Think of tretinoin as a fast-forward button for your skin’s turnover cycle. It gets rid of dead skin cells that can leave your face feeling rough and sallow, while increasing collagen production.
Always use a low concentration to start and work your way up to higher strengths as your skin adjusts. It’s also important to listen to your skin and pause or slow down the treatment if it feels irritated.
Increases Collagen Production
Collagen is a protein found in all skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues. It gives your skin strength, suppleness, and resilience. But as you age, your body produces less and less collagen.
Retinoin stimulates the production of collagen. It also speeds up cell turnover, bringing fresh, healthy new cells to the surface. This helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and even out the tone of your complexion. It can reduce patches of redness or hyperpigmentation, too.
It does this by directly stimulating collagen production, as well as inhibiting the degradation of existing collagen fibers. It can take six to eight weeks before you see the results, but they last for a long time – as long as you continue using it. This makes it an excellent option for anyone seeking to reverse sun damage, or who wants to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, or uneven skin pigmentation.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Although retinoids do not completely eliminate existing wrinkles (as fillers or Botox would), they can smooth them out. In addition to softening fine lines, tretinoin also improves skin sallowness, texture, tightness, and pigmentation.
Tretinoin can cause a bit of irritation, but this is not uncommon with most acne medications. It’s important to listen to your skin and slow down or stop your treatment if you notice it becoming irritated.
Using tretinoin long-term can help maintain results and reduce the risk of side effects. The first visible results can be seen as early as 3 months, with more noticeable improvements in skin sallowness and roughness at the 6 month mark. The FDA has approved tretinoin gels and creams to treat acne vulgaris, as well as oral tretinoin (isotretinoin) for severe nodular acne. Tretinoin and its generic forms are also commonly used off-label for melasma and chicken skin (keratosis pilaris). Both tretinoin and adapalene can be purchased without a prescription, but they should not be combined with other products that irritate or dry out the skin.
Evens Out Skin Tone
Tretinoin works to even out skin tone and texture by encouraging faster cell turnover, which also helps lighten pigmentation. In one clinical study, tretinoin caused melanin to redistribute across the skin’s surface and lightened brown spots, resulting in a more evenly toned complexion5.
When used regularly for at least six months, tretinoin can reduce the appearance of dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles. It can also help to unclog pores, which are responsible for noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (red, inflamed pimples).
When using tretinoin, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun, especially since this topical will increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and neck while using this anti-aging serum, and wear a wide-brimmed hat when spending time outdoors.
Tretinoin’s ability to increase cell turnover helps reduce acne by unclogging pores and clearing away the material that causes pimples. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and swelling. It can be used to treat existing pimples and to prevent future breakouts by preventing the formation of blackheads and whiteheads.
In addition, tretinoin can lighten the appearance of dark spots, such as melasma and old acne scars. It does this by dispersing melanin granules, which helps to even out skin tone. However, tretinoin is not a miracle product and will not completely remove dark spots.
When using tretinoin, it is important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. It is also important to use a moisturizer with it, since it can dry out the skin. Additionally, it is important to avoid direct sunlight while on tretinoin and wear a wide-brimmed hat and SPF 30+ sunscreen when out in the sun. Finally, if you experience irritation while on tretinoin, slow down your application or stop using it until your skin can tolerate it. Tretinoin for Collagen