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What is the strongest NON prescription retinol out there?

Started 1344816647.303 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1347203019.523 by duster

I have used ROC, moved onto Help Me (by Philosophy), but my skin is ready for the next level. I was not all the impressed with ROC, but the Help Me was wonderful.. I just feel like my skin is ready for another level and I don't really want to go to the doctor for a prescription (since my prescription coverage does not pay for this)..

Any suggestions?

Thank you

"Trust everyone just don't trust the devil inside of them"

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StellaDiva1344817304.8571134 PostsRegistered 10/15/2011

NCN Skincare has 2% retinol with 0.02% tretinoin. This is the strongest I am aware of. You can also get it without the tretinoin.

http://ncnskincare.com/new-items-c-23/all-trans-retinol-with-non-prescription-tretinoin-p-204

baby burns1344823595.4378793 PostsRegistered 12/9/2007

have you used the perricone one, that is very good, highest you can buy without a rx.

cassiem1344825399.2136831 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Help Me has quite a small amount of retinol (.15%) and moving up to the highest amount of retinol (2%) would be a huge jump and might cause lots of irritation, which could actually cause you a set-back with your skin. (The 2% is about 130x stronger than the .15%!) I'd recommend that you find something a bit stronger and slowly move your way up to the strongest retinol. (Maybe .2%, .5%, or .6%)

I found the following in a list created and posted by Love2Laugh. I removed prices and store names, but kept the product names and percentages. Keep in mind that there are other retinol products not included on the list.

Percentage of Retinol in products:

Avene 0.025 --- .025%
Avene 0.05 --- .05%
Avene 0.1 --- .1%

Afirm1X --- .15%
Afirm 2X --- .3%
Afirm 3X --- .6%

Green Cream Level 3 --- .3%
Green Cream Level 6 --- .6%
Green Cream Level 9 --- .9%

Philosophy Help Me --- .15%

Alpha Hydroxy Retinol ResQ --- .15%

Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate doesn't list retinol and doesn't contain any (normal skin)
SKIN RECOVERY Super Antioxidant Concentrate contains retinol 0.1% (normal to dry)
SKIN BALANCING Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate contains retinol 0.3% (combination oily)

Skinceuticals 0.5 ---.5%
Skinceuticals 1.0 --- 1%

Biomedic 15 --- .15%
Biomedic 30 --- .3%
Biomedic 60 --- .6%

Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X --- .2%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X --- .3%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 5X --- .5%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 10X --- 1%

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Serum --- 1.5%

pinkberry1344827145.387901 PostsRegistered 11/28/2007NY

I have used both the PTR Retinol Fusion and the Skinceuticals 1% Retinol, and preferred the Skinceuticals. I am now using Retin A. In my opinion the Skinceuticals 1% is most similar to the prescription strength tretinoin that I am using now, and is probably one of the best retinol products out there.

cupcake131344827919.321898 PostsRegistered 10/11/2010Kentucky

I used the PTR also due to many rave reviews here and other places. I didn't care for it at all and it seemed to be less effective than the Retinol Resq that I started on. The resq is the same as the Philosophy, according to posters on this board.

JeanLouise­Finch1344853124.111027 PostsRegistered 10/3/2011

I've been using the 1% All-Trans Retinol from NCN Skincare nightly since early July. It hasn't caused one bit of irritation and is working very well for me and has eliminated the beginnings of crowsfeet.

Harpa1344856046.397668 PostsRegistered 6/28/2007
On 8/12/2012 StellaDiva said:

NCN Skincare has 2% retinol with 0.02% tretinoin. This is the strongest I am aware of. You can also get it without the tretinoin.

http://ncnskincare.com/new-items-c-23/all-trans-retinol-with-non-prescription-tretinoin-p-204

Just another thought to this picture: There are a lot of other ingredients in these NCN products (okay, they are good ones) that might, even w/ their "high" percentages of retinol (supposedly) are very gentle in the actual Vit. A delivery. That is why you probably will not experience the irritation & retinol effect that you might w/ say, the Skinceuticals products.

smhr1344864255.693822 PostsRegistered 1/16/2012laid back and mellow town USA

I think it all depends on the formulations. Some retinol products may contain higher concentrations, but at the same time be watered down.

LaurenNico­le1344864939.423251 PostsRegistered 6/7/2007

I've been using and loving Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate. Don't know what the % is but it is the only one I've been able to stick with, no irritation and nice results. I'm dry/mature. Has peptides in it also so I like the added benefit.

It's pricey, $65, I only buy with a 20% off at the various online sites and go thru mrrebates for even more savings. I'll get a back up during Sephora F&F.

smhr1344865315.3733822 PostsRegistered 1/16/2012laid back and mellow town USA
On 8/13/2012 LaurenNicole said:

I've been using and loving Murad Time Release Retinol Concentrate.


I just recently bought that. I'm a little more than halfway through with the PTR Retinol Fusion PM and haven't seen any results. Once the PTR is gone, I am going to start on the Murad Time Release. Ironically, SkinStore recommended the Murad over PTR and I didn't take their advice.

