Review – Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream (Vitamin A)


Have you heard of Tretinoin? Well Tretinoin, commonly known as Vitamin A, Retin A or Retinoids, is an potent antioxidant that is proven to help stimulate new collagen production, reduce pigmentation, remove fine lines and wrinkles.

I have bought this prescripted Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream more than a year ago at National Skin Centre. You probably will ask, why was I not using it till now? Well, Vitamin A and its derivatives is claimed to cause birth defects and I have to avoid it at all cost as I was trying for a baby during the last two years. After unsuccessful pregnancy till now, I decided to start using it.

Click here to learn more about Vitamin A.


My First Encounter With Tretinoin

In fact, many years back I have actually tested Tretinoin and it was of a different brand (can’t remember the brand). I first started Tretinoin with the lowest strength at 0.01%. I was recommended by the doctor to start with the lowest percentage to see if I can tolerate the product well before I can gradually increase the strength. As 0.01% is the mildest strength and it also means it has the lowest skin irritancy as compare to the higher strength, I didn’t get to see any result at all.

Therefore after using the lowest strength 0.01% for a few months, I decided to switch to a much higher strength at 0.025%, hoping to see a more obvious result. As there was no skin irritation occurred even after a few months usage, I took the courage to increase the strength further to 0.05%. Anyway, the highest strength available is 0.1%.

In fact, Tretinoin can be too irritating for many people and may not be suitable for all people. The most common irritations are skin dryness, redness and flaking.

My skin couldn’t take the higher strength at 0.05% and I encountered skin irritation. I have mild flaking all over the face, my skin was extremely dry, I felt tingling sensation after application and the corner of my lips bled. All-in-all, it was too drying for my skin! Hence, I stopped using it barely after two months.


Vitamin A & Hydroquinone

Lately, I have read a couple of beauty books by doctors and most of them (almost all) have highly recommended the readers to use Tretinoin (also known as Retin A or Vitamin A) to help stimulate collagen production, improve skin elasticity and fight wrinkles.

Experts have claimed that when Vitamin A mixes with Hydroquinone (a bleaching ingredient), both will enhance the removal of pigment or brown spots on the skin.

Dr Brooke Rutledge Seckel, M.D., author of Save Your Face, has claimed that “Combining Retinol 0.3% with Hydroquinone 4% is effective in resolving fine lines, pigment and improving skin texture.”

Paula Begoun, author of Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me, has also claimed that “When tretinoin is used in combination with hydroquinone, skin discolorations can show a far more noticeable and impressive improvement.”

Click here to read more about the great combination of Vitamin A and hydroquinone….


Giving Tretinoin A Second Chance!

After realizing the goodness of this combination, I decided to mix my current hydroquinone product Paula’s Choice Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion (with 2% hydroquinone and 7% AHA) with Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream to see if both are used together could treat the stubborn dark spots on my right cheek area.

In addition, as I was hoping to eliminate fine lines on my forehead and nasolabial folds, improve my skin elasticity and increase collagen production, I therefore decided to give prescription Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream a shot again.


Review on Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream

Hyperpigmentation has always been one of my major skin problems and I have been painstakingly finding ways to treat it. There is this fairly obvious melasma on the right cheek area that has been causing me a headache. I have been finding solutions to eliminate this melasma but to no avail. I have tried various lasers and treatments but they do not seem to help lighten the dark spots at all.

A week after using Paula’s Choice Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion (with 2% hydroquinone and 7% AHA) with Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream, I was glad to notice superficial improvement on the melasma, the stubborn dark spots seem lighter. But the “happiness” didn’t last long anyway and after continuously using both products for a month, I was shocked to find the melasma (on the right cheek) has gotten even darker than before. There was redness on the areas applied too. I kept asking myself why??

Well, blame it on the inadequate sun protection I believe!! Hiaz………

Both Hydroquinone and especially Tretinoin (Vitamin A) are claimed to cause sun sensitivity and unprotected sun exposure should be avoided when using either ingredient. It is because sun exposure will reverse the effect of both potent ingredients by increasing more melanin production. And hence the darker melasma……….

