Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Tretinoin Cream for Wrinkles

author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Tretinoin Cream for Wrinkles
Tretinoin cream can be used to treat skin wrinkling.

Tretinoin is a topical form of vitamin A that can be applied to the skin. The cream is used in a variety of capacities, one of which is as a wrinkle fighter. Understanding how to make tretinoin work for your skin can help you achieve smoother, more wrinkle-free skin.

Video of the Day


When applied to the skin, tretinoin activates certain triggers on the skin known as retinoid receptors, according to Smart Skincare. Examples of these receptors include those that control cell growth and the manufacture of proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are two fibers that give skin its elasticity. In addition to encouraging growth, tretinoin inhibits the production of an enzyme that breaks down collagen and elastin. Tretinoin is able to fight wrinkles by both building up proteins that fight wrinkles and inhibiting proteins that can cause wrinkling.


Tretinoin is available by a physician’s prescription only. However, a number of formulations are available. If you have oily skin, gel applications can fight wrinkles while taking on a beneficial drying effect, according to Dr. Audrey Kunin, a dermatologist writing on DERMA Doctor, a skincare resource website. If your skin is dry to very dry, creams or ointment tretinoin formulations may be recommended for their ability to moisturize. Varying strengths also are available.


Apply tretinoin cream to your skin 20 to 30 minutes after washing your face, according to Kunin. Apply a pea-sized amount to your finger and apply to areas of wrinkling. Rub this cream in well. Wash your hands after use and be sure not to get the cream in your eyes. You can, however, carefully apply the cream around the eyes, where crow’s feet occur. You may wish to apply the product every night when you first use it in order to minimize adverse effects.

Side Effects

Tretinoin application to fight wrinkles can result in initial skin irritation or burning, according to the Other side effects can include skin dryness, peeling and skin lightening in certain areas. As your skin becomes more accustomed to the tretinoin application, side effects will likely diminish. However, if your symptoms do not cease after several weeks or you experience more severe symptoms, including skin darkening or extreme dryness, cease tretinoin use.


Using an anti-wrinkle cream containing tretinoin can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, according to the For this reason, you should wear sunscreen containing a sun protection factor of 15 or higher in order to prevent sunburn and ultraviolet damage. Daily moisturizers that contain SPF 15 are available to minimize irritation from tretinoin application and the sun.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media