And now, for the million dollar question: how do you know which retinol cream to try? Your answer depends entirely on your skin type and its specific needs. If you’re noticing the presence of pigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles, it may be time to start looking for a retinol cream. “For sensitive skin, start with a low concentration of retinol and look for soothing ingredients like niacinamide, aloe and ceramides,” Dr. Magovern shares. “If you are trying to reverse deeper lines and wrinkles, then I would try to use a more potent retinol cream.” Those with acne, clogged pores, and very oily skin may benefit from a stronger retinol prescription however, it should be noted that the process of skin adjusting to strong retinoids can often lead to redness, irritation, and flaking in the beginning.
“I love products that have pure and stabilized retinol so I can ensure that the product is effective. Additionally, it is important to know the strength of the retinol and if it is more than 0.25% as that may be a little more irritating initially,” enthuses Dr. Farhang. Retinoid cream shouldn’t be used on its own, and Dr. Magovern recommends pairing soothing products like aloe, pumpkin seed oil, and using a vitamin c serum or cream for two active ingredients on the skin at the same time. For anyone on the hunt for retinol-based products with anti-aging properties, both experts recommend introducing retinol in partnership with a hydrating moisturizer. And don’t forget to keep up with your sunscreen application in the meantime!