Tretinoin is a topical prescription retinoid that accelerates new (and healthy) skin cell growth and also helps repair sun-damaged skin. It is often used to treat acne prone skin, but it’s also effective for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, improving skin texture and fading hyperpigmentation like sun spots or melasma. It’s a powerful tool in any skincare routine, but it can be irritating for sensitive skin types, especially when used incorrectly. To reduce the risk of irritation, start with a pea sized amount and gradually increase to nightly as your skin tolerates it. For best results, always apply a hydrating and emollient rich moisturiser before your tretinoin cream.
It’s important to note that tretinoin, or any retinoid, can only be purchased with a valid prescription from a medical professional such as a dermatologist or aesthetic doctor after a consultation to ensure it’s appropriate for your skin type and needs. It’s also not suitable for pregnant women, as it can cause birth defects in unborn babies, or anyone with open wounds or eczema flare ups, and should never be applied to sun burnt or raw skin, as it can lead to severe irritation.
There are several strengths of tretinoin available, with the strongest being 0.1% sold under the brand name Retin-A, and the lowest dose (concentration) being 0.01% sold as Retin-A micro. It comes in both a cream and gel formula, with the cream version catering to more sensitive or dry skin. After cleansing your face, gently massage a small amount of the cream into your skin, using enough to cover the affected area. It’s usually applied once daily before bedtime. tretinoin cream