Tretinoin: Best Results for Wrinkles and Acne

Tretinoin: Best Results for Wrinkles and Acne

Share This Post

Tretinoin is a prescription topical medication that has been clinically proven to improve acne and wrinkles. It’s tretinoin’s ability to fight both acne and improve overall skin condition that makes it so special. It’s sold as a prescription under brand names such as Retin-A, Renova, and Tretin-X. Tretinoin has been on the market nearly 60 years and its popularity continues to increase as more people learn about tretinoin’s benefits for skin. Find out if it is right for you and to see before and after of the dramatic improvements you can achieve with tretinoin.

What is tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a type of medicine that is used to treat acne and wrinkles. Tretinoin belongs to the family of medications called retinoids. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A which is why tretinoin is also known as all-trans-retinoic acid or ATRA. Tretinoin is a man-made form of vitamin A that can help not only with your skin, but it also has uses in treating a certain form of leukemia. It’s important to know that tretinoin can be especially effective for people who have sensitive skin or those who want to avoid prescription tetracycline antibiotics.

How does tretinoin work on acne?

People often ask if tretinoin is good for oily skin or dry skin? The answer is yes. The benefits are not limited to one type of skin type but all types can be helped. 

Tretinoin can be especially beneficial to people with oily skin because it slows down the production of sebum, which is the oil made in your sebaceous glands next to your hair follicles. By reducing the production of sebum and stimulating cell turnover in the outer barrier of your skin, or the layer of skin known as the epidermis, tretinoin prevents clogged pores from forming microcomedone, the beginnings of all acne. Tretinoin also breaks down the oil that accumulates in pores to keep them open and clear so they don’t get clogged with sebum or dead cells as easily. 

Tretinoin also has anti-inflammatory properties which help with inflammatory acne breakouts. To top it all off, tretinoin may also help other topical medications penetrate deeper into your skin which makes them more effective. It is not uncommon for a doctor to prescribe tretinoin while recommending over-the-counter medications like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. So not only is this drug working on reducing your acne itself, but it is also working with other medications to help control your breakouts, too. 

How does tretinoin work on wrinkles?

Tretinoin works on acne, but it packs a dual punch of helping with wrinkles and other signs of aging on your face. But how does it do this? It achieves younger looking skin by helping skin that has aged prematurely due to photoaging, which is when your skin ages after prolonged exposure to the sun. Signs of photoaging include:

  • Fine and coarse wrinkles 
  • Change in skin pigmentation 
  • Loss of elasticity

Tretinoin helps combat these symptoms by increasing skin cell turnover rate, which in turn improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as other signs of aging. It’s exfoliating properties also help remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, revealing a brighter and more even skin tone. Topical retinoids like tretinoin help with collagen production, which is the most abundant protein in the body and is used in a variety of ways including helping with wrinkles. It also induces epidermal hyperplasia which means that more skin cells fill the same space which further reduces signs of photoaging. Lastly, retinoids like tretinoin also decrease atypia in skin cells. Atypia is when skin cells are not normal but are not cancerous either. Over time, atypia cells can turn into cancer but that is not always the case. 

YouTube player

How long does it take tretinoin to work?

Several months of use are recommended to start seeing progress. Some people have been using tretinoin for years and it can be taken long term. Tretinoin’s effects typically take about six weeks to show visible results. If you have any concerns or questions regarding how long to continue the treatment then we advise you to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. 

Can I see results from people who have taken tretinoin?

Yes. Instead of explaining more of how tretinoin works let’s see it in action with several before and after pictures.

Before and after (for aging). – SECRETS TO AGING BACKWARDS. 10 year results of using Retin A / Tretinoin

Before and after (for acne) – Tretinoin Before and After | My Experience & Tips

As you can see it truly is a wonder drug when it comes to improving your skin.

What are the side effects of taking tretinoin?

In clinical trials, tretinoin was shown to be safe when used at the correct dosage over an extended period of time. Topical tretinoin may have some mild side effects including: 

  • Skin irritation (such as dryness or peeling)
  • Sun sensitivity 
  • Itchiness
  • Rash on areas where tretinoin was applied
  • In rare cases, acne breakouts that are not related to current pimples 

Tretinoin has two common uses as a medicine, first for the skin and second as a treatment for a certain form of leukemia. We are covering the use of topical tretinoin and the side effects associated with it and not the side effects with oral medications taken for cancer, as they vary greatly. With the topical medication, the most common side effects are very mild and usually stop when you stop applying tretinoin to your skin. The oral medication available in pill form has a whole different set of side effects that can range from mild to severe. For these reasons and others, it’s important you talk with your dermatologist about tretinoin before starting.

