Tretinoin accelerates the skin’s natural production of new cells. It also promotes collagen production and treats sun damage and pigmentation.
Retinol and adapalene are two milder over-the-counter retinoids that are similar to tretinoin, but are more gentle on your skin. They’re more suitable for people with sensitive skin or who can’t use prescription tretinoin due to pregnancy.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
In addition to improving blemishes and reducing acne, tretinoin also improves fine lines and wrinkles by speeding up the skin’s cell turnover process. This allows fresh new skin cells to replace old damaged ones more quickly and results in a smoother complexion.
Studies of retinol have demonstrated that it can significantly reduce clinical signs of photoaging including fine wrinkling, rough texture, mottled pigmentation and sallowness. In a pair of 24-month, double-blind, vehicle-controlled studies involving 328 patients with moderate to severe photodamage, topical application of low strength tretinoin resulted in improved skin tone, fewer and less visible wrinkles and fewer dark spots than the placebo group.
But if you’re new to this powerhouse ingredient, start slow and build up your usage. Many dermatologists recommend using a low-concentration formula every third night and then increasing to once or twice per week as your skin gets used to it. It can take four to six weeks for your pores and complexion to look better, so stick with it!
Evens Skin Tone
Tretinoin is a form of Vitamin A and is well researched for its ability to help even skin tone. It works by penetrating the skin and affecting different layers in it. It can help unclog pores and reduce acne breakouts, as well as increase cell turnover to smooth the skin and improve its texture and tone.
Over time, long term use of retinoids such as tretinoin will speed up your skin’s cellular turnover process and cause fresh new cells to form deep in the epidermis and replace old, damaged cells. This results in smoother, younger looking skin that is less affected by fine lines and wrinkles and discoloration from sun damage and aging.
Tretinoin also helps even skin pigmentation by dispersing melanin granules, which are the natural compounds that give your skin its color. It can also improve the appearance of flat brown spots and patches caused by sun damage, hormone changes, medications and skin injury.
Inflammation and clogged pores cause both noninflammatory (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (red, painful pimples). Tretinoin helps reduce them by clearing out the pores, reducing oiliness and preventing new spots from forming. It also speeds up the process of exfoliation, making it easier to remove dead skin cells that can clog the pores.
When used properly, tretinoin is highly effective. One well-controlled study found that 0.04% tretinoin reduced acne by 36% after three months of use.
When starting a tretinoin treatment, make sure to moisturize and avoid harsh cleansers or other treatments that can irritate the skin. Your dermatologist may recommend starting with just a few nights a week and slowly increasing the frequency of application as your skin adapts. And don’t apply too much – a pea-sized amount is enough to work its magic. Using too much can lead to peeling, flaking and dryness, which is a recipe for irritation.
Tretinoin is a member of the group of medications called retinoids that promote skin cell turnover and collagen production. One study found that tretinoin increased collagen in the skin by up to 80% over 10 to 12 months of nightly use4. Another benefit of tretinoin is that it evens out skin pigmentation by dispersing melanin granules, which are the color-producing cells of the skin. Uneven skin tone, also known as hyperpigmentation, can be caused by sun damage, hormonal changes, certain medications and/or acne scars.
Retinol, a natural derivative of vitamin A, is less irritating than tretinoin, but it still promotes skin cell turnover and collagen production. It is also effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, evening out skin tone and improving the texture of the skin. Tretinoin for Collagen