Cosmeceuticals: the evidence behind the retinoids

Aesthet Surg J. 2010 Jan;30(1):74-7. doi: 10.1177/1090820X09360704.


A wide range of cosmeceutical products are available on the market currently, but evidence to support their use is often lacking in the literature. Specifically, there is a substantial amount of evidence supporting the efficacy of tretinoin in photoaging, but the evidence supporting retinoid-based cosmeceuticals remains sparse. The authors review the current data in the literature related to vitamin A-derived cosmeceutical products and conclude that cosmeceuticals containing retinaldehyde have been shown in large randomized, controlled trials to have the most beneficial effect on aging skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Cosmetics / therapeutic use*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diterpenes
  • Humans
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retinaldehyde / therapeutic use
  • Retinoids / therapeutic use*
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin A / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin A / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Cosmetics
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Diterpenes
  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Retinoids
  • Retinyl Esters
  • Vitamin A
  • retinol palmitate
  • retinol acetate
  • Tretinoin
  • Retinaldehyde