Who can take tretinoin?

Tretinoin can be taken if you are over the age of 12 and have acne or wrinkles that you want to treat but cannot clear up with topical treatments alone. This drug is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you are under the age of 12, or if you use tetracycline antibiotics

Tretinoin is most widely available in three strengths: tretinoin 0.025% for mild cases of acne and wrinkles, tretinoin 0.05% for moderate cases of acne and deep wrinkles that require stronger tretinoins to clear them up, and tretinoin 0.1% which can only be prescribed if you have severe forms of dermatological conditions, such as ichthyosis vulgaris or keratosis pilaris, also known as chicken bumps. Tretinoin has been shown to work best when taken at night because it works by stimulating cell turnover while you sleep.

Where can I get tretinoin?

Tretinoin is only available as a prescription in the U.S. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist to see if starting tretinoin is right for your condition. If you can’t or are unable to see a doctor soon, we can provide links to our partners who offer consultations with medical professionals online or over the phone right from your couch. If you need a prescription, a medical professional can write you one on the spot and have the medication shipped discreetly to your mailbox.


We have shown how tretinoin has multiple uses for the skin as both an acne medication and for helping with signs of aging like wrinkles. The before and after pictures highlight how useful this medication can be in achieving the healthy complexion you want. Although it isn’t for everyone, tretinoin usually only has mild side effects when using it topically and is available with a prescription for anyone over the age of 12 if your physician deems it necessary. 

References, Studies and Sources: 

Harvard Health Publishing – Do retinoids really reduce wrinkles?

MedlinePlus – Tretinoin Topical 

NIH – Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety

Photoaging – Science Daily

We are committed to providing our readers with only trusted resources and science-based studies with regards to medication and health information. 

Disclaimer: This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you suspect medical problems or need medical help or advice, please talk with your healthcare professional.

Share This Post Discount Club

Get Started for $1.

  • Cheapest cash pay option at your retail pharmacy
  • 1,000s of drugs below $10.00 that can beat your co-pay
  • Start for $1 for your first month. Cancel anytime. 
  • Tell us your meds, we tell you the cheapest options.

Popular Destinations

Recent Articles

Stress Acne: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Stress Acne: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Stress. It's a powerful emotion that can wreak havoc on your body. One way that stress can appear is on your skin in the form of stress acne. Stress causes acne by increasing oil production and clogging pores, which leads to an overgrowth of bacteria. To combat this unwanted side effect of stress, we have created a guide with everything you need to know about stress acne: its causes, prevention strategies, and treatments.

Read More »
Cystic Acne

Cystic Acne: What Is It, And How Do You Treat It?

Cystic acne is a type of acne that causes cysts to form deep in the skin. These cysts are often painful and may take weeks or months to heal. If you have cystic acne, then you may need a dermatologist's help. In this article, we will answer all your questions about cystic acne, what it is, who can get it, how do you diagnose it, how do you treat cystic acne, and more.

Read More »
A Guide to Anti Aging Cream for Men

A Guide to Anti Aging Cream for Men

It is frequently said that men are like fine wine – they get better with age. And while in general, men may seem to age more gracefully than women, having a regular skin care routine can help keep your skin looking revitalized. Below are some active ingredients to look for in your anti-aging creams that have been clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Read More »
Fordyce Spots, A Mystery Revealed

Fordyce Spots, A Mystery Revealed

Fordyce spots, also called Fordyce granules, are small yellowish-white bumps that appear on the shaft of the penis, labia majora or labia minora, scrotum, around and inside the mouth, and nipples. These spots can grow to up to 1 to 3 millimeters in diameter and will become slightly bigger when sexually aroused. Fordyce spots are not harmful and do not require treatment but they can be an embarrassing problem for some people causing anxiety, stress, or discomfort when in public areas such as the locker room at the gym.

Read More »

Share On:

More To Explore

Stress Acne: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Stress. It's a powerful emotion that can wreak havoc on your body. One way that stress can appear is on your skin in the

Cystic Acne: What Is It, And How Do You Treat It?

Cystic acne is a type of acne that causes cysts to form deep in the skin. These cysts are often painful and may take

A Guide to Anti Aging Cream for Men

It is frequently said that men are like fine wine – they get better with age. And while in general, men may seem to

Is Clindamycin Right for You as an Acne Treatment?

