Tretinoin is one of the finest products available for skin care and anti-ageing. Not only does it reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but it also boosts collagen production, tightens skin, improves skin elasticity, unclogs pores for a clear complexion, brightens dull skin, and evens skin tone. As well as reversing hyperpigmentation and UV skin damage caused by sun exposure.
What Is Tretinoin Cream?
Tretinoin cream, also known as Retin-A, is a synthetic, first-generation retinoic acid and retinoid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. It was first introduced into dermatology in 1962, becoming a breakthrough treatment for skin care.
What Is Tretinoin Cream Used For?
Tretinoin cream was originally used as a topical treatment for acne in the 1960s, but scientists soon discovered it had a number of other benefits for skin concerns. These benefits included fading age spots, evening out pigmentation, increasing collagen production, and reducing wrinkles and lines. Due to its anti-ageing properties, it has been widely adopted as an anti-ageing treatment. Many people began using it for this. Tretinoin and Retin-a shouldn't be confused with retinol, as retinol is less potent and effective.
Tretinoin cream is one of the most commonly used and studied retinoids for anti-ageing. Studies have shown the following benefits:
- Fine lines and fine wrinkles will disappear
- Deep lines and wrinkles will be reduced
- Improves the appearance of photoageing (sun damaged skin)
- The appearance of age spots and hyperpigmentation will be reduced
- Skin texture improves
- Collagen production will increase in the skin
- Pores will be unblocked and their size will reduce
- Your skin's complexion will be clearer and healthier
Photoageing is the premature ageing of the skin, caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight (radiation from the sun). Photoaging is characterised by fine and deep wrinkles, changes in the skin's pigmentation, and loss of elasticity. Tretinoin can be used to reduce skin damage caused by the sun (photodamaged skin), as well as to increase collagen production in the skin. It has been studied extensively as a treatment for mild to severe photoageing.
How Does Tretinoin Cream Prevent or Reverse Skin Ageing?
Tretinoin cream increases the rate at which skin cells turnover. As we age, the rate our skin cells renew and replace older skin cells slows down. This slowdown is one of the leading causes of signs of ageing on the skin. Tretinoin acts as an accelerator to speed up the process. As a result, the older, damaged skin cells will be replaced by new, undamaged ones more frequently. This will give your skin a brighter and more youthful appearance. Collagen production will also increase, and fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots will often fade or disappear over time.
How Quickly Will You Notice Anti-Ageing Benefits?
In order to achieve the maximum benefit from Tretinoin, it must be used consistently. Do not exceed the recommended amount to apply or apply it more frequently than recommended. This will not improve your skin any faster, and your chances of skin irritation will increase.
After a few weeks of using it topically, your skin will appear noticeably clearer and smoother. After three to six months of regular use, your wrinkles will be noticeably reduced. The best results will appear between six to twelve months.
By using Tretinoin regularly, you will reduce the number and severity of acne breaksouts in the future, as well as clearing existing acne (inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne). Numerous studies have shown that it is effective in treating acne vulgaris. According to several studies, it is effective for:
- The reduction of acne-related inflammation
- Keeping pores clear, and exfoliating dead skin, thereby reducing acne
How Does Tretinoin Treat Acne?
There are many reasons why acne appears on the skin. It is most common in people aged 12 to 25, but it can affect people of all ages. Just below your skin's surface are small sebaceous glands that produce oil called sebum to keep your skin supple and smooth. Sebum can reach the skin surface through tiny pores on the skin. Acne occurs as a result of dead skin, bacteria, and oil blocking some pores, leading to spots, blackheads, and whiteheads (comedones). Using Tretinoin on acne-prone skin will help unclog pores and treat black and whiteheads that have formed on your skin.
How Quickly Will Acne Improve?
To get the most benefit from Tretinoin, you should use it consistently. The amount of the product should not be exceeded, nor should you use it more frequently than recommended. Your acne won't improve faster if you do this, and you'll also have a greater chance of skin irritation.
For the first few weeks after you start using it, your acne may worsen initially since it targets spots forming beneath the surface of your skin. However, you may notice an improvement as early as two to three weeks, but it can take up to six weeks to see the full results.
Types of Tretinoin: Cream and Gel
There are 2 types of topical Tretinoin. Cream and Gel. There is no difference in their effectiveness, but they are all suitable for different skin types.
Tretinoin Cream: Also known as Retin-a, it is suitable for dry, normal/combination skin types.
Tretinoin Gel: This is suitable for oily skin types.
