Tri-luma for Anti-aging?

My doctor prescribed Tri-luma instead of Retin-a for anti-aging. Will this make me pale and will I still be able to tan (in the sun or with sunless tanner)? I am light tan in color, but I don't want to bleach my whole face. I was reading that this is only prescribed to treat melasma, which I do not have. Also, can I still do self-tanner in the morning or will the Tri-luma prevent my skin from tanning? He said to apply a very thin layer over my entire face.

Doctor Answers 5

Triluma Not for Extended Periods

Due to the steroid component, Triluma is not recommended to be used continuously for longer than 8 weeks> After that time, the skin should take a brief vacation (holiday). This is because the skin corticosteroids have the potential to thin the skin, although the steroid in Triluma is quite mild.

Triluma does have tretinoin in it, the same ingredient as Retin A, but in my view, if you are looking toward an anti-aging topical, why not use pure tretinoin? If you have uneven pigment, then Triluma might be a consideration.

I concur with Dr. Chen that it will not do much for under eye discoloration.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Triluma is an option

Triluma is often prescribed "off-label" for irregular pigmentation that is the result of photoaging and tanning. It does have a retinoid, tretinoin, as well as a bleaching agent and an mild cortisone to prevent irritation. It is the cortisone product that causes us to recommend Triluma for 6 months or less. What I do not understand is why you WANT to tan your face. If you want an anti-aging program, it must begin with cessation of tanning.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Triluma better than Retin A

If you have dark circles under your eyes or darker skin patches then certainly Triluma is better than Retin A. You will not look pale from Triluma and will not lose your ability to tan.  If you are a female then remember you should not get pregnant while on these products Retin A or Triluma.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 104 reviews


Tri-Luma contains 3 primary components: hydroquinone, tretinoin and a mild cortisone. I agree with Dr. Coleman that because of the mild cortisone, it should not be used indefinitely. Furthermore, am not sure the undereye dark circles would benefit much from Tri-Luma.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Tri-Luma is indicated for excess pigmentation

Tri-Luma is indicated for excess pigmentation. It contains a retinoid, a cousin of Retin A, so it will help with aging changes. The problem is that it also contains a cortisone compound which cannot be used indefinitely on the face. If you are happy with your pigmentation, Retin A may be the more prudent approach.

William P. Coleman III, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.