Tretinoin is used in prescription acne, hyperpigmentation, ageing & hair loss treatments

Tretinoin is an active form of vitamin A which is available as a prescription only treatment in the UK for suitable patients. In skincare topical Tretinoin treatment can target a range of conditions including acne, melasma, hyperpigmentation and skin ageing. It comes in many strengths ranging from 0.001-0.1% though when we use it we mostly use Tretinoin 0.0125%, 0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1% depending on each patient’s skin concerns, tolerance and sensitivity. By far the most common way Tretinoin is available is as a cream but we also sometimes use it in gel formulas for patients who need this.

Benefits in Skincare

Tretinoin is a retinoid that stimulates cell division. It improves the skin by removing old and damaged cells. This reveals new and healthier ones. It also stimulates collagen and blood vessel formation. As such, topical Tretinoin has been traditionally used in prescription treatments to treat a number of skin conditions including:

  • Acne vulgaris and Rosacea
  • Texture and scars
  • Hyperpigmentation (pigmented patches) and melasma
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Clogged and large pores
  • Sun damage
Information card for Tretinoin cream and gel 0.0125 0.025 0.05 0.1 in personalised prescription skincare for face and body in UK and comparison with generic vs Obagi

Treatments with Tretinoin

Due to it’s multiple benefits, we use Tretinoin in several of our personalised prescription skincare treatments either as a cream or gel for suitable patients. The strength and whether we use it alone or with other ingredients depends on the patients health, skin concerns, goals and preferences. The treatments we may use Tretinoin in are:

Prescription Tretinoin Creams & Gel Treatments Online

Please note that Tretinoin cream and gel treatments are available by prescription only. We add them to our personalised skincare treatments if we think that they are appropriate and safe for the patient. To get your bespoke skincare treatment, you will need to complete the online consultation form or book a virtual video consultation with one of our doctors first. They will include Tretinoin in your cream or gel treatment if they think it is needed and at the best strength for you to start on. They’ll also decide if any other ingredients are worth adding to your formula but will take into account any wishes or preferences you’ve expressed where possible. In addition your doctor will also provide you with a customised protocol and ongoing follow up throughout your journey. You will have access to your doctor by email at any time as part of your treatment.



    Your doctor will design a personalised skincare treatment and program for you to follow. The cost of the consultation will be deducted from any skincare purchase.


    This is a 3 month supply of a bespoke skin treatment. The cost depends on whether you will require a once daily or twice daily treatment so please visit our treatment pages for full break down. Your doctor will create a personalised treatment taking into account your health, skin concerns, goals and wishes.


    This is a 3 month supply of treatment (100ml). Your doctor will create a personalised treatment taking into account your health, hair loss concerns, goals and wishes.

Treatment Time Clock

Treatment Time
15 Minutes

Duration of effect calendar

Duration of effect
3-4 Months

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Back to Work
Same Day

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What’s the Difference Between Compound Tretinoin vs Generics & Brands like Obagi?

Topical Tretinoin skincare is available as compounded formulations like in our personalised treatments as well as in off-the-shelf products. Compounded medicines are created by specialist pharmacies on the request of prescribers for specific patients. These treatments are freshly made for each individual patient based on what their doctors prescribed. They offer the flexibility of tailoring everything from the base formula (e.g. gel or cream) to the active ingredients. However, these products are not licensed and tend to have short expirations ranging from 1-3 months usually (ours are 3 months).

Off-the-shelf topical Tretinoin products are used off-license for skincare treatments. They usually only contain the active ingredients and tend to have a longer expiry date before opening. Their are generic forms as well as and branded. Obagi Tretinoin cream is one of the most famous and popular prescription brands. It comes in 3 strengths of Tretinoin 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 cream and Obagi also offer a Tretinoin gel in 0.05 strength. Regardless of The active ingredients in a compounded Tretinoin cream or gel are exactly the same as in generic and brands including Retirides or Obagi. The only difference between them all is the formulation.

Personalised skincare that actually works and why you should use city skin clinic online skincare dermatology clinic

Important Information

Retinoids are a family of Vitamin A and its derivatives. They can treat acne, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and correct hyperpigmentation. Retinoids increase cell turnover, boost production of collagen and stimulate the production of new blood vessels. ⁠Retinoic acid is already in its active form and so works significantly faster than retinol and other retinoids.