I apply sunblock everyday whether I’m indoor and outdoor. But I guess what I’m using now is not sufficient to help block the harmful UV rays during the extremely hot sunny lunch break. I even carry an umbrella and sunglasses whenever I’m out of the office and that do not seem to help much too. I reckon what I need is a more powerful broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays when I use these potent ingredients.

I’m very disappointed with the result and I’ve already stopped using Tretinoin as of now. But anyway both powerful ingredients (Vitamin A & Hydroquinone) should be stopped after six months of use as there is risk of hyperpigmentation with prolonged use. A rest period of three to six months is required before using both ingredients again.

I have rosacea and although I have earlier knew that Tretinoin should be avoided for people with rosacea (claimed by some doctors online), I still brave myself using it.

Other than encountering redness and minor irritation on some of the areas applied, Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream afterall is a great wrinkle fighter. Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream is more moisturizing than the previous Tretinoin cream I have used before and my skin doesn’t feel dry at all (which most Tretinoin do). I have noticed significant improvements on fine lines and wrinkles after a month. The most amazing result is the reduction of fine lines on my forehead. The fine lines are almost gone! The tear lines at the corner of the nasolabial folds (near to the nostrils) and wrinkles at the lower eyelid areas also seem to be less obvious too.

Even though I have already stopped using this product, I reckon it is very likely I will use Tretinoin cream again. Not too sure when, until then I will definitely hide myself at home for a longer period of time and avoid sun exposure as much as possible.



Wil I buy it again? Very likely!


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28 Comments on "Review – Retacnyl Tretinoin 0.025% Cream (Vitamin A)"

  1. Hi ! I am using Tretinoin Cream 0.025% with Hydroquinone Cream USP 4%. I am using this cream from last 1 week but now I realize so much irritation around my eyes and after using this cream I got new brown spots on my cheeks.

    What to do, should I stop using this cream or not ??

    Reply soon

  2. Shirleen says:

    Hi Sagar,

    Do you apply sunblock when using Tretinoin Cream and Hydroquinone Cream? Both products will make your skin hyper sensitive to the sun. Hence, with insufficient sun protection, the dark spots will become darker than before and new spots will develop too. That’s the setback of using both products.

    For me, even with sufficient sunblock, I still develop new spots from using especially Tretinoin. I have since stop using it. You may wanna stop using it too.

  3. Sadie says:

    I’ve been applying Tretinoin Cream 0.025 at night for almost a week. I have noticed a line appear around one side of my mouth (smile line) that’s never been there before is this a case of using too much and drying out the skin?

  4. Shirleen says:

    Hi Sadie,

    Not too sure though, you may wanna check with the doctor who you have bought this Tretinoin cream from.

  5. Shri says:

    can u suggest few sunblocks to use with tretinoin (0.025%)?? Thanks for your reply

  6. Shirleen says:

    Hi Shri,

    You can check out Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen SPF 40 or Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 PA+++.

  7. phumza says:

    I haven’t been on retacnyl long. Haven’t really noticed any difference. My doc said I should only apply it at night on my forhead. My forhead is da darkest of my face. Am using 0.05. Is this like a skin peel? No tingly sensation at all. Thanx

  8. Chloe says:

    Hi, just want to share with you all. Not all Retinol or Vitamin A will cause skin sensitive. I am using a brand called Medik8 which targets people have sensitive skin. Tried Medik8 Retinol 3TR with 0.3% retinol for promoting collagen and Medik8 White Balance for my pigmentation. Use them at night and I can see very good result after 2 weeks. Skin is smoother and more radiant. There are some improvement on the pigmentation but I can only see the significant result 4 weeks later. Most importantly, they don’t cause excessive peeling or dryness. I bought the products from Australia. Not sure whether it is selling in Singapore. Anyone knows?

