The skincare world is filled with serums, creams and lotions that promise to reduce fine lines and dark spots. But one ingredient is getting a lot of attention: tretinoin. It’s a retinoid that’s often prescribed to treat acne, but it’s also become popular as an anti-aging treatment.
Tretinoin works by irritating skin cells. This triggers the cells to turn over faster and more frequently, which helps keep pores clear of oil and dead skin cells, and promotes the growth of new collagen. That’s why tretinoin is effective for both acne and wrinkles. “For mild to moderate acne, quick cell turnover limits the amount of blemishes that form, while the smoother new cells help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. Terrasse.
But before you rush out to buy a tretinoin product, talk to your dermatologist or pharmacist about it first. They’ll give you a thorough skin assessment and determine whether it’s the right choice for your situation. They’ll also make sure that you know how to use it properly.
Pregnant women should always use effective contraception with tretinoin, because it can cause birth defects in the fetus. They should also avoid it if they’re breastfeeding. It’s not clear whether oral tretinoin passes through breast milk, but it’s best to avoid it.
If you do decide to use tretinoin, you’ll want to apply it only once per day before bed. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and dry it completely before applying the medication. Avoid scrubbing or exfoliating because that can irritate your skin and also interfere with the way it absorbs. tretinoin