What is the difference between Retinol and Retin-A (tretinoin)?
Both of these are vitamin A derivatives that share the same ability to cause normal skin maturation both in pores and on the skin surface. Vitamin A derivatives have been used to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, as well as fight acne. Retinol is solely used for anti-aging, while Retin-A (tretinoin) is used for both anti-aging and anti-acne.
The simple difference between Retinol and Retin-A (tretinoin) is effectiveness and tolerability. Retinol is less effective at anti-aging than Retin-A, but it is much more tolerable. Retin-A (tretinoin) is more effective for anti-aging, but has the capability of causing much more dryness and irritation. Retinol is a better choice for long-term anti-aging prevention in those people with sensitive skin. Retin-A (tretinoin) is a better choice for more aggressive anti-aging therapy in those patients who do not get irritated too easily. Retinol can be found over the counter and in doctors offices – featured brands include Olay and ROC. Retin-A (tretinoin) must be prescribed by your physician and can come in many different strengths. Moisturizing tretinoin creams are also available (Refissa, Renova). For those wishing the most aggressive therapy, Tazorac (tazarotene) is a vitamin A derivative stronger than tretinoin, but carries a higher risk of irritation along with its higher efficacy.
Now you have the best information in choosing which of these two compounds is the best for your skin tolerance. Enjoy your December and we wish you and yours the very best this winter season! Happy Holidays!