Difference Between Retin A and Tretinoin

Acne, UV exposure, tiny wrinkles, and skin scars are all treated with Retin A and Tretinoin. At first glance, they seem to be very similar: they have many properties, all of which can be used to treat skin diseases. They have a lot in common, but there are also some important differences. A little understanding of them can help you find the one that suits you best.

Retin A vs Tretinoin

The main difference between Retin A and Tretinoin is that Retin-A is the premium brand for a kind of tretinoin that is used to treat skin conditions. Tretinoin, or vitamin A, is a biologically active version of retinoic acid. All tissue paper should be referred to as Kleenex, and all chlorine and bleach products should be referred to as Retin-A.

Retin A and Tretinoin

Retin-A can be used as medicine and over-the-counter medicine. The three prescription retinoic acids are retinoic acid, tazarotene, and adapalene. The three teams work together to prevent cell debris from flowing out of natural skin openings and promote the growth of healthy cells. Dryness, roughness, irritation, and tearing of the skin are common symptoms, as are increased UV sensitivity.

Tretinoin is a significantly stronger artificial form of vitamin A than Retinol. It could only be obtained with medication from licensed dermatology. It goes by the name Retin-A, which is also its premium brand. Because it includes retinoic acid, it is extremely efficacious. It’s an important part of generally pro therapy. It is not recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Comparison Table Between Retin A and Tretinoin

Parameters of ComparisonRetin ATretinoin
DefinitionRetin-A is a brand name for tretinoin.
A man-made version of Vitamin A

Primary useAcenesNot only acenes but also for skin problems.
Side effectsRetin-A can produce dryness, roughness, itching, or stinging sensationsBirth defects, stomach cramps and diarrhea, dehydration, gastritis, migraines, anxiety, and nausea are all possible side effects of tretinoin.
Similar ProductsRetin-A Micro, Renova, and Ziana Tazarotene and Differin.
Other UsesAnti Aging ProductA special type of cancer

What is Retin A?

Retin-A is the brand name of the drug retinoic acid. Retin-A is a synthetic version of vitamin A that can only be obtained through a medical recommendation and is not available over-the-counter. Retinoic acid is a type of retinoic acid as the main active substance. Our systems shouldn’t need to convert Retin-A into retinoic acid when we apply it externally, so it works faster and more efficiently.

In as few as 6-8 weeks, you could see benefits. Retin-A is also available in a variety of concentrations, such as the least, 0.5 percent, and the highest, 1.0 percent. Once or twice a week, you must start with the lowest effective dose. Allow for acclimatization of your skin before progressively raising the intensities. Tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene are the three prescription-only retinoids. All three groups work together to keep cellular debris out of the natural skin pores and pores while also encouraging healthy cell growth.

Dry skin, roughness, irritation, and skin cracking are all common symptoms, as well as increased UV sensitivity. Some people may experience adverse effects that vary from person to person. Itching, scratching, and burning are problems for some people. As a result of the sensitivity of the skin caused by this prescription, special caution is needed while taking it.

What is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a Vitamin A compound. Enlarged pores, UV exposure, and the appearance of wrinkles are the most common conditions treated with them. Tretinoin is a higher artificial form of Vitamin A than Retinol. They aren’t over-the-counter medicines because they can only be obtained with a license from a licensed dermatologist. They are not recommended for sensitive skin types.

Tretinoin should be used with caution when exposed to sunlight, as it might cause sun damage if exposed to a large amount soon after topical application. Tretinoin can also be used to help treat aplastic anemia, a type of cancer that causes an overabundance of immature red blood cells from the blood and bone marrow. Retinoic acid is a drug that helps immature white blood cells develop normally, relieves or cures symptoms, and prevents disease recurrence.

Tretinoin is an acne treatment that comes in the form of a lotion, cream, or gel, as well as an oral pill that is used to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia. Scientists have recently developed a less concentrated version of tretinoin, enabling cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies to use it as an ingredient in skincare and pro products. Acne is treated by speeding up cell formation, which also helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, eliminate imperfections, and even out the skin tone.

Main Differences Between Retin A and Tretinoin

  1. Retin-A is the brand name for a tretinoin composition with a focus area. Tretinoin, also known as vitamin A, is an active component of retinoic acid.
  2. Retin-A is a prescription drug used to treat acne. Tretinoin is used to treat acne as well as other skin problems.
  3. Retin-A Micro, Renova, and Ziana are products that are identical to Retin-A but include differing quantities of tretinoin. Tazarotene and differin are other retinoids that are comparable to tretinoin.
  4. Retin-A can produce dryness, roughness, itching, or stinging sensations. Birth defects, stomach cramps and diarrhea, dehydration, gastritis, migraines, anxiety, and nausea are all possible side effects of tretinoin.
  5. Retin-A is used as an anti-aging product to reduce wrinkles and smoother skin. Tretinoin is also used for a specific type of cancer.


As Vitamin-A compounds, Retinol and Tretinoin differ in various compositions, with Retinol being a biological product and Tretinoin being an artificial equivalent. Acne, UV exposure, and tiny wrinkles can all be treated with Retinol and Tretinoin. They gently cleanse and nurture the natural skin layers. As a result, pimples, scars, and tiny wrinkles are reduced.

When Retinol and Tretinoin are exposed to direct sunlight right after treatment, they can induce sun exposure. Consequently, it is recommended that you use them at night or stay out of the sun prior to going out in the sun to avoid sunburns and UV damage. Pregnant women should avoid them because they can cause pregnancy abnormalities and miscarriages.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09546639609086864
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1524-4725.1990.tb03962.x
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