Fact Checked

What is the Connection Between Retinol and Wrinkles?

Harriette Halepis
Harriette Halepis

Retinol and wrinkles have a connection based on the fact that retinol contains vitamin A, which is a vitamin that fights free radicals. While effective, all retinol creams are different, and selecting a cream that contains the highest amount of retinol possible is the best way to combat wrinkles.

Since many consumers do not have a dermatologist, obtaining a wrinkle cream that is extremely effective used to be difficult. Once it was proven that retinol has a significant impact on wrinkles, many manufacturers began creating over-the-counter products. Many of these products are effective, though consumers should take the time to read the back of a package label.Some products do not contain a large amount of retinol, and these products will not work effectively.

A woman with wrinkles.
A woman with wrinkles.

Retinol and wrinkles have an inverse relationship due to the fact that retinol eliminates free radicals. Free radicals are small oxygen particles that eat away at skin, causing wrinkles. Therefore, a product that contains a large amount of retinol will help to eliminate wrinkles and small lines.

Consumers should be aware that no cream will get rid of wrinkles entirely. Deep wrinkles and wrinkles caused by sun damage are difficult to eliminate effectively. The best way to get rid of these lines is to visit with a cosmetic surgeon. Even though retinol and wrinkles have become a common association, speaking with a licensed dermatologist about wrinkles is a wise idea. Another product, called tretinoin, that is also derived from Vitamin A has been proven highly effective.

Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Pregnant women, and women who are trying to conceive, should not use any kind of vitamin A product. This vitamin may increase the risk of birth defects. As an alternative to vitamin A derivatives, seek out organic and natural products that do not contain any chemicals. It is also a wise idea to speak with your medical doctor prior to embarking on a new skincare regimen while pregnant.

It is best to use any retinol product slowly. Since this ingredient can cause irritation, dry skin, and sensitive skin, begin a new skincare regimen carefully. Consumers who decide to use this vitamin A derivative should also avoid sun exposure. Products that contain retinol should be used according to manufacturer's directions, and most consumers find that using these products during the nighttime is the best course of action. Retinol and wrinkles do go together, though it is important to know what skincare creams and serums will get rid of wrinkles best.

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Discussion Comments


Retinol is not ineffective against wrinkles, but it's not very effective either. I think retinol products are a bit overrated. Like the article said, there is no way to get rid of wrinkles. The most that retinol can do is reduce them a little bit, but even this is a temporary effect. If the retinol treatment is stopped, skin will return to normal after some time. So it's a treatment that has to be used all the time. But using a good moisturizer regularly will reduce and prevent wrinkles too. So what is difference between retinol cream and other creams? I personally don't think that there is much of a difference.


@SarahGen-- There is no contradiction. You should start with a low concentration but when your skin adjusts, you should increase the concentration.

It's true that high concentrations of retinol work best for wrinkles, but it's not a good idea to start out with such high concentrations. Skin needs to adjust to the retinol over a period of time. Using too much too quickly can cause negative side effects like irritation. This is why people are advised to use a small amount at first and then increase the amount as they see fit.

Along with a high concentration, I think consistency also helps retinol reduce wrinkles. I have been using a retinol cream for six months and I did not see any results for the first month. It took some time for the cream to work and now it's working very well. Most of my fine lines are barely visible now, whereas they were very apparent before.


I'm using a retinol cream for wrinkles but it has a low concentration of retinol. I was actually told to use a low concentration to avoid side effects but now I'm learning that such low concentrations will not be effective for wrinkles. Why is there such a contradiction about retinol?

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    • A woman with wrinkles.
      A woman with wrinkles.
    • Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
      By: Robert Kneschke
      Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.