The Nightly Routine for Retin-A (tretinoin)
Retin-A (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. Temporary warmth or stinging may be felt. Sensitive areas to be avoided include around the eyes, nose, and mouth. Spot treatment should be avoided due to reduced efficacy and blotchiness. Patients are warned to expect temporary irritation with peeling that usually lasts up to 6 weeks. If the irritation becomes excessively bothersome, a several day break from treatment can be done. Moisturizing lotions can be applied, if necessary, after the tretinoin cream. I do not recommend you apply AHA treatments at night as this can be too irritating. It's safer to apply them in the morning.
Retin A and anti aging skin regimen
Of all the topical anti aging creams available, retinoids like Retin A, Renova and Tazorac are by far the best anti aging topicals available. All others, like alpha hydroxy acids and growth factors, help improve the skin but not as well as retinoids. In addition to stimulating epidermal cell turnover, retinoids induce (to some degree) new collagen deposition in the dermis and help prevent activation of enzymes, called metalloproteinases, which break down existing collagen under the influence of ultraviolet light.
I recommend to my patients to start their retinoid regimen slowly, twice a week at night time and to use a broad spectrum sunscreen daily. Then the retinoid should be gradually increased to every night. Retinoids should be used at nighttime only as UV light can disrupt their effectiveness.
So, if you eventually use you AHA in the morning and retinoids at night, that should work well, although you should start out slowly. Both can potentially irritate the skin.
Retin A incorporated into an anti-aging regimen
Retin A and other retinoids are a vital component to most anti aging regimens. Typically, they are applied nightly to the face in a very thin layer after cleansing the face. Moisturizers can be applied over the topical retinoid. As always, I recommend seeking the assistance of a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to tailor a specific skin care regimen for your needs.