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Why is Tretinoin So Expensive?

by Ella Goodman 04 Mar 2020

If you want beautiful, healthy skin you need to take good care of it. There’s lots of advice out there on the best way to do this, but the one thing that we can all agree upon is that quality skincare products are one of the best things you can do for healthy complexion. You want to treat your skin with care, and sometimes that means working with a medical skincare professional who can assess the health of your skin and recommend treatment for your unique skincare issues.

If you’ve taken a trip to the dermatologist for expert advice on skincare, you’ve probably noticed that it isn’t the least expensive option available. Office visits and treatments can be costly, and insurance isn’t quick to cover non-essential treatments. It’s one thing to expect the actual office visit to be expensive but then there is also a bit of sticker shock once you discover how pricey the medications they prescribe are. If you’ve used or are curious about using tretinoin, you might be wondering why on earth the stuff is so expensive.

What Is Tretinoin and What Makes It Different from Other Retinols?

Tretinoin is a substance that’s a member of the family of retinoids. Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A, known for their ability to repair, restore, and improve the health of our skin. There are different types of retinoids, with tretinoin being among the strongest. Its strength and potency are the reasons why you need a prescription for tretinoin, which is often prescribed under the brand name of Retin-A.

Retinols are also retinoids but they’re not as strong as tretinoin. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective. In fact, retinols have shown in some cased to be just as effective as tretinoin for certain applications. It’s simply that these results can take a little longer to manifest considering the lower strength of retinol products. Retinol can be found in a practically endless number of skincare products, which you don’t need a prescription for at all. As you might guess, over-the-counter retinols are far less expensive than their prescription strength tretinoin retinoid counterparts.

Why Is Tretinoin So Expensive?

As with all prescription medications, the exact cost of tretinoin varies greatly depending on where you purchase it. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $120 to over $200 for your standard tube of tretinoin cream or ointment. Keep in mind that tretinoin is the generic formula. Brand name Retin-A might cost a little bit more, although according to the leading prescription drug price monitoring sites, there isn’t a considerable difference between the two.

If you’re paying for tretinoin out of pocket, and intend to use it long term, the costs can quickly add up. For many, the cost alone is enough to keep tretinoin and Retin-A out of reach as a solution to their skincare concerns.

So of course, the question is why is tretinoin so expensive? As an approved medication for acne, it has been around for decades. Generally, the older a medication is, the more accessible it becomes from a price standpoint. We could spend an entire day speculating on all the reasons that tretinoin is so expensive, but it all really comes down to just a couple of factors.

First is research. Although tretinoin has been approved for the treatment of acne for decades now, the companies that make tretinoin products have an interest in furthering their research and pursuing approval by the FDA for further approved applications.

Secondly, there has been an increase in the use of online physicians and pharmacies to diagnose, prescribe, and acquire medications. Because tretinoin is a skincare product, it’s often viewed as being a bit of a minor player as far as pharmaceuticals are concerned. It’s just as important to follow instructions for the use of tretinoin as it is for any other prescription medication products you might use. Side effects are generally mild and short lived but that doesn’t mean that improper use won’t come with some seriously unpleasant consequences. The higher cost of tretinoin makes it more likely that those who need or want to use it will see a licensed medical skincare expert in person, so that their insurance might cover at least part of the costs.

Finally, the effectiveness and demand of tretinoin are major factors in its cost. Tretinoin costs more than many other skincare medications and treatments because it works, and the demand for it currently is high enough that consumers are willing to pay the higher cost for a treatment they have come to love and rely on.

Is Tretinoin Cost Worth It?

Is tretinoin worth blowing the bank on? There is certainly no shortage of devoted users who think so, but that question remains one that only you can answer for yourself. If you’re interested in the benefits of tretinoin but aren’t keen on the price tag, a quality non-prescription retinoid cream might be exactly the solution you’re looking for.

What’s the secret to getting the same results as tretinoin from a non-prescription cream? Choose a non-prescription retinoid cream that is clinical strength and formulated with active ingredients that complement retinols incredible power to rejuvenate your skin. Admire My Skin’s Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream contains 2.5% retinol as well as plant stem cells and hyaluronic acid. Retinoids have an amazing capacity to improve your skin and restore your beautiful complexion, but you don’t necessarily need the strongest one to see the desirable results you’re looking for.

Buy Over the Counter Tretinoin Cream Alternatives

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