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How to Use Moisturizer With Retin-A
Retin-A is a brand name for tretinoin, a prescription-strength retinoid 1. Many over-the-counter drugstore products contain retinol, but retinoids such as Retin-A are more powerful than these 1. The medication wards off acne by speeding up cell turnover and unclogging your skin's pores. Available in cream, gel and liquid form, its anti-aging properties may also help ease fine lines and fix discoloration. Retin-A may sound like a miracle medicine, but the treatment can seriously dry out your skin 1. To avoid irritation, smooth on some moisturizer after applying Retin-A -- but pay attention to timing in your skincare routine 1.
Wash your face at night with lukewarm water and a mild soap or cleanser. Blot your skin dry with a towel. Wait at least 20 to 30 minutes for your face to dry completely, because irritation can develop if you apply Retin-A to damp skin 1.
How to Use Retin-A 0.05
Squeeze a pea-sized amount of Retin-A onto your fingertip or onto a cotton swab 1. Dab your forehead, chin and cheeks with the Retin-A 1.
Smooth the Retin-A evenly over your skin 1. Work quickly if your Retin-A is in gel form, because the alcohol-based medication evaporates quickly 1. Continue blending the product into the skin until it's no longer visible. If you can still see the product after blending, you may have used too much. Blot your skin with a dry cloth to remove the excess.
Retin-A & Pores
Allow your skin to absorb the Retin-A for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour before applying moisturizer or another product 1.
Smooth a dab of non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer over your face once the Retin-A has fully dried 1. Avoid using any moisturizer or product that contains alcohol, which can further dry out the skin.
Retin-A can make your skin sensitive to the sun and increase your risk of sunburn. If you must apply it during the day, put on an SPF 30 sunscreen after your moisturizer before going outdoors.
You should see results after six to 12 weeks of Retin-A treatment.
Purchase moisturizers that contain lower-strength forms of retinol at drugstores.
Other brand names of tretinoin include Avita, Tretin X, Renova and Atralin.
Follow your doctor's instructions for best results with Retin-A. Do not start and stop treatment without a doctor's approval.
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- RxList: Retin-A
- The New York Times: The Thing About Retin-A: It Works
- Oprah.com: Retinol Cream: Your Skin's New Best Friend
- Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery: Retin-A and Hydroquinone Instructions
- Medline Plus: Tretinoin Topical
- Leyden J, Stein-gold L, Weiss J. Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2017;7(3):293-304. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0185-2
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Retin-A [labeling]. Updated June 10, 2002.
- Knor T. Flattening of atrophic acne scars by using tretinoin by iontophoresis. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2004;12(2):84-91.
- Davis EC, Callender VD. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation: a review of the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment options in skin of color. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2010;3(7):20-31.
- Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, Korting HC, Roeder A, Weindl G. Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety. Clin Interv Aging. 2006;1(4):327-48.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration. RETIN-A MICRO® [labeling]. Revised January 2014.
- Chen K, White TJ, Juzba M, Chang E. Oral isotretinoin: an analysis of its utilization in a managed care organization. J Manag Care Pharm. 2002;8(4):272-7. doi:10.18553/jmcp.2002.8.4.272
- "Tretinoin Topical." MedlinePlus. 03 April 2000. U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health.
- Kircik LH. "Evaluating tretinoin formulations in the Treatment of Acne." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2014 Apr;13(4):466-70.
- Yeh L, Bonati LM, Silverberg NB. "Topical Retinoids for Acne."Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. 2016 Jun;35(2):50-6.
- Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, et. al. "Guidelines of Care for the Management of Acne Vulgaris." Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 74.5 (2016): 945-73.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.