The Difference Between Retin A & Renova

by Contributing Writer

Retin-A, a derivative of vitamin A, is a compound containing retinoic acid and tretinoin. Renova® is a prescription cream approved by the FDA for treating sun damage and natural aging. Unlike Retin-A, Renova® contains additional ingredients to create a smoother effect on skin.

Retin-A

Retin-A may come in the form of a gel or cream and is applied to the top layer of skin. It was first approved by the FDA for acne treatment. With use of Retin-A, patients began to notice improvements in their skin’s overall appearance. As a result, Retin-A is now used for many cosmetic purposes also.

Usage

A dermatologist may prescribe Retin-A for daily use. It should be applied after cleaning the skin with a mild cleanser. Patients may need to apply sunscreen because of increased photosensitivity while using Retin-A.

Side Effects

When using Retin-A, patients may notice increased redness, dryness and swollen or blistered skin. Side effects vary depending on skin type and Retin-A concentration.

Renova®

Renova® contains tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative. Renova® is believed to work in the layers of skin below the surface where pigment changes occur and even in the areas of skin where wrinkles begin to surface. Renova® may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, certain dark and light spots, or roughness of facial skin.

Usage

A dermatologist may prescribe Renova® for daily use. It should be applied after cleaning the skin with a mild cleanser. Patients should apply a small amount of the product onto the face, carefully avoiding the eyes and mouth.

Side Effects

When using the product, patients may notice increased redness, dryness or flaking of skin. Patients using Renova® are encouraged to avoid the sunlight because of increased photosensitivity. Dermatologists may recommend a sunscreen regimen while using the product.

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