Retin-A vs. Retinol vs. Tretinoin
What’s the difference between Tretinoin, Retinol, and Retin-A?
Tretinoin is the active ingredient in retinoid creams and can be used to help reduce acne, acne scaring, fine lines, and stretch marks, by encouraging exfoliation and new skin cell growth.
Retin-A is a brand name for the ingredient tretinoin, part of a family of related products known as retinoids, which derms consider to be the gold standard ingredient in anti-aging topicals.
Retinol is a less potent over-the-counter form, which is considered to be Retin-A’s little sister. It’s found in products on department and drugstore shelves.
What results can I get from these creams?
You can expect a visible reduction in fine lines and improvement in skin texture.
Which One Should I get?
Retinol can be bought over the counter but will be less potent. It’s a good place to start to see how your skin reacts to it. If you want the stronger Retin-A, you will need a prescription and should book an appointment with your dermatologist.
What are some tips for using retinoid creams?
- Always apply retinoid creams to clean skin, and then follow with any other moisturizers on top if needed.
- Start by using the retinoid creams every other day, and if your skin can tolerate it, you can increase it to everyday.
- Only a pea sized amount is needed for the entire face, more isn’t better.
- You can apply retinoid creams under the eye, but avoid the eye lid area.
- Retinoid creams should always be used at night as sunlight can damage the active ingredient.
- Retinoid creams make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so always make sure to wear sunscreen.
What if my skin is too sensitive for the creams?
If your skin is too sensitive for the retinoid creams, make an appointment with your dermatologist. They may be able to give you treatments such as Blu Light which can help reduce redness and acne, but is extremely gentle on the skin.
What if I have deeper wrinkles or acne scars I want to get rid of?
Retinoid creams are only effective on very fine lines. If you want to get rid deeper wrinkles or scars, book an appointment with your dermatologist. Treatments such as Erbium Laser Resurfacing, Fractionated Laser Resurfacing, and Injectable Fillers can remove wrinkles and scars.