How do you feel about retinoids?

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Our last poll was very informative! It seems addressing signs of aging was the most popular answer, but acne/breakouts had a good number of votes, too. This leads us to one solution that lucky enough handles both fine lines, collagen production, and breakouts: Retinol.

Now begins the fine tuning: Retinoids come in many forms, including tretinoin (which is prescription) and OTC retinol. Feel free to comment with your experience with either type and let us know what you liked or disliked about each. But this is where we do a deep dive into the world of retinol and address all of the issues you've faced with other retinol products that you didn't necessarily love.

So tell me: How would your ideal retinol perform? In a perfect world, what would be the consistency, the result, the strength... Feel free to tell us about your experience with other products, both positive and negative!


Curious how tiger grass and/or arnica would do in a retinoid formula. My sensitive/oily acne prone skin responded really well to them in a soothing/hydrating serum. Not sure what the combination with retinol would be like but a hydrating consistency would be nice!
Love retinol! Currently, I’m using Skinbetter’s Intensive AlphaRet.

Pros: great texture, doesn’t cause irritation/flaking, no adjustment period, and great packaging (dispenses the perfect amount every time. All you need is one pump!)

Cons: very expensive

Would like a similar creamy texture and with a better price point.
I love my new Retinol-it has completely changed my skin (helping with fine line, acne, totally has removed all my melasma). But, I have used tretinol in the past, which did help with acne and brighten my skin, but made me so red, dry and sensitive. I want something powerful without burning my skin.
I would try a retinol with a creamy, more hydrating consistency. Something encapsulated maybe? I’ve tried lots, all over the spectrum and nothing stuck out enough for me to continue using past the first tube. Ideally, I want something to help with signs of aging without the flaky side effects.