Retinol vs Retinoid: Which Is Better For Wrinkles?

By Mark Pilatowski

Retinol vs Retinoid: Which Is Better For Wrinkles?

Botox® or facials? Over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoids? Moisturizers or creams? With so much information out there, it can be overwhelming to decide what’s best for you and your skin.

We’re here to help! 

A common question many people want to know when it comes to their skin is, “What can I do to prevent wrinkles at home?” To best answer this question, let’s discuss the science of aging so we can get to the root of this question. 

As you age, your body produces less collagen. Collagen is responsible for skin renewal and repair, and keeps your skin moisturized, soft, and supple. Another byproduct of aging is sun exposure, which can show up on your skin as wrinkles, freckles, and hyperpigmentation.

Your goal as you age? Feel confident and comfortable in your skin, without altering your appearance. There are a few ways you can do this. But first, let’s talk about the difference between two common wrinkle prevention treatments – retinol and retinoids. 

After hearing the facts, you can decide which is better for your own skin goals.

What is retinol?

Retinol is a type of retinoid found in over-the-counter skincare products. It’s not FDA-approved for photoaging (AKA sun damage), but it’s commonly used to treat breakouts and smooth textured skin. However, it hasn’t been significantly studied to support widespread success for a variety of skin types and textures. 

What we do know? Retinol is 20x less potent than retinoids. This is because it’s formulated with a lower concentration of the active retinoic acid ingredient. It also isn’t biologically active, which is important because biologically active ingredients improve the function of the skin. 

Now that you understand more about retinol, it’s time to discuss what makes retinoids different when it comes to the science behind wrinkle prevention.

What are retinoids?

Retinoids are an FDA-approved, naturally occurring Vitamin A derivative. Common forms of retinoids include prescription-strength creams and gels. 

Retinoids work on a cellular level to increase collagen production and decrease collagen breakdown. This is how it reverses photoaging as well as reverses and prevents physiological aging, which both cause fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids also work quickly to reduce acne. Since this is a common skin issue for teenagers, we know it’s safe to use at an early age and effective for long-term use. 

The common clinical effects of topical retinoids (tretinoin) are numerous and exciting:

  • Minimizes fine lines due to increased collagen production and collagen breakdown
  • Evens skin tone 
  • Smoothes skin texture 
  • Decreases acne
  • Increases collagen production
  • Reduces collagen and elastin breakdown
  • Improve the appearance of surface wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots

When you choose Peachy, we have specially-formulated retinoids. They include Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), which boost even more benefits.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that prevents changes associated with photoaging. This includes freckles, liver spots, and hyperpigmentation. Hyaluronic Acid improves your skin's hydration levels, which leaves you with moisturized skin because you’re reducing the amount of water loss. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) repairs your skin’s barrier and protects against damage

Now that you know the difference between retinol and retinoids, it’s time to see which is better for wrinkle treatment and prevention.

Over-the-counter retinol vs prescription retinoids: Which is more effective for wrinkles?

If you’re after a clinical-strength preventative skincare treatment that works as hard as you do, the science shows a clear winner. Prescription retinoids are 20x more effective than over-the-counter retinol

Especially if your skin goals are to reverse and prevent the two main causes of fine lines and wrinkles – photoaging and physiological aging, the single most effective component in your skincare regimen is the use of prescription retinoids. 

At Peachy, we may prescribe retinoids as part of your wrinkle prevention treatment plan. This helps increase collagen production, smooth skin texture, even out skin tone, and decrease acne. When used in conjunction with other forms of treatment such as Botox®, retinoids help to improve and maintain the results you get between appointments. 

Book your appointment today for a complimentary wrinkle prevention consultation and wrinkle prevention treatment any of our Wrinkle Prevention Studios in NYC. We may include retinoids as part of your wrinkle prevention treatment plan if it’s right for you.


Later, wrinkles.