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!