Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post in Skincare Aware

Suggestions for tretinoin/retin-a alternatives!!

Backstory!!: I've been using 0.05% tretinoin cream for the past 2 years to treat mild inflammatory acne. For the first year, I'd used it every night and saw great results. However, I didn't like the fact that my skin became so sensitive and easily red from any minor irritation. So, for the past year I've been using it just once a week. It's gotten rid of my acne (hooray!), aside from the occasional hormonal pimple (those are the worst!). Not only has it helped my acne, but my skin is much smoother and pores are smaller. But, when I stop using for more than a few weeks, I can tell the texture of my skin starts to become rough and uneven (but acne is not affected).


Basically, I want to stop using tretinoin and find alternative products/regimens to see similar results! I think it might be a matter of beginning to use chemical exfoliants since my acne seems to be under control now, but I would love to hear from you all!


Do you have any experience weaning off prescription retin-a products and found anything to be helpful in maintaining skin post-topical acne meds?!

Re: Suggestions for tretinoin/retin-a alternatives!!

Hi @nayah. It sounds like you've done a good job already weaning yourself off of Tretinoin. I am also on Tretinoin, but find I still need it to treat my acne. Some questions: are you still looking for prescription topical alternatives to treat your acne, or just regular products for skin texture now that your skin is clear? If you want some good prescription topicals that are less harsh, I recommend Finacea foam (Azelaic acid) and Aczone. If you want just regular products to treat texture and even out skin tone, I recommend a good Vitamin C serum, Niacinamide, glycolic acid, and even the type of azelaic acid that you can get without a prescription. I use most of these in products and they have really helped the texture of my skin and given my skin a nice glow. You can also try a chemical exfoliant, as you mentioned, with AHA/BHA once a week.

1 Reply
Conversation Stats
  • 1 reply
  • 1 Hearts Given
  • 2 Contributors