No one can deny the place tretinoin holds among skincare topical formulations. Belonging to the class of retinoids, tretinoin has proven benefits in treating fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, blackheads, and visible pores. All of these benefits make tretinoin worthy of your attention for your daily skincare regimen.
Tretinoin has a proven safety and efficacy profile backed by over 50 years of research (1). It’s 20 times more potent than its over-the-counter cousin, retinol, and is the only FDA-approved topical formulation for photoaging. But how would you get to know you are going to get results?
We are sharing the feedback of a few people who used tretinoin cream for wrinkles and other skin problems, so you can decide if tretinoin is right for you. This article also shares some top tips to make sure you reach your skincare goals with tretinoin cream.
Tretinoin fades away the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, proving it the best option for this purpose. Collagen production in the skin drops after the age of 20 by 1% every year. This contributes to skin aging. Tretinoin minimizes the signs of premature skin aging by stimulating collagen production in the skin, providing it the support network it needs.
A study showed collagen production to be increased in the skin by over 80% after a year of regular use (2). So for people using tretinoin cream for wrinkles and fine lines, skin became more clear, smooth and, supple.
Tretinoin has proved to treat hyperpigmentation after regular use. Uneven skin tone may be a result of sunburn, hormones, medication, and an injury to the skin. All of these factors speed up melanin production in the skin. Melanin is a skin coloring pigment and its overproduction produces flat brown spots in the skin, resulting in a darker skin complexion. Tretinoin evens the skin complexion by dispersing melanin granules. (3)
A clinical study revealed the effects of tretinoin in Black patients before and after use, tretinoin was effective in treating uneven skin tone with negligible overall skin tone lightening (4). A trial with Chinese and Japanese patients also showed amazing results (5).
Pores in the skin become visible when debris, dirt, and dead skin cells accumulate in the pores to enlarge them. Tretinoin helps shrink these pores by removing the dead skin cells, replacing them with new ones, increasing cell turnover and exfoliation which clears debris from the pores.
Dead skin cells ultimately make the skin look dull, dry, and dead. Tretinoin is a powerful exfoliant that sheds dead skin cells out of pores and gives the skin a smooth, youthful look. Tretinoin also stimulates the production of glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which is an essential molecule for skin hydration, firmness, and elasticity. So skin looks and feels smoother.
Acne is generally categorized into two classes- inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Tretinoin treats both kinds but your dermatologist will make the final decision on the regimen that combines multiple solutions.
Noninflammatory acne or comedonal acne is referred to as blackheads and whiteheads. Dead skin cells get trapped into the pores and stop the natural flow of oil out of the skin. This leads to the development of blackheads and whiteheads in the skin.
Inflammatory acne is the same as non-inflammatory acne but in addition to dead skin cells and oil, inflammation-causing bacteria get stuck into the pores. This produces red inflamed acne that is painful to touch.
Tretinoin fights both kinds of acne by gently peeling the skin and minimizing the buildup in pores. Plus, it creates an environment not suitable for acne-causing bacteria (7).
All the topical formulations including tretinoin take time to show the results after use. With regular tretinoin cream use, most people start seeing visible results around six weeks. Using it every two or three days, you may start seeing results after about ten weeks. If used weekly, it could take up to three months. Every person’s skin is unique though, and results may vary.
To get the maximum out of your skincare formulation, you need to apply it properly to your skin, so that the skin may adapt to the new treatment and provide the protection it needs. Following are discussed a few tips to get the best out of tretinoin cream for wrinkles and other skin problems.
Any new formula applied to the skin may take the skin some time to get used to. If you are using the tretinoin cream for the first time, go with a low concentration every third night. Slowly increase the concentration as your skin starts to tolerate it and take it to a percentage that is ideal to meet your skin goals. A higher concentration does not always give the best results. Just look for the right balance between potency and tolerability. Your dermatologist will suggest you the best concentration for your skin.
Use the amount required to produce the results. More than that will just irritate your skin. Use moisturizers and sunscreens.
To experience the best results after using tretinoin cream, don’t forget to use a lot of moisturizers and sunscreens during the day to ensure that your skin is protected. A good moisturizer will help you keep your skin hydrated and moisturized throughout the day.
There is no topical formulation that suits your skin at once. It’s all exclusive to your skin. It may take you some time and effort to find the right formulation of tretinoin for your skin and different people may see results at different times.
As you keep finding, keep listening to your skin. It knows best. Slow down or pause treatment if your skin becomes irritated. And talk to your dermatologist about any concerns you have. They’ll be able to help you adjust your treatment plan.