Can Retin A or Renova Be Used on the Chest and Neck?

I am using Retin A micro gel .04% on my face for the last two weeks. I have much sun damage on my face and neck as well from years of outdoor swimming. Is it worth trying Retin A or Renova on my neck and chest? I'm going to try complete sun avoidance this summer and only go out to swim after 6PM. Would it be better to try IPL or would a few months of Retin A or Renova yield better results? What strength would be best for neck and chest? I'm worried about the cost as well, as the 40 gram tube of Retin A micro gel cost me $170.00. Why is this SO expensive?

Doctor Answers 9

It works, but cost is an issue

Frankly, I'd bathe in tretinoin or tazarotene if I could, becasue retinoids do so much to improve the appearance of aging skin. It is not only safe, but recommended on the hands, neck, and chest, especially if you are doing any laser or peel treatments. Of course, daily sunscreen is a must.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Retin-A (Tretinoin Cream) for the Chest and Neck

Retin-A (tretinoin cream) is the best option to reverse sun-damaged skin on the chest and neck, as well as the face. Treatment with Retin-A (tretinoin) should be individualized with factors such as age, skin type, degree of photodamage, and presence of other skin conditions taken into consideration. Therapy should start with a lower concentration such as 0.025% or 0.05% to minimize irritation and redness. Tretinoin cream should be applied in the evening to clean, dry skin at least 20 to 30 minutes after washing. The affected area is covered lightly and evenly. The generic form of Retin-A, tretinoin cream, is equally as effective and much less expensive. 

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


Retin-A is a magical.  No lotion or portion works as well for reversing aging of the skin.  It is expensive but have you priced the stuff a the beauty counter lately.  Those products are all very pricey and can't touch Retin-A in terms of effectiveness.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Yes it works!

I believe that everyone should be using a retinoid if they can tolerate it! It definitely works on the chest and neck, but skin irritation and cost are the drawbacks. Also, it can make your skin slightly more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen.

Diane Orlinsky, MD
Towson Dermatologic Surgeon

Retin-A for neck and chest

Retin-A is a great product to minimize fine lines and sun damage.  It should be used anywhere you have sun damage, including the neck, chest, and hands.  If you can work up to a higher percentage of Retin-A, you will also see more noticeable results.  You correctly point out the importance of sun avoidance and protection.  A powerful sunscreen is required with the use of Retin-A, especially given the cost of Retin-A.  

Kristin Egan, MD
Manhattan Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Retin A or Renova for chest, neck or other areas

Retin-A creams are beneficial in any sun damaged area or area where you are trying to improve appearance such as the back of the hands, forearms, neck and chest. These products are the most studied anti-aging products on the market and considered the gold standard topical product as far as results. It helps improve texture and tone of skin, reduces brown spots and hyperpigmentation, and helps with fine lines. It can often be combined with other anti-aging treatments such as Botox, fillers, peels etc.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Retin-A and Renova great for sun damaged skin

Tretenoin products like Renova and Retin-A are helpful where ever there is skin damage. By all means use it as tolerated in all of the areas that you mentioned. We recommend starting with the lowest dosage, than gradually increase the  strength as tolereated.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Retin-A retinols for the neck, chest, and hands

The only barrier to the use of retinol on just about any skin is the price.  I would focus the product on the most sun damaged areas which are generally the face and hands followed by the upper chest and neck.

Chad K. Wheeler, MD
Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Retin A

Retin A is great for the chest and neck.
Combined with sun protection it will help reverse sun damage.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.