Synthetic, “new generation” retinol with research showing its usefulness for restoring and improving signs of aging in skin. Retinyl retinoate has been shown, in limited but promising research (most coming from the same team of Korea-based researchers), to be less sensitizing than retinoic acid (prescription-strength) and cosmetic retinol. Retinyl retinoate may be less sensitizing than pure retinol because of its slower conversion in skin to retinoic acid. However, when it comes to sensitivity from retinol, there’s much that can be done using time-release delivery systems and ingredient additions to maximize its benefits to skin while minimizing, if not eliminating, its risk of sensitivity.
Although there’s reason to consider retinyl retinoate if your skin seems intolerant of cosmetic retinol, it shouldn’t be construed as better or safer for skin than such alternatives.
References for this information:
Dermatology Research and Practice, 2010
Cutis, October 2008, issue 4, pages 281-284
The Chemistry and Manufacture of Cosmetics. Allured Publishing Corp. 2002, pages 833-839