Retinol is the pure form of vitamin A, and beauty experts from dermatologists to plastic surgeons to aestheticians agree that this incredible ingredient has the power to make skin look younger, smoother and clearer.
But with all the skin-perfecting benefits of retinol, how do you know which type—from the drugstore or from the doctor—is right for you? Here’s a breakdown:
Over-the-counter products contain the lowest level of retinol and can be found at drugstores, beauty boutiques and online.
Stronger than over-the-counter versions but not as intense as prescription-strength products, medical-grade retinol is commonly found at doctors’ offices and can be obtained without a prescription.
Available only with a prescription from your doctor, these retinoids are the strongest option on the market and tend to provide results in about 12 weeks. Retin-A has long been the gold standard.
Keep in mind that over-the-counter products don’t meet the same criteria as prescription-strength ones; otherwise, they would be classified as drugs. A drug changes the structure or function of the skin, so over-the-counter products would be classified that way if they really did.
What’s your favorite retinol product? Let us know by leaving a comment below