First, 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.
And 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 point:
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
. For a better retinoid, use Bare Skin Care Vitamin "A" Serum
, a retinaldehyde better than retinol - more effective and less irritating!