Retinol, Retin-A, Vitamin A . . .what is it and why should you know about it?

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I’ve certainly heard of retinol and it wasn’t until I sat down with Kristin during my “Ask an Esthetician” series when I realized I should consider adding retinol into my skincare routine. So I’ve been doing some research to try to find a good product and was swiftly introduced to the massive amount of information all about retinol/vitamin A on the internet.

I’m sorting through a lot of it but I wanted to share my research process in case you too are looking to add a retinol into your skincare routine.

What is Retinol? It’s an anti-aging molecule that encourages cell turnover and collagen production, softens fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. It’s a milder derivative of Vitamin A, should not be used in the daytime.

Summing up a lot of the articles I’ve read, retinol may be the most effective anti-aging tool available right now. If you are young, you probably don’t need it. But if you are getting near 30, collagen production is going down, or you are starting to see signs of aging, you may want to consider using a product with Retinol to restore some youth to your face! In fact, in one of the videos I watched, Caroline said “retinol is like CPR for your skin. . . it reminds it to keep working!” 

I’ve following along with Caroline Hirons series of videos all about retinol to learn as much as possible as I explore using these products. She has a wealth of information and exhaustively explores products. I’d recommend watching a few of her videos about this subject to learn more! Start with this one!

As far as product availability goes, there are so many options. The percentage of retinol varies in each product too, so it’s very important to do your research before you jump into a high percentage retinol.

I’ve started using the FAB Skin Lab Retinol Eye Cream since I finished breastfeeding and followed the directions on the back of the package. It states to use morning and night, but a lot of what I’ve read is that retinol should *not* be used during the daytime because when mixed with sun it can actually encourage damage to the skin. So I feel even MORE confused than I was before I started using a product.

So where am I now? I’m only using the eye cream at night, until I know more about daytime use and why, perhaps, that product may be okay to use in the daytime. As someone with sensitive skin who tries a lot of products, I wanted to try the most gentle, natural option first! Ole Henricksen and Biossance are two brands that I’m aware of that use Squalane, which is something our bodies actually produce naturally (just like hyaluronic acid!). I’ve been using the Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum for about 2 weeks now and really can tell my skin is firmer and looks healthy. It will take a long time of use to really see the impact it’ll have on wrinkles that already exist on my face, but for now I feel good about using something that is gentle and natural to help combat environmental and aging effects on the skin.

Ole Henricksen has a few products with very similar ingredients to what is found in the Biossance serum I’m currently using, with Backuchiol being the plant-based retional alternative. In fact, this kit would be a great option for those of use looking to try a product like this but want to also start down the gentle route!

I still have a lot to learn, and am certainly glad to have the internet and estheticians available to discuss these things!

I’m curious, do you use a retinol product religiously? And for how long have you used it? Have you seen a difference? Are you also confused by this whole world of Vitamin A and anti-aging products?

 

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Comments (93)

  1. Erin L Kelsey says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve just started using products by the brand “The Ordinary” and I love them. I use their retinoid serium, vitamic C serum, and “the buffet”. I’ve noticed a difference!

    • Priscilla says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      Just FYI, retinols break down the pH of vitamin C and destabilize it making it ineffective with retinol.

      • Tara says
        Posted April 8, 2019

        I actually read the exact opposite online. Where did you read this info?

  2. Julie says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Hi Kate,
    I swear by prescription Retin A . There is nothing that you can buy over the counter that compares. I’ve been using it for around 5 years now and I love it. ( I’m 45) Of course it will make you more sensitive to the sun ( more so than over the counter products) so you will have to religiously use sun screen, but hey we aren’t supposed to be doing that anyway. 🙂 If any readers are looking for a complete complexion change to address sun damage, discolorations, and melasma I swear by Obagi products. The Nu Derm system is amazing.
    Julie~

    • Jill says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      What is the cost for a prescription of Retin-A? And how long does a tube of it last?

      • Kelly says
        Posted April 8, 2019

        My prescription retinal is actually cheaper than most over the counter products. My dermatologist sends it to a mail order pharmacy and it is a deal! I have used it for about 3 years now and can tell a difference in my skin!

      • Ally says
        Posted April 8, 2019

        Retin-a can cost between $100 & $200. Most insurances don’t cover it…but I use the app GoodRx and I got my Retin-A for $60! I learned about that app from a dermatologist on YouTube, Dr. Dray.

