“Studies suggest you need to use at least 0.25% retinol or 0.025% tretinoin to be effective, so I recommend using a product that specifies the percentage.” When choosing a retinol product, Dr. Rogers says it's best to start with the lowest concentration before moving up. Another thing to consider is your skin type.
Which Retinoid Should A Beginner Use? You want a formula with at least 0.1% retinol, retinyl esters or retinaldehyde. I recommend that unless you have super sensitive skin – you can probably start with 0.5%. These are great beginner options.
The Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream formula contains a strong 1% concentration of retinol, which is one of the highest concentrations you can get over-the-counter.
As such, Retin-A is much more powerful than retinol. Even the lowest strength Retin-A is stronger than the highest strength retinol product. Retinol is sometimes added to over-the-counter (OTC) acne medications, but it's not an acne treatment in itself. It's used most often as an anti-ager.
“This is different from traditional retinol because it causes less skin dryness, irritation, and flaking, which makes the product more tolerable.” This technology also creates a more stable product with a prolonged shelf-life, adds Dr.
What results can you expect? Moderate percentages of retinol (0.03% to 0.3%) give you results faster than lower percentages of retinol. Research shows that retinol concentrations of 0.03% and greater could counteract the visible effects of environmental damage and visible thinning of skin.
Myth: Stronger percentages of retinoids will give you better or faster results. As far as strengths go, many think it's best to just jump right into the strongest formula, believing it's better or will provide a faster result. This usually isn't the case and doing so can even have annoying side effects.
High-strength retinol – 0.3%-1%
Those with stubborn skin concerns, like deep wrinkles and pronounced uneven skin tone may want to consider a high percentage retinol cream, serum or treatment. Look for those with a retinol percentage of between 0.3% and 1%.
While the best vitamin C serums tend to focus on collagen synthesis, skin tone and clarity to shift pigmentation, the best retinol creams speed up cell turnover so can prove helpful in learning how to get rid of acne and for general textural improvements.
0.3% – a relatively low but effective dose of retinol. "0.3% retinol is enough to give a good effect but also enough not to put the skin at risk or irritate the skin," continued Abi. "There are creams out there formulated at 1% and 2% but in my experience consumers don't always use retinol properly.
The truth: You can use vitamin C with retinol and retinoids. Get them as separate products so you can tailor the concentration of each and use them at the right time of day. Although vitamin C can be used day or night, it is ideal for daytime use, while retinol and retinoids should be applied at night.
Later studies evaluated Tretinoin 0.05%. While both were equally effective over a one year period, Tretinoin 0.1% was able to achieve cosmetic improvement in 6 months while 0.05% required closer to 12 months. Finally, 0.025% was compared to 0.1% and it was found that both produced similar improvements in photoaging.
Retinoids work best if you use them daily. Specifically, they should be used at night because some types are deactivated by light and air. It's important to start slowly and allow your skin time to adjust. Using too much too quickly can cause redness, dryness, and irritation.
Tazarotene. This is the most powerful retinoid, available by prescription only.
First, the answer is yes, retinol can make wrinkles worse, especially when you first start using it. What is happening is a drying effect, and one can get epidermal sliding from separation from the dermis.
Generally, it takes a few weeks to see results, but some OTC options may require months of regular use. Most dermatologists said you'll need to use retinol for a few weeks before you see results, but you should see improvements by 12 weeks with most products.
Retinol is best applied at night, since it can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. When you do go outside, be sure to use sunscreen to protect your face. Also, keep in mind that you don't need to use retinol on a daily basis for it to be effective at treating acne. Two to three times per week may be enough.
A formula with retinol, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Eye Treatment, should be applied after your serums and before moisturizer due to its consistency.
No7's age-defying Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate combines No7's unique retinol complex with Matrixyl 3000+, to reboot and renew skin. Lines look smoother, pores & texture look refined and skin tone more even, while skin appears firmer, lifted and more radiant.
Retinoids (the umbrella term for all vitamin-A derivatives, like retinol) sink into your skin and trigger faster cell turnover and collagen production, creating newer, smoother, skin. And all of that means pores stay clear, breakouts diminish, fine lines soften, and acne scars fade.
Retinaldehyde is a rare form of vitamin A that is even more powerful than retinol. As explained earlier, the key difference is that retinaldehyde is much closer in power to retinoic acid, but without the infamous side effects.
The Retinol 0.2% in Squalane ($5) is a good option for those who have introduced some form of vitamin A in their skincare routine and as a result may be more tolerant—as using too many active ingredients and adding a stronger retinol might cause irritation.
Hyaluronic acid is best if they're looking to moisturize dry skin, while retinol works better by encouraging better skin by boosting collagen production. They have several benefits that can work in tandem for better results, though patients need to be careful with the exact formulations they use.