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Definition: Retinol

Retinol is a pure derivative of the active molecular form of Vitamin A. It has been shown to increase cellular turnover and stimulate collagen production, which can lead to healthier, smoother, and younger-looking skin. It is also useful for the treatment of acne, as the stimulation of cell regeneration helps to clear clogged pores.

It is available in low concentrations in many over-the-counter products. Higher doses are available for more severe skin issues, but they're available by prescription only, since the overuse of Vitamin A can lead to a number of health problems including birth defects. Regardless of whether you go with a mild or stronger form of retinol, wearing sunscreen is imperative.


Join The Conversation
carm123 carm123 9 years
I've been using retin A 3 years ago on and off and I have to admit it's a pretty good product. I've had problems with acne and it need help to solve some of them and also helped a lot wiht scars. I'd definitely recommend over the counter products to peopel who don't have acne problems but want smoother softer skin
Skin-Diva Skin-Diva 9 years
My favorite retinol product is retinol treatment from cell renewal systems. I use it daily and my skin adores it.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
It's true. Retin-A does make the skin peel. That's how it works to get the skin to renew itself. To manage the peeling, I do some LIGHT exfoliation in the morning and night. It's part of my cleansing routine. I mix some baking soda with some Cetaphil, and rub it on my face. I gently rinse and rub with a wash cloth. This removes all the peeling. I am left with soft, smooth skin. I've been doing this for years, and it works for me. Hope this helps.
frimpled frimpled 9 years
For drugstore/OTC, I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Intensive Night Cream. I used to use Retin-A Micro but it made my skin peel, even after the 10 weeks when you're supposed to be "getting used to it". Switching to the Neutrogena one, since it's a weaker concentration, really helped! But I agree w/ sofi. Go to and see the products that are getting raves & try those out :)
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Thank you ladies, I will go to the derm and talk to him about this. I get painful under the skin pimples at least once a month and it hurts like mofo.
sofi sofi 9 years
I was recently doing research on retinol and found some OTC stuff. I just purchased (but haven't started using) Alpha-Hydrox Retinol Night ResQ (from after reading the great reviews on that site as well as on I was turned on to this after initially looking for a different product: Philosophy's Help Me. 'Help me' got fantastic reviews for a retinol on several sites, but it was sold out in a lot of places- so someone recommended the cheaper and just as good Alpha-Hydrox. It isn't that expensiveand seems to work well over consistent use. 'When' I use this consistently, I'll try and review it on BPJ. Also, for a stronger product, I have read fabulous stuff about SkinCeuticals products (.5 and1.0 retinol products). They can be harsh for some but miracle workers for others. Sorry, I have to rush and don't have the exact links- I just googled them. good luck :)
nslods nslods 9 years
Yeah, I'd like to know some good over-the-counter products, too.
er593395 er593395 9 years
anybody have any suggestions for over the counter products?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I've been using Retin-A for the last three years to manage my cystic acne. It works wonderfully. My skin is completely blemish-free and smooth. Peaches and cream. I don't need make-up. The big plus is because it's for acne, it's covered by my insurance.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
*last time Not last night, ha.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I had my dermatologist give me Retin A when I was there last night to use on the small lines near my eyes. He thought I was crazy but I wouldn't leave till he did. Ha. He gave me about 50 small free little sample ones. And this is why I love him. :)
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