Tretinoin is an effective topical treatment for acne and can also help reduce early signs of aging like fine lines and dark spots. It can take weeks or even months to see results, so be patient!
Tretinoin is available in both cream and gel formulations. The cream form is better suited for dry or normal skin types.
What is Tretinoin?
Tretinoin is a vitamin A acid that converts to retinoic acid once applied to skin. It can treat acne and improve skin texture. It is also known to prevent wrinkles and stretch marks by stimulating collagen production. It is very important to use sun protection with this medication and moisturize. It may cause dry, itchy and flaky skin at first; this should go away with continued use.
Using a mild cleanser and patting your skin dry before applying tretinoin can reduce irritation. It may take 2 to 4 weeks before you see any changes in your skin. Studies have shown that consistent use over long periods is necessary to achieve the best results.
It is not safe to use tretinoin if you have certain underlying skin conditions, such as rosacea or eczema. This is because these conditions can trigger sensitivity and make it more difficult for the tretinoin to penetrate your skin. It is also not safe to use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How does Tretinoin work?
As a gold-standard acne treatment, tretinoin also addresses skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles & hyperpigmentation. ‘It works by speeding up cell turnover, which means older cells are removed & new ones brought to the surface faster, so it helps with discolouration as well as making your skin look plumper & smoother,’ explains dermatologist Dr Elif Benar.
However, tretinoin can make your skin sensitive to sunlight, so you’ll need to take extra care to protect it. You’ll want to wear sunscreen, use a hat and avoid sunlamps if you’re using this medication.
This is why it’s important to only use tretinoin under a doctor’s supervision & not buy unprescribed versions online. You should also be careful not to apply it to areas with open wounds, burns or cuts. Also, be aware that this ingredient can cause a purging effect in some people, where your skin breaks out more for a few weeks as it clears your pores.
What are the side effects of Tretinoin?
Tretinoin is a powerful topical but it can cause irritation. Your healthcare provider will help optimize your routine based on your skin type, sensitivity & how long you’ve been using tretinoin. It’s recommended to start by applying it every other night, then gradually increasing the frequency.
You may experience a few breakouts at first. This is called purging & it’s a normal part of the treatment. It usually lasts a few weeks & then clears up. This is why it’s important to use sun protection & moisturize your skin well while using tretinoin.
If you notice any severe itching or hives, seek medical attention immediately as this could be a sign of a serious allergic reaction. Tretinoin is also not advised during pregnancy as high doses can cause birth defects. It’s important to talk to your obstetrician before starting the medication. It is also not recommended to breastfeed while using tretinoin.
How should I use Tretinoin?
Prescription retinoids are by far the most difficult skin care ingredients to get right. Many people misunderstand the process, apply too much or too frequently & then suffer from early temporary side effects like redness & flaking.
It’s crucial to follow the advice of your healthcare provider or dermatologist. This includes washing your face using a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser and gently patting your skin dry (avoid rubbing, which can irritate the sensitive facial skin).
Only use tretinoin on clean, completely dry skin. This will maximize absorption & avoid irritation. It’s also a good idea to layer tretinoin with other skincare products that can complement its anti-aging & hydration benefits. These include vitamin C serums, hyaluronic acid-packed creams and other pro-hydration products. Talk to your Curology dermatology expert for recommendations based on your unique needs & skin type. Tretinoin 0.1% cream