Tretinoin is a major form of retinoid, a modified form of Vitamin D, and tretinoin is the main topical retinoid. Tretonoin brings about whitening effect and therefore, has been widely used by people seeking a whiter skin and complexion. Tretinoin acts during the pre-melanin synthesis of the biosynthetic pathways.

The Clinic Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Ling has been using this ingredient safely for skin whitening treatment over the past 20 years, together with the PRP, filler (such as Vampire lift), Botox and thread lift.

Many skin whiteners can be used together as a part of the formula for skin care products. The formula component ingredients are listed here includes:



Tretinoin as a skin whitening agent helps to modulate Melanocyte activity

Tretinoin is most effective as a skin whitening agent helps to modulate Melanocyte activity.




Tretinoin, which is also known as an all-trans retinoic acid, is a fairly good compound in bringing about a fairer skin. After using tretinoin, the user should avoid the sunlight, this is because the skin can tan after stimulation by the sun-ray. Post tretinoin usage, the skin tends to be more sensitive to the sunlight, due to the UVA and UVB.



How the tretinoin brings about the whitening effect?

The mechanism of action can best be described as follows through a number of action.

  • Tretinoin acts through the inhibition of enzyme tyrosinase induction,
  • Tretinoin acts by interfering in the pigment transfer
  • It helps to accelerate the turnover of the epidermal layer of cells
  • Tretinoin helps in the dispersal of pigment granules inside the keratinocyte cells
  • Tretinoin acts as penetration enhancers. This is especially useful when it is used with other whitening agents such as hydroquinone and mequinol. The preconditioned skin by tretinoin help the other agent to penetrate through the skin easily, enhancing the absorption of hydrquinone and mequinol.

What are the various side effects of tretinoin?

The side effects may include the followings:

  • It brings about burning sensation, a stinging sensation, some redness also called erythema, a feeling of mild to moderate or even severe dryness of the treated skin, and finally even peeling effect or scaling effect.
  • Fortunately, the side effects are usually reversible. The retinoid may cause retinoid dermatitis, which may leads to increased pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. This hyperpigmentation is especially common in the darker skinned people (Policarpio and Lue, 2009).
  • The tretinoin is known to cause teratogenic effect on pregnant lady on the unborn child. Tretinoin should best be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Tretinoin can be very irritating when used alone. If used together with a hydrocort cream, then it cancel off the negative side effect as the hydrocort cream suppress the inflammatory effect of the tretinoin. If used alone it can cause an irritant dermatitis (Oaklay, 2010).

Other indication of tretinoin

The other indications of tretinoin is that it is useful as well as effective in the treatment of acne of varying degree of severity (British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 2007). The acne is an inflammatory diseases that plague more than three quarter of population, of both sexes.