Are you thinking about using Tretinoin to get good skin?

This guide is meant to assist new users to understand all the information they need before beginning their Tretinoin journey.

I’ll define Tretinoin and discuss how it functions in this section.

I’ll also provide suggestions on how to reduce discomfort and prevent irritation when using Tretinoin.

Finally, I will assist you in developing the ideal routine to maintain your skin and ensure that you benefit the most from this potent medication.

What exactly is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is an active form of Vitamin A. It is also referred to as Retinoic Acid

It is one of the most thoroughly examined and scientifically supported chemicals in skin care products and is highly effective in treating a variety of issues, such as acne, pigmentation, and ageing.

Tretinoin, also known as all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), is an FDA-approved prescribed version of vitamin A that was first developed in 1957. It was then approved for cosmetic use in 1971. Retin-A was the name under which it was first sold, although today you can find it under a variety of names depending on where you reside.

The chemicals in all Tretinoin formulations are the same and extremely comparable. The only things that are different are the brands that sell them and a small number of the ingredients, but nothing too major.

The formulation’s vehicle and active component dosage are different.

For instance, tretinoin is available as a gel or cream formulation.

People with acne are usually prescribed the gel formulation, which typically contains alcohol. Contrastingly, the cream formulation typically contains potent moisturising ingredients such as isopropyl myristate and is intended primarily for those who have been given prescription tretinoin for anti-ageing purposes.

Tretinoin is also available in three different strengths: 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1%

There are other micro formulations, which are typically applied to some very sensitive skin, although they are not popular and are not widely available worldwide.

How Does Tretinoin Actually Work?

The rate at which your skin makes new cells and loses old ones, Also known as Cell turnover, is accelerated by Tretinoin.

As you get older, your skin’s cell turnover slows down, leading to an accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. As a result, your skin is unable to reflect light, which can give you a tired-looking complexion.

One of the primary causes of acne is slow skin cell turnover, which results in clogged pores that generate whiteheads and blackheads and can develop into more severe acne when bacteria begin to feed on the cell debris inside the pore and spread.

Proper Application of Tretinoin Cream

To use Tretinoin more effectively, wait till after your evening cleansing.

After cleansing, wait until your skin is totally dry before applying a pea-sized amount and dotting it gradually across your forehead, cheeks, chin, temples, and jawline.

Start by spreading the product into the skin with just two fingertips once your dots are uniformly distributed. Avoid using more than two fingers or your entire palms to rub the Tretinoin into your skin because you don’t want it to stay on your hands.

If any Tretinoin is left on your hands after finishing, even a small amount will cause your fingertips to start peeling. Be sure to wash with soap.

You should wait at least 20 to 30 minutes before using a moisturiser on top of tretinoin because doing so will dissolve or transfer the product, which will reduce its effectiveness and cause uneven application.

Advantages of Using Tretinoin

Frequent Tretinoin use will help to improve skin issues like wrinkles, pigmentation, and acne.

Your complexion will also be brighter, more even, and more consistent after using Tretinoin.

Moreover, Tretinoin will help smooth out the texture of uneven skin and can lessen acne scars with scarring.

Tretinoin Side Effects

The primary downside of using Tretinoin is that it stings quite a bit and typically results in dry, flaky skin that is more prone to redness and stinging.

This occurrence is the worst during the first few weeks until your skin gets used to it, but for some people, this doesn’t happen at all, and for others, it can take a couple of months (or 6-8 weeks) to clear up.

Another common negative effect of using tretinoin is purging, which occurs when a product makes your face worse before it gets better since the active ingredient essentially causes your skin to release all the clogs that were eventually going to transform into pimples much more quickly.

Last but not least, using tretinoin can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so you should use sunscreen regularly to prevent your skin from burning more quickly and easily than usual.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen everywhere you use tretinoin, including your neck and decolletage.

When Can I Expect Tretinoin Results?

Within two to three months of consistent use, acne is usually cleared.

Depending on what you’re trying to target, Tretinoin’s anti-ageing effects may take six months or longer to show.

After six months of consistent use, symptoms of sun damage including brown spots caused by exposure to the sun should start to fade, as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone.

After using Tretinoin regularly for one to two years, effects may be visible for fine lines and deeper wrinkles.

Any improvement also needs to be maintained by continued use. Pregnancy would be the only reason to stop the treatment, assuming it is well absorbed.

6 Recommendations for Maintaining Skin Health While Applying Tretinoin

The following six recommendations will assist you to minimise tretinoin side effects and maintain healthy skin while using the treatment:

Start Slowly and Gently

When using Tretinoin for the first time, it is recommended to begin with a smaller dose, such as 0.025%, and choose the one that contains emollients, like cream-based tretinoin.

Apply Tretinoin to Clean and Dry Skin

Tretinoin is more easily absorbed by moist or wet skin, which is likely to be overly aggressive and produce irritation, stinging, and sensitivity.

For this reason, you must always apply tretinoin on dry, clean skin.

Use Tretinoin Alternately

To help your skin adjust to Tretinoin more quickly, start by using it every 48 to 72 hours.

The retinization process may pass and be activated again with the following application if you wait longer than 72 hours between applications.

As a result, you will have to suffer from the side effects all the time, and it will take longer for your skin to adjust to the active ingredient.

Therefore, by using tretinoin only twice a week at first, you are really delaying the skin’s adaption to the active component. This is contradictory to what you might assume is good for your skin.

Twenty minutes after using a moisturiser, use Tretinoin

Applying moisturiser carefully in the morning and evening for 20–30 minutes after applying Tretinoin will help to relax and protect your skin barrier when you first start using tretinoin.

Put moisturiser over Tretinoin

It’s recommended to discontinue using Tretinoin for a few days if your skin starts to itch severely.

As an alternative, you can use Tretinoin 20 to 30 minutes after using a moisturiser. The required outcomes will still be achieved while using this method to soften the strength.

When starting a Tretinoin treatment, use gentle skin care.

When using Tretinoin, it’s important to have a basic skincare routine with soothing products because your skin will probably become irritated in the first few weeks and require extra support and care.

The Ideal Skincare Routine When Starting Tretinoin Treatment

The ideal skincare regimen while beginning Tretinoin treatment is as follows:

Mild Cleanser

When starting your tretinoin journey, it’s essential to use a mild, non-foaming cleanser that won’t peel and dry up your face.

Hydrating Serum

Although it’s not necessary, a hydrating serum is a wonderful addition to your skincare routine when you first start using Tretinoin because it can help moisturise the skin and lessen some of the discomforts.

Choose a product with moisturising, calming, and nourishing components like hyaluronic acid, green tea, liquorice extract, chamomile, etc.

High-Quality Moisturiser

Beautiful and cheerful Asian woman standing in her bathroom, holding face cream and applying it to her cheeks and face.

Moisturising is one of the most crucial elements in your tretinoin journey, as I have explained earlier.

A high-quality moisturiser will strengthen your skin’s natural defences and lessen sensitivity.


Choose one sunscreen that is mild and non-irritating to your skin and has an SPF of 30 or higher.

What Should You Avoid Using While Using Tretinoin?

Your skin is likely going to become more sensitive and irritated when using Tretinoin. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, different levels of peeling and flaking may also occur.

It’s essential to refrain from using enzymes, exfoliating acids, particularly AHAs, scrubs, and harsh, drying cleansers while using Tretinoin because these products might irritate and burn your skin.

Similar Posts