Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum review

So, you’ve been using retinol for a while, slowly building up tolerance like a skincare pro, and are now ready to go to the ultimate level: 1.5%.

But how do you get there without turning your skin into a red and flaky mess? Because your skin may be used to retinol, but 1.5% is huge and can still bother it a bit…

Easy: look for skincare products with microencapsulated retinol, like Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum.

What’s In Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum?


Retinol is a form of vitamin A. The only thing OTC that can really reduce those pesky wrinkles you have.

Plus, it prevents new ones from forming and fades your dark spots away, too. How? Three ways:

  1. It has antioxidant properties that destroy the free radicals that cause premature wrinkles and dark spots.
  2. It accelerates cellular turnover (i.e. the skin’s natural exfoliating process), reducing the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles.
  3. It boosts the production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm.

Retinol is a powerful weapon. And like all powerful weapons, it’s not without side effects:

  • It can make skin more prone to sun damage (that’s why it’s PM).
  • It degrades (i.e. loses a bit of its effectiveness) when exposed to light and air.
  • It can cause dryness, flaking and irritations.

Microencapsulation fixes problems 2 and 3. It’s a technology used to put retinol into a tiny capsule or sphere. This does two things:

  1. It keeps the retinol safe from light and air (that’s why the dropper bottle isn’t a problem this time).
  2. It releases retinol into your skin over a period of several hours instead than all at once. In another words, it’s way gentler on the skin.

By the way, if you’ve never used retinol before, don’t go thinking that because this is microencapsulated, you can skip to 1.5% straight away. Build your tolerance like everyone else does. Your skin will thank you.

Related: The Complete Guide To Retinol

peter thomas roth retinol infusion pm night serum 02


Why, what? Don’t vitamin C and retinol make each other useless?

Here’s the deal: retinol works best at a pH of 5.5. Ascorbic acid (the pure form of vitamin C) needs a pH of 3.5. You see the problem?

BUT, that doesn’t mean they make each other useless. Retinol is protected by microencapsulation. Vitamin C may not work to its full potential but you’ll still get some brightening effects.

P.S. Vitamin C is listed after retinol in the ingredient list so it’s unlikely there’s enough of it to boost collagen anyway. Here, it’s used mainly for its brightening and antioxidant properties.

Related: Mix And Match: The Skincare Ingredients You Should Never Use Together


This is derived from squalene, a natural component of sebum (your skin’s natural moisturizer).

Squalane is super moisturizing. It’s loaded with fatty acids that strengthen your skin’s protective barrier and keep your skin soft and smooth.

Plus, it has antioxidant properties that neutralise free radicals before they can wreak their damage on your skin.

The best part? Because it’s so similar to sebum, your skin recognizes it and absorbs it straight away. It leaves no greasy residue behind.

Related: The Complete Guide To Squalane In Skincare

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that minimises wrinkles, prevents premature aging, and gives your complexion a youthful glow? Download your FREE “Best Anti-Aging Skincare Routine” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


Slightly oily, runny texture that takes a couple of minutes to absorb.


It’s fragrance-free.

How To Use It

Every other night, after cleansing. Don’t use on nights you’re exfoliating.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum has an oily base that makes it more suitable for dry skin. But, squalane ISN’T comedogenic, so oily skin can use it too.

Although it takes months for retinol to make a dent in your wrinkles, you will notice an improvement in your skin within a few short days.

The serum makes my skin’s texture smoother. It shrink the large pores around my nose area, so they look almost invisible to the naked eye. It makes my complexion glow.

Overtime, it also helps to keep my skin firm and reduce wrinkles. But, remember, we’re playing the long game here.

I don’t have any dark spots but if you do, this can help with that too.

I mean it when I say that Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM is one of the best retinol serums I’ve ever tried. I almost cried when I accidentally poured half its contents in the sink. 😥

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Who Is This For?

Anyone who’s serious about antiaging AND has build tolerance to retinol over the years AND doesn’t have sensitive skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Retinol newbies
  • Sensitive skin


A dark bottle with a dropper applicator. It’s sleek, easy-to-use, and keeps the actives inside stable and effective.

Does Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

Unique, potent solution of time-released Microencapsulated Retinol at 1.5% helps to gently exfoliate the skin with a continuous burst of retinol all night long. True.
Maximum results. Minimal irritation.  True. But it can still irritate your skin if it’s sensitive.

Price & Availability

$65.00/£62.50 at Beauty BayCult Beauty and Sephora

Do You Need It?

If you’ve reached retinol plateau and are ready to up your dose, this is a serious contender for your money.

Dupes & Alternatives


Cyclopentasiloxane, Squalane, Retinol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Water, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Lecithin, Bisabolol, Alcohol