    • Priscilla says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      YES!! Same here, Good Rx is AMAZING, I get my Retin A for about $60, it last 6+ months, and it’s a better formula and strength than non-prescription.

  3. Posted April 8, 2019

    I always get retinol and vitamin C mixed up! Nice to have things cleared up. Super useful. Thanks Kate! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  4. Angela Jane Loma says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I am using The Orinarys Granactive Retinol Emulsion. Ive tried others. This will do gor now. I’ve tried Retin A. I was fine with the lower lvl. Stupidly i think after 3 years i am trying the highest. Got sent gel instead of cream. And yes the sun. I’m waiting now. Thinking about what to do. The buffet frim the ordinary is lovely to.

  5. Marta says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I love finding new skincare products and retinol seems like an amazing ingredient. I just have a question though, I’m 22 so should I start using anti-aging products already or not yet?

    • Jade says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      You should def start using! I started using anti-aging products when I was 23 and now I’m 30. Being from Florida, the sun is brutal and can seem like it makes wrinkles appear overnight. I started the habit of always putting on SPF before I go out, even if its just to the store. A moisturizer with SPF is the easiest and don’t forget to put SPF on your hands.

    • Rue says
      Posted April 10, 2019

      Yes! It’s never too soon to start. Just go with something lower strength. I started using retinol a few years ago around age 30 as a preventative thing. And my skin never looked better.

  6. Chris says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve heard that it’s best to get a Dr. prescription in order to get an effective dosage of retinol. Over the counter products are not dependable or don’t have a high enough concentration. Is that what you’ve heard?

  7. Posted April 8, 2019

    Go for generic retin A its 16 dollars for me with insurance and most derms can prescribe it for you esp if you have a past with Acne. I use it every other day and it lasts me about 7 months.

  8. RaeLyn says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    The ordinary has a great line of retro ol products for a fraction of the price!! They are amazing!!

    • Caiti says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      I started using the FAB Retinol Eye Cream about two weeks ago and feel like it’s already making a huge difference in keeping my under eyes moisturized and firm. My fine lines haven’t disappeared yet but that will obviously take time. Like you, I was a little confused about the day and nighttime use after all my research suggested only using retinol at night. However, the FAB eye cream says that it is made with triple hyauluronic acid and other ingredients that give you micro, measured doses of retinol to the sensitive under eye area. So it’s safe to use morning and night. On the flip side, this could make it less effective if someone is fighting deeper fine lines or older skin?

      • Kate says
        Posted April 9, 2019

        I think you hit the nail on the head!

  9. Kelly Schmidt says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve been watching Caroline Hirons for a while now & am loving get retinol series! I started using Indeed Labs Retinol Reface a couple of months ago because it is supposed to be a good starter retinol (very gentle), & it’s so inexpensive. So far, I am loving my skin. I also use Pixi’s retinol tonic on occasion. Very mild & nice!

  10. Alicia says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve been using the Drunk Elephant retinol for a few weeks now and have definitely seen a difference in my fine lines on my forehead and even in the laugh lines I’ve had for over a decade. I attribute that and my morning use of Truth Serum to being able to go foundation free confidently for the first time in a loooong time.

  11. Kay says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Read “If you are young, you probably don’t need it.” And thought good, I’m young. And then read “But if you are getting near 30…” I turn 30 this year.
    Does this mean I’m old???!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      I mean, it’s all relative right 😉

      • Frannie says
        Posted April 9, 2019

        I’m almost 42 so I guess I’m REALLY old… lol.
        Just to add, that now I really use my dermatologist and esthetician’s advice on products. I’ve learned most drugstore brands are not effective, not monitored, and don’t have any regulation of what ingredients are. It’s worth it to pay a bit more for medical grade! They seem to last longer and also work better.

  12. Rachel says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Don’t waste money on these products from Sephora. Prescriptions strength products can be purchased online, at the dermatologist’s office, etc and are MUCH more effective. Sometimes they are even less expensive as well. Obaji (sp) and Revision are both fabulous brands.

    • Rachel V says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      I agree 100%. Obaji and Revision are excellent medical grade skincare but prescription strength Retin A (tretinoin) is the best. Dont bother with the stuff they sell at Sephora and Ulta.

