Tretinoin is a strong medication that has been approved in the UK to be used under a doctor’s prescription from GP or dermatologist. It can only be bought with a doctor’s written prescription to ensure that those who need the treatment can access it.

You may have seen tretinoin being recommended by skincare gurus on Instagram or heard about it from a trusted friend – or, as is the case with me, been told to use it by my Obagi skin care nurse. Whatever the case, it’s always a good idea to research how to use the product to get the best results for your skin and to avoid potential side effects such as red swollen peeling skin (the infamous ‘purge’ popularised by TikTok users).

Aside from its acne-fighting properties, tretinoin is a powerhouse of an ingredient that does a whole lot more than clear up acne. In fact, tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that works to accelerate new cell growth, boost collagen production, repair sun damage and help achieve an even skin tone.

Retinol is another form of vitamin A that’s found in many skincare products and can be used under a doctor’s prescription to treat a number of conditions including acne, fine lines and wrinkles and melasma. Retinol can also be used in combination with tretinoin to treat acne and improve skin texture and pigmentation.

Tretinoin is the strongest and most effective form of vitamin A that’s available on prescription. It can be obtained in cream and gel formulations. Both deliver the same result for the skin, but cream formulations tend to be more suitable for dry or normal skin and are less greasy than gels. tretinoin uk

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