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Obagi Tretinoin Cream 0.05%, 20g


Obagi’s anti-acne prescription tretinoin is absorbed deep within the skin to heal acne and increase cell turnover. Naturally-derived from Vitamin A, tretinoin, generic Retin-A, is a skin care miracle.

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Heal Skin From The Inside Out With Obagi Tretinoin

Obagi’s anti-acne prescription powerhouse is an A-lister for your face—as in Vitamin A, from which the key ingredient, the retinoid tretinoin, is derived. It is also used to treat hyperpigmentation and signs of premature aging.


  • Attacks acne at the source
  • Lightens scars.
  • Boosts collagen production

Tretinoin penetrates deep into skin to attack acne at the source, stimulate collagen production, and lighten scars and blemishes by inhibiting the production of pigmentation. The result? Clearer, brighter, smoother skin.

How Does Tretinoin Work?

Tretinoin is already converted into a form that the body can easily use. Its form is retinoic acid, also known as All-trans Retinoic acid (ATRA). Tretinoin is a derivative a Vitamin A, and the same acid that the body synthesis from Vitamin A. It is essential to healthy skin and multiple body functions. Brand names include Retin-A and Renova.

You may need to use this cream consistently for 6 weeks to 3 months in order to fully experience results. In some cases, acne will temporarily get worse during the course of treatment. This is common and treatment should continue as directed.

What Percent Of Tretinoin Should I Use?

Tretinoin is available in .025%, .05%, .1%  strengths. Certain medications are available in various strengths because research shows each person may have a unique reaction. The usual recommendation is begin with the lowest potency. In the case of topical tretinoin, strength is measured in concentration.

For newcomers to tretinoin or those with extremely sensitive skin, .025%, and .05% tretinoin can be starting points. If either concentration works for you, then you are all set. Over time you may want to increase the strength if you feel your skin can benefit more.

If the .025% or .05% does not create the desired effect, then 0.1%, the strongest Obagi tretinoin prescription could be the answer. The idea is to slowly increase the potency to find the right strength for you.

Another way to determine the concentration that fits your skin type is to reduce the frequency to 2-3 days a week. You may try this if the side-effects are not tolerable or you just prefer to slow your pace.

As your skin adjusts, you may want to apply the topical retinoid more frequently and eventually use tretinoin nightly if you are happy with the results.

One of the highest concentrations of topical tretinoin 0.1%. is popular among people who are ready to jump to the next level. Tretinoin 0.1% often becomes a key product in skin care regimens for life.

More Information
Is a Prescription Product Yes
Use or Effects Anti-Aging, Treat Acne, Fade Hyperpigmentation
Form Cream
Drug Class/Pharmacology Retinoids
Product Specifics

Directions for use: Apply to your face at night 20 minutes after a thorough, gentle cleansing when your skin is completely dry; ensure that your hands are also clean. Spread evenly over your skin, avoiding eye and mouth areas and any open wounds. Wash hands after applying. Use tretinoin in the amounts and frequency directed by your physician. Consult with your doctor if you experience redness, swelling, or irritation that persists.

Safety Information: While using Tretinoin, spend as little time in the sun as possible, use an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen, and wear a hat even on cloudy days. Do not use sunlamps or tanning booths, and avoid extreme wind and cold. If you do get a sunburn, stop using Tretinoin until your skin is back to normal. Tretinoin may cause skin irritation. Some patients may get dry, red or peeling skin that requires them to use less medication or use it less often, or stop use either temporarily or altogether. Patients who develop a rash or itchy skin should contact their healthcare provider.

Do not use more Tretinoin, or use it more often, than your doctor has told you because it will not work better and may increase the irritation to your skin. Avoid use of other products that may dry or irritate your skin. The safety and efficacy of Tretinoin have not been established in the treatment of patients younger than 12 years of age (Cream), or in pregnant or nursing women.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Ingredients: Tretinoin 0.05%, Stearic Acid, Isopropyl Myristate, Polyoxyl 40 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Sorbic Acid, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Purified Water

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FAQs: Tretinoin .05%

How do I know if tretinoin .05% is the right strength for me?

