How to Get the Best Results from Tretinoin

June 12, 2024
5 min read
how to use tretinoin

On the path to healthier, more luminous skin? Your skincare routine could be missing a key ingredient to get you there – tretinoin. But what is it? And how can you use it to get the best results for your skin?  

In this blog, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about tretinoin, including the benefits, how to use it, ways to manage side effects and why the MiQuest tretinoin products are your trusted partner in achieving your skin care goals.

What is Tretinoin?  

Think of tretinoin as the next step up from retinol. It is a concentration of pure retinoic acid and is used to accelerate cellular turnover and boost collagen production.  

As a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, tretinoin works to deeply rejuvenate the skin, addressing an entire range of skincare concerns including acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation.  

Due to its strength, this active ingredient is available as a prescription-only treatment. It is a key feature of many of our prescription skin products here at MiQuest, including our prescription anti-wrinkle cream and prescription melasma treatment.  

What are the Benefits of Tretinoin?  

Tretinoin offers many benefits designed to improve the health and appearance of your skin, including:  

  • Boosts skin cell turnover: By accelerating the natural exfoliation process, tretinoin helps to shed dead skin cells to reveal fresher, brighter skin underneath.
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles: Tretinoin helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production in the skin. This results in smoother, more youthful-looking skin.
  • Erases pigmentation: Targeting excess melanin production, tretinoin fades dark spots and pigmentation caused by sun exposure, leading to a more even complexion.
  • Improves skin elasticity: Tretinoin promotes the synthesis of elastin fibers, which works to improve skin elasticity and firmness for a more toned and resilient appearance.
  • Soothes acne and blemishes: By unclogging pores, regulating oil production, and reducing inflammation, tretinoin is an effective treatment for acne and blemishes, delivering clearer, healthier skin.  

How to Use Tretinoin for the Best Results

Achieving the best results with tretinoin requires a strategic approach – and patience. Here's a step-by-step guide to incorporating tretinoin into your skincare routine for maximum effectiveness:

1. Start Slow:  

Begin by applying a pea-sized amount of tretinoin to clean, dry skin every other night, avoiding the lips and eye area. Starting with a lower frequency allows your skin to acclimate to the treatment, minimising the risk of irritation and sensitivity. It’s best to apply tretinoin at night because, like other retinoids, light can deactivate the treatment.

2. Gradually Increase Frequency:  

As your skin adjusts, gradually increase the frequency of use to every night, or as directed by your dermatologist. Still use only a pea-sized amount, as any more could irritate the skin. This gradual approach to developing a tretinoin skincare routine allows your skin to build tolerance to the active ingredient, maximising its effectiveness while minimising discomfort.

3. Moisturise:  

Follow up with a rich, hydrating moisturiser 15-30 minutes after you’ve applied the tretinoin to help mitigate dryness and irritation. This wait will ensure the skin barrier has time to recover from the tretinoin and is prepared to receive the moisturiser. Opt for non-comedogenic formulas that won't clog pores and provide long-lasting hydration.

4. Always Use Sun Protection:  

Tretinoin can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher during the day. Use a sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection, and be sure to reapply every two hours, especially when exposed to direct sunlight.  

5. Be Patient:  

Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results with tretinoin. While it may take several weeks to notice significant improvements, patience and perseverance will pay off in the long run.

Ways to Manage Tretinoin Side Effects  

As tretinoin is a highly powerful active ingredient, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Skin reactions can include dryness, redness, and peeling, which are more common during the initial adjustment period.  

Fortunately, there are many ways you can manage these tretinoin side effects and ensure a smoother transition to achieve the best results, including:  

  1. Start with a Lower Concentration: If you're new to tretinoin, begin with a lower concentration to minimise the risk of irritation.  
  2. Buffer with Moisturiser: To mitigate dryness and irritation, consider mixing your tretinoin with a moisturiser before application.  
  3. Take a Break: If the side effects become too bothersome, temporarily take a break from tretinoin. You can reintroduce use once your skin has calmed down.  
  4. Communicate with Your Dermatologist: Don't hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist if you experience persistent or severe side effects. Here at MiQuest, our experts can offer personalised advice and adjustments to your tretinoin skincare routine.


With the plethora of benefits tretinoin offers, from reducing fine lines and wrinkles to soothing acne and blemishes, it’s clear that this powerhouse ingredient offers reliable and transformative results.  

By following our step-by-step instructions and developing your tretinoin skincare routine with patience and consistency, you're well on your way to maximising the benefits from the ingredient and achieving healthier, more radiant skin.  

At MiQuest, our range of treatments including tretinoin such as our acnes face cream and our UK pigmentation removal cream,  are expertly formulated to help you unlock your skin’s full potential and achieve the radiant complexion you’ve always desired.  

Don’t settle for anything less than the best for your skin – get in touch with MiQuest today and experience the difference firsthand.  

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