They both come in 3 strengths from lowest to highest: 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%.
How To Use Tretinoin Cream for Anti-Ageing
Tretinoin cream should only be applied at night. The reason for this is that it breaks down when exposed to the sun. As a result, applying it during the day will be less effective than applying it at night.
- Applying Tretinoin cream to clean skin is important. Therefore, before using it, remove all makeup and thoroughly wash your face with mild soap or cleanser and ensure it is completely dry (pat dry with a towel, don't scrub it dry).
- You only need a pea-sized amount. With your fingertips, apply a thin layer evenly over your face and let it absorb (do not apply to your lips). If you get it in your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with warm water.
- Wait 20-30 minutes before continuing your nightly skincare routine (moisturiser, eye serum, etc.). Don't use harsh facial exfoliants or scrub your skin to avoid irritation.
When you first begin using Tretinoin cream, apply it once every other night or once every third night. You may experience some dead skin flaking and irritation during the first two weeks after using it. However, this is usually due to your skin adjusting to it. You won't experience dead skin peeling or irritation after your skin adjusts.
Moisturise your face every day and night. Additionally, you should always use sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher every day on your face.
How To Use Tretinoin Cream for Acne?
For acne treatment, tretinoin use differs from above in where it's applied, and how long it's used. It is only necessary to apply it to acne-affected areas of your face. Treatment can be stopped once the acne has gone, which usually takes around 6 weeks.
Is Tretinoin Cream Suitable for Everyone?
To minimize the chances of unwanted side effects from Tretinoin, take the following precautions:
- It is recommended that you minimise your exposure to sunlight, including sunlamps when using it. If sunburned, Tretinoin should not be used until your skin has fully recovered.
- Those with a predisposition of skin sensitivity to the sun or those who are exposed to a lot of sun as a result of their work should exercise special caution when it comes to sun exposure. If exposure cannot be avoided, sunscreen products should be applied where Tretinoin has been applied.
- The use of Tretinoin can also cause irritation if extreme weather conditions are present, such as extreme wind or cold.
- Tretinoin should be kept away from the eyes, mouth, and nose creases since it may irritate them.
- Tretinoin has been reported to cause severe skin irritation in people with eczema and hyper-sensitive skin, so it shouldn't be used by people with eczema, eczema-prone skin or hyper-sensitive skin.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not use Tretinoin.
Possible Side Effects of Tretinoin
It is safe to use Tretinoin, but you may experience mild skin reactions initially while your skin adapts to the cream or gel. You may initially experience skin redness, warmth, dryness (alleviated by moisturising your skin), irritation, or peeling of dead skin. You should remember that after your skin adapts to it, the previously mentioned skin reactions will stop.
Side Effects Can Be Minimised by Following These Tips:
- In order to minimise the chances of possible side effects when you first begin using tretinoin it is recommended you begin using the lowest strength, which is 0.025%. After your skin has adapted to the lowest strength, you can switch to a higher strength if you choose to.
- Also, for the first few weeks of use, you should only use it once or twice a week. It can be used more frequently after your skin has adapted to it, such as every second night, then every night, if you want to and your skin doesn't react to using it this often.
- If you do experience very dry skin, excessive dead skin peeling or very red skin after using tretinoin, stop using it, and allow a few days for your skin to settle. Then try applying your moisturiser first before applying tretinoin. Then wait 20 minutes before applying moisturiser a second time. Do this until your skin adapts.
- Don't apply too much tretinoin or use it too frequently. Your skin won't improve quicker, and the chances of side effects occurring will increase.
- Remember, if you experience side effects, they are most likely to occur when you first start using it, and they should disappear once your skin adapts. However, if after several uses you don’t notice your skin becoming less irritated, even after taking a number of days off in between uses to allow your skin to settle, you may not be a suitable candidate for tretinoin, and it may be better if you stop using it altogether.
- Do not use products on your skin that are too drying or abrasive, such as some cosmetics, soaps, or skin cleansers that may dry your skin out or irritate your skin. Also, do not use electrolysis, waxing, or chemical depilatories on areas where Tretinoin has been applied.
Store your product away from direct sunlight and heat, in a cool, dry place.
Tretinoin creams and gels are more effective than retinol for anti-ageing. Additionally, it also improves the appearance, texture, and elasticity of the skin, increases collagen production, reduces dark spots and unclogs pores, as well as reduces wrinkles and dark spots. In addition to its anti-ageing properties, it is also effective at treating acne.