Tretinoin works as a gentle chemical exfoliant and helps make skin smoother by shutting dead cells out of pores. It also increases glycosaminoglycan, which is good for hydration and firmness.
If you’re new to retinoids, start with a lower strength and gradually ramp up your regimen. Apply a pea-sized amount to your face.
How Tretinoin Works
Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that’s proven to be one of the most effective treatments for reducing wrinkles. It works by encouraging skin cells to turnover faster and boosts collagen production, resulting in firmer, more youthful-looking skin.
It can also help to clear up noninflammatory acne, commonly referred to as blackheads and whiteheads, by unclogging pores. It does this by removing excess oil and dead skin cells, which also helps reduce bacteria that can cause inflammation.
It’s also been proven to reduce pore size and lighten uneven skin tone, like dark spots and melasma, by increasing glycosaminoglycan levels in the skin. In addition, it can decrease the appearance of crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead wrinkles, and other fine lines and wrinkles that develop with age, especially with regular use. Tretinoin can take a while to begin working, but it will usually start showing results within two to six months. It’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily while on this medication to prevent sun damage and further darkening of the skin.
Retinol has been proven in numerous scientific studies to help smooth fine lines, creases and wrinkles as well as reduce brown spots and skin discolouration. It also speeds up skin cell turnover and helps keep pores clear of oil, dead cells and debris.
The benefits of retinol can be seen and experienced with regular use over time, although it may take up to 12 weeks for some people to see results. Long term tretinoin treatment is proven to improve both intrinsic or chronological aging of the skin as well as photoaging, which occurs due to cumulative sun damage.
Retinoin is very effective and safe to use, but it is a potent substance that should only be used as directed by your dermatologist. Avoid over-doing it and stick to a pea-sized amount of cream or gel, applying it to your face once or twice per week. You may also experience a purging process when first starting tretinoin, where your skin increases its cell turnover and this can result in a few extra blackheads or whiteheads (it’s like a spring clean for the skin). If you have sensitive skin then you will need to be a bit more careful with introducing tretinoin, and make sure you control any underlying conditions such as rosacea beforehand.
Many studies have shown that retinoids reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging by speeding up your skin’s cellular turnover. This allows new skin cells to form deep inside your epidermis and to replace the old, damaged cells.
Topical tretinoin also increases epidermal thickness, and it promotes the formation of collagen and glycosaminoglycans in the dermis.
Another important effect of tretinoin is that it reduces the excess sebum production that causes acne. It also decreases inflammation and redness associated with inflammatory acne lesions.
It also fades actinic keratosis spots and evens out the skin’s pigmentation. However, it is important to use sunscreen every day while using tretinoin, since this medication can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Your dermatologist will help you optimize your tretinoin regimen, considering factors like your skin type and sensitivity. They may advise you to start with a lower strength and gradually increase the frequency of application as your skin gets used to it.
A common side effect of tretinoin is increased skin sensitivity, especially to sunlight. To prevent sun damage, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Another common side effect is a period of irritation and flakiness. This is called the purging phase and is caused by the increase in skin cell turnover. During this time, it’s important to avoid harsh exfoliants and instead use gentle cleansers with ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.
It’s also important to inform any skincare specialists who perform chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser light treatments and more that you are using tretinoin. They will need to know so they can advise you on any procedures. It is also important to inform your doctor if you are pregnant or may become pregnant as retinoids can have an adverse impact on unborn babies. Tretinoin for Collagen