Read This Before You Use a Retinol
A lot has changed in the last 20 years, but retinol is still the go-to ingredient for anti-aging skin care. Here's everything you need to know
They differ slightly in formulation, and some are better for older (instead of younger) or drier (instead of oilier) skin types. "With different brands, you get a different vehicle," says New York dermatologist Janet Prytowsky, M.D. "With Renova, for example, it's a nice vehicle. It's moisturizing to help combat some of the dryness, and there's enhanced absorption into the skin." Think of it like drinking Gatorade instead of water when you're dehydrated -- it absorbs faster, and you'll feel better (see results) sooner.
What about generic? "You'll still get the chemical at the same concentration, but it may not be absorbed as well," says Prytowsky. "You may get less effect." In this case, brand names may be worth the investment.
SEE NEXT PAGE: When Should You Pick an OTC Retinol?
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