A Quick RetinA Review

By Jennifer Jacques NP


RetinA (tretinoin)

1. What is RetinA?
It is an acidic form of Vitamin A that causes your cells to turn over more rapidly, which stimulates collagen production
Retinoids are the most studied and most used anti-aging products

2. Benefits
Overall improvement of skin appearance–skin will be looking fresher, smoother and with a more even pigment.
Improvement in fine lines and wrinkles
Improvement of moderate to severe acne
It can shrink dilated pores, which can help your pores from becoming clogged regularly.

3. Application:
It is applied once daily, at bedtime. If someone is new to the product, we approach by tapering up the product.
Initially, it may need to be used sparingly, applying only 2-3 times weekly in the evening until your skin is
used to the product. Continue this for a couple weeks. It can then be increased to 4-5 times weekly. This allows
your skin time to adjust to the changes and decreases your chances of breaking out or your skin drying out.
Ideally, it should be used once every evening, if tolerated.

4. Contraindications
Hypersensitivity to the medication
Active skin inflammation
Acute eczema
Allergies to the sun

5. Potential side effects
Dry skin
–all of which should resolve with discontinuation

6. Common questions
1. Do I need a prescription or can I buy it over the counter?
Yes, generally you need a prescription or most medical spas or dermatology offices will carry the product.

2. Is it safe to use during pregnancy?
It is recommended to not be used during pregnancy.

3. What is the difference between Retinol and RetinA?
Retinol: can be purchased over the counter; lower concentration of retinoic acid; it must be converted to a
retinoic acid before using

RetinA (tretinoin): available in different strengths

4. When can I expect to see results?
It will take several months to see results, even though your cells will be rapidly turning over.

5. Can I use my AlphaRet Overnight Cream around my eye areas?
No, it is not recommended to use this product around the eye. The skin is different around the eyes.
I recommend using Skin Medica EyeMax, which is a retinoid made specifically for the eye area.


If you want more information on retinols, retinoic acid, and retinoids, check out this article: Retinols, Retinoids, Retinoic Acid… Oh my!

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