Which Retinols to Start Using?

If you clicked on this article, chances are is that you have heard about the many forms of retinols and is confused as to which retinols to start using. Well, don’t worry! We are here to answer your doubts and questions and help you on your way to achieving that glow that matters.


First of all, what are retinols?

Retinols have become extremely popular in skincare nowadays. It is also widely used by people all over the world. Retinol are compounds that are derived from vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Retinols are also able to stimulate collagen production, improve pigmentation, and some skin textures. No wonder they are so popular!


Different Types of Retinols

There are several types of retinols, each with their own unique properties, characteristics and benefits. Some of the most common types of retinoids include:

1. Retinol

This is the most common and well-known type of retinoid. It is a mild form of vitamin A that is used in many over-the-counter skincare products.

2. Retinyl Palmitate

Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol and palmitic acid (a fatty acid). Because it is more stable as compared to other forms of retinols, retinyl palmitate is often used in skincare products.

3. Retinaldehyde

Retinaldehyde is a form of retinol that is formulated for people with sensitive skin. One of the benefits of retinaldehyde is that it is less irritating as compared to other forms of retinoids, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin.

4. Adapalene

Adapalene is a type of retinoid that is formulated to treat acne. It is a synthetic derivative of vitamin A and works by regulating the growth of skin cells. Adalapene can also help to reduce inflammation in the skin.

5. Tretinoin

Tretinoin is a prescription-strength retinoid that is mainly used to treat acne. However, it is also great for addressing concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, which is why some parents do steal this from their kids (shh..).


Which Retinoid Should I Use?

Well, depending on your skin type, there are different options of retinoids that you can consider. Here is a table of the different kinds of retinoids, which skin type they are the most suitable for, and their level of irritation.

Retinoid Skin Type Suitable For Irritation Level from Least to Most Irritating
Retinyl Palmitate Most skin types, especially dry and sensitive skin Least Irritating
Retinaldehyde Most skin types, especially sensitive and reactive skin Low Irritation
Retinol Most skin types, especially normal to oily and acne-prone skin Moderate Irritation
Adapalene Oily and acne-prone skin, may be too harsh for dry or sensitive skin High Irritation
Tretinoin Oily and acne-prone skin, may be too harsh for dry or sensitive skin Most Irritating


Before You Start Retinols…

Before you start using any retinols, it is important to note that there retinols are notorious for causing skin irritation for retinol beginners. This is why it is advisable to always start from the lowest strength, or least irritating retinol, and slowly build your way up! Remember, more is not always more. Less is more!

If you have eczema or rosacea, it is also great to first consult with your healthcare provider or doctor to see if you are a suitable candidate for retinols. Good luck in your glowy skin journey!