Filipino woman smiling with good skin, holding skincare product dropper near her cheek

Whether you’re a beauty noob or a skincare pro, chances are you’ve heard of retinol. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and is touted as a wonder ingredient that addresses , , and . Sounds like a dream, right? But while retinol might sound like a one-size-fits-all solution to your skincare woes, it is crucial to assess the best retinol products for your skin type.

While many see retinol as a miracle product, there is a tiny caveat: not everyone can tolerate it.

Why? Everyone’s skin is different, and some are simply more sensitive than others. Read on if you’re interested in adding retinol to your skincare routine.

What is Retinol?

are a sub-type of retinoids. According to Harvard Health, these topical vitamin A-based drugs are popular anti-aging compounds that help reduce fine lines, and wrinkles by in the body. Retinol is also highly effective when it comes to combatting the effects of on the skin.

According to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), the term “retinoids” now serves as a catch-all for a range of vitamin A-based products used on the skin. The AAD said there are different kinds of retinoids based on one’s needs: adapalene is for and comes in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations; meanwhile, tretinoin, tazarotene, and trifarotene can also treat acne, but typically need a prescription; while isotretinoin is a prescription treatment that can address acne.

While retinoids are usually available via prescription, retinol is available over the counter. Retinol is a less potent version of retinoid and is a compound that occurs naturally in the body. Because it is milder, retinol is more prevalent in skincare products on store shelves today.

What Are the Benefits of Retinoid or Retinol?

In 1971, people used retinoids as topical acne treatments, hailing the ingredient as a holy grail ingredient for skin woes.

Retinoids, particularly tretinoin, have potent effects. They make skin cells turn over faster, improve skin tone, refine wrinkles, and boost collagen production, leading to smooth, fair, and youthful skin.

Retinol is a safe and milder ingredient that helps unclog pores, exfoliates and smoothens skin, improves skin tone, enhances skin texture, boosts skin hydration, and treats acne.

Does Retinol Have Any Side Effects?

Many people still experience irritation, including redness, dryness, and peeling from using retinol. It is crucial to conduct a skin test before using a new product for the first time – dab some of the product on your wrist and wait for a few minutes to an hour to see if you develop any adverse reactions.

Is Retinol Best for Sensitive Skin?

Although retinol is generally safe, it can leave a sensitive face overly dry, flaky, and irritated. Those with mild acne, slight pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles are well-suited to try products with retinoids. While retinol features in several over-the-counter beauty products, those with , dryness, or even redness and inflammation should consult their doctor before trying it. 

How Do I Choose the Best Retinol Products for My Skin Type?

Find the best retinol products for your skin type by consulting a dermatologist. Your doctor can assess your skin and educate you on the retinoid properties of various products.

Most dermatologists would prescri below-strength 0.025% retinol, gradually increasing the concentration over time. Medium-strength retinol is at 0.05%, while high-strength retinol could be at 0.1%. Starting with a milder product is a good way to introduce retinol to your routine without shocking your skin.

If you’re new to retinol, try an over-the-counter product such as POND'S Age Miracle Double Action Serum with Niacinamide and Prebiotic Complex for a Youthful Glow. It combats the signs of aging and sun damage while maintaining its gentle effect on the skin.

For , is a good alternative. The POND'S Bright Miracle Night Serum helps you achieve brilliantly luminous skin by protecting it against dark spots and stimulating skin renewal at night.

While retinol can be a miracle worker, care for your skin by looking for the best retinol products for your skin type. Take it slow and steady, and give your skin some love!