March 16, 2021 Published by

Retinols, retinoids or retinol alternatives have long been considered a woman’s best weapon against aging, often heralded as the only viable, non-surgical way to address the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. But for many consumers, the word retinol conjures up painful visions of common side effects that outweigh its benefits. We asked 4,700 US beauty buyers their opinions on this wonder ingredient and their interest in its growing cadre of alternatives and derivatives.

55% of beauty buyers currently use at least one product containing vitamin A/retinol
26% would like to do so
11% have used retinol in the past

She Uses Retinol to Combat…
• 74% fine lines & wrinkles
• 37% skin elasticity issues
• 30% under-eye wrinkles
• 27% loss of collagen
• 24% acne
• 23% hyperpigmentation
• 19% eye bags

No pain, no gain?
• 64% of retinol users say they check for potency before purchasing a retinoid-based product
• Among non-users, 19% won’t try a retinol product for fear of harsh side effects
• 14% of current and former users report having an adverse reaction or irritation as a result of using a retinol-base product
• 45% of former users admitted they didn’t follow a sensitization protocol
o Top adverse reactions:
–Redness (71%)
–Dryness (65%)
–Flakiness (47%)
–Burning (47%

But Pro-Retinols & Retinol Alternatives Offer Her a Gentler Option
• 75% want to use pro-retinols but haven’t yet
• 16% use products containing pro-retinols now
• 6% don’t know enough to make a decision

What Piques her Pro-Retinol Interest?
• 61% I can use it to treat the delicate areas of my eyes
• 56% gentler ingredients
• 34% have the proof of efficacy I’m looking for in strong consumer claims
• 28% believe they can be just as effective as traditional retinoids
• 27% many have great product reviews