Let’s Talk Tretinoin

September 10, 2021

Let’s begin by talking about what exactly Tretinoin is and why it is the most powerful product that you need to have in your skincare lineup. Tretinoin is a prescription-strength topical cream or gel that is used to treat acne, sun-damaged skin, and fine lines and wrinkles.

When you get your complimentary anti-aging and wellness assessment with one of our talented nurses here at skinBe Med Spa, we want to start everyone on the basics, which is the ABCs of skincare and then a moisturizer to top it all off.

The importance of the ABCs in your skincare routine is crucial if you want to achieve results that last and, it’s a preventative step so the damage will be lessened over time.

The A stands for Vitamin A, which your retinol or tretinoin are derivatives of. Tretinoin is best known as Tret and it is the most aggressive anti-aging product on the market. Because it is prescription based, one of the nurses will start you out on the dose they think is best for you. More doesn’t always mean better in this case, you want to start low at the .025% then move up to the .05% and then eventually you can use the .1% and your skin will thank you later in life. It helps with cellular turnover and will bring up the baby fresh skin keeping you looking youthful and refreshed.

The B stands for Broad-Based Spectrum Sunscreen.  It’s crucial to protect that fresh new skin that is coming back because of the Vitamin A. We carry two different kinds of SPF, so you can pick the one that best fits your lifestyle. Sun exposure is the cause of over 80% of premature aging. You want to use SPF daily because you are getting UV Exposure even when it is cloudy outside and when you are driving in your car and even reapplying every two hours to ensure you stay covered.

The C stands for Vitamin C, which is exactly what it sounds like and is Obagi’s Vitamin C Serum.  We offer one of the only two pure forms of Vitamin C that is on the market right now. It is so important that you are using a pure form of Vitamin C for it to penetrate to the appropriate layers, and you can get the full benefits of it. The Vitamin C Serum will make the baby fresh skin “glow” and will lighten, brighten, and tighten the skin. We carry a percentage that is great and safe for all skin types, once you start this product, you will be addicted.

Now you can understand why we want everyone to at least get started with these three products from us, because not only is it treating the current issues, but it is also helping to prevent continuous damage from being made to your skin.

Some major benefits from using Retinol/Tretinoin are: 

  • Acne Benefits: Retinoids stimulate cellular turnover on your skin. Dead skin cells are cleared off your skin more quickly as the new skin cells rise to the surface. Quicker cellular turnover opens your pores, releasing trapped bacteria or irritants that are causing your acne. Retinoids like tretinoin also help your skin to regulate its natural oil (sebum) production, which can prevent future breakouts. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, and with regular use, it may help clear up active acne pustules and reduce the number and severity of acne breakouts.
  • Anti-Aging Benefits: Tretinoin has been studied extensively for its impact on the visible signs of aging. Tretinoin cream has demonstrated both short-term and long-term effects on the appearances of wrinkles. There are clinical studies showing it is the most effective anti-aging product.
  • Acne Scars/Textural Issues: Tretinoin can also be used to decrease the appearance of acne scarring. Since tretinoin speeds up cell turnover on your skin, it can encourage new cell growth at the site of scarring.

It may sound counterintuitive, but tretinoin works by irritating the skin. Tretinoin can speed up the life cycle of skin cells. It makes them divide faster and die faster, so newer, healthier cells can take their place. 
The difference: Retinoids are a group of compounds derived from vitamin A. Tretinoin and retinol both fall under this umbrella.

Both tretinoin and retinol are topical skin care products that can treat the same conditions. They both promote rapid exfoliation and stimulation of collagen and elastin, which leads to smoother-looking skin. But they’re not quite the same.

Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A that is milder and less irritating to sensitive skin. Due to it being tolerable for most skin types, you don’t need a prescription and you are able to find it in many over-the-counter cosmetics and skincare products. If you have been using a retinol and don’t feel like you are seeing results anymore, maybe you are ready to take the next step and start tretinoin.
Because Tretinoin is a synthetic version of vitamin A that is stronger and more potent, that is why it’s only available in a prescription, as it is not safe for all skin types and not well tolerated by sensitive skin.

A few precautions when using tret is limiting the amount of exposure to sunlight as you will more easily get a sunburn and be more sensitive to light and wind. Never use this product over your eyes, as your eyes are the most sensitive on the face. It can cause irritation and that’s why you will be started on a lower dose. Purging will take place which is good, and you want to happen. Stay consistent, don’t pick, and wear a moisturizer to help limit the dryness. 

Don’t be discouraged by the dryness and purging, it’s taking the trash out and doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s been used for almost 50 years for treating acne and now studies have shown that it’s the best product on the market to help with fine lines and wrinkles which is what we all fear as we age. 

Stop in or make an appointment at skinBe for a complimentary anti-aging and wellness assessment so you can get started because it’s never too soon to treat aging.