How do I Choose the Best Tretinoin Creams?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 26 January 2019
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In order to reduce the common effects of skin aging as well as acne, many people choose tretinoin creams. There are several factors to consider when choosing which form of topical tretinoin to use, including the price, the concentration of retin-a in the product, and whether to use a cream or gel. The main active ingredients in these products is tretinoin, a substance known for its skin healing abilities, and vitamin A. It can be used treat moderate to severe acne, and many acne sufferers have used this type of product with a great deal of success. It is also commonly used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that occur as a sign of aging or from skin damage as a result of sun exposure or smoking.

When choosing any kind of skin care treatment, price is a factor that must be considered. Most tretinoin creams, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter, are very affordable. This is one of the reasons so many doctors and dermatologists recommend these topical treatments. If choosing an over-the-counter option, it is important to research the effectiveness and safety of the product before applying it to the skin. Most prescription tretinoin emollient creams will be well tolerated by the patient, as they have been specially chosen for the patient's skin.


Tretinoin creams are available in a variety of different strengths, and the active ingredient concentration usually ranges between 0.1% and 0.5%. The severity of the acne or wrinkles will have a great deal to do with the strength chosen to suit the condition. Most experts recommend using higher concentrations for severe acne or wrinkles, and a lower concentration for mild conditions. If the patient has sensitive skin, it may be recommended that he or she use a less intense version, though adverse side effects are relatively rare. The patient is often advised to consult a doctor if he is unsure which strength to choose.

Tretinoin creams are available on the market in both creams and gels. In most cases there is little difference in the effectiveness of the products, and it is often a matter of personal preference in regards to which option to select. Some manufacturers claim that creams are better absorbed by the skin, while others state that tretinoin gel is more effective at soothing the skin and reducing redness and other blemishes. Patients may be advised to try both versions and decide for themselves which type of product they prefer.


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Post 3

@fify-- I'm using tretinoin cream and I have acne. I tried the gel and I didn't like it, it was peeling too much. The cream is easier to apply and absorbs better.

Regardless of which type is used though, everyone should start out with a low concentration in my opinion. I use tretinoin cream 0.1% and when I first started using it, I had to use it once every three days at first and then use it more frequently. It's a strong treatment.

Post 2

@alisha-- The cream is better for dry skin. The gel type works better for people with oily, acne-prone skin.

To be honest, both of them are drying. So you will probably have to use another moisturizer after using tretinoin cream. The cream won't be hydrating enough by itself, but it's still better than the gel.

Post 1

Which type of tretinoin cream is best for dry skin? Cream or gel? I want to use it for its anti-wrinkle effects and I have dry skin.

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