  13. KT says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’v been using the Drunk Elephant Retinol cream…maybe I need a better mirror or just to check up on my skin more intensely, but I have not noticed a HUGE difference. But I’ve only had it for a few weeks, and only use it about 2-3 times per week as suggested. We will see!

  14. Hannah says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve been using the brand Yeouth’s retinol serum (2.5%). It’s inexpensive and didn’t have an exhausting list of ingredients…. and I can get it from Amazon! It has helped the texture of my skin and hasn’t dried it out. I have acne scars and some redness and although it’s taken much patience and a couple of months of using this retinol serum at night, I can see a positive difference in my skin!

  15. Lori S says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Hi Kate, my dermatologist told me that there is such a small amount of actual retinol in over the counter things that he wrote me a script for Retina-A. It’s pricey buy my insurance paid for it. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, he recommended a moisturizer called Neutrogena Rapid wrinkle repair. I’m telling you, it works wonders. I have my sister and all of my girlfriends using it now. Here is the link (but they sell it at Target) https://www.neutrogena.com/skin/skin-moisturizers/rapid-wrinkle-repair-regenerating-cream/6811098.html?cgid=skin-moisturizers#start=1

  16. Katie says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Thank you for this post! Question about the Biossance product you are using – do you use it around your eyes only, or your entire face? I was looking at the product page on Sephora and the directions made it sound like it is intended for the eye area only. Curious to know how you’ve been using it. Thanks!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      I use it on the top half of my face, and I’m using a fresh brightening cream on the lower half of my face!

  17. Bethany Burns says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Like you, I’m very confused about retinol in daytime products! CeraVe, which is supposedly created by dermatologists, has a day cream with retinol. I was planning to try it, but now I’m too scared!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      It is really confusing!

    • Rachel says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      Dont be scared. It has SPF 30 for protection and probably a very small amount of retinol. CeraVe is excellent over the counter skincare.

    • Lea says
      Posted April 10, 2019

      I’ve been using the CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum for about two years and LOVE it. I’ve tried a few other drug store and Sephora options but keep coming back to CeraVe.
      I use my Vitamin C serum in the morning and CeraVe at night (both before moisturizer) and am super dilegent with sunscreen every. day.
      I’ll probably switch to a prescription eventually but for now I’m super happy with the results.

  18. Nancy says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Great info, thanks for the homework!
    My derm recommended adapalene for anti-aging, which is sold under the brand name Differin. The OTC is available for about $11 and is the .1% vs the .3% prescription formula. It’s primarily marketed as an acne treatment, but it works well for anti-aging because it turns over those cells, and is affordable.
    Adapalene is a retinoid/vitamin A (not retinol). I have found it to be effective, but as with all these products, it takes a few weeks.
    https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-retinoids-really-reduce-wrinkles
    https://www.differin.com/

    • Jennifer says
      Posted May 22, 2019

      This is what was recommended to me as well. I’ve been pleased with the results. But I’ve been using it for only 7 months.

  19. Allyd says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I found Dr. Dray, a dermatologist on YouTube. Her videos are so informative and educational when it comes to learning about Vitamin A/Retin-A/Retinoids. I’ve been using Retin-A (generic name tretinoin) for about a month but haven’t noticed much difference. From what I learned it can take up to a year to see results, so being patient is important. Also, Angie from Hot&Flashy on YouTube has some great videos about how to begin using a vitamin A in your skincare. One last thing…Retin-A requires a prescription. Most insurances don’t cover the cost, but if you use the GoodRx app, you can get Retin-a for a reasonable cost. Without insurance it was going to be $130 but with GoodRx I got it for $60 👍🏻

  20. Sbakes says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I am officially ancient at 51. Haha! Is it too late to start using retinol? My skin is definitely showing signs of aging but the lines and wrinkles aren’t too bad yet!

    • Lisa DeAngelo says
      Posted April 8, 2019

      No way is it too late! Look up Angie of Hot and Flashy on YouTube. She will show you the way.

  21. Angela says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I started using retinol a couple years ago and now I can’t live without it! It has improved everything about my skin – just wish I started using it earier (I was 35 at the time).

