use our Ultra Gentle Smoothing Serum or Pro Results Power Serum while pregnant or breastfeeding to smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of sun damage.
      • How long will it take for me to see results? Like all retinol products, the true anti-wrinkle results are not immediate but you may notice the skin looking brighter and smoother soon after starting. Depending on the severity of sun damage, you should start seeing improvement within 4-8 weeks and the longer you use it, the better results you'll see. According to a 2007 study published in The Archives of Dermatology, 36 participants age 80 and older applied a formula with 0.4 percent retinol (same percentage as Advanced Resurfacing Serum) to one arm up to three times a week. After 24 weeks, these participants had dramatic improvements in their skin that were clearly visible to the naked eye. So if those over age 80 can see a difference, where the signs of aging have dramatically set in, certainly younger skin types will see results even faster.
      • Can I use it if I have rosacea? Yes, this formula can be tolerated well by those who have been diagnosed with mild rosacea but you may want to introduce it to your skin more slowly, starting with only 2-3 nights a week for the first month.
      • Can I use this product if I'm pregnant? Probably not. This product contains retinol, which many doctors suggest avoid using during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor for their recommendation. 
      • Where can I buy this product? Our products are sold exclusively at
      • Is this product tested on animals? No. We are certified with Leaping Bunny as a cruelty-free company.
      • What is the pH level of this product? The pH level of Advanced Resurfacing Serum is 5.2.
      • Where are your products made? Our products are manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. 
      • I took your Skin Type Quiz and was wondering if I can use products that weren't specified for my skin type? Yes. While the skin type product recommendations are carefully selected for the needs of a specific type of skin to give the best results, many people will modify their routine with other products as needed. 
      • I have questions about my skin, where can I get help? Email us and we would be happy to provide expert advice!