The retinols that I like the best and I’ve tried many are the following brands:
SkinMedica Retinol (either .5 or 1.0) $75-80 – This is a very good retinol, but word of warning – with 1.0 you may have redness and flaking. It’s probably too strong to use every day. But, with .5 you can probably use it every day without the side effects being too much. Usually, SkinMedica products are available in medical spas or online. But, beware of purchasing it online, since there is no guarantee you’re buying from a legitimate source. Make sure you are buying from a valid distributor.
Sunday Riley – A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum $85 – This retinol is available through Sephora. It’s a great, daily retinol. This retinol is effective but very gentle on your skin. It’s definitely great for daily use.
SkinCeuticals Retinol (.5 or 1.0) $75-85 – Skinceuticals is VERY reputable brand and their retinols are very effective. The 1.0 version may cause a little redness and flaking depending on how your skin handles it.
Whichever retinol you decide to use, continue to try out different brands until you find one that you see results with. Remember that most beauty supply stores will refund your money if you’re not seeing results with a product.
A good retinol is expensive so use just 1-2 pumps per day on your face and neck.
I am still testing other retinols, but currently these are the only two I’d recommend.