Difference Between Retinol and Retin A | Retinol vs Retin A

The key difference between Retinol and Retin A is that the retinol is a natural form of vitamin A while Retin A is an artificial form of vitamin A derived from retinoic acid. Importantly, Retinol is a chemical name while Retin A is a brand name for tretinoin.

Vitamin A is a category of unsaturated organic compounds in the context of nutrition. It contains different derivatives. These derivatives are extremely popular in the modern world as they help to prevent and reverse the signs of aging. Hence, derivatives of retinol are used as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Retinol and Retin A are two derivatives of vitamin A. Retinol is a chemical name, but Retin A is a trade name for the chemical tretinoin. Moreover, Vitamin A is essential for growth and development as well as for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Retinol 
3. What is Retin A
4. Similarities Between Retinol and Retin A
5. Side by Side Comparison – Retinol vs Retin A in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A. It is a diterpenoid and an alcohol. Retinol could be converted to other forms of vitamin A such as retinaldehyde (retinal). The chemical formula of retinol is C20H30O. Its molar mass is 286.46 gmol−1. Retinol is biosynthesized from β-carotene. Since retinol is a natural form of vitamin A, it has many biological roles.