The What, Why and How of Tretinoin


Tretinoin is a topical medication that’s available by prescription only, so you can’t buy it over the counter in the UK. But it can be bought online with UK Meds where you’ll need to complete an online consultation and then if approved, make your purchase. This is the same process you’d go through with your GP or dermatologist, and will ensure that the product is suitable for you.

The ‘what, why and how of tretinoin’
In the US, it’s sold under the brand names Retin-A, Tretin-X, Refissa and Renova, as well as being marketed worldwide as generic products such as Stieva A cream. It’s a powerful anti-ageing ingredient that can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. It also unblocks pores, increases collagen production and reduces discolouration, explains Dermatica’s Consultant Dermatologist Dr Catriona Maybury.

It’s important to note that it can take a few months to see results and even longer if you suffer from acne. It can also cause the skin to become sensitive to sunlight, so it’s best to use a high SPF everyday when using this ingredient.

It is not advised to take tretinoin or any retinol product if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive. It’s also not recommended to use it if you have very sensitive skin, as the ingredients can cause redness and irritation. You should also avoid using tretinoin or any other retinol products if you’re suffering from active rosacea, or if you have very dry, flaky or chapped skin.  tretinoin uk