Tretinoin illustration



We design your personalised formula using science-backed ingredients.


Acne, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, skin texture




See studies

Key benefits

  • Fights acne illustration

    Fights acne

    Treats acne where it targets the precursor lesion.

  • Targets signs of ageing illustration

    Targets signs of ageing

    Smoothes fine lines and reverses photodamage while restoring dermal collagen.

  • Lightens hyperpigmentation illustration

    Lightens hyperpigmentation

    Increases skin cell turnover, which gradually fades hyperpigmentation.

“Tretinoin is a multitasker. It reverses pigmentation, improves fine wrinkles and unclogs pores.”
Dr Catriona Maybury - Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Catriona Maybury
Consultant Dermatologist

Smiling woman face

Understanding tretinoin

  • A vitamin A derivative, this powerful topical retinoid targets acne, and treats and prevents signs of ageing
  • Helps your skin speed up cell turnover which regulates and promotes healthier, younger looking skin
  • Delivers visible results that help restore deterioration caused by age and sun damage

Getting into the details

  • Smooths fine lines and wrinkles:
    Tretinoin has has been investigated the most out of all the topical retinoids for clinical effectiveness at reversing photoageing comparing it either to placebo or other treatments.
  • Reduces pigmentation in the skin:
    Tretinoin helps to increase skin cell turnover. Its effect at fading areas of hyperpigmentation alone is unclear from clinical trials, but pairs effectively with other active ingredients.
  • Treats acne and minimises inflammation:
    Topical retinoids are recommended as a first line treatment option, which we combine with other ingredients studied in treating all grades of acne.

Show me the studies

studies on Tretinoin

Cutting-edge ingredients require cutting-edge research. Our Clinical Advisory Board and Dermatology Team keep on top of the latest evidence to make sure our personalised formulas are the best they can be.

  • Topical retinoids in the management of photodamaged skin: from theory to evidence-based practical approach

    British Journal of Dermatology. Darlenski R, Surber C, Fluhr J. 2010;163(6):1157-65

  • Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety

    Clinical interventions in aging. Mukherjee S, Date A, Patravale V, Korting HC, Roeder A, Weindl G. 2006;1(4):327

  • Interventions for melasma

    The Cochrane Library. Rajaratnam R, Halpern J, Salim A, Emmett C. 2010

  • Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris

    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, Alikhan A, Baldwin HE, Berson DS, et al. 2016;74(5):945-73. e33

Dermatica - Vanessa's before picture
Dermatica - Vanessa's after picture

Vanessa's journey

Duration 7 months

“I no longer wear a full face of makeup. Dermatica helped me achieve my goals!”
Dermatica - Karen's before picture
Dermatica - Karen's after picture

Karen's journey

Duration 2 months

“Dermatica made it easier for me by not needing to visit a dermatologist.”

Dermatology, designed for you

Dermatology designed for you
  • A personalised formula, developed by experts

    You’ll get a personalised, evidence-based treatment, tailored to your treatment goals.

  • Delivered to you every 28 days (approx.)

    Your bespoke plan arrives every 28 days (approximately), and adapts to your skin’s progress.

  • 24/7 support

    You’ll have free, unlimited access to dermatology experts, whenever you need.

  • You’re in total control

    You can pause, reschedule or cancel your plan online. No strings attached.

First month £2.90

then £24.99/month

Got questions about tretinoin?

