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How do I Choose the Best Retinol Lotion?

Brandon May
Brandon May

Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is an antioxidant that has been shown in clinical trials to reduce wrinkling of the skin by fighting free radicals. You can find a number of different over-the-counter retinol products and anti-aging lotions, and you can even obtain dietary retinol from different foods. There are many types of lotions and creams that contain retinol, so it can become difficult to choose the best retinol cream or retinol treatment. You can choose the best retinol lotion by carefully examining lotions for different concentrations of retinol and looking at the safety of the retinol lotions themselves.

Using retinol as a topical agent has been shown to promote anti-aging and anti-wrinkle benefits for the area of skin on which it is applied. The first thing you should do in order to find the right retinol cream is to speak with a qualified dermatologist who can help guide you to the correct product for your skin type. Many people require different concentrations of retinol at the beginning. You might be able to increase the concentration over time after your skin starts getting use to the retinol lotion.

Retinol lotion.
Retinol lotion.

Starting out with a product that contains a low concentration of retinol is advised, just to see how that concentration reacts with your skin. A good percentage to begin with is 0.01 percent. Retinol gel or face cream that contains close to this percentage is best, because it is the lowest concentration on the market. Use this product for a couple of weeks to notice its effects and how it reacts with the skin. If this concentration doesn't produce any undesirable side effects, increasing the percentage by finding a new retinol lotion is recommended.

Retinol can help reduce wrinkles and shrink pores.
Retinol can help reduce wrinkles and shrink pores.

If regular retinol lotion is ineffective, you may want to try tretinoin, which is made from a similar substance called retinoic acid. It's stronger than most retinol products, and is usually only available in prescription form for treating acne and wrinkles. Tretinoin can be very irritating, so it is important to speak with a dermatologist about these concerns when your are looking for the correct prescriptions for your skin type. Like retinol, tretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is important to use a safe sunscreen while using a retinol product. Studies of retinol and retinoic acid anti-aging products have found that when exposed to direct sunlight, free radicals can be produced on the skin, increasing the risk for skin cancer.

The best way to choose a retinol lotion is to speak with a dermatologist who will know which product or prescription would work best for your skin. Then, you should experiment with increasing concentrations of retinol. This will provide a foundation on which to build an anti-aging skin regimen and help promote flawless, smooth skin.

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Discussion Comments


@SteamLouis-- It's true that some retinol lotions are very affordable but those lotions are usually full of chemicals that are very bad for skin. I used a cheap retinol lotion once and had an allergic reaction to it. I saw that it has alcohol, parabens, lots of fragrance and dyes.

Now I use an organic retinol lotion with all natural ingredients. I am so happy with this lotion, it works and it's suitable for sensitive skin.


@serenesurface-- Actually, most retinol lotions and creams on the market are very similar in terms of ingredients and effectiveness. The concentration of retinol, or vitamin is usually in the same range as well.

For example, my retinol lotion has 100,000 Iu of vitamin A per ounce and it's very affordable. But it works quite well. It has reduced the appearance of my wrinkles and my skin is softer and smoother now.

If you pay a lot for retinol lotion, you will probably be baying for the brand name. I doubt that very expensive retinol lotions are more effective than affordable ones.


I've noticed that the price of retinol lotion varies considerably. I've seen some very affordable ones and some very expensive ones. I'm thinking of buying something mid-range, but is it better to buy an expensive retinol lotion?

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      Retinol lotion.
    • Retinol can help reduce wrinkles and shrink pores.
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      Retinol can help reduce wrinkles and shrink pores.