What is Obagi Tretinoin cream, and how do I use it??


What is Obagi Tretinoin cream, and how do I use it??

By Eve Thompson, Practice Manager

Obagi Tretinoin is one of the most widely used prescription topical retinoids for treating and preventing mild to moderate acne, Hyper Pigmentation and reducing the signs of ageing. It is a powerful and highly effective retinoid with noticeable, long-lasting results making it easy to love using. Whether you are using it for acne prevention or anti-ageing, you must use it effectively.

Our skin is not tolerant to Vitamin A, so it is crucial that you gradually build up its tolerance. Obagi Tretinoin comes in different strengths ranging from 0.025% to 0.1%.

Although Tretinoin is a safe medication, it can cause some minor side effects, so the correct strength must be prescribed to you. You can ask our skin care professionals about the potential advantages of adding Tretinoin to your skincare regimen.

The most common side effects are dry skin, peeling/flaky skin, redness and irritation, these side effects will be seen during the first two to six weeks of treatment. Seeing small side effects is completely normal and is nothing to worry about. However, to reduce the risk of experiencing these, it is advised that you usually start with a low-mid strength Tretinoin.

Step 1

Wash your skin thoroughly with your recommended Obagi Cleanser and warm water using your fingertips in small circular motions. (Do not wash your face with a sponge or washcloth).

Step 2

Gently pat dry using a clean towel, or better still a facial tissue.


Wait for 20 – 30 minutes until your skin is completely dry, as applying Tretinoin to damp skin can cause irritation.

Step 4

Using your fingertips, apply a pea-sized amount and apply to the whole face, or just to the affected areas. Do not use this medicine in or around the eyes, lips or corners of the nose. You can repeat this process as recommended by your skin care provider. It is advised that you start by using this product two to three times a week and gradually build up your tolerance to it. Eventually, you will be using your Tretinoin every single day.

Step 5

While using Tretinoin your, skin can become more sensitive to UV light, so please, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

You must be extra diligent about sun protection for you to get the most out of Tretinoin. Also, daily sunscreen use can help prevent premature skin ageing, just another welcome bonus!

While using Tretinoin, you must:

  • Minimise exposure to the sun and extreme cold or wind.
  • Avoid sunbeds and ultraviolet light.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Stop using Tretinoin if you get a sunburn.
  • Avoid washing your skin too often, scrubbing the affected skin or using other products with a drying effect.


Obagi Tretinoin can seriously make a difference in your skincare regimen. Regardless of your age or skin type, Tretinoin CAN work for you! The multiple benefits you will achieve will far outweigh the downtime included while using this product!