the answer is yes, retinol can make wrinkles worse, especially when you
first start using it. What is happening is a drying effect, and one can
get epidermal sliding from separation from the dermis. But this is
temporary, and will eventually end up tightening the skin around the
eyelids, provided you are using a potent retinol preparation.
this leads to the second point. Skin care ingredients vary in their
effectiveness. When you buy cheap you usually get cheap. So the strength
of the retinol, as well as other ingredients present, will determine
the final effect. The better the ingredients, the more expensive they
are, and subsequently this shows up in pricing.
And the last
moisturizers on a daily basis are not good for the skin. And while
Vaseline is good for healing, you are not trying to "heal" the skin to
get rid of wrinkles, but to increase and strengthen collagen and
elastin. Moisturizers used in conjunction with retinol will actually
slow down the effectiveness.
For a good retinol product, see Bare Skin Care Rejuvenation Serum