Everyone's skin is different, so there's no "crystal ball" to predict what strength tretinoin will work best for specific skin types. Generally, tretinoin 0.05% is tolerated by all skin types except possibly extremely sensitive skin. It's important to note that tretinoin is a prescription retinoid and is a medicine. Side effects from tretinoin are expected and include increased exfoliation which will look like flaky skin and some redness. If tretinoin side effects are intolerable, you can begin using it gradually. Apply tretinoin a few times a week and then work your way up to daily use. To help with dryness, try gentle moisturizers. Serums and skin products containing hyaluronic acid are a good choice when using tretinoin. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs within the skin and binds to water, keeping the skin and parts of the body hydrated. Think of hyaluronic acid as the body's natural lubricant.

What does tretinoin do?

Tretinoin is the trifecta in skin rejuvenation! tretinoin enhances and boosts natural skin renewal in at least 3 major ways.

  1. Tretinoin is proven to stimulate new skin cell growth
  2. Increase collagen production
  3. Rebuild elastin
How does collagen, elastin and skin cell turn over keep skin looking young?
  1. Collagen gives skin its plump, firm appearance. As collagen levels decrease, skin sags and thins. Wrinkles become deep and increase in number.
  2. Elastin makes skin pliable and "elastic." Elastin allows skin to stretch tautly around the facial structure preventing a sunken appearance and loose, hanging skin that can result in jowls.
  3. Skin cell turnover is necessary for healing and to push out dead skin cells through exfoliation. Newly formed skin cells create a smooth, clear complexion. As new skin cells rise from deep beneath the epidermis to the outer layer, they push out bacteria and unclog pores. Once bacteria and oily plugs loosen, they rise to the skin surface where they can be cleaned away, helping to heal and prevent acne and blemishes. Rejuvenated skin cells also replace sun damaged skin and diminish the appearance of scars.
How does tretinoin work?

Tretinoin, generic for Retin-A, is actually retinoic acid, the same acid the body creates from dietary Vitamin A to keep the skin youthful, firm, plump, wrinkle-free and clear of blemishes and acne. Tretinoin, pronounced, [truh-tin-oh-in], is really that powerful. In fact, generic Retin A, tretinoin, has been used to treat acne vulgaris for more than 30 years. It's safe to say that there is unanimous agreement within the world medical community that tretinoin is effective in anti-aging and for treating skin conditions such as acne vulgaris and psoriasis.

Why should I use tretinoin?

Skin cell turnover slows by age 25 and elastin and collagen begin breaking down. Meanwhile, as we age, the overall supply of collagen and elastin available in the body diminishes. With reduced ability to rebuild these proteins, the skin shows signs of age. Common signs of aged skin include sagging, rough texture, crêpe appearance, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles and fine lines. If you want to prevent signs of aging and seek an overall radiant, clear complexion, then adding tretinoin to your skin care regiment is a wise choice. In our 40s and 50s, the skin cell renewal cycle can be as long as 45-90 days, compared to teens and 20-somethings where the skin renews itself every few weeks.

How do I know tretinoin .05% is working?

Within 3 weeks to 3 months, the benefits of tretinoin are usually visible. The skin will feel softer, have fewer wrinkles and any hyperpigmentation or brown spots should be faded or erased revealing an even skin tone.

Is tretinoin good for acne?

Tretinoin has been used to treat acne vulgaris for more than 30 years. When using tretinoin to treat acne it is common for acne to get worse at first. However, over time, the acne subsides and the benefits of tretinoin are visible. In the treatment of acne vulgaris, tretinoin is known to reduce the severity of breakouts, speed the healing of pimples, and, even prevent breakouts.

What are the side effects and how long does it take to see benefits to my skin?

Common side effects of tretinoin include a warm feeling when applied to the skin, abnormal peeling as skin exfoliates rapidly, itching, dryness and redness. Within 3 weeks to 3 months, the benefits of tretinoin are usually visible.