A prescription-only skincare active, tretinoin is proven to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles & dark spots due to sun damage. It can also help to control acne breakouts & prevent the formation of new ones. However, tretinoin can irritate the skin and it’s important to titrate its use – start slowly, once a week, & increase the frequency of application as your skin becomes accustomed to it. Some of the most common tretinoin side effects are redness, flaking or itching of the skin.
When using tretinoin it’s important to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, preferably one designed for your skin type. It’s best to apply tretinoin on clean, dry skin and only use the amount recommended by your medical provider, usually a pea-sized drop. It’s also a good idea to use an occlusive moisturizer over the top if you tend to have oily skin.
Be patient when it comes to tretinoin – it takes a few months for you to see results & the effects are cumulative. It may even take up to 12 weeks before you begin to notice the difference.
It’s also important to let your medical professional know if you have any sensitive or inflammatory skin conditions, like rosacea or eczema. It’s also a good idea not to use tretinoin if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding as it could potentially cause birth defects in the fetus. In addition, retinoids can cause the skin to become more photosensitive so it’s a good idea to avoid sunlight when you’re on tretinoin. tretinoin