    Angela at Blush & Pearls

  22. Posted April 8, 2019

    Watch Dr. Dray on YouTube- she has a ton of videos and ones devoted specifically to REtin-A, and then check out Curology. It’s an online service that hooks you up with a dermatologist. You answer some questions, send in some pictures of your skin and they formulate a customized product that contains prescription strength Retin-A and other ingredients along with very specific instructions regarding application and what products to use and not use. The first month is free and then it’s only $20-$25/month after that and you can customize your delivery based on usage. It’s even better than Good RX!!

  23. Hope says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    Environ has a step up system (Skin EssentiA line) that is amazing. The first step has the lowest dose of Vitamin A. It goes to step 5, in which the highest dosage of Vit A can be found. And then even beyond that depending on your age. You should ideally finish 2-3 bottles of each step before introducing the next. Price point for the line is great!! It’s so great that I have all three of my kiddos (21, 20 and 17) on it. Their skin and mine has never looked better!!

  24. Lindsey says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    As I know many of your readers are of childbearing age, it is a good reminder to let them know that retinol has NOT been proven safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding and should be avoided if pregnant, planning to become pregnant or nursing. A

  25. Priscilla says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I use and LOVE a prescription Retin A, Tretinoin, from my dermatologist who evaluated my skin and prescribed the strength that would work best for me. I HIGHLY suggest this route!! Also, the prescription tube lasts a good amount of time (6 months in my case) and if you use Good Rx, you can get a coupon to make it even more affordable. When you calculate the cost it is much more cost efficient that the various products with a lower, less effective dose of retinol or retin A in them and they usually won’t last as long!
    I do recommend doing research on what you can mix with retin A- some things, like glycol can cause redness, salicylic acid can cause dryness, etc. This doesn’t mean you can’t use these, just maybe use them at a different time from the Retin A. i.e. Retin A at night (since the sun breaks it down to make it ineffective) and other things in the morning, or on alternate days.

  26. Samantha P says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I think that if you don’t know about retinol, you shouldn’t post about retinol. There’s a lot of science and nuance with Vitamin A products, as well as a lot of potential for misuse and skin reactions and irritation.

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      I linked to many, many websites and resources throughout this post!

  27. Jessy says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    ive always heard people speak about retinol but never knew what it actually was hahah :p this was definitely useful!!

    dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com

    xoxo <3

  28. Kory says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I use a prescription retinol. Can tell a bit of difference on my skin color with age spots and discoloration. Can tell a huge difference with the smoothness of my skin. Im 43 and started using it about 2 years ago.

  29. Ricci Alcorn says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve been using retinol for close to two years. It has made a huge difference in my skin. I will say I used it once in the morning last summer, and did get a pretty good burn. Lesson learned. Now I just use it at night.

  30. Carim says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    I’ve been told that I can’t wax while using retinol?! I feel like I’m forced to choose between nice eyebrows or wrinkles!

    • Rue says
      Posted April 10, 2019

      I normally just don’t use any retinol or acids (like BHA) on my skin a few days before I go for a wax. That way the skin has time to recover. The reason they say not is use retinol or acids before a wax is because they tend to thin the skin so it could get damaged easily.

      • Lynne says
        Posted April 10, 2019

        Definitely agree with this recommendation, Rue. I avoid applying retinol to any areas that are getting waxed for a few days before and it helps. You may notice a little more redness, but typically a cold compress helps me with that pretty quickly.

  31. Claudia says
    Posted April 8, 2019

    So thankful for this post Kate! I’m totally new to retinol so after some research I decided to start out with a retinyl palmitate that was lower on the ingredients list. Per one sources suggestions, I’ve only been using it once a week. Though I wonder if that source was being very conservative as it also suggested sticking with the same percentage of retinol for a year before moving up to the next percentage. 🤷🏻‍♀️😉

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      good luck!

