How Does Tretinoin Help Acne?

Tretinoin is a super-power topical that helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration & rough skin. It unclogs pores & stimulates cell turnover so shiny new cells replace dull, damaged ones.

Tretinoin controls acne but does not cure it. Your child’s skin may look worse for the first 7 to 10 days you use it.


Acne affects people of all ages, but is most common in teenagers and those in their early to mid-twenties. The most severe form of acne is called cystic acne and can be very difficult to treat.

Tretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids, which act by changing the way skin cells grow. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots from sun damage or aging, and decrease the appearance of pitted scars from acne and other conditions.

It also helps to unclog pores by speeding up the turnover of dead skin cells, which can prevent acne-causing bacteria from colonizing pore walls. It also promotes collagen remodeling to smooth the appearance of damaged skin.

If you’re considering using tretinoin to treat your acne, fine lines and wrinkles, or sun damage and discoloration, talk to your dermatologist first. Tell them all your current medicines and if you have any medical conditions that may affect your response to the treatment, like a history of diabetes or heart disease.

Fine lines and wrinkles

While prescription retinoids are known for their acne-treating properties, they also reduce fine lines and wrinkles. They do this by speeding up the skin cell turnover process so that old, dead cells are replaced with new ones. This also helps improve elasticity, diminishes sun damage and evens out skin tone.

A tretinoin molecule actually dissolves the outer layer of skin cells, triggering your body to produce more collagen. It may cause temporary surface dryness & flaking which can be combatted with a rich moisturizer. It can also trigger a slight redness or tingling of the skin but this is normal and goes away quickly.

Retinol and retinoids are the most powerful anti-aging ingredients you can get your hands on. Your Curology expert will help you find the right formula that includes a combination of these ingredients and other clinically proven actives like niacinamide for brightening, tranexamic acid to fade dark spots & hyaluronic acid to boost hydration.

Sun damaged skin

The sun causes a variety of skin problems, including blotches and brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and broken capillaries (telangiectasia). Tretinoin improves the appearance of these blemishes by stimulating cells to produce more collagen, increasing the thickness of the skin, and reducing the size of pores. (Yoham, 2020)

It also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun exposure and years of smiling and frowning, and helps smooth coarse, scaly spots on the face. It can also help fade discoloration, such as freckles, age spots, and liver spots, as well as blotches of redness caused by sunburns. (Yoham, 2020)

When starting a retinoid, it’s important to start low and increase your dosage gradually to avoid irritation. It’s also best to use it in conjunction with other products that target specific skincare concerns, like a serum containing hyaluronic acid to help boost hydration, or vitamin C, which brightens and evens skin tone.

Dark spots

Dark spots, often referred to as hyperpigmentation, are not only caused by acne or pimples, but also trauma such as blisters and wounds, injuries, hormones, and sun damage. Tretinoin works to lighten dark spots by causing the cells to slough and decrease the amount of melanin that is produced.

Your tretinoin cream should be applied once a day before bed on clean skin (avoiding the eye area). Use only a pea-sized amount, and spread it evenly over your face. You may experience dryness or peeling, especially at first. This is a normal reaction to retinoids and usually goes away within 2 to 4 weeks.

To maximize results, tretinoin should be used in conjunction with other products, such as a topical vitamin C serum for anti-aging benefits or hyaluronic acid for hydration. A dermatology provider can help you determine which other products will work best with your tretinoin. Additionally, it’s important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to prevent sun damage and to help speed up the results of your tretinoin treatment. TretinoinYouth

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