Learn more as we discuss clindamycin for acne, how clindamycin works, the different forms of treatment, and whether it is the right form of

Fordyce Spots, A Mystery Revealed

Fordyce spots, also called Fordyce granules, are small yellowish-white bumps that appear on the shaft of the penis, labia majora or labia minora, scrotum,

Clearing Up Butt Acne: Treatment, Prevention and More

Red bumps that appear like acne on the buttocks can occur in both men and women and is a common skin condition. Continue reading

How Much Does Accutane Cost?

As generic forms of the drug entered the market, the cost of the medication has come down, so how much does Accutane cost today?

Your Comparison Guide of Minocycline vs Doxycycline

Minocycline and Doxycycline are both second-generation tetracycline-class antibiotics. They both are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been proven effective for the treatment of acne, also known as acne vulgaris, but what else is

How to Diagnose and Treat Tinea Versicolor

Tinea versicolor is a common skin infection that causes red, scaly patches on the chest, back, or neck. You may also see flaky white

10 Best Ways to Help Prevent and Remove Blackheads

Blackheads develop when sebum from oil glands gets trapped in hair follicles or pores. Bacteria build up after time, so removing blackheads is important

What Is Minocycline?

Minocycline is a second-generation antibiotic in the tetracycline class of antibiotics. Second-generation, in this case, means that it is a semi-synthetic compound; first-generation tetracyclines are naturally

What is Accutane?

What is Accutane and can it really be used to treat acne? Read our latest blog for more details!

The Difference Between Tretinoin, Retinol, and Retinoids

Topical treatments like tretinoin, retinol, and retinoids for acne and wrinkles can be a little confusing to understand what each one is and what

What is Melasma and How Do You Treat It?

Melasma, sometimes referred to as chloasma, is a skin disorder characterized by darker spots on the skin. The patches can vary in color

A Comprehensive Guide to Minocycline for Acne

If you suffer from acne, there is a targeted medication for treating acne–minocycline. Minocycline is a prescription drug used to treat infections by preventing

Tretinoin Strengths and How They Work With Acne

Tretinoin is a topical medication that is used for the treatment of acne, also called acne vulgaris, and the most common brand in the

How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, or dark spots on the skin, can be tricky to get rid of. If you are dealing with this condition, you are not

How to Deal with Blood Blisters

Blood blisters are a medical condition where fluid-filled bubbles grow out of blood vessels in the skin. They form under the skin and can

Geologie Review: Does This Personalized Men’s Skincare Work?

Geologie offers personalized skin care products tailored to each male customer they have. The personal touch is certainly nice, but do their products really

Understanding Melasma Treatments

Melasma is a skin conition that is characterized by hyperpigmented spots on the skin. Melasma is sometimes referred to as chloasma. The spots are most

Everyday Tips for Anti-Aging Skin Care

With so many anti-aging products available on the market, it is overwhelming to find which products actually work and are worth spending money on

Body Acne 101: Prevention and Treatment

Body acne is a common condition that affects many people, especially during puberty. It can appear anywhere on your body and can be unsightly

Paronychia: What You Need to Know

Many people are unaware that paronychia is a nail infection. Paronychia usually affects one or more of your fingers, but can also affect your

The ABCs of Skin Lesions

Skin lesions can be a source of anxiety for many people. Whether they're due to an infection, injury, or disease, skin lesions are often

Perioral Dermatitis: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Perioral dermatitis is a common skin condition that occurs around the mouth. It often starts with red, inflamed patches and may then progress to

Niacinamide and Vitamin C: Benefits for Your Skin

Niacinamide and Vitamin C are two popular ingredients that you can use to improve the health of your skin. Niacinamide is a form of

Hyperpigmentation and Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition that affects people of all ages. In fact, roughly 80 percent of people ages 11 to 30 have

What is Clindamycin Phosphate?

Clindamycin phosphate is a salt form of the antibiotic medicine clindamycin. Clindamycin phosphate provides coverage for bacteria that are resistant to erythromycin, methicillin, or penicillin. Clindamycin is used to treat acne, also known as acne vulgaris,

15 of the Most Common Types of Skin Lesions and Prevention Strategies

Skin lesions are common skin conditions that appear as an abnormal growth. There are many skin lesions, each of which is caused by a

Collagen Supplements: Does the Research Support the Hype?

The use of collagen supplements is becoming a popular health trend. Collagen is an important protein in your body, and collagen supplements may have