The Best Type Of Moisturizer To Use With Tretinoin

Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A that is widely used as medication for treating mild, moderate, and severe acne. It is a powerful tool in reducing and preventing pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads by unclogging pores and keeping dead skin cells from building up. In addition to treating acne, tretinoin also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. 

Board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, told Who What Wear, "While it's first and foremost an acne medication, tretinoin is also used for treating the effects of photo-aging, namely fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Tretinoin can increase collagen production over time when used regularly. It also helps normalize skin cell turnover, to address texture changes and prevent the formation of blackheads and whiteheads."

While tretinoin seems like the holy grail in treating acne and signs of aging, it's important to note that you must use it with the right moisturizer, because it can cause dryness and irritation if you're not pairing it correctly. Tretinoin paired with a super-hydrating moisturizer is the way to go to treat acne and fine lines. 

What kind of moisturizer should you use?

When choosing a moisturizer to pair with tretinoin, Dr. Corey Hartman, medical director and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, told HuffPost that it's better to just keep it simple when it comes to added ingredients. He recommends using products containing ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and/or humectants. He also added that you should stay away from using moisturizers that have any other active ingredients when you're using tretinoin.

As per board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Lortscher, the key to adding tretinoin to your skincare routine is choosing a moisturizer that brings the hydration. Dr. Lortscher told Bustle, "Generally, you may find you need a more hydrating moisturizer with a cream or gel base to help combat flaking or dryness, especially in the winter months." Dr. Lortscher also seconds Dr. Hartman's advice about steering clear of most active ingredients: "Avoid or use caution when moisturizers contain harsh alcohols, vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic and lactic acids."

The moisturizer that can protect your skin

Choosing the right moisturizer is vital when using tretinoin, since it will help your skin recover from the dryness or irritation tretinoin may cause. It's important for a moisturizer to contain ceramides, which are emollients that help to repair your skin's barrier. The addition of hyaluronic acid can further hydrate your skin since it can attract and retain moisture. These two work hand in hand to moisturize, nourish, and protect your skin.

One product that contains these ingredients is the CeraVe Moisturing Cream. This moisturizer developed by dermatologists is dedicated to improve the skin's barrier while also maximizing hydration for your skin. It contains a combination of three ceramides and hyaluronic acid to help with any damage to your skin's barrier and soothe any dryness or irritation caused by tretinoin. Additionally, it's perfect for those with sensitive skin, since it's oil-free and hypoallergenic. This product is easily accessible, as it can be bought at Walmart or local drugstores.