  32. Bethany Sloan says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding for 3.5 years so have had to stop using retinol. But now that I’m not, I’m so glad! I’ve been studying about harmful ingredients in our personal care products, and there are a number of severe concerns with retinol. Loved the plant-based alternative in the Biossance product though (Backuchiol). That’s a terrific way to go! Good job being careful about the daytime use, since it’s known to have the potential to cause cancer when exposed to sunlight. Here’s a helpful resource with more info as you continue to research: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706889/RETINOL_(VITAMIN_A)/#
    (I know it must be hard that there seems to be opposing info about so many things out there, and I don’t want to come across controversial! I thoroughly support you and know that you’re trusting the Lord to guide your decisions. Love your honesty about still looking into it all.) Xoxo 🙂

    • Susan Arregui says
      Posted April 10, 2019

      Have you tried Vivant Skin Care Mandelic Acid serum which is pregnancy safe instead of Vitamin A while your pregnant.
      http://www.vivantskincare.com

      • Kate says
        Posted April 10, 2019

        No I haven’t!

  33. Kayla says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I am 31 have been using retinol for a few years now and so glad that I started at a younger age. Even my husband has started to use now and his skin looks so much better! I work for a Dermatologist so I recommend prescription retinol. Retinol can be irritating to the skin at first so trying brands such as Biossane and Ole Henricksen is a great start, especially when using quality products. But just be aware, that over the counter products do not contain pure retinol or have a high enough concentration of retinol to get the same benefits if you were to get a prescription. If you want the maximum benefits, I suggest getting a prescription and starting at the lowest strength, but always talk with your dermatologist first. Oh, and wearing sunscreen is a MUST, not just what is in your makeup!!!!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      Thanks for sharing your information!

  34. Beth says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I agree that prescription Retin-A (tretinoin is generic) is the best anti-aging product. I use GoodRX.com for all prescriptions and have saved so much money with it. I recently learned that Walmart price matches, so I just have to show the pharmacist there the best price and I get it. My dermatologist told me to initially blend it with my moisturizer (CeraVe Cream) to get my skin used to it. I also do this if I had some redness. A little goes a long way.

  35. Evelien Elias says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    Hi Kate,
    do you know the products of Environ?
    I started using them about a month ago and am really impressed. You can only buy them through estheticians I think.
    It is based on Vitamin A and you evolve in the products as your skin ‘heals’.
    greetings from Belgium
    Evelien

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      I haven’t used them!

  36. Ashley says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    If you like the anti-aging benefits of Vitamin A and are also looking for a product that is effective at managing acne, then you may want to consider Differin gel. It is an over the counter retinoid acne treatment that only costs about $13 and it was recommended by my dermatologist. I have been using Differin gel at night for about 2 months and have noticed an incredible difference. But, like all Vitamin A products, you need to ease your way into using them and only use a small amount as drying is a common side effect.

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      Thanks for sharing your recommendation!

  37. Jada says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    Loved this post! So informative, thank you!

    https://thegirlfromconnecticut.com

  38. Meg says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I’ve used it for a few years and have never had issues with insurance covering it. I pay $5 a tube like I do most of my prescriptions, and a tube lasts several months.

  39. Lindsay says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I have very sensitive skin and on top of that suffer from hormonal acne since I was a teen. I had a very bad breakout about 6 years ago (breakouts still follow you into your 30’s) and the Derm doctor I went to prescribed me a Retin-A cream to treat it. Needless to say I had a horrible reaction to it which has permanently damaged my skin in the form of dermatitis and rosacea. It took about a full year to get my skin back to somewhat normal not to mention the oral antibiotics on was on for that year and the hundreds of dollars I spent on treatment and follow-up appointments. I will still get flare ups of both and I need to be super careful about what goes on my skin even more so than before since its so irritable. Turns out I should have never been prescribed it in the first place especially at the dosage I was given due to my sensitive skin or as treatment for hormonal acne.

    So please tread lightly with this stuff if you have sensitive skin and watch the dosage and do your research before putting anything on your face! Thanks Kate!! for posting this because I think people sometimes jump on the product bandwagon when they hear the “miracle” claims or have seen other people have success with a product without doing the research first. What may work for some may not work for all.

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      Thanks for sharing your experience!

  40. Kalle Curson says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    I have been using the retinol night cream by Athia for a few months now and just love it. I can definitely see a difference. It says for the eyes but I’ve been using it on my laugh lines as well, and have seen a real difference.

    Use code Kalle15 for 15% off your orders if you would like to try it out. The whole skin care line is amazing. Highly recommend it.

