Your Skin’s New Secret Weapon – Tretinoin

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Have you been looking for the one skincare product that does it all?  One product to treat acne, fine lines, and sun damage? Your skin’s new secret weapon?  Look no further!  The answer – and my new favorite weapon in my skincare arsenal – is Tretinoin. 

Your Skin's New Secret Weapon - Tretinoin

What is Tretinoin? 

Tretinoin is a type of retinoid (compounds derived from vitamin A). It’s typically in the form of a gel or cream and it is available only with a prescription.  Stronger than over the counter retinols, it’s used to treat sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles. It works by speeding up the life cycle of skin cells – causing them to both divide and die faster, allowing newer healthier cells to take their place. This stimulates collagen and promotes rapid exfoliation, resulting in smoother, younger looking skin.  Neat, right?!?

Why You’re Going to Love Tretinoin

As noted above, Tretinoin addresses 3 major skincare concerns – acne, fine lines, and sun damage. I don’t know about you, but I’m 43 and struggle with ALL of the above, so Tretinoin is the solution I didn’t realize was out there until a few months ago.  The difference in my skin in just a few months is mind blowing! The annoying and consistent breakouts along my jawline are GONE, as are the previously ever present blackheads on my nose.  The texture of my skin is smoother and fine lines are basically nonexistent. I’m obsessed and Tretinoin is officially my skin’s new secret weapon! Pro tip: apply a tiny amount of Tretinoin to the skin on the back of your hands and decolletage too!

Things to Know Before You Try

Tretinoin is a fairly strong retinoid and comes in differing strengths (for example, I’m using a cream that’s at 0.025% strength but I have a friend that’s using a 0.050% strength). You’ll want to chat with your dermatologist about the right strength for you. However, regardless of the strength of your prescription, odds are your skin is going to be irritated initially. You’re likely to go through a week or two of purging/acne that seems worse as the Tretinoin forces all of the gunk to the surface. Again, chat with your doctor, but you’ll also likely need to stop using any skincare products with active ingredients (other retinols, BPOs, salicylic acids, etc.) when you first start your Tretinoin regimen and gradually add them back into your skincare routine. AND don’t forget sunscreen! Sunscreen is your new BFF as Tretinoin makes your skin super sensitive to those UV rays. 

How to Get Tretinoin

In order to get your hands on your skin’s new secret weapon, you’re going to need to get a prescription from a doctor.  If you don’t have a dermatologist, there are some online options (like GoodRx).

One Last Thing – Moisturizer!

With any retinoid, you’re going to want to use a super hydrating, non-irritating moisturizer. My go-to is Vanicream (Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3wTcJOh ). Check out my prior post for more on why I adore Vanicream.  

And there you have it – everything you need to know about Tretinoin. Definitely chat with your doctor about whether or not it is right for you (after all we are all different – skincare is not, unfortunately, one-product fits all). If Tretinoid is right for you, you may just find that it’s also your skin’s new secret weapon! 

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