Tretinoin is one of the most powerful skincare ingredients you can buy. It has anti-ageing properties, smoothes skin, helps with pigmentation issues and treats acne. However, it can take a few weeks or even months to show results so you have to be patient. It isn’t an everyday product, though, as it’s a prescription medication. It’s also not suitable for everyone, so a consultation with a dermatologist is essential before you start using it.
A GP can’t prescribe tretinoin, as it’s not available on the NHS, but you can get a prescription from a dermatologist, who’ll have done a full face-to-face or online consultation with you. They’ll assess your skin type and history, then explain what tretinoin is, how to use it and what it can do for you. They’ll also give you some instructions about using it and what to expect, such as some skin irritation and a gradual improvement in the appearance of your skin.
Getting a prescription for tretinoin can be difficult in the UK, with waiting lists and appointments costing hundreds of pounds. You can also find a few digital dermatologist services, such as Get Harley, Dermatica and Skin + Me, who will conduct an extensive digital consultation before prescribing you the treatment. However, this doesn’t take away the need to see a physical doctor, who will still have to examine you and assess your skin.
Retinol is a popular alternative to tretinoin, but it’s not the same. You can’t buy retinol in the UK without a prescription, and it’s not safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. It can also cause redness and irritation in some people, so it’s best to steer clear if you have sensitive skin.
The main difference is that tretinoin speeds up the process of your skin replacing dead cells, which can help reduce wrinkles and improve your overall complexion. It can also help with discolouration, texture and uneven skin tone, but it’s not a miracle product. It’s important to use it correctly and be patient, as it can make your skin very irritated when you first start using it. It can also take a while for the effects of tretinoin to become noticeable, but once they do, your skin will look healthier and more radiant. buy tretinoin uk