  41. Tammy says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    You linked to your own content, a store/product page that exists to sell its own retinol product, a WebMD blog that is 8 years out of date, and then to a beauty blogger on Youtube. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Wikipedia, Quora, and Reddit, just to make sure all research bases were covered.

    You’re a hair stylist. Unless retinol goes on your hair…?

    • Kate says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      Retinol is not for hair, it is for skin. I think I made it clear that there is a lot of information about retinol available and I made very sure to not make a particular claim one way or another on using it.
      The great news is you are free to do as much research as you would like to on determining if retinol if right for you, and I’d encourage you to spend time doing that.
      Reddit, though, may not be a great place for that kind of research. Ideally you’d like to talk to an esthetician, dermatologist, or perhaps your primary care doctor if you have questions.

      • Candice Whitney says
        Posted April 9, 2019

        You linked to Caroline Hirons, world-renowned skincare expert, who is consulted by brands and other experts for her opinions on skincare products and tools prior to their release. This is the woman who is invited to actual labs to view specific formulations before the product is even born into the world. She’s one of the best resources for skincare opinions and thoughts online today. Good call linking her up. If industry leaders value her input and opinion, so do I.

    • Rebekah says
      Posted April 9, 2019

      Hi Tammy, I’m a software engineer. Some days I’m teaching my peers how to properly dereference pointers, and other days I’m teaching friends how to achieve the perfect curl (thanks to Kate!). Thanks for not pigeonholing me into my professional specialty.

  42. Candice Whitney says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    It’s expensive but worth it: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil. It’s a retinol and works gloriously.

  43. Ashley Beth says
    Posted April 9, 2019

    This is such a meaty issue, thanks for taking a stab at what it’s all about! I steer clear of Retinol and Vitamin A products in general but I do agree that the Biossance product you mentioned is a decent “clean” option. I found this article on ewg.org helpful in addressing some of the complicated science/concerns surrounding Retinol.
    https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-problem-with-vitamin-a/#.WyFYItMvzUI There’s so much to consider and it’s a personal choice for everyone to make. Thanks again for the rundown of what you’re loving and looking into!

  44. Dawn Dutton says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    This is so sad and gross. Why don’t you age gracefully and encourage other women to do the same? Suggesting 30 is old is disgraceful. What an abhorrent example you’re setting for all, and especially young women. Throwing money at the unattainable goal of “looking young” is shameful. Who cares? Women who embrace their age, lines, wrinkles, and wisdom are beautiful. You should learn from them.

    • Kate says
      Posted April 10, 2019

      Dawn, you are free to make your own decisions about skincare products and whether or not to use any thing that has the term “anti-aging” in it. Your comment assumes that I’ve made claims that everyone should do this and aging is bad. I’m simply sharing information about a popular product as I’m exploring it myself.
      In most cases, skin seems to lose elasticity and begins to wrinkle around age 30. I’m not calling people old, I’m stating what happens to skin around that age. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  45. Rue says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    Yes! Been using retinol for a few years now as part of my nightly skincare routine. I use the Paul’s choice resist moisturizer. Mostly as a preventative thing since I’m in the 35-40 age group. My skin looks and feels 10 years younger than it should. It’s probably also good genes. But the skincare helps for sure!

  46. Kara says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    I start using Rodan and Fields Retinal about a year ago. I started using it daily about 3 months ago though and have noticed a HUGE difference in my skin. It’s brighter, smoother, and I had very frequent breakouts before to now I haven’t had a breakout in months.

  47. Kathy says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    Has anyone tried Makeup Artists Choice RETINOL .30% – ANTI-AGING, SUN DAMAGE, ADULT ACNE, REFINE PORES. It has good reviews. I wonder what ingredients to look for. This is what’s in the above…Ingredients:
    Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Ethyl Hexyl Cocoate, Glycine Soya (Soybean Oil), Retinol, Lecithin, Glycolipids, Phenonip.

  48. Susan Arregui says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    I find the best information for skin care on Vivantskincare.com blogs. I’ve been using their Vitamin A serums for years, And there is a difference in over the counter retinols and their Vitamin A propionate.

  49. Laura says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    I’ve used prescription strength Retin-A (tretinoin) for about 5 years now and it’s helped my skin SO much! I’ve always struggled with mild acne and dark spots from acne scarring – so adding Retin-A to my skincare routine has truly been a game changer. (if you are under 30, most of the time your insurance will cover the cost – so stock up!) I’ve recently started alternating with a medical grade one (SkinMedica) which is also a great option.

