what began as a treatment for acne in the 1950’s quickly became one of the leading anti-aging ingredients available today. doctors soon discovered that this powerful ingredient was not only helping clear their patient’s skin, but also reversing signs of aging.

retinol (available over-the-counter) and retin-A (dermatologist prescribed) are both retin based skincare products derived from vitamin A. they work to reduce wrinkles, increase cell turnover, fight acne, boost collagen, and even skin tone. sounds like a dream, right? it is.

when it comes to picking your poison, age, skin type & condition are all factors that help determine which retinoid and percentage strength is right for you…


retinol vs. retin-A

retinol: found over-the-counter and typically sold in concentrations of 0.05 to 2 percent. when applied to the skin it converts to retinoic acid, the star of the show. however, the conversion process can take several weeks to months of daily usage before seeing results, so stay patient.

retin-A: a prescription retinoid referenced as being 100x stronger than retinol because it’s already formulated as retinoic acid and doesn’t need to convert. the results are more immediate and can take as little as 3 weeks.


before jumping the gun and opting for retin-A, be forewarned that this wasn’t designed for the faint-of-heart. We recommend starting out with 0.5% and building up a tolerance. the higher the concentration, the more likely you are to experience irritation, redness & peeling.


kate somerville: here + here

obagi: here

resurface by shani darden: here