We dislike it when big beauty companies take major liberty with their clever commercial advertisements---claiming this + claiming that. When in reality, that boasting is never really covered by scientific fact.
Let's pick on StriVectin AR: Advanced Retinol Day Treatment SPF30($99) + Advanced Retinol Night Treatment($109).
These products are formulated with NIA-114 technology, which as we have learned, has to do with niacin.
A paid consultant to StriVectin had told the NY Times this:
"NIA-114 provides many of the benefits of retinoic acid without those tolerability issues," Myron Jacobson said. "You get the gain without the pain."
The NY Times goes on to say that Dr. Jacobson, a biochemist, "likes to say that NIA-114 is a great alternative to tretinoin(Retin-A), the gold standard routinely prescribed by dermatologists to keep aging skin looking (and acting) younger."
If you look at the current ads, Strivectin claims these 2 AR creams are "Better than Rx strength Retinol."
And that is simply NOT true.
Chicago dermatologist Carolyn Jacob, MD recommends using a prescription-strength retinoid if you want REAL results. She told webmd this:
For aging skin, dermatologists like to prescribe tretinoin and retinoic acid (Retin-A, Renova, Refissa) that is "100 times" as potent as the retinol-containing products sold without prescription, Dr. Jacob says. "Tretinoin works better because it has a stronger capability of preventing the breakdown of collagen," she says. "I prescribe it to my patients because, if they're here, they've already tried the over-the-counter varieties."
If your skin is very sensitive, then over-the-counter retinol might be better for you.
Retinol helps repair damaged, aging skin, but just not at the speed or depth of an Rx retinoid like Retin-A.
Okay....hope that helps. In other words, an over-the-counter product containing retinol is excellent for your skin BUT cannot equal the strength + superiority of an Rx retinoid.