Retin A, Renova, or Differin for Wrinkle Prevention and Melasma?

Which is the best for wrinkle prevention, melasma treatment, and clear skin for someone with super sensitive & fair skin? I've done Fraxel many times, I use 4 %hydroquinoine with kojic acid pads, use a 30 spf with zinc oxide, and stay away from the sun as much as possible. Retin A 1% causes dry eye for me and severe irritation & retinol products (OTC or Replenix) is not strong enough. Which is the best: Renova, Differin, or Retin A (micro or .025% or 0.05%)? I've heard Renova causes cancer? Is this true?

Doctor Answers 4

Retin A, Renova, or Differin for Wrinkle Prevention and Melasma?

retinoids alone will not bleach the skin as a bleaching cream like kojic acid, hydroquinone, arbutin or any other bleaching substance may do. Fraxel needs to be combined with vitamin C inmmediately after the laser, and that helps the skin to bleach faster, combined with other topical medications plus a sunscreen SPF30+

Mexico Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

A new treatment is available for melasma with vitamin C and a full-face Iontophoresis mask

A new effective, published treatment is available for melasma with a full-face iontophoresis mask using vitamin C and M2 (mandelic/malic acid) skin care.  This may be used alone or in combination with a new low-energy Q-switched ND;YAG laser treatment. This treatment is safe and effective for all skin types.  The article on this treatment was published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology in January 2013.  The web reference link is included below.  This also improve wrinkles, skin texture and tone.  This treatment is also tolerated well for sensitive skin. 

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Which retinoid to use with melasma

Retin A and Renova both contain the active ingredient tretinoin.  Renova is .02%, there are many strengths of Retin A, the lower the more gentle.  Differin is adapaline, another retinoid which may be better tolerated in some patients.  The most effective retinoid for melisma is Triluma, a tretinoin, hydroquinone and steroid combination.  Complete sun protection is the single most effective measure in fighting melisma.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Retin A, Renova, or Differin for Wrinkle Prevention and Melasma

Renova is similar to Retin-A but it's more cosmetically pleasing, and it does not cause cancer. Differin is for acne, and would not be at all what you are looking for. There are many versions of retin-As and retinoids and retinols, all which are used to treat fine lines and anti-aging. I usually give my patients a few samples to try to see which kind they like best. Another very popular retinoid prescription is Ziana. However, if you want something with a high level of efficacy, but one that won't be overly drying, SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 is great. Finally, always apply retinol to DRY skin, build up to using it (meaning use it only once or twice a week), and if you find you are still dry, after you apply the retinol product, apply a good moisturizer on top of it. This helps tremendously. You don't need to use retinol products daily for them to be effective. Finally, retinols don't help with melasma. There are other options for that but the discoloration is much too deep and these products can't reach the depths to treat them. You need a stronger HQ product or Cosmelan.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.