How to use tretinoin in your skincare routine

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use tretinoin in your skincare routine:

Tretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A, is a potent topical medication commonly used to treat acne and promote skin renewal. If you've been prescribed tretinoin, incorporating it into your skincare routine requires care to minimize potential irritation. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use tretinoin in your skincare routine:

Night Routine:

  1. Cleanser:

    • Begin by cleansing your face with a gentle, hydrating cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and impurities.
  2. Pat Dry:

    • Gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing, as tretinoin can increase skin sensitivity.
  3. Wait for Skin to Dry:

    • Allow your skin to dry completely before applying tretinoin. Applying it to damp skin can increase the risk of irritation.
  4. Apply a Pea-Sized Amount:

    • Take a small pea-sized amount of tretinoin. A little goes a long way. Dab small dots on different areas of your face.
  5. Spread Evenly:

    • Gently spread the tretinoin evenly across your face, avoiding the delicate eye and mouth areas. Do not apply it too close to the eyes or lips.
  6. Avoid Sensitive Areas:

    • Be cautious around areas prone to irritation, such as the sides of the nose and corners of the mouth.
  7. Moisturize:

    • Wait for at least 20-30 minutes before applying a moisturizer. This helps reduce the risk of irritation and ensures tretinoin is absorbed properly.
  8. Use a Gentle Moisturizer:

    • Choose a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin. Avoid products with potentially irritating ingredients.


  • Start Slow:

    • If you're new to tretinoin, start with a lower concentration and use it once or twice a week. Gradually increase the frequency as your skin builds tolerance.
  • Avoid Overuse:

    • Using tretinoin too frequently, especially in the beginning, can lead to excessive dryness and irritation. Listen to your skin and adjust accordingly.


  • Morning Sunscreen:
    • Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning. Tretinoin can increase sensitivity to the sun, and sun protection is crucial to prevent damage.

Additional Tips:

  • Be Patient:

    • Results from tretinoin may take several weeks to months. Be patient, and don't be discouraged by initial redness or peeling.
  • Avoid Harsh Products:

    • While using tretinoin, avoid using harsh skincare products, such as those containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, unless directed by your dermatologist.
  • Consult with a Dermatologist:

    • If you experience persistent or severe irritation, consult with your dermatologist. They may adjust your tretinoin prescription or recommend additional skincare products.
  • Pregnancy Warning:

    • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult with your healthcare provider before using tretinoin, as it is not recommended during pregnancy.

Remember, everyone's skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's crucial to follow your dermatologist's advice and tailor your skincare routine based on your skin's response to tretinoin.

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Katie Wilson

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