Retinol and its relatives retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate and prescription forms including retinoic acid, tazarotene and adapalene, is one of the most effective skin care ingredients to include in your skin care arsenal. Yet, despite the popularity of this effective class of ingredients, there are many misconceptions regarding its use. In this post we’ll look at 5 of the most common ones in an effort to set things straight.

What is Retinol?

Retinol and other derivatives all come from Vitamin A. It and its related compounds have been around for decades and many studies have shown consistently positive results on skin, including:

  • Improving the skin’s texture
  • Minimizing fine lines and wrinkles
  • Delivering an even skin tone
  • Reducing skin oiliness
  • Managing blemishes

Retinoids accomplish this by boosting collagen synthesis and increasing skin cell turnover (helping to speed up the development of new skin cells as we age). You’ll notice an ‘exfoliating’ effect, unclogged pores and less dry, flaky skin upon regular use of retinoids. Retinaldehyde, found in our A is for Anti-Aging Serum, also has anti-bacterial activity, making it a valuable addition in the management of acne.

Below, I am setting the record straight on 5 commonly held myths regarding retinol:

  1. Retinol (retinoids) Exfoliates. The peeling and redness that accompanies some retinoids is the result of skin irritation and not true ‘exfoliation’. It is also the result of increased skin cell turnover. Despite the painful period of dealing with the peeling, this action is what helps make skin look so good. Build use gradually or try a milder or less sensitizing form of retinoid, like retinaldehyde to minimize this reaction.
  2. Don’t Apply Retinoids Around Your Eye. This recommendation comes from the belief that under eye skin is extremely sensitive. While it is indeed sensitive, studies have shown that people who apply retinoids right up to the eyes get the best results. As with all new skin treatments, do a patch test first, start slowly and back off if skin becomes very red and irritated.
  3. Stop Applying Retinol if Your Skin Gets Irritated. Initial skin irritation is part of the process and skin tends to adapt after a few weeks so unfortunately, you may have to put up with it. We’re talking here, about light peeling, increased dryness and some redness. With skin that experiences significant discomfort, discontinue use. Retinaldehyde is the least irritating form of retinoid, yet still delivers results.
  4. Use the Strongest Retinoid You Can Find. You don’t need to use the most potent retinoid (prescription forms like retinoic acid) to obtain benefits such as increased collagen production and skin cell turnover. While you may get faster results, it’s also true that you may also experience more irritation. This is something I have personal experience with. About to give up with retinoids due to irritation, peeling and redness from various prescription forms, along with non-prescription retinol, I found that my skin tolerated and liked, retinaldehyde very much. In fact, most customers tolerate A is for Anti-Aging very well, with minimal skin irritation.
  5. You Should Stop Using Retinol in the Summer. While retinol is light sensitive (it breaks down upon exposure to sunlight), there is no reason to stop using it in the summer. You can use retinol year round but always apply at night to ensure that it doesn’t degrade. Diligently apply an effective broad spectrum sunscreen during the day (SPF 30, at least) and you won’t have anything to worry about.


There are a few:

  • Don’t use retinoids if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Although probably safe, there have been links to birth defects with the use of Vitamin A.
  • Don’t layer retinoids with benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids, which may deactivate them.
  • Use caution during waxing, as skin may experience excessive redness with retinoid usage. Don’t use a retinoid for several days before a treatment.
  • A very small amount of individuals have ultrasensitive skin and can never tolerate a retinoid. If you’re one of these people, try using a gentle exfoliation treatment once or twice a week and be extra careful to use sunscreen regularly.

Retinoids. What do you say?

★ Reviews

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48 reviews
Love, love, love!

I've only been using this serum for a couple of weeks and the difference in my skin is already noticeable. I have very sensitive skin and didn't have any irritation. I was able to use it daily from day 1. Love this product! It's going to be a staple in my arsenal from now on.

Works good but..

I have been using this deodorant for a couple weeks now and it works very well to keep door at bay. However it dries sticky and when I sweat it gets even more sticky. I will keep using fur a while to see if I can get past the sticky feeling, but not sure if I can. It’s too bad because it really does work.

Dear Sandy,

Thank you for your review. We're so pleased to hear that our deodorant is working very well for you! We're always happy to receive feedback from our customers as we try to improve our products. We will take your comment into consideration to improve the formulation. Thank you!

Customer Service

Terrible Rash

This worked for a few weeks and I started getting a painful red rash under my arms. I was about to purchase a set of 4 and I’m glad that I didn’t. I reached out to the company to inquire about what could have caused this as they claim to have products that don’t cause rashes. Of course no one ever replied. Will not purchase again

Dear Tara,

Thank you for your review. We're sorry to hear that you experienced a reaction to our deodorant. It's formulated to be irritation free (pH friendly ingredients and without baking soda). Very occasionally you may experience discomfort or tingling, especially after shaving or if you have sensitive skin.
We've checked our records and are unable to locate an email or call from you regarding this issue. We've tried reaching out via email but haven't heard back. We stand by all our products and offer a full money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied. Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help resolve this issue.

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Neroli Rose Natural Deodorant Roll-On
Jennifer C. (Princeton, US)
It works!

Happy to finally found a natural deodorant that actually works- worth every penny. Excited to try more scents, especially the lavender when it is back in stock.

Shea Body Butter
Jennifer C. (Princeton, US)
My new fave

This cream is my new fave. It's moisturizing without being greasy and absorbs well. The scent is crisp and clean without being overpowering. My husband and son have started using it and love it too! Might need another one to keep by the kitchen sink.

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