What is the difference in effectiveness between Tretinoin Cream 0.05% and Retinol 0.5% on skin aging symptoms?
by Skin Project Institute Admin on Mar 31, 2021
Smearing wrinkles with a cream sounds like an illusion. Yet there are countless products on the market that claim to be “anti-aging”. What is the best thing that suits your skin and what really works?
A few years ago, in the last year of the Skin Therapy training at the Hogeschool Utrecht, I wrote my final thesis about what the difference in effectiveness is between Tretinoin Cream 0.05% and Retinol 0.5% on skin aging symptoms?
I will explain the results of this research in the blog below.
In today's modern society, young and old alike aspire to a youthful appearance with smooth, tight, shiny skin. However, from the 25and age, the skin, especially the face, begins to show signs of aging. Skin aging is a multifactorial, progressive, natural process that takes place in the body as a result of intrinsic (genetic) and extrinsic (environmental) factors. The three most cosmetically disturbing signs of aging skin that arise as a result are: lines/wrinkles, pigmentation and roughness.
Due to the association between youth and beauty, the demand for anti-aging creams, including the drug Tretinoin Cream, is increasing. Tretinoin cream, originally developed as a medicine for the treatment of acne, is the only medicine that is indisputably proven to have a skin rejuvenating effect in addition to reducing acne. In cosmetic dermatology, Tretinoin cream is also called the 'miracle drug' against skin aging. Tretinoin cream consists entirely of the cell-communicating substance Retinoic acid, also known as Vitamin A acid. Retinoic acid is a substance that stimulates the regulation of cell development, differentiation and the production of collagen and elastin. This makes skin aging symptoms less visible.
One simple, low-threshold variant of Tretinoin that, unlike the drug Tretinoin, is freely available on the cosmetic market is Retinol. Retinol is metabolized by keratinocytes to the same cell-communicating substance that makes Tretinoin: Retinoic Acid. A study suggests that when metabolizing Retinol to Retinoic Acid, approximately 10% of Retinol is actually converted to Retinoic Acid. Which would mean that the effect of the non-drug Retinol is ten times lower than the prescription drug Tretinoin.
It is unclear whether Retinol 0.5%, with a ten times higher percentage, as Tretinoin 0.05%, is actually as effective as Tretinoin 0.05%. If this is the case, Retinol 0.5% could be used as an alternative to Tretinoin 0.05%.
My aim of the literature review was to map the difference in effectiveness between Retinol 0.5% and Tretinoin 0.05% in the treatment of the three most cosmetically disturbing symptoms of aging skin, lines/wrinkles, pigmentation and roughness. Due to the increasing demand for the drug Tretinoin Cream, GPs and dermatologists are spending more and more time prescribing this drug. In addition, not every GP/dermatologist will prescribe Tretinoin Cream for skin aging symptoms, as it was originally an acne medication. By offering persons in the skin therapeutic practice a non-medicinal alternative, waiting lists, practitioner time and healthcare costs can be saved.
The conclusion of my research was: There is evidence for the effectiveness of Tretinoin 0.05% and Retinol 0.5% on fine/deep lines/wrinkles, pigmentation and roughness. Retinol 0.5% gives the same effect as Tretinoin 0.05%. Skin therapists can advise people who want to reduce skin aging symptoms to start using Retinol 0.05%.
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Skin Project sells Retinol 0.5% and Retinol 1.0%.
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