StellaDiva1344874559.8931134 PostsRegistered 10/15/2011
On 8/13/2012 Harpa said:
On 8/12/2012 StellaDiva said:

NCN Skincare has 2% retinol with 0.02% tretinoin. This is the strongest I am aware of. You can also get it without the tretinoin.

http://ncnskincare.com/new-items-c-23/all-trans-retinol-with-non-prescription-tretinoin-p-204

Just another thought to this picture: There are a lot of other ingredients in these NCN products (okay, they are good ones) that might, even w/ their "high" percentages of retinol (supposedly) are very gentle in the actual Vit. A delivery. That is why you probably will not experience the irritation & retinol effect that you might w/ say, the Skinceuticals products.

I am finding this is the case. I switched from Paula's choice to the 1% with 0.02% tretinoin. Also, applying it to dry skin (Nanci says wait 20 min but I wait about 5) will reduce irritation with any tretinoin.

DannysWife1344875670.073476 PostsRegistered 10/11/2010Ohio

Thank you all so much for the information.. I'm writing things down so when I'm ready to get my next retinol I will be prepared..

Everyone have a great week!

Just re-read ~Thank You cassiem for the helpful information and taking the time to retype everything ~ it was very nice of you.. Since I'm using .15% I should only jump to .30% or the .50%

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Last edited on 8/13/2012

"Trust everyone just don't trust the devil inside of them"

poregirl1344876715.4377404 PostsRegistered 10/12/2009great white north

SkinMedicaTri-Retinol Complex

Previously named Retinol Complex. Same great formula, new name and beautiful bottle. 0.65% Total Retinoids

  • Three forms of vitamin A improves the appearance of fine lines, aging and sun-damaged skin
  • Enhances skin texture to renew and revitalize
  • Sustained release formulation delivers vitamin A slowly to minimize irritation allowing nightly use
  • $34.00 on AMAZON

rated 4.6(22 reviews) on Makeup Alley

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Last edited on 8/13/2012

‎Enough with the animal testing. Shame on you BATH&BODYWORKS, L'oreal, Olay ,Cover Girl, Revlon, Maybelline, Neutrogena, Avon

Isabella 21344876995.154140 PostsRegistered 4/30/2007
On 8/12/2012 cassiem said:

Help Me has quite a small amount of retinol (.15%) and moving up to the highest amount of retinol (2%) would be a huge jump and might cause lots of irritation, which could actually cause you a set-back with your skin. (The 2% is about 130x stronger than the .15%!) I'd recommend that you find something a bit stronger and slowly move your way up to the strongest retinol. (Maybe .2%, .5%, or .6%)

I found the following in a list created and posted by Love2Laugh. I removed prices and store names, but kept the product names and percentages. Keep in mind that there are other retinol products not included on the list.

Percentage of Retinol in products:

Avene 0.025 --- .025%
Avene 0.05 --- .05%
Avene 0.1 --- .1%

Afirm1X --- .15%
Afirm 2X --- .3%
Afirm 3X --- .6%

Green Cream Level 3 --- .3%
Green Cream Level 6 --- .6%
Green Cream Level 9 --- .9%

Philosophy Help Me --- .15%

Alpha Hydroxy Retinol ResQ --- .15%

Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate doesn't list retinol and doesn't contain any (normal skin)
SKIN RECOVERY Super Antioxidant Concentrate contains retinol 0.1% (normal to dry)
SKIN BALANCING Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate contains retinol 0.3% (combination oily)

Skinceuticals 0.5 ---.5%
Skinceuticals 1.0 --- 1%

Biomedic 15 --- .15%
Biomedic 30 --- .3%
Biomedic 60 --- .6%

Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X --- .2%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X --- .3%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 5X --- .5%
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 10X --- 1%

Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Serum --- 1.5%

I didn't read this entire thread but I am wondering Cassie where you obtained this information. TIA

"Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people".
Thomas Jefferson

Harpa1344887686.87668 PostsRegistered 6/28/2007
On 8/13/2012 Isabella 2 said:
I didn't read this entire thread but I am wondering Cassie where you obtained this information. TIA

Here is the list, stores included, that Love2Laugh posted a long time ago, where Cassie got the info. (Some of us copied it.) Also, there is an addendum to mine w/ more choices.


Avene 0.025 --- .25% - ($44) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Avene 0.05 --- .50% - ($56) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Avene 0.1 --- 1% - ($64) --- Dermstore (free shipping)

Afirm1X --- .15% -($35) --- Skinstore (free shipping)
Afirm 2X --- .3% - ($38) --- Skinstore (free shipping)
Afirm 3X --- .6% - ($40) --- Skinstore (free shipping)

Green Cream Level 3 --- .3% - ($36) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Green Cream Level 6 --- .6% - ($43) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Green Cream Level 9 --- .9% - ($50) --- Dermstore (free shipping)

Neutrogena Dermatologics


Philosophy Help Me --- .15% - ($49) --- Skinstore (free shipping) /Q/philosophy

Alpha Hydroxy Retinol ResQ --- .15% - ($14.99) - Neoteric Cosmetics (the only place I know of you can get this - not sure of s/h price)

Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Recovery Serum --- .25% - ($24.95) --- Cosmetics Cop (s/h about $5)

Skinceuticals 0.5 ---.5% - ($46) --- Skinstore (free shipping)
Skinceuticals 1.0 --- 1% - ($52) --- Skinstore (free shipping)

Biomedic 15 --- .15% - ($47) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Biomedic 30 --- .30% - ($49) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Biomedic 60 --- .60% - ($52) --- Dermstore (free shipping)

Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X --- .20% - ($50.40) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 3X --- .30% - ($57.60) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 5X --- .50% - ($63) --- Dermstore (free shipping)
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 10X --- 1% - ($72) --- Dermstore (free shipping)

Terasita Retinage Retinol Fluid --- .3% ($36.95) - Terasita.com (shipping costs are based on location)


Poetry in Lotion 1.0 --- 1.0% ($75.00) - Dermadoctor.com (please visit site for shipping costs)


NCN Strongest All-Trans Retinol --- 1.0% and 2.0% - ($39.00 - 1.0%/ $49.00 - 2%) - NCN Professional Skin Care (please visit site for shipping costs)


Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Concentrate doesn't list retinol and doesn't contain any (normal skin)

RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum - this is the same serum as Paula's Choice Super Antioxidant Serum


Paula's Choice SKIN RECOVERY Super Antioxidant Concentrate contains retinol 0.1% (normal to dry)


Paula's Choice SKIN BALANCING Super Antioxidant Mattifying Concentrate contains retinol 0.3% (combination oily)

Each of the above products - ($24.95) --- Cosmetics Cop

(s/h about $5)


Paula's Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer - .09% (normal to dry) --- Cosmetic Cop ($22.95)


Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Serum --- 1.5% - ($65.00) ---*

***(this information is no longer current since there are now some 2% OTC formulations

QVC (shipping - $5.72) (The highest retinol amount available OTC)


Note: Recent studies show: ""At the highest concentration tested, 1.6 percent, retinol mimicked the activity of retinoic acid (Retin A) 0.025 percent on epidermal thickening."


Neutrogena Dermatologics Retinol NX Serum --- (approx. .2%) - ($65.00) --- QVC (shipping - $5.72)

Nightowlz1344887807.849684 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

DannysWife If you decide to try NCN Skincare she has 10% through the end of Aug. with code Extend10. I need to try her retinol. I have used Alpha Hydrox which tends to dry my skin only using a couple times per week. I have PTR Retinol Fusion PM that I can use every night with no problems. So I agree it depends on what else is in the formula to the irritation you have with the product.

Isabella Cassiem says in her post she got the info. from Love2Laugh that posted it on the board. I know I have seen the same list posted here before. I don't know who originally posted the info. or where they got it.

Smile

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

JeanLouise­Finch1344887988.7411027 PostsRegistered 10/3/2011

The nice thing about the NCN Skincare's All-Trans Retinol is that it comes in a 2.5 oz. bottle that have a very tiny pump delivery. You only need one or two (no more) pumps to dab around the undereye area and the rest of your face so it lasts quite a long time. It's a great value.

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Last edited on 8/13/2012

cassiem1344889107.636831 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 8/13/2012 Isabella 2 said: I didn't read this entire thread but I am wondering Cassie where you obtained this information. TIA

Several of us posted information about the amounts of retinol in different products, either from company/retailer websites or from emails we received when we contacted the companies. Love2Laugh compiled the list into one post. Most of this information can be confirmed on the web, it was just easier to have it in one place when people posted questions about the percentages in retinol. I edited out vendor and price information because they are not necessarily accurate any more.

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Last edited on 8/13/2012

Isabella 21344907773.9974140 PostsRegistered 4/30/2007

Thanks for the info ladies.

"Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people".
Thomas Jefferson

duster1347151311.58340 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
This thread is full of great info! I am currently using Neutrogena Dermatologics retinol serum. I was watching the Philosophy presentation of their OTO -- Help Me. Does anyone know which has more retinol - Neutrogena or Philosophy? Thanks!

doggy-lover1347153959.941130 PostsRegistered 11/4/2011Texas
On 9/8/2012 duster said: This thread is full of great info! I am currently using Neutrogena Dermatologics retinol serum. I was watching the Philosophy presentation of their OTO -- Help Me. Does anyone know which has more retinol - Neutrogena or Philosophy? Thanks!

I've been using this one also (Neutrogena Dematologic) for the face and the neck cream as well. I've been pleased with it. I also use Retin A every other night.

49 yrs old
brunette- thick hair
combo skin
medium skin color

duster1347203019.52340 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 9/8/2012 doggy-lover said:
On 9/8/2012 duster said: This thread is full of great info! I am currently using Neutrogena Dermatologics retinol

I've been using this one also (Neutrogena Dematologic) for the face and the neck cream as well. I've been pleased with it. I also use Retin A every other night.

That's a good idea! I feel like I am ready for the next level. My skin has improved so much already and I don't want to lose the momentum. LOL

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