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Does Retin A Remove Dark Spots?

by Ella Goodman 20 Nov 2019

acne scars, and dark spot treatment

Dark spots and discolorations are one of the least talked about skincare concerns. You can find acne treatments and anti-aging serums at every turn, but the products used to treat dark spots are a little more obscure. This is especially true when you look for over the counter creams for your dark spots that actually work

If you’re dealing with skin discolorations, “age” spots, hyperpigmentation, or even scars you’d like to see lightened, finding a product over the counter that actually does the job it’s supposed to do is a challenge. You’ll find yourself reading about alpha hydroxy acids on one skin care product, and salicylic acid on another. But without understanding the science behind these sulfa drugs, more often than not, you end up spending time and money on a range of products that do a mediocre job at best. At worst, you may find yourself using skin care “treatments” that actively clog pores and cause skin problems, including fine lines, acne, and the dreaded dark spots.

The next step is to head to the dermatologist and hear whether there’s a doctor prescribed product that can lighten or completely remove the dark spots that trouble you. Seeking professional medical advice can be costly, and it can be especially frustrating if you’ve already tried—and failed—to seek out over the counter treatments.

What Dermatologists Say About Removing Dark Spots

Skin discolorations and dark spots are actually a common problem, with an entire range of causes. We each have a certain amount of melanin in our skin which determines how dark spots affect us, meaning that there’s some genetic components at play. In addition to genetic factors, dark spots can be caused by injury, illness, hyperpigmentation, excessive exposure to the sun, and the natural process of skin aging. 

For a long time, people just accepted dark spots as a fact of life and learned to live with their new appearance. Then a few decades ago, we began to discover that there were ways to reduce or completely eliminate skin discolorations.

Today, dermatologists have tools at their disposal that enable them to reduce the visibility of dark spots, and in some cases, address the root cause. These range from laser treatments that kill darkened cells to topical products that treat the skin cells in a more natural way. 

Today, one of the most popular treatments prescribed by dermatologists is known as Retin A.

How Effective Is Retin A for Treating Dark Spots?

Retin A is one of several brand names of a retinoid called tretinoin. Tretinoin is derived from vitamin A, and first received FDA approval to be used for the treatment of acne in 1971. Nearly 50 years later, we know so much more about Retin A, including how you can use tretinoin to reduce and remove dark spots.

Discovering how topical tretinoin works to reduce dark spots happened—like many things in the medical community—almost by accident. Individuals who were using tretinoin as an acne treatment began noticing other benefits, such as how their skin tone evened out, became smoother, and dark spots began to fade. Retin A’s antiaging properties were discovered in much the same way. Since then, a multitude of studies have been conducted producing overwhelming affirmation of Retin A’s effects on the skin.

Retin A removes dark spots through one of its primary mechanisms – cellular regeneration. Retin A works on a cellular level to encourage skin cell turnover and renewal. This is key in reducing the appearance of dark spots. 

In many cases, dark spots are caused by damaged or aging skin cells that aren’t functioning the way they should. Too much melanin is produced, and dark spots appear. As Retin A goes to work, it speeds up the process of cellular renewal, especially in targeted areas. Damaged and dead skin cells are replaced with new, healthy ones, and the dark spots eventually fade into oblivion.

Cautions of Using Retin A for Dark Spots

Of course, there’s a flip side to everything, and we couldn’t expect something that works as wonderfully as Retin A to remove dark spots to not come with a few downsides. Retin A produces side effects in some people, with some of them being fairly unpleasant, especially in individuals with sensitive skin.

treat acne, dark spots and hyperpigmentation

One of the biggest known side effects to Retin A is that it can cause skin irritation. Because Retin A works by increasing the rate of cell turnover, it can dry out your skin, causing symptoms like: 


  • Redness

  • Itching

  • “Dried-out” feeling


Using tretinoin consistently may cause these symptoms to lessen over time. As your skin adjusts to using tretinoin, it may begin to produce more oil to combat feelings of dryness and skin irritation. However, some people are simply more sensitive to using tretinoin than others, and not everyone will be able to tolerate it. This is a part of the reason why Retin A is only available through a prescription by a Board Certified Dermatologist. 

Another precaution to take while using Retin A has to do with protecting your skin from the sun. Retin A increases the skin’s photosensitivity, which can be a bit of a Catch-22, since sun damage is one of the main causes of skin discoloration. The key to a topical retinoid without causing additional sun damage is to apply sunscreen regularly and to wear sun protective clothing whenever possible. 

Finally, the safety of using Retin A long term has not been fully established. If your only purpose of using Retin A is to remove dark spots, then you’re probably not looking at extended use unless your condition is severe. However, it has been established that Retin A is not safe for use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding – two times in a woman’s life when hormonal influences are known to cause skin discoloration issues. You may also want to be careful about using Retin A if you’re on birth control, as birth control can influence many of the same hormones as pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

A Gentler Alternative to Retin A for Treating Dark Spots

Retin A is a prescription strength retinoid used to treat a range of skin conditions, including to treat acne, sun damage, and dark spots. However, it isn’t the only retinoid out there. There is another category of non-prescription strength retinols that are equally effective against dark spots and signs of aging, but are gentler on your skin and avoid many of the uncomfortable side effects as Retin A.

If you’re dealing with dark spots that you would like to see vanish into thin air, applying a non-prescription strength retinoid cream such as Admire My Skin’s Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream can be just the solution you’re looking for. This gentle tretinoin cream contains additional skin regenerating ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, which can help you treat skin problems quickly. 

How to Use Admire My Skin’s Tretinoin Cream to Improve Your Skin

Applying tretinoin to your skin shouldn’t be an ordeal. With Admire My Skin’s Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream, you can use tretinoin as part of your daily skin care routine. Use a pea sized amount of tretinoin cream on your skin, paying special attention to fine lines, dark spots, and acne scars. 

Remember to apply sunscreen during the day to protect your skin against UV radiation. The more you can keep your skin healthy by protecting it from the sun, cleaning out clogged pores, and treating it with gentle tretinoin creams, the more beautiful your skin will be for years to come. 

You don’t have to start with the harshest treatment to see the most immediate results. While prescription retinoids may be necessary for some users, applying a thin layer of a gentile tretinoin cream may be all your skin needs to begin showing results.  

Discover Admire My Skin Best Skin Lightening Cream to Correct Dark Spots

remove deep wrinkles, fine wrinkles and uneven skin tope



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