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Tretinoin 0.05%

(7 Posts)
Stinkyjellycat Fri 17-Apr-20 10:27:25

I have been given a brand new Obagi Nu Derm kit by my sister-in-law. She raves about it and decided to treat me to this too as I have talked about wanting to improve my skincare regime. It’s a hugely generous gift and I really appreciate it BUT I’m not keen on using it as I know it can cause a lot of peeling and redness etc. I have used Tretinoin on its own before (stopped a couple of years ago) and really liked it so I’d rather just use that instead rather than the whole kit. However, I’ve forgotten the regime! The Obagi kit contains contains 0.05% Tretinoin so my questions are:

1. If I start using the Tretinoin 3x per week at night, what else should I use on my skin? If I cleanse, then moisturise, do I need to do anything else?
2. I’ve heard Niacinamide I can help protect the skin when using Tretinoin - how and when do I use it?
3. After cleaning my skin in the morning, should I add anything other than moisturiser and sunscreen?

@botemp and @mamazita do you have any advice? Hope you don’t mind me tagging you but I’ve seen you give great advice on other threads.

OP’s posts: |
Mamazita Fri 17-Apr-20 11:06:13


Niacinamide is amazing with tret. It’s proven in clinical studies to help stop any irritation. I really like the Revolution skincare 15% niacinamide.

0.05% tret is strong to start with. This is my routine for tretinoin.

Double cleanse
Hydrating toner - a couple of layers
Eye serum
Niacinamide serum
Wait 20 mins to all dry
Apply tret
Wait an 30-60 mins for the tret to fully soak in
Hydrating serum

For the first month with tret, I wouldn’t use any actives like vitamin c or acids. In the morning, cleanse, hydrating toner, hydrating serum, moisturiser, spf.

As you can see I love hydration. I think keeping your skin hydrated is key to help stop the peeling from tret. I have a skincare Instagram account, where I share my routines etc. I’ll send you a DM with my username

Stinkyjellycat Fri 17-Apr-20 11:13:23

Thank you so much, this is really useful. I’ve got the 0.05 Tretinoin as it’s part of the Obagi pack. I looked at Dermatica see if I could get it from there but they aren’t taking on new customers at the moment.
Do you have any recommendations for a hydrating serum or oil? I use The Ordinary’s Organic Rosehip Seed oil at night. Would that be suitable?
Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
botemp Fri 17-Apr-20 11:23:13

0.05% is high to start with. I'd keep it simple and buffer it at first either by mixing it with moisturiser or applying it after. Start 1 or 2 times a week and slowly builld up to 3x a week.

Niacinamide alongside it is good but IMO 15% is excessive, over 5% it potentially becomes irritating and drying, which you'd already be dealing with from Tret. It's niacinamide and ceramides that you want as support ingredients. Niacinamide soothe but ceramides helps restore. Are you normally oily/combo or dry?

Yes, keep it simple in the morning and don't use any other actives (like Vitamin C or acids) while you're introducing Tret, you'll have to reintroduce those later, again gradually. Cleanse (if you're very dry skip cleanser and stick to just lukewarm water) moisturiser and then sunscreen. You may want to switch sunscreens to something slightly richer with healing ingredients like centella, anything labeled CICA basically, Bioderma does a good one. You may find chemical sunscreens to irritating and have to switch to mineral only.

At night I'm very basic with Tret, I just apply it on dry skin after cleansing, just mind the amount. A pea size (and less than that when you're starting) really isn't a lot. I find it's overuse of product that often leads to the excess peeling as we're so used to liberally applying product.

For the rest, make sure the other products in your routine are without irritants, so no fragrance, essential oils, etc.

Mamazita Fri 17-Apr-20 11:24:32

Start slowly with the tret. I would use it 2 x per week for a couple of weeks (Due to the strength) and then increase. Peeling, if you get any, tends to happen 2-3 days after using the tret.

For a hydrating serum, the Ordinary’s Hyaluronic acid is fab! Do the mist sandwich! Mist, apply the Hyaluronic acid, then mist again. Hyaluronic acid works best with moisture.

For a hydrating toner, most Korean toners are best. My faves are the I’m from rice toner, available from Tonic 15 or the pyunkang yul essence toner, which is available on many sites, plus Amazon. The Ordinary’s rosehip oil is a great oil.

Stinkyjellycat Fri 17-Apr-20 12:07:06

Thank you both so much. I feel a bit more confident now!

@botemp I have a slightly oily T-zone bit no dryness anywhere. You mentioned buffering - do you mean I apply moisturiser first and then the Tretinoin?

I need to keep the phrase ‘pea sized’ in my head as that’s such a tiny amount.

OP’s posts: |
botemp Fri 17-Apr-20 12:19:28

Buffering is basically using moisturiser before Tret or mixing half and half (ie. half a pea size and slowly building up to a full pea and decreasing moisturiser ratio accordingly).

I've you're slightly oily it will be helpful to have a richer moisturiser on hand LRP Toleriane Roche and Cerave moisturising cream are both good. LRP Cicaplast is also good for the dry patches and a bit of an essential with Tret. Also remember to apply lip balm liberally on lips and an eye cream (or LRP Cicaplast) on the corner of the eyes and lipa before applying Tret.

Feel free to check in on the fantastic skincare threads, plenty of people on there who have acclimated to tret and have good tips WRT makeup, troubleshooting and commiserations when you're having an awfully dusty looking face thanks to Tret.

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