Tretinoin Gel 0.05%




Want to treat acne, diminish the appearance of fine lines AND stimulate skin renewal, but can’t handle the full strength of Retin A? Then try Obagi’s prescription retinoid in a 0.05% gel. It’s got all of the anti-aging, acne-fighting power that Retin A is famous for but in a gentler formula.

In addition, to the Vitamin A derivative retinoic acid, Obagi tretinoin gel 0.05% contains:

Sodium Hyaluronate – Has all the benefits of hyaluronic acid, with an extra advantage – it’s more easily absorbed than hyaluronic acid. Has the ability to bind and hold onto significant amounts of water.

Glycerin – used as a lubricant and humectant. Glycerin attracts water to skin and helps skin to feel softer and smoother.

Trolamine – helps calm inflammation.

Soluble Collagen,- increases the moisture content of the skin.

What Does Tretinoin Do?

Tretinoin enhances and boosts natural skin renewal in at least 3 major ways.

Tretinoin is proven to stimulate new skin cell growth

Increase collagen production

Rebuild elastin

Tretinoin Gel vs Tretinoin Cream

Tretinoin gels are micronized and delivered in an aqueous formula that enables a slower release of the active ingredient tretinoin (Retin A). A slower release is gentler on skin and may be better tolerated by sensitive skin types. Tretinoin creams are stronger on the skin because they are absorbed into the skin quickly, which causes a fast reaction.

What concentration of tretinoin is right for me?

The usual recommendation for tretinoin use is to begin with the lowest potency. Potency refers to the strength of the medication, also called dosage. In the case of topical tretinoin, strength is measured in concentration or percentage. For newcomers to tretinoin or those with extremely sensitive skin, Obagi’s micronized tretinoin gel 0.05% may be ideal. It is time released so it impacts the skin more slowly than tretinoin cream. If your skin can tolerate a stronger potency, .025% or .05% tretinoin cream may be the right starting point.

If you are not sure where to start, begin with the lowest potency and see how your skin reacts. Responses in the skin that seem too strong, could tempt you to drop tretinoin altogether. That decision may be too abrubt. Instead consider reducing the frequency to 2-3 days a week before increasing to daily use.

On the other hand, if the time-released micro Retin A is doing enough, you have the option of upgrading to an entry-level .025% or .05% cream. Give your skin time and gradually find the strength that is right for you.

Men in general have thicker skin than women, so they are usually advised to jump straight to .1% tretinoin, the highest potency.

You may need to use tretinoin 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 are the side effects of tretinoin?

The first stage is called the purge during which new skin cells push the build up of oil and bacteria to the skin’s outer layer. Before new skin cells can really be seen, this “interruption” may cause acne to worsen as the skin’s layers are “cleaned out.” Then, new skin cells cause old skin cells to shed off the surface to make room for the new skin cells. In the beginning the exfoliation may seem extreme. Applying an oil free, gentle moisturizer at least 20 to 45 minutes prior to applying tretinoin can help reduce the appearance of skin flaking.

What’s a Good Age To Start Using Tretinoin?

Depending on your skin health and needs, you can begin using tretinoin as early as age 12 to treat acne. A physician will make that decision. For use in anti-aging, 18-25 may be a good starting point depending on your lifestyle. If you have a lot of sun damage, hyperpigmentation from hormone changes or pregnancy or hereditary factors, 18 might work for you. If not, consider an entry level retinoid like Obagi tretinoin gel 0.05% at around 25.

How Does Skin Change As It Ages?

By age 25, collagen in our skin begins breaking down and new collagen production also slows. Jump forward to our 40s and 50s and the skin cell renewal cycle hits a major wall. Skin cell rejuvenation can take as long as 45-90 days, compared to teens and 20-somethings where the skin renews itself every few weeks. It is a fact that tretinoin interrupts the cycle of aging and nourishes it with retinoic acid, the same acid the body requires to rejuvenate skin, produce collagen and rebuild elastin.

How to use

Uses: EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31 helps prevent sunburn and, if used as directed with other sun protection measures (see Directions), decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.


  • apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure
  • reapply:
    • after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating
    • immediately after towel drying
    • at least every 2 hours
  • Sun Protection Measures. Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. To decrease this risk, regularly use a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher and other sun protection measures including:
    • limit time in the sun, especially from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses
    • before use on children under 6 months: Ask a physician