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Tretinoin, known commercially as Retin-A, Vesanoid, Avita, Renova, and many other names, is a cosmetic miracle ingredient celebrated for its astounding ability to treat acne, visibly reduce fine lines, and smooth out wrinkles

However, as seems to be the pattern with nature, there are known side effects of using Retin-A treatments. These are not as severe, and they can be easily treated. Typical side effects include skin irritation, redness, swelling, and blistering.

What is the Best Moisturizer to Use With Retin-A Treatments?

You should not be looking for the fanciest product, as these often contain reactants against Retin-A that will aggravate any occurring dermatitis. The main priority of the moisturizer you should choose should only be to moisturize.

It should not include additional firming benefits or blemish control, or anything other than simply hydrating the skin. It is intended as a remedy and not a treatment by itself.

Look for humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, that bond moisture from the air to your skin.

Eau Thermale Avene Skin Recovery Cream

Eau Thermale Avene Skin Recovery Cream, Sterile Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin, Fragrance, Paraben, Soy, Gluten Free, 1.6 oz.
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Designed for the most sensitive skin, this moisturizer is perfect for combating the side effects of Retin-A.

Why is it Good and What are its Effects?

The product is made with sterile ingredients and is packaged in the safest means possible. It uses the least amount of ingredients and excludes all known preservatives and irritants for the best skin tolerance. It is, therefore, suitable to use as a treatment addition to Tretinoin serums.

In addition to moisturizing the skin, Avene Skin Recovery Cream also promotes the restoration of the skin’s natural defenses, making it more resilient against the effects of the sun.


  • Light formula that is ideal for sensitive skin
  • Promotes skin restoration


  • Does not add sun protection to the formula

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Water Gel Daily Face Moisturizer for Dry Skin, Oil-Free, Fragrance-Free, Non-Comedogenic & Dye-Free Face Lotion, 1.7 fl. oz
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Whether used as an everyday moisturizer or as a remedy for the side effects of Retin-A, Neutrogena Hydro Boost is one of the best hydration creams available on the market.

Why is it Good and What are its Effects?

The best thing about it is that it can be used with Retin-A treatments, as it is free of any irritant ingredients. Neutrogena’s superior moisturizing formula has all that you need to moisturize your skin against the side effects of Tretinoin but adds nothing new or additional.


  • The best hydrating formula available that is Retinoid friendly


  • No special formulation or additional benefits

Simple Kind to Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer

Simple Kind To Skin Replenishing Rich Moisturizer, 4.2oz, Pack of 2
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As a cheaper alternative to the products mentioned, Simple’s formula is ideal for treating irritation on the skin while moisturizing to counteract against the side effects of Retin-A.

Why is it Good and What are its Effects?

It is a hypoallergenic formula that is rich in skin nutrients and vitamins. This helps restore the