Easy And Affordable Online Options To Bypass The Derm's Office For Your Retinoid Prescription

All too many of us struggle with self-consciousness and, all too often, the pain that comes with acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to a massive 50 million Americans can be affected by skin conditions like acne every single year. In fact, as many as 85% of 12 to 24-year-olds have at least mild acne. But what can you do about it? There seems to be a whole range of products that promise to clear up blemishes, but sometimes it feels near impossible to find something that actually works for you. Everyone's skin is just so different, so something that cleared up your friend's acne might actually only end up making yours worse.


One thing many people are praising for helping them be blemish free is tretinoin. Also known as all-trans retinoic acid, the medication is made up of Rx retinoids and is available in cream, gel, ointment, and even tablet form. The only problem is that it's only available in the U.S. by prescription. That can make it pretty pricey, and also means you need a trip to the dermatologist's office every time you need a top-up.

But, if you've done your research on the risks, there are a few places you can get your hands on the drug (which you may also know under brand names like Altinac, Altreno, Atralin, Avita, Refissa, Renova, Retin-A, or Tretin X). The best part? You won't need to leave your house or rely on insurance, which may not even cover it to begin with.


Nurx offers tretinoin via insurance

Nurx has the impressive Tretinoin Cream .05% (Retin-A) for those looking to get their hands on tretinoin, offering a three-month supply of the product via subscription service. If you're paying through insurance, you can expect to pay a big fat $0 at the checkout. If you don't have insurance at all or a policy that covers the product though, you can expect to hand over $30 per month for the Nurx subscription service (including free delivery). Before it's prescribed to you though, you'll need to complete a $40 virtual consultation to get your prescription.


As for the product itself, Tretinoin Cream .05% (Retin-A) is made up of what Nurx describes as "a moderate concentration of tretinoin," which it claims will help the skin with collagen and unblock pores. That should slow the development and fieriness of your blemishes. In doing so, you'll be able to treat your acne at the source, rather than relying on products that often indirectly target blemishes.

Hers offers Anti-Aging Rx Cream

If you're looking for regular top-ups on your tretinoin, Hers offers Anti-Aging Rx Cream. Not only does it include up to .09% of tretinoin, but its fellow active ingredients are also niacinamide and azelaic acid. These will have a number of positive effects on your skin even beyond just soothing any acne, as it's also designed to smooth out any fine lines and wrinkles, and to help reduce the appearance of dark spots. To get your hands on it, Hers asks you to do a free skin evaluation to make sure it's going to be right for you, while some products available on the website will only be shipped out following an online consultation with a healthcare provider.


Once you've had your product request approved and it's been delivered to your home, you'll want to apply the cream all over your face nightly. However, to get started you'll need to refer to your prescription, as it's recommended in the early days that you use it only every second or third night to build up your skin's tolerance.

Hers doesn't accept insurance, and the price of the cream will vary depending on the type of subscription you opt for, but new customers could expect to pay around $29 per month for a regular supply.

RedboxRx offers Retin-A

Another subscription service offering affordable access to tretinoin products is RedboxRx. This company offers 0.025%, 0.05%, and 0.1% strength tretinoin creams, which will last for around three months at a time via your customized skincare plan. Exactly what strength you need will depend on the severity of your acne, and RedboxRX will determine the best dosage for you via consultation with its medical professionals. 


As with many other companies selling products containing tretinoin, you'll need to get a prescription before it's sent out to you, but all that can be done online via RedboxRX. You'll start the process by filling out the brand's health history questionnaire which asks you to divulge any other medical conditions you may have. You'll then be given your personalized treatment plan, which is tailored to you after being reviewed by a licensed medical provider.

RedboxRx offers its various strength tretinoin creams for $20 a month. The company doesn't accept insurance, though it does accept HSA and FSA cards.

Go customized with Dermatica

Dermatica offers a personalized version of tretinoin, providing a formulation that's been specifically customized to you dependent on your skin's needs. The company will actually tailor the product in terms of how much tretinoin is suitable for you based on the severity of your acne. That means what you purchase could be made up of anything between 0.025% and 0.1% of the active ingredient. To ensure you're getting exactly what you need instead of something too harsh or too soft, Dermatica asks customers to send clear photos of their skin problems. They're then looked over by healthcare experts who will provide a prescription if they feel it's the product for you.


Not only will it help with acne, but the company also claims it's effective in combating a number of other skincare issues. Amongst them, it's designed to help with any inflammation, lighten dark spots, and clear clogged pores and smooth wrinkles.

You'll have to pay $24.99 monthly (because Dermatica is a pharmaceutical subscription service) and then another $4.99 in shipping, but you'll get a lot for your money. Not only will your own personalized formula but sent straight to your door without the hassle of a visit to your dermatologist, but you'll also benefit from a treatment plan created for you by skincare experts.

