Vitamin A is not a single compound but a group of chemical compounds that are structurally similar. These compounds include retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, and provitamin A caretenoids which include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene and cryptoxanthin. Retinol and beta-carotene are some of the most common forms of vitamin A found in food and supplements, with the former being found in animals and the latter in plants.
For topical application, the form of all-trans retinoic acid (Tretinoin) should be used in a facial cream/lotion containing it in the range of 0.01-0.10%, with the lowest concentration having low side-effects but less efficacy and 0.025-0.05% being the sweet spot. Topical application is once nightly.