Vitamins , Cell-Communicating Ingredients , Prescription Drugs

One of several prescription-only drugs (others include Renova, Retin-A Micro, and Avita) that contain tretinoin (technical name: all-trans retinoic acid), which is the acid form of vitamin A, as the active ingredient. In skin, tretinoin is the form of vitamin A that can actually affect cell production by binding to the tretinoin receptor sites on the cell. There is a great deal of research establishing that tretinoin is effective in improving cell production in skin that has been damaged (often by exposure to sunlight). Tretinoin is a valid method for addressing wrinkles and, overall, for improving cell production. Applying tretinoin does not produce miraculous results, but the positive outcome in terms of skin health is indisputable. However, it is highly possible that applying tretinoin to the skin will cause irritation, which is a major drawback of this drug.

See tretinoin

«Back to Ingredient Dictionary

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

View Media Highlights

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you sort through the myths and half-truths of the cosmetic industry. With their expert advice, you’ll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

585631-IIS3 v1.0.0.431 10/5/2015 7:55:56 AM
Skip to Top of Page

Free Email Sign-Up

- (Less Frequent)
- Expert Advice Newsletter (twice a month)
- New reviews on Beautypedia (twice a month)

Birthday (Optional)



Paula’s Choice Auto Delivery is a quick and convenient way to make sure you never run out of your favorite products again. Just select the products you can’t live without, choose how often you’d like them delivered and we’ll take care of the rest.

20% Off One Item + Free Shipping on $50+