Get brighter skin with Dear Brightly

With Dear Brightly, you'll be asked to create a skin profile that details your skin problems and what you're looking to achieve. That will then be looked over by a professional, who will then give you a prescription for a tretinoin product if it's suitable for your skin condition. To get your prescription, you'll have to provide Dear Brightly with a copy of your ID to confirm your identity, and you may be asked to upload photos showing your skin issues.


Dear Brightly offers its own impressive products, including the Night Shift serum which will contain between 0.015% and 0.1% tretinoin depending on what your skincare professional suggests. The product also contains niacinamide, which is an anti-inflammatory designed to combat redness, so you can say goodbye to a lot of discoloration. For Night Shift, you'll be charged $29.50 per month for two months' supply. 

Equally, you could opt for the Night Shift tailored retinoid set, which also includes a medical-grade moisturizer that has been specifically created to be used alongside a retinoid. For that, you'll pay $50.50 per month and you'll also receive a two-month supply at a time. If that sounds like too much for you though, Dear Brightly offers the ability to change how frequently you get your subscription deliveries, and you can cancel at any time.


Curology is all about personalized curation

Tretinoin is available in a number of Curology's products, which have been created to fight acne and signs of aging. By choosing Curology, you'll actually open yourself to a multistep program including a cleanser, moisturizer, and spot patches, but it's the Custom FormulaRX for acne cream that contains the magic ingredient of tretinoin. The product is also in the brand's Future-ProofRx anti-aging formula which is focused more on the signs of aging than acne.


The company promises results within 90 days of using it for the first time, or you'll be entitled to your money back, so you've got nothing to lose, right? Curology also offers online access to a dermatology provider for no extra cost, which means you won't have to leave your home to get advice. As for how much you can expect to pay for this service? Newbies to the brand can get a 30-day trial, after which you'll be paying $29.95 each month for the Custom FormulaRX and Custom FormulaRX for anti-aging.

Like many of the other companies on our list, you'll only be eligible for the products following an online consultation with a professional and subsequent prescription to make sure it's truly suitable for your skin issues.


Skinorac offers a range of tretinoin products

If you want to choose from a range of different products containing tretinoin to find out what's best for you, and you also don't want a subscription service, Skinorac may be one of the best websites to visit. If you're looking for a gel, you can purchase A Ret Gel for between $4.70 and $7.15 depending on strength, Supatret Gel starting at $7.11, or Trunex MS Gel starting at $11.40. You can also get your hands on creams including Trebor Cream for $6.17 or Tretin Cream for between $7.22 and $7.60, again based on their strength. Not only that, but Skinorac also offers Accufine Isotretinoin Capsules in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, and 40mg. The capsules were created to help prevent the production of sebum, which often causes acne. Prices range from $29.28 to $754.45 for those, depending on the dosage and number of pills.


One big plus is that Skinorac offers its products when you need them, rather than paying for deliveries in regular increments. It also offers free express shipping on orders above $150, and all products come from FDA-approved manufacturers, too.

Rely on ReliableRx Pharmacy

Another outlet offering tretinoin as and when you want it is ReliableRx Pharmacy. The company is not a subscription service, which means you can get your hands on whatever you need without having to pay a regular fee. ReliableRx Pharmacy offers a wide range of products containing the magic ingredient so many people have been raving about, including 20g of Treticon Cream at 0.025% strength for $9 or 20g of Revize Micro Gel at 0.025% for $15. It also offers stronger doses, including 20g of A Ret Gel at 0.1% strength for $9.


To purchase any tretinoin product, ReliableRx does require you to present a copy of a prescription to make sure the product will suit your skin. You can send that along via email or fax, and it's pretty easy to get your hands on a prescription through a consultation with an online doctor. That means never having to leave your home! 

The best part? Once you've got your prescription, you can choose which brand name you prefer and you're not locked into regular payments, potentially saving you a whole lot of cash.

AllDayChemist offers tretinoin with no subscription

Similar to ReliableRx, AllDayChemist also offers a wide range of tretinoin products without the need to subscribe to anything (making it ideal for those trying the medication for the first time). As tretinoin requires a prescription, you'll be asked to upload a copy of your prescription from a medical professional at the checkout stage, so you'll want to make sure you've had a consultation with an online doctor first to save yourself that trip to the dermatologist office. If you've got that already, then you're all good to go! AllDayChemist will also ask you a few questions about your health before fulfilling your order, including your current medications and smoker status, to ensure what you're buying won't interfere with your body. 


AllDayChemist stocks a range of tretinoin products at different levels of strength, including 20g of 0.1% A Ret Gel for $9 or the same size in Treticon Cream at .025% strength for $7.50. 

As with many of the other sites offering one-off orders, you can save a pretty penny by stocking up and buying in bulk. You can actually save over 20% on Treticon Cream by buying six tubes in one go!