Best Retinol Cream for Beginners

Best Retinol Cream for Beginners

There are many retinol creams and serums on the market- so it is confusing for beginners. Many articles talk about the best dermatologist recommended retinol products, but there is not one best retinol cream for beginners. Your skin is unique- so let’s talk about how to find the best retinol cream for YOU. If you do not know what a retinol or retinoid is- you can click here to learn more.

Retinol is the most potent form of retinoid available without a prescription. There is not a prescription strength retinol. Retinol is designated by the FDA as a cosmetic which means it does not have to undergo the rigorous testing required of prescription retinoids like tretinoin, tazarotene and trifarotene. This is why it is very important to educate yourself before starting a retinol so that you buy the best retinol to begin treating your skin concerns. 

Retinol is a great way to begin using a retinoid because it is easily accessible, effective, affordable and comes in low strengths that are less irritating than prescription retinoids. However, the things to consider when choosing which retinol is best for beginners goes beyond brand. This blog will discuss the things our dermatologists consider when putting a patient on a retinol for the first time.

It is very important to consider your Baumann Skin Type® when choosing a retinoid to begin treating acne or wrinkles. There are 16 different Baumann Skin Types and different types should choose different retinols. We highly recommend that you take the quiz and let us tell you exactly which retinol products are best for your skin type so that you do not have to guess.


How to Begin Retinol 

  • Step 1 - Choose the best retinol for your skin type. You can read more about this below or take the quiz and we will give you a list of good options.
  • Step 2 - Make sure that every product in your skin care regimen will work with the retinol- and not against retinol. Some products, when used with retinol, can increase the incidence of side effects. Moisturizers and cleansers play an important role in a retinol containing skin care routine.
  • Step 3 - Know what step in the skin care routine to use retinol. The order that you layer products on your skin matters. The biggest mistake when beginning retinol is not using the correct skin care routine order. The order is determined by your skin type and what other products are in your skin care regimen.
  • Step 4 - Follow the instructions found here to begin slowly to help your skin adjust gently to the retinol.

How to Choose A Retinol for Beginners

Retinol Cream vs Retinol Serum

In general, creams are for dry skin types and serums are for oily skin types. if you cannot decide, choose the cream retinol because retinoids tend to make skin feel dry.

What Retinol Strength Is Best When Starting a Retinoid?

If you are a sensitive skin type, you must begin with the low strength retinols. There are many drugstore brands of retinol that have a tiny amount. In most cases, the strength is too low to see much improvement. We recommend beginning with retinol .025% which is sometimes called 2X. Note that .025% retinol is NOT THE SAME STRENGTH as 2.5% retinol. Learn more about retinol strengths and see a strength chart here.

If you are a resistant Baumann Skin Type, you should also begin with a low strength retinoid but you will eb able to progress to a mid strength and high strength retinol cream much faster than sensitive skin types. because inflammation leads to skin aging- it is always best to start with the lowest dose of retinol.

How To Start Using Retinol?

How much you apply, the retinol strength you use, and whether it is a retinol cream, gel or a serum, and what other products are in your regimen- especially cleansers and moisturizers, will determine how well you tolerate the retinol. Please read these instructions before beginning any retinoids, whether they are prescription or nonprescription. If you do not begin retinol properly- you will most likely experience side effects known as retinoid dermatitis.

Best Natural Retinol for Beginners

There are some retinoid products on the market that claim to be natural. These usually contain beta carotene or lutein or another vitamin A derived ingredient that is a retinoid, but does not penetrate into the skin. These do not work so don’t waste your money. You can learn more about natural retinoids and the Vitamin A family of retinoid compounds here. Bakuchiol is not technically a retinoid because it is not in the Vitamin A family but it is often found in natural retinol- like skincare products.

You really need a dermatologist recommended skin care routine to get the best results from your retinoid. We can guide you and help you get on the right path.

Click here to learn your skin type and best retinol containing skin care routine for your unique skin. We will give you options from many brands of retinol so you can choose based on your budget, preferences, and beliefs.


© 2006 - 2022 Skin Type Solutions