  50. Christina says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    I’ve been using the RoC Retinol Correxion Anti-Aging eye cream for sensitive skin and the RoC Retinol Correxion deep wrinkle facial filler with hyaluronic acid and retinol for a little over a month now. I use it only at night…and skip a couple of nights each week. I am seeing slight results of smoothing and just general hydration. I have not experienced any irritation, redness or drying, which I’ve read can be a side effect of some retinol products. My skin is very sensitive, so I’m happy with the results so far!

  51. Lynne says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    I use Skinceuticals retinol religiously. They have three levels; definitely recommend starting with a tube or two of the lowest level. I also use their Phloretin CF every morning. I’m 40 and honestly do not have wrinkles. I really credit it that to these two products and using SPF every day. Retinol is the best thing you can use for your skin at night if you’re serious about softening existing lines.

  52. Jodi ladner says
    Posted April 10, 2019

    This is the best easy article, which sums it up. Check it out.

    https://www.townandcountrymag.com/style/beauty-products/g20055655/best-retinol-cream-serum-products/

    Retin-A does not need to be converted at a cellular level to be effective, the over the counter versions do.

    For over the counter, definitely check out Deciem (The Ordinary) retinols and squalane.

    Also a dermatologist can prescribe retinols like Retin-A that are more effective than anything over the counter. And you can buy Retin-A at any drugstore in Mexico or europe, without a prescription 🙂

  53. Emily says
    Posted April 12, 2019

    I think it’s important to point out that you cannot use retinols when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding!

  54. Carol says
    Posted April 12, 2019

    Thanks for the insight. We all want to look our best. I am older (57) and, of course, have tried many things. I don’t mind looking older (hey, not everyone is so lucky to grow old), but I really didn’t like the crepey skin on my neck. It creeps up on you. As I have always had very oily skin, I had avoided anything oil based. Big mistake. I discovered a Vitamin C facial oil at TJ Maxx for only 3.99. I thought “what the heck, I’ve got nothing to lose.” OMG, it made an immediate difference in my skin that I noticed the next morning. And it is only oily going on. Your skin very quickly absorbs it and does not feel greasy at all. I now use it twice a day, even putting it on before my make up, and my face and neck continues to improve.

  55. Louise says
    Posted April 12, 2019

    What is the name of the steroid cream you used around your nose? You mentioned it in stories. I have something similar and want to mention it to my doctor.

  56. Lee Harrison says
    Posted April 12, 2019

    As a geezer, I feel like a bit of an expert. Don’t bother with non Rx versions of Retin A…just bite the bullet and get the script. You can buy in a dermatoligist’s office for under $100 a tube, which will last well over a year. You don’t use it every night…every other night at the very most. Apply to clean skin; follow with moisturizer. Never use during the day. Wear SPF every day of your life.

  57. Amie says
    Posted April 28, 2019

    Hi Love! Some silly questions for you. I’m 43 yrs old, have fine lines and wrinkles, no real skincare regimen to speak of. So I started using Tula products a couple months ago, but noticed rather quickly that my skin would burn after using it—so I stopped. Saw your post about retinol (I’ve always been curious), so I’m on day 5 or so of using Obaji retinol at night. And not only is my face now suuuuper dry, but I’m getting the burning sensation again. Question is: this is bad, right? Or is this normal? Don’t want to ruin my face. 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted April 29, 2019

      Retinol can be really drying on the skin so if you are experiencing that it’s normal HOWEVER if it’s peeling and burning I would stop using it immediately. I mentioned a few plant-based alternatives that may be better for your skin. But I would hold off on adding anything new to your face for a few weeks and let everything settle down!

  58. Charlotte says
    Posted June 10, 2019

    Any updates to this post? How have you felt about the products you’ve tried. Interested in starting anti-aging skin care and love that you’re testing the waters.

  59. Jen says
    Posted August 17, 2019

    Just a note that retinol is not recommended when pregnant or breastfeeding and can cause sun sensitivity as well. Worth looking into Bakuchiol as a safer alternative that performs as well. InStyle had a great article on it recently.