Am I Suppose to Still Apply Moisturiser After Using my Retina A at Night?

Doctor Answers 4

Moisturizer use with Retin A

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Clinical studies have shown that using a moisturizer with a topical retinoid reduces irritation with no decrease in efficacy. It does not matter which is applied first.

New York Dermatologist

Moisturizers should be used with Retin-A

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I always recommend use of a good facial moisturizer when my patients are using Retin-A, as it has a tendency to dry the skin out.  One tip for using Retin-A: don't apply it right after you wash your face - if your skin is moist, the Retin-A will penetrate more and be more likely to cause irritation.  Wait 15-30 minutes after washing to apply your Retin-A for the best tolerability.  Make sure the moisturizer you are using is specifically formulated for the face and is labeled as "non-comedogenic," which means that it shouldn't cause breakouts.

Anita Shetty, MD
Atlanta Dermatologist

Moisturizers with Retin-A

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You can apply moisturizer before or after Retin-A... This will not decrease the efficacy of the Retin-A.  If you have a tendency to be dry I encourage you to apply your moisturizer before the Retin-A.  Remember that Retin-A is only for night use. 

Hope this helps. 


Dr. Grant Stevens              Marina Plastic Surgery Associates           Marina del Rey, CA The Institute

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

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Retin-A and Moisturizer

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Retin-A has a tendency to dry the skin out a lot, so I actually prefer my patients do apply the Retin-A to dry skin. Then wait a few minutes and add moisturizer over it. You will need to ask your prescribing physician if he/she has another preference, but this is the way I've done it for almost 30 years and it allows the Retin-A to be effective without overdrying the skin.

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.