Should Retin A (Or Any Other Retinoid) Be Applied in a Dark Room?

Doctors keep saying that Retin A (or Renova, or Atralin, or any other type or retinoid) should be applied at night because a) it makes the skin photosensitive and b) light deteriorates the active ingredient. Then, does that mean that we should apply Retin A in a dark room, with the lights turned off and immediately go to bed after applying it, in complete darkness? Please clarify because all people apply their facial creams in well lit bathrooms or dressing tables.

Doctor Answers 1

Applying Retin-A in a dark room.

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Photo sensitivity can happen if you are out in the sun, or going tanning.  Make sure to wear SPF 30 on a daily basis to avoid any complications. As far as application method, go ahead and apply it like how you would any other moisturizer at night.  Apply one application of Retin-A / Retinol complex / Adapalene (These are all retinoic acid derivatives) wait 2-4 days and until all of the redness goes away before you apply the next application. (Doing a test patch in a small area may be the best way to start. You should wait for 2-5 days for the test patch to reveal a reaction.) Keep doing this until you can tolerate the Retinoic Acid on a nightly basis.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

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