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FutureDerm Posts, Ingredient Profiles (IPs) in Detail

Spotlight On: Tretinoin

Here’s a BRIEF overview of tretinoin, in anticipation for the retinol metabolism post. Since Nicki decided to post it later next week, I figured we’d cover tretinoin this week, just to refresh everyone’s memories. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!


About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


6 thoughts on “Spotlight On: Tretinoin

  1. Hi John,

    I like following your threads here and in Futurederm because they are essential information that everyone should one but rarely discussed elsewhere.

    Regarding tretinoin, is there any specific cream containing tretinoin more effective than others in terms of so called “anti-aging”? Say, are the well-known Retin-A & Renova delivering better and faster result than generic ones? All of them contain tretinoin but the base cream/other ingredients are different, how should we choose?

    Posted by Chris | April 20, 2013, 7:58 am
    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the support! As for the brands of tretinoin, there isn’t one that’s more anti-aging than another. All generic and brand name ones contain tretinoin. The varying vehicles only influence how much of the tretinoin gets into the skin, and how the skin reacts in terms of side effects. But generic ones can work just as well as brand name ones. You and your doctor just need to determine which formulation and strength is appropriate for you.

      Also, note that there are a few brand name prescription drugs that contain tretinoin AND another active ingredient such as hydroquinone and/or hydrocortisone. These have other uses, but aren’t particularly more potent in terms of anti-aging.

      Posted by John | April 21, 2013, 9:16 pm
  2. Hi John
    I just came across your blog and love the in-detailed and evidenced based reviews you do. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I have a question if you don’t mind.
    I am 25 with normal-dry skin. I am thinking of including a Retinol serum into my night routine after hearing about all the anti ageing benefits it has. However, in my country malaysia, it is difficult to find most of the UK based products you and futurederm usually talk about and recommend. I think at most I can probably get my hands on the PeterThomasRoth Retinol fusion pm. However it’s Retinol concentration is a high 1.5%. I heard it was better for a new Retinol user to start with a low concentration and slowly build up to that jumbo 1.5% but am having difficulty finding other Retinol products which list their Retinol concentration.
    I do have assess to most major international brands though and I think I can get Paula’s choice too but probably not the full range.
    What would you advise? Should I go ahead with PTR and maybe use it alternate days or so at the beginning?

    Thanks lots for any insight. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep up the good work.

    Posted by Erin | June 26, 2012, 4:09 am
    • Thank you! I’m glad to have you as part of my audience!

      Unfortunately, I’m not really familiar with products not available in the US/UK/Globally. And while it’s true that new retinol users should start with lower concentrations, I personaly didn’t experience any irritation when I started my retinol treatment with the PTR serum. However, I don’t have overly sensitive, and very oily skin. So I’d say first get a sample from Sephora or wherever, and try it for a couple of days. If you don’t get a negative reaction, then it should be fine. The Paula’s Choice new retinol product is excellent as well, and the packaging will keep the retinol longer. However, it doesn’t state the % of retinol. In my review, I guessed it was around 0.5%, but that is just a guess. Also, the Skinceuticals retinol serums are excellent as well, and they have new packaging that’s less frustrating. It used to be in this pump that many users complained would break easily. It’s now in a tube. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And yes, if you decide to get a retinol serum, start with 2-3 times per week; basically about every 3 days.

      Posted by John | June 27, 2012, 2:00 am
      • In my country, we have access to tretinoin without prescription. Over the counter, there is Galderma’s Retacnyl and Stieva-A Cream. I’m thinking of getting the Stieva-A Cream in 0.025%. Do you think it’s alright for 19-22 years olds to use that? If yes, how should I proceed from here? If it helps, I live in a tropical climate. Thanks, John.

        Posted by CK | October 26, 2013, 10:49 pm

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