Retin-A can cause scaling, redness and sensitivity in the first month of use, and moisturizers can be very helpful in soothing this irritation. When looking for a moisturizer, make sure the bottle says "non-comedogenic" on the label; using a lightweight oil free moisturizer is a good option to prevent clogging of pores and acne. Ingredients that you want to avoid in your facial moisturizer are cocoa butter, lanolin, myristyl myristate and isopropyl myristate. Shea butter is not a bad ingredient in your moisturizer but you want to take a look at the other ingredients as well. The less refined the better. Look for lightweight moisturizers with hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Non-oil based moisturizers recommended
We would recommend non-oil based moisturizers such as Cetaphil or Cerave. These are non-comedogenic and come in both cream and lotion forms. They are a nice compliment when using topical retinoids.
Moisturizer with retinoic creams
I recommend RR Retinoid Repair Cream and also instruct all my patients to use a moisturizer and sunblock with these products to reduce sunburn and sun damage. The RR Cream is from Kare Skin and is high quality and less expensive than Retin-A