Tips for Using Retin-A Tretinoin

Although not all of the different creams available for anti-aging purposes are necessarily beneficial, there are some that may be. Studies have shown that Retin-A Tretinoin, a form of vitamin A, is helpful for limiting acne, plumping the skin to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and helping to fade brown spots on the skin. However, you’ve got to use it properly to get the most benefits.

Start Gradually

The skin needs to get used to the tretinoin, so it’s important to work your way up to using larger amounts. Doctors often recommend using a pea-sized amount every three days and gradually working up over the course of a few weeks to once every two days and then once a day, if the skin can handle it. This will help minimize the side effects, which can include redness, increased acne, peeling, and flaking. Skin typically gets worse before it gets better, so be prepared.

Use Sunscreen

Tretinoin and other forms of vitamin A, including retinol, make the skin more sensitive to the sun. This means people need to use plenty of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above to limit the risk of sunburn. Using the cream at night rather in the morning can help limit this risk slightly, but sunscreen is still essential.

Don’t Use With Other Products

Wash the face and then wait at least 15 to 30 minutes before using vitamin A-containing creams or gels. Allow the same amount of time before applying any moisturizer. This makes it more likely the product will have time to absorb into the skin. Some other types of products may interact badly or increase the risk of side effects, so avoid vitamin C-containing products as well as those containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid.

Expect Side Effects

At the beginning, when the skin is just adjusting to the tretinoin, the skin is likely to get a little irritated or scaly. However, if side effects are worse than this, limit the use of tretinoin even further and let the skin go back to normal before restarting treatment. Sometimes using a gentler cleanser before the tretinoin can minimize the irritation further, as can using a moisturizer a little while after applying the cream. Don’t use on sunburned, damaged, or irritated skin.