How and when do I apply my treatment?
Tretinoin is best applied at night time, before bed.
  • Cleanse your face of all makeup thoroughly before bedtime but don’t scrub with a washcloth or use exfoliating face washes as these can irritate your skin and worsen your acne. We recommend a gentle facial cleanser, or to remove makeup gently, we recommend an oil cleanser.
  • Pat skin dry (don’t rub) and allow skin to dry completely (20-30 minutes)
  • Apply your tretinoin in a thin layer to your entire face (avoiding eyes, lips and nostrils) and allow to absorb completely, which usually takes 15-20 minutes.
  • Once your tretinoin is completely absorbed by your skin, apply a thin layer of moisturiser to your entire face. We suggest a lightweight, non-pore clogging moisturiser.
  • In the morning, gently wash your face, pat dry, apply a lightweight moisturiser and an SPF for sun protection.
What are the side effects of tretinoin?
The most common side effects of tretinoin include reddening, peeling or scaling of the skin, which may be swollen.
Dry skin, itching, warmth or a burning sensation, rashes, pain or a stinging sensation may occur.
Temporary changes (increase or decrease) in skin pigmentation may occur. Not everyone gets these side effects.
  • You can minimise side effects by using the product every other day at night until your skin starts to get used to it, which could take a few weeks. Remember – only use a thin layer of the treatment at night (more is not better!)
  • If the dryness, peeling and redness are so bad you just can’t take it, try applying your moisturiser first, waiting 20 minutes for it to absorb, and then applying your topical treatment over the top.
  • If your skin is extremely irritated after the first few days of treatment, take a few days off and don’t use any medicated treatments on your skin until it settles down. Then, when you are start using it again, apply the treatment as above but wash it off after 60 minutes. Slowly build up the amount of time you have the treatment on your skin until you can keep it on overnight.
  • It is important to remember that these side effects are worst during the beginning few weeks of treatment and that they are entirely normal.
How quickly will my treatment work?
Results vary from person to person. You may begin to notice an improvement in your skin after two to four weeks but it can take up to four months of regular use of the treatment before you begin to notice the effects. Be patient!
Can I use other creams with my treatment?
The use of keratolytic agents such as sulphur, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or resorcinol and chemical abrasives should not be used whilst you are using tretinoin. If you have been treated with such preparations, the effect of the peeling agents must subside before starting tretinoin. Some medicated cleansers and scrubbing solutions have a strong drying effect. They should not be used whilst you are using tretinoin. Abrasive soaps, soaps and cosmetics as well as spices or lime should be used with caution whilst you are using tretinoin.
Will my treatment make my oily/dry skin worse?
It is very unlikely that tretinoin will make oily skin worse. Dryness of skin is a common side effect of this treatment.
Why is my acne worsening since starting treatment?
When you first start using your treatment for acne, you may notice your skin becoming red, flaky, and you could even see your acne get worse. The treatments can also make your skin feel dry and tight as well as giving you a burning, itching or stinging sensation. This is a normal response to the treatment, and should be expected, but there is no need to worry and these effects will lessen as your skin gets used to the treatment.
I am taking other medication, can I still use the treatment?
Most medications are safe to take whilst using tretinoin, but it is always best to check with a member of the Dermatica team before starting treatment to ensure there are no interactions.
How long will I have to use my treatment for?
Treatment duration varies from person to person. After 12 weeks of treatment, the Dermatica team will review your progress and you will be prescribed a further course of tretinoin or your treatment may be changed depending on the results that you are achieving and how your skin is tolerating the medicine.
Why do I need to wear sun protection whilst using my treatment?
Tretinoin increases your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Our dermatology team recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day to avoid normal sun damage, but this is especially important during treatment.
I am planning on becoming pregnant, can I still use my treatment?
Tretinoin should not be used in pregnancy or if you are planning on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding. We recommend that you use effective contraception while using clindamycin/tretinoin and for at least one month after stopping treatment.
What if I forget to use my treatment?
It is essential you try to integrate the treatment into your daily routine or as advised by the Dermatica team. However if you miss a few days, just start the following day with the same amount you always use on each of the affected areas and you will be back on track.
How does my treatment work for acne?
Tretinoin is a retinoid. It reduces the formation of blackheads and whiteheads, and increases skin turnover, and reduces inflammation.
How does my treatment work for anti-ageing?
Tretinoin is a retinoid. It increases skin turnover, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles and reduces hyperpigmentation.