Topical retinoic acid alsoe goes by as Retin-A or Tretinoin.⁠ Basically, Tretinoin is the generic name for this product and is the same thing as Retin-A. The latter is just a brand name for Retinoic acid. Tretinoin cream or gel is often used off-license in the topical treatment of acne vulgaris. It is a prescription only treatment that can also improve skin texture, scarring hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. Tretinoin is available as a topical cream or gel by prescription only in the UK either in compound formulations like our personlised treatments or generic or branded off the shelf products like Retirides or Obagi.


If you are aware of any allergies to Tretinoin or similar products please let your doctor know. You must not use this product if you have or develop an allergy to any of the ingredients. Furthermore, the safety and efficacy of Tretinoin are not established in patients younger than 12 years of age. Nor is it recommended for use by pregnant or breast feeding women. In addition, please let your doctor know if you suffer from eczema, fish allergy or have any sores, burns or wounds.

How to use Tretinoin

This is a prescription treatment and you must use it as directed by your doctor. After your consultation, your doctor will design a treatment plan just for you. This will include the strength of Tretinoin to start with. It will also tell you how often to use it and when you can increase the frequency and/or concentration.

In addition to the personalised instructions, there are some general cautions to observe when using Tretinoin. Firstly, do not apply this medicine to windburned or sunburned skin or on open wounds. Secondly, do not use this medicine in or around the eyes or lips unless advised by your doctor to do so. Nor should you use it inside of the mouth or nose or any other cavity.

We will advise you where in you skincare routine you should use Tretinoin. In general, we advise washing your skin with a cleanser and warm water. Then gently pat dry and make sure your skin is completely dry before applying Tretinoin cream. We normally suggest using a pea-sized amount and spreading it to cover your face. As Tretinoin can cause skin dryness, we normally recommend following up with a moisturiser. In addition, we also advise all patients to wear sun protection during the day.

Side effects of Tretinoin

Common side effects include skin irritation, redness, peeling, and dryness, particularly in the initial stages of treatment. Some users may experience a temporary worsening of their skin condition. Increased sensitivity to sunlight is another notable side effect. Less commonly, some users might experience severe irritation, swelling, blistering or crusting of the skin. Some users may also experience allergic reactions, leading to itching, swelling or severe redness. It is essential to use Tretinoin as prescribed and discuss any adverse effects with your healthcare provider. If any of these occur, we would either stop the treatment or adjust it to a level or frequency that you can tolerate.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, absolutely if your doctor feels this is safe and appropriate for you. We encourage all our patients to express their wishes and concerns when we design their treatment. Wherever possible we respect and accommodate these as long as we feel it is medically safe and beneficial to do so.

All our treatments are compound formulas made individually for each patient and should to be used over 3 months from when they're dispensed. Its important to use exactly as directed in your treatment plan.

Our treatments can only be offered after a consultation with a doctor to ensure that they are appropriate for you. This ensures that the treatment is safe for you to use and that it meets your treatment goals. Your doctor will also be able to answer any questions you have and provide you with a personalised treatment plan so you get the most out of your treatment and avoid irritation or side-effects.

Yes. We offer either online consultation forms or video appointments. Whatever option you choose, you will have the same doctor dedicated to you throughout your treatment and get a personalised experience.

Yes, if you are a new client to our clinic. This is to ensure that we create a treatment that is appropriate and safe for you using the best ingredients for your skin.

You will have direct access to your doctor by email so you can ask questions, get advice and let them know if you have any problems.

No, you just need to reach out to your doctor by email and they will arrange your follow up. This maybe by email or a virtual video follow up depending on the problem.

Absolutely not. We never charge for any follow up or aftercare. You can contact your doctor at any time for advice, updates and any issues.

No, you can just email your doctor and they will assist you.

No it is not. We are really passionate about putting you in control of your treatment. Everyone responds differently and we may adjust your treatment formula after completing each course based on how your skin responds. That's why we don't think subscriptions make sense for a personalised journey. We leave it up to you to let us know when you need a refill and we make it very easy to order these.

Unfortunately we can only offer our services to people based in the UK.

Your product(s) will be delivered straight to your home. It usually takes 2-3 business days for products to arrive.

Nope! All our prices are as listed on the website. The fees also include delivery.


Compounded treatments like the ones we use are unlicensed medications because they are custom-made for each patient based on a specific formulation tailored to their unique needs. Unlike licensed medications, which are approved by regulatory bodies for general use, compounded treatments are created by pharmacists to meet the specific requirements of an individual patient as prescribed by their doctor. While they do not undergo the same approval process as licensed medications, they offer a personalised approach that can address specific concerns where a licensed treatment doesn't exist effectively under professional supervision.