Hamilton Skin Clinic

Is there a difference between Tretinoin | Retin-A and Retinol?

Honestly, this is asked almost on the daily within my cosmetic clinic in Wilston, Brisbane. It’s an important question. While tretinoin and retinol are similar and can be used for similar concerns, there really is a definitive difference.

Ok, just to begin, tretinoin was developed more than 25 years ago as a topical treatment for acne…but researchers accidentally discovered the astonishing wrinkle reduction effects the patients experienced – and quickly began using it for that purpose, too.

Tretinoin/Retin A is available by prescription and tends to be remarkably more aggressive than retinol. Those who are oily or have tolerant skin are best suited for tretinoin.

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and it is a bit more suitable for those with sensitive skin. Retinol products tend to also contain moisturisers or emollients to reduce the possibility of irritation. Retinols are available over the counter – however at very low strengths.

To see more optimal results, medical strengths may be needed and are available without a prescription at medical facilities such as Hamilton Skin Clinic

What are Retin-A and Retinol Used For?

Both tretinoin and retinol stimulate epidermal turnover. It causes skin to rapidly exfoliate and make new, brighter skin while stimulating collagen and elastin. The result can be smoother, thicker skin with fewer imperfections, such as sun spots.

One of the most exciting benefits can be softer lines and wrinkles, as well as less acne or acne scarring.

Who Can Use Retin-A or Retinol?

Almost anyone can benefit from one of these products. However, they can tend to be a bit irritating to skin, causing dryness or peeling. Keep in mind that the side effects of irritated skin will subside after a few weeks once your skin has adjusted to the product and increased its cell turnover rate.

The benefits of these products can be great, although they may not be suitable for everyone. It is always best to consult with a qualified professional to see how to use these products and which is most suitable for you. 

Benefits of Retin-A

Retin A is a retinoid. Retinoids stimulate cell turnover on your skin. Dead skin cells are cleared off your skin more quickly as new skin cells rise to the surface. Quicker cell turnover opens your pores, releasing trapped bacteria or irritants that are causing your acne.

Retinoids like tretinoin also help your skin to regulate its natural oil (sebum) production, which can prevent future breakouts. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that clear up active acne pustules.

Request a Free Skin Consultation

To learn more about the potential benefits of these products for your skin, and to have a complimentary skin consultation, call Hamilton Skin Clinic or request a consultation online.