Last year, I shared that I incorporated retinol into my skincare routine. If you’re a beauty enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of retinoids for your skin. Retinoids are a type of vitamin A derivative that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, and improve skin texture. However, not all retinoid products are created equal.
I have since quit OTC retinol products that you might buy from Sephora or the drugstore (…or, anywhere, really). If you use over-the-counter retinol products, you should quit them too – and I’ll dig into why below.
First, I covered it a bit in this post, but let’s revisit difference between retinol and retinoids:
The Difference Between Retinol and Retinoids
Retinol is a type of retinoid that is available OTC in skincare products. Retinoids, on the other hand, are available in both OTC and prescription-strength products. Prescription-strength retinoids, such as tretinoin and adapalene (which is available OTC now but was previously Rx-only), are more potent and effective than OTC retinol.
The Problem with OTC Retinol Products
One of the biggest problems with OTC retinol products is that they may not maintain their potency over their shelf life.