Retinols For You

I recently posted on the benefits of retinols and retinoids – yes, they’re wonderful and their benefits are backed by research. Several readers have since asked, “which retinol should I buy?” For prescription retinoids (the stronger version of vitamin A), the choice will involve a conversation between you and your dermatologist – when choosing a retinoid for my patient I keep in mind their skin type and any other skin conditions they may have. Retinols are available over the counter. They range quite a bit in price, but higher price does not necessarily mean a better product, and this is particularly true for retinols. Here are a few that I have tested, like and use:

ROC Retinol Correxion for sensitive skin. This product is a milder retinol. It is a good starting product for anyone with sensitive or dry skin, as well as for someone who has not used a retinol previously.

Olay ProX. The ProX line contains several products – I particularly like the Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex and the Deep Wrinkle Treatment. These products are stronger, so it is best to initially apply them every other night, then build up to nightly as tolerated.

Skin Medica Tri-Retinol Complex. This product is sold in physician’s offices but does not require a prescription. It is a combination of three retinols: retinyl palmitate, retinol, and retinyl acetate. Together, these achieve the strength of a milder prescription-strength vitamin A cream. This product is infused with moisturizers to reduce retinol-associated dryness.