Quick refresher: “Retinoid” is an umbrella term that technically includes both over-the-counter (OTC) retinol products and prescription-strength tropicals. That being said, most people use the term “retinoid” when referring to prescription-grade Retin-A creams, like tretinoin or Tazorac. We know, it can be confusing.
Those that are accessible via prescription are way stronger and more potent. While this can come with more dramatic results, especially for those that are acne-prone, they can be irritating for some people with sensitive skin. If this sounds like you, or you just want to ease into retinol slowly, you may consider opting for one of these gentle alternatives first.