@Dreamcthr1 Really, any product that contains a good amount of retinal (retinaldehyde) or another members of the vitamin A family (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, etc.) can all help with wrinkles, boost collagen production, and reduce hyperpigmentation. Vitamin A does all that stuff. But none of those products are overnight miracles. As with most topical skincare products, it can take 4-8 weeks to see results. Patience and consistency are key.
Also, don't rely solely on vitamin A. Make sure you also use broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) each day your skin's exposed to sunlight, all year long, regardless of weather or season. Sunscreen's the best preventative anti-aging skincare product on the market. (UV damage causes many "signs of aging," including some wrinkles.)
In terms of speed, well… tretinoin is probably your best bet. Tretinoin is retinoic acid, the active form of vitamin A our skin can use immediately. Our skin cells don’t have to convert tretinoin to an active form first. But again, it’s not an overnight miracle. It's available only by prescription in the US; you can get the brand name Retin-A or generic tretinoin.
Retinaldehyde/retinal is one step away from retinoic acid: our skin cells must convert it to an active form. It works slower than tretinoin. I use retinal because it
’s less irritating than tretinoin (and retinol, for me) yet still very effective. My product of choice is Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream (contains 0.1% retinaldehyde).
There are other retinal products out there: Medik8 Crystal Retinal
comes in various strengths, and I don’t recommend starting with anything higher than 0.1% (that’s their Crystal Retinal 10 Serum). A possible less expensive option is Youth To The People Retinal + Niacinamide Youth Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL
. Even less expensive is Maelove Moonlight
(contains several essential oils, so beware if your skin’s sensitive to those).
is what you’ll most often find available over the counter. It’s two steps away from retinoic acid, requiring two conversions to an active form. It’s slower than retinal and tretinoin, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. There are tons
of retinol serums and moisturizers on the market. If I wasn't already using retinaldehyde, I'd try the fairly new The INKEY List SuperSolutions 1% Retinol Serum 1 oz / 30 mL
because I used to use their lower strength retinol serum. If you're a vitamin A newbie, you might wanna start with a lower strength product anyway... something like Paula's Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol 1.7 oz/ 50 mL
or Maelove Stargaze
. There's also the stronger Paula's Choice CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment 1 oz/ 30 mL
but beware of starting with a higher % of retinol hoping for quicker results. You can irritate the heck out of your skin that way. (This is also true for retinaldehyde, and a doctor can help you decide which % of tretinoin to start with if you go that route.)
Another option is granactive retinoid (HPR)
. It’s an ester of retinoic acid that, theoretically, needs no conversion to an active form. There’s not much clinical data on how effective HPR is, so you’re kinda playing guinea pig when you use it. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid* 2% Emulsion 1 oz/ 30 mL
is a popular option.