Using tretinoin for wrinkles can be effective if the use is consistent. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that works by stimulating a quicker turnover of skin cells. It is usually available by prescription and comes in three different strengths. When using tretinoin to reduce wrinkles, it is important to use it for at least six months to a year.
Since tretinoin causes skin cells to turn over at a faster rate, it is also used to treat acne. Side effects, such as excessive redness, irritation and peeling, are usually seen in the first month of use. During this stage, it is vital to continue using the product since short-term use produces little benefit. Depending upon the individual, improvement may not be seen until six months of steady use.
In order to use tretinoin for wrinkles, a prescription will usually need to be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner. A less potent form of the chemical, retinol, is widely available in over-the-counter treatments in some countries. Retinol essentially produces the same effects as tretinoin, but may take longer and will not be as noticeable. Deep set wrinkles may take up to a year to respond to tretinoin or may need additional treatments, such as Botox®.
When using tretinoin for wrinkles, it is vital to comply with the dermatologist's or doctor's instructions. Most patients will start with the lowest available concentration since the medicine can cause severe irritation. A typical regimen instructs the patient to apply a small amount 20 to 30 minutes after cleansing the skin at night. Those with sensitive skin may begin with applications every other night until their tolerance is built up.
Most individuals who use tretinoin for wrinkles will first notice an improvement in fine lines and the skin's texture. Uneven pigmentation may be reduced and the skin may take on a smoother appearance. While sun damage is often reduced or even reversed with the use of tretinoin, it is important to reduce exposure. With treatment, the skin becomes more photosensitive and can burn within minutes.
Tretinoin can become more effective if used alongside other antioxidant treatments, including vitamin C. Before combining treatments or using other over-the-counter creams, it is recommended that the patient check with his doctor. Even certain types of soaps and cleansers can aggravate the side effects of tretinoin. While the medicine also works by stimulating collagen production, it can make the skin more sensitive to scarring from the use of abrasive exfoliants.
Who Should Use Tretinoin
In addition to fighting wrinkles, tretinoin can provide several other benefits for the skin.
Individuals with a variety of skin types and issues can benefit from tretinoin. Ideal candidates for tretinoin use include:
- Acne-prone skin, particularly acne vulgaris
- Rough skin
Risks of Tretinoin Misuse
Tretinoin is potentially the strongest type of retinoid, particularly for anti-aging purposes. However, as with any topical or oral medication, there are potential side effects, especially with product misuse. Some of these may include:
- Allergic reaction
- Skin irritation
- Skin redness
- Peeling skin
To avoid any adverse reactions, always use tretinoin as directed by your physician and as written on the product packaging. The leading cause of side effects is overuse.
What to Pair with Tretinoin to Combat Wrinkles
Tretinoin is a highly beneficial product to add to your skincare routine, especially when you pair it with the right products.
Sun exposure is one of the most prevalent factors in skin damage, aging, and wrinkles. So use sunscreen daily to get the most out of your wrinkle-prevention routine.
Find a high-quality moisturizer. Tretinoin can be drying, so using products that lock moisture into the skin is essential. Invest in an effective moisturizer to avoid drying and irritation.
Use hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in our bodies and retains moisture in the skin. Using it topically can help maintain moisture on a surface level and keep your skin looking dewy and feeling fresh.
Active Ingredients and Tretinoin
Active ingredients in skincare products are usually the dominant ingredients of products. They are the ones designed to target whatever issue the product claims to help. Therefore, you should always pay attention to the actives in your skincare routine because combining specific or too many actives can cause irritation or make the product less effective.
Avoid these products to avoid irritation and ensure tretinoin’s effectiveness. You can still use these products but do not use them back-to-back. Instead, use a retinoid product, like tretinoin, before bed, and save the rest for the morning after cleansing your face.
An example of an active ingredient that you should be careful with is benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient combats acne. When paired with tretinoin, it can be extremely irritating and drying.
How to Get the Most Out of Tretinoin Use
- Start slow. When adding tretinoin into your skincare routine, you should start by using it once a week or every other night and gradually increase.
- Don’t wash your face after using tretinoin. It is best to use tretinoin at night, after cleansing, and before moisturizing. Wait about fifteen minutes after applying tretinoin to apply your moisturizer.
- Use sun protection. Although tretinoin can help combat wrinkles and sun damage, it should be a part of a routine, including wearing sunscreen and avoiding excessive sun exposure. In addition, wear protective clothing like hats.
Conclusion: How to Combat Wrinkles with Tretinoin
Your skin becomes more prone to hyperpigmentation, dullness, and wrinkles as you grow older. Tretinoin, a strong type of retinoid, has several benefits that can combat the effects of aging on the skin.
Tretinoin can be drying and irritating with user error. Start gradually and listen to your physician’s instructions for usage to avoid adverse side effects.
Pair tretinoin with the right products, like sunscreen and moisturizer, to maximize the products’ benefits. Unfortunately, topical tretinoin use can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, leaving you more prone to getting sunburnt. Using sunscreen is always important but is especially crucial for tretinoin users.
Avoid using products like benzoyl peroxide directly before or after tretinoin. It is best to use tretinoin at night and other actives in the morning after cleansing your face.
When used correctly and paired with the right products, tretinoin is a staple product in any skincare routine.