There are so many questions from everyone about tretinoin and the benefits it has on the skin. People widely associate tretinoin as vitamin A for the skin. There are so many names for this chemical, you might also have heard the name Retin-A. They are basically the same thing. Actually, Retin-A is a brand of a tretinoin that somehow got associated with the chemical substance itself. However, now you know that when someone refers to Retin-A, they are actually referring to tretinoin.
Tretinoin effect on the skin
Why do people use tretinoin? People use this chemical because of the benefits that it gives to the skin. It helps to increase the rate of cell turnover on the skin, also it can help to improve the overall texture and chemistry of the skin, and regulate the oil glands. Other than these benefits, it can also stimulate the production of collagen, hence it helps with wrinkles. Many people got to know about this chemical substance because of the acne problem. And then they realise after that the benefits from tretinoin is not only clearing their acne, but also helping to keep their skin young.
Personally, I started my journey on tretinoin because of my acne concerns. I wrote a lot about pimples and acne in this blog as well, due to my struggle with them.
Tretinoin ideal candidate
As mentioned earlier, if you have acne and you want to clear your skin, tretinoin is one of the best options out there for your skin. However, some people with more sensitive skin might get irritated by tretinoin. Don’t fret, there is an alternative to tretinoin that is as good as tretinoin but less irritating i.e. adapalene (popular brand for this is Differin).
Another group of people who are interested in tretinoin are those looking for anti-aging skincare products. There are many scientific and clinical proofs that tretinoin does help to reverse ageing or at least preserve your skin’s youthfulness. There are so many people out there who are living proof of tretinoin’s effectiveness as an anti-aging skincare product.
Skin improvements from tretinoin
I started using tretinoin because my dermatologist prescribed me one (I need to thank her!). Back in October 2021, I had maskne around my nose and mouth area. I used tretinoin for 4-5 months but I was not consistent, because my skin was peeling so badly back then. I did see a huge improvement in my skin texture and how clear and soft my skin has become though. However, starting March 2022, I made a point to do it consistently after seeing so many women in their senior years having very good skin thanks to tretinoin.
This is my skin in October 2021. Many spots and clogged pores around the mask area especially. Texture of the skin was also not smooth.
A few months after, my acne became much more under control. I was still struggling with the dryness and flakey skin. But I just focused on moisturising my skin more. You can see that my skin is dry in the photo below and there are some flakey area.
This is my skin in January 2023 (see photo below). I’ve been using tretinoin for more than 1 year at this point. With consistent fortnightly use of tretinoin, now my skin has tolerated it better and it does not flake as badly as before. And starting a few weeks ago, I just started to amp up the frequency of my tretinoin from every other night to every night. And if you see some redness there, I did have mini purging in the past few weeks due to the increased tretinoin frequency.
Am I satisfied with the result from tretinoin?
Yes, I am satisfied with my tretinoin before and after. It was a journey and I did not expect instant results. You need to be patient with tretinoin. The more you are impatient with it and put too much, it will backfire on you.
Tretinoin, based on a lot of scientific studies, can change the chemistry of your skin and I can see how my skin improves so far. The frequency of acne/pimple has reduced so much. I don’t get cystic acne anymore except 1 or 2 in the past year. My skin texture due to acne scar has improved as well. I can get glowing skin when I moisturise my skin well now that my texture has improved. This is something that I couldn’t achieve before. Overall, I feel more confident in my own skin and I only wear SPF (and not foundation) when I go out now. I am excited to see how my skin will further improve from here.