  9. Natasha says:

    Hi, I was at a dermatologist for pigmentation on my right cheek. He prescribed the Retacnyl 0.05% cream to use 2 a week at night. Me and my husband is trying for a baby. I am worried to start using this product in the meantime, with the Vit A (birth defects). Will the amount 2 a week really have an impact?

  10. Shirleen says:

    Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for reminding me, I’m actually trying for a baby soon probably from March onwards. And I’m presently using retinol which I’m thinking to stop before March. Prevention is better than cure.

    If I will you, I will refrain from using it in this important “trying” period, even if it’s twice a week.

  11. Chloe says:

    So we should totally stop using Retinol or Vitamin A products while trying to conceive? I am also trying….:)

    BTW, Medik8 is also selling in Singapore. If u are interested, check out
    Medik8 claims “White Balance” won’t cause any photosensitivity cos it doesn’t contain bleaches or hydroquinone and it also safe for use while pregnant or nursing. I am using it and the result is satisfied.

  12. Ashley says:

    Hi Shirleen
    Did you experience any side effects once you stop using retinol? I bet you don’t have any acne issues. Envy :)

  13. Shirleen says:

    Hi Ashley,

    No irritation after I’ve stopped using it. Ya I do not have acne issues.

  14. Caroline says:

    I have been using the Retacnyl .05% and my face is getting darker

  15. Esme Cawood says:

    Hi, I have been using Rectacnyl now for the past 20 years as my night cream. I started using it when I was 28 years old and my skin is in an incredible condition! Strangers often stop me to ask me what I use on my skin and then comment on what a beautiful skin I have….not to be vain…this is my secret to young, luminous, almost wrinkle free skin at the age 48 Years!

    Esme Cawood

  16. tarannum says:

    Hi sherleen..i just want to knw.. i have got small pimples on my forehead n on my cheeks.. how to rid dis off..
    i have used many creams lyk deriva, flutinose, emolene n azifast tablets bt no use..
    cn u suggest me wt to do.. it happnd since frm two mnths

    • Shirleen says:

      Hi Tarannum,

      I’m sorry I wouldn’t be able to help you on this, you may want to consult a dermatologist for a solution.

  17. ryan says:


    glycolic acid is not to be used in conjunction with tretinoin, it deactivates tretinoin and its benefits.

    tretinoin is also not to be used in conjunction with other AHA/BHA and also benzoyl peroxide

  18. ryan says:

    Retin A is really good. If your skin is flaking it means that new skin cells are ‘pushed’ to the surface and old skin gets slouched off. Hence, do not get discourage with the sensitive, redness etc caused by retin A.

    you can try using 3x a week with the current strength. MUST wait for 20 mins after showering, it is the most crucial part. your skin must be entirely dry in order for retin A to work. after showering, wait 20 min, apply pea size amount of retin a before you go to sleep.

    it is not advisable to have alot of skincare products use in conjunction w retin A due to chemical incompatibility and also skin’s sensitivity. Hence, i dont use retin A with scrubs, AHA/BHA etc and only use the bare min. skincare only when necessary.

  19. heny rohayati says:


    i’m from indonesia…i want to buy this product rectanyl cream?how can i get?


  20. Rodzita says:

    Hi I my face became dark after using retacnyl 0.05. What should I do? Thanks

  21. Catherine says:

    Hello Shirleen! Have you tried Actinca Lotion Daylong? It is greasy at the beginning, but when it sinks in you have a quite good protection compare to other suncreens (and i have tried tons of sunscreens). i use this one and No Sun from Esthederm. I live in France, i don’t know if you can buy the last one abroad. I have a lot of hyper pigmentation (very faired skinned girl tried to tan for years…) Stumbled on your side when i was looking for informations about vit A. Hope I could help!

  22. Mia says:

    Hi! I’d like to know the full ingredients list, could you help me? Thanks!

  23. Bhatti says:

    Hi i am given with retrieve treatment but my question is how to apply pea sized on full face if i have sun damaged skin i wanna send u photos i have spots on both legs also dermatologist asked me to apply on thm as well m so confuse how a pea sized for full face and legs spot kindly help thanks

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