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Post in Deeper Shades

Best retinol

Any feedback of any retinols that worked in your favor? Any and alll suggestions welcomed 🤗

Re: Best retinol

@lwhite137  Bear in mind that what works for one person might not work well for you. It depends on your skin type/behavior, your reason(s) for using retinol, any skin sensitivities, and other products in your skincare routine. Have you tried retinol before and had issues with it? What were the issues? (Irritation? Excessive dryness? Didn't seem to do much for your skin? Etc.) Or, are you brand new to retinol and vitamin A in general? 


Since you posted in the Deeper Shades group: if you have brown skin and you need a form of vitamin A that can reduce hyperpigmentation and some "signs of aging" without causing lots of irritation (which can lead to more hyperpigmentation), I recommend retinaldehyde, aka retinal. Note the "a" instead of "o" in the shortened name of this ingredient. 

Retinoic acid is vitamin A's pure form. That's the active form our bodies can use immediately. Tretinoin is retinoic acid. It's very effective, notoriously irritating, and available (in the US) only by prescription. 

Retinaldehyde, aka retinal, is the precursor of retinoic acid. Our bodies need to convert it to retinoic acid before using it. This means it works slower than retinoic acid, but it's still quite effective. It causes less irritation than both retinoic acid and retinol. 

Retinol is a derivative of retinoic acid. It requires 2 conversions: once to retinaldehyde, and another to retinoic acid. This makes it slower acting than both tretinoin and retinal. It's still effective, though. 

For the last 1.5 years, I've used retinaldehyde to reduce large patches of hyperpigmentation: Avene RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream. If you've never used retinaldehyde or are new to retinol, I don't recommend that product; consider the lower strength Avene Retinal 0.05 Cream instead. Most other retinals on the market are in the 0.1 - 0.15% range, which is not beginner level. 


Before retinal, I used a few retinol products. I started with the very gentle First Aid Beauty FAB Skin Lab Retinol Serum 0.25% Pure Concentrate 1 oz/ 30 mL to see if my skin would tolerate retinol at all. Then I moved on to The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum which uses a combo of retinol and granactive retinoid; it's in the low to medium strength range of retinol. I still use it a couple times a week on my neck and undereyes, 2 places I never apply my retinaldehyde cream. This is a great product if you have dull skin: it boosted my skin's radiance overnight. (For reference, I have mostly-dry combo skin and I'm now in my 50s.) Then I tried a couple other higher strength retinols. One was SOBEL SKIN Rx 4.5% Retinol Serum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL which sounds very scary at 4.5%, but that number represents a combo of retinol and granactive retinoid. I never worked out the exact % of retinol, but it's definitely not 4.5%. 😂 That product is strong, though. 


If you're new to vitamin A: always start off slow with it. Use it just 1-2 times a week (never twice on the same day) for a few weeks. Then increase usage to 2-3 times a week for a while. Keep gradually increasing usage until you reach a comfy-for-you frequency. Note that you don't have to use vitamin A daily to reap its benefits. You can use it every other night, or even just 3 nights a week. Be sure to have a good moisturizer in your routine, and remember that you can apply vitamin A over your moisturizer—make vitamin A your last skincare step of the night—and it'll still work. Moisturizer can act as a buffer to ease irritation, and it's unlikely to block vitamin A from reaching your skin unless, I dunno, your usual moisturizer is a thick petrolatum-based balm (Aquaphor, CeraVe Healing Ointment, Vaseline—all of which are great moisturizers for dry skin). 

Re: Best retinol

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