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Retin-A User Guide

Retinol, Retin-A/Tretinoin Cream User Guide

Explanation of anti-ageing benefits of Retin-A. Retin-A is an artificial vitamin A derivative which used by dermatologists to combat ageing for over 20 years. It started out as a treatment for acne, but most mid-age people using Retin-A for an anti-acne purpose soon discovered that their skin became firmer, fresher, smoother and younger-looking as a result of the treatment. Dermatologists then began researching the benefits of Retin-A as an anti-ageing treatment.

  1. Retin-A works by increasing cell turnover within the skin, stimulating collagen production, and exfoliating the top layers of skin to reveal, the fresher younger-looking skin underneath.
  2. In addition to decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, it can prevent new ones from forming, fade discolouration and sun damage, reduce the risks of developing skin cancer and improve the skin’s texture and elasticity.
  3. Currently, Retin-A is the only topical treatment for wrinkles that is FDA approved and is extremely effective.

Visit you dermatologist firstly. Retin-A is the brand name version of the strong generic composite known as tretinoin. So it would be better if you make an appointment with a dermatologist if you are interested in trying this anti-wrinkle / anti-acne treatment solution.

  1. The only dermatologist may determine whether Retin-A is a good option for you. If used correctly, it can work effectively on most skin types. However, due to it’s drying, irritating qualities, it may not be suitable for people who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea.
  2. Retin-A is applied on skin topically and comes in both cream or gel forms available in our OKDERMO global store. It also comes in a variety of strengths: the 0.025% cream is for general skin improvement, the 0.05% cream is designed for reducing wrinkles and fine lines, while the 0.1% used widely for the treatment of acne and blackheads.
  3. Your doctor will usually start you off with a weaker strength cream until your skin adjusts, adapts to the treatment. Then you can progress on to a stronger cream, if necessary.
  4. Retinol is another vitamin-A derivative which is found in many over-the-counter products and big brand beauty creams. It produces similar results to Retin-A treatments, but due to its weaker formula it is not as effective but will cause less irritation. So we can say that Retin-A its a purest Retinol cosmeceutical solution on the market!

You can start using Retin-A at any age. Retin-A is such an effective treatment, that you will notice a visible improvement in the appearance of wrinkles no matter what age you are when you begin using it.

  1. Starting Retin-A treatments in your forties, fifties and above can have the effect of turning back the clock by plumping out the skin, fading age spots and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It is never too late to start!
  2. However, women in their twenties and thirties can also benefit from using Retin-A, as it boosts collagen production beneath the skin, making it thicker and firmer. As a result, starting Retin-A treatment early in life can prevent deep wrinkles from forming in the first place.

Strictly use Retin-A or any tretinoin creams at night. Retin-A products should only be applied at night, as the vitamin-A compounds they contain are photosensitive and will make your skin much more sensitive to sunlight. Applying the product at night also gives it a chance to absorb into the skin fully.

  1. When you begin Retin-A treatment, we would recommend that you only apply it every two to three nights.
  2. This will give your skin a chance to adjust to the cream and help to avoid irritation. Once your skin has adjusted, you can build up to using it every night.
  3. Apply the Retin-A to dry skin, about 20 minutes after thoroughly cleansing your face.

Use Retin-A sparingly. Retin-A is a very strong wrinkle treatment, so it imperative that you use it correctly and only apply it in very small amounts.

  1. At most, a pea-sized amount of cream should be used on the face, and a little more if applying to the neck. A good technique is to dab the cream on the areas most affected by wrinkles, age spots, etc., then wipe any remaining cream over the rest of the face.
  2. Many people become scared of using Retin-A because they start applying the cream too heavily and experience negative side effects such as dryness, irritation, stinging and acne outbreaks. However, these effects can be greatly reduced if the cream is applied in moderation.

Always use in combination with a moisturizer. Due to the drying effects of Retin-A, it is imperative that you always wear a hydrating moisturizer.

  1. At night, wait 20 minutes for the Retin-A to be fully absorbed into the skin, then apply your moisturizer. In the morning, wash your face thoroughly before applying a second moisturizer containing a high SPF.
  2. Sometimes, it can be hard to spread the recommended pea-sized amount of Retin-A to all of the areas of the face where it’s needed. A good solution to this problem is to mix the Retin-A with your nightly moisturizer before applying it to the face.
  3. This way, the Retin-A will be dispersed evenly all over the face. Due to the diluting effects of the moisturizer, it should also be less irritating.
  4. If your skin starts to feel really dry and your regular moisturizer doesn’t seem to be enough, try rubbing some extra virgin olive oil into your skin before bed. The oil contains fatty acids which are extremely moisturizing for your skin, in addition to being very gentle.

Deal with any skin sensitivity or irritation. Most people will experience some dryness and irritation after beginning Retin-A application, and a small number will experience acne breakouts. Don’t worry, as these reactions are completely normal. As long as you are using the treatment correctly, any irritation should subside within a few weeks.

Give it a chance to start working. The length of time it takes for Retin-A treatments to produce noticeable results will vary from person to person.

  1. Some people will see improvement in as little as one week, whereas for others it might take as long as eight weeks.
  2. Don’t give up, however – Retin-A has produced proven positive results and is possibly the most effective anti-wrinkle cream available.
  3. Beyond Retin-A, the only more effective thing you can do to combat wrinkles is to get Botox or Dysport treatments, injectable fillers, or to consider surgical options. So now you can imagine how strong tretinoin creams are.

Don’t use in combination with products containing glycolic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two other ingredients commonly found in skincare products. However, these can also be quite drying on the skin, so it is best to avoid using them in combination with a harsh treatment like Retin-A.

Do not wax Retin-A treated skin. Retin-A works by exfoliating away the top layers of skin. As a result of this, skin can become thinned out and fragile. Therefore is not a good idea to undergo any facial waxing while you are using Retin-A cream.

Do not expose your skin to sun damage. Retin-A treatment makes your skin hypersensitive to sunlight, which is why you only apply it at night. However, you should also take precautions during daylight hours by wearing an SPF every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny, rainy, cloudy or even snowy – your skin needs to be protected.

Do not use Retin-A if you’re pregnant. Retin-A creams should not be used if you are pregnant, suspect you might be pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, as there have been reports of fetal deformities following use of tretinoin treatments.

Post by:

Dermatologist Marcela J






Marcella Jiovanni

Skin Care Professional

“Marcella Jiovanni actively promotes the importance of maintaining healthy skin, she envisions the future of dermatology as moving away from pure medical, pharmacological dermatology and flowing more toward a holistic approach to wellness and skincare.”