Things to Avoid When Using Retin-A Tretinoin

A lot of women are turning to vitamin A products in the hopes of improving the look of their skin and appearing more youthful. However, there are some precautions a person should take if they decide to try Retin-A Tretinoin or another vitamin A product.

Don’t Use If Pregnant

Women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant shouldn’t use any Retin-A creams or gels. There is a risk of spontaneous abortion or birth defects, including heart defects, mental retardation, and facial malformations. These are more common with the oral vitamin A form isotretinoin but are still possible with the topical form tretinoin. Birth defects are possible even with a brief period of exposure.

Don’t Wax

There is also a slight risk of skin problems if a person waxes their skin for hair removal purposes while treating it with tretinoin. Use some other form of hair removal on the areas of the skin being treated with this medication to be on the safe side.

Don’t Sunbathe

The use of tretinoin makes the skin more susceptible to sunburn. Only go out in the sun with a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher and make sure to reapply. Even better, wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to minimize sun exposure of the treated skin.

Don’t Use on Damaged Skin

These creams can cause the skin to flake or appear red, especially when used regularly in larger amounts. If these side effects are more serious, stop using the products until the skin is healthy again. It isn’t recommended to use them on skin that’s already damaged, such as being sunburned, having a rash, or having open wounds. Wait until the skin is healthy before using Retin-A.

Don’t Combine With Other Acne Products

Don’t use this product in conjunction with other acne products, including those that contain salicylic acid, vitamin C, glycolic acid, or benzoyl peroxide. This increases the risk of damaging the skin, as these are all strong acne products that can dry out the skin.

Don’t Use Right After Washing

For the best results, wait 15 minutes to half an hour before applying this product after washing the face and the same amount of time before applying any other products, such as sunscreen or moisturizer. This will maximize the amount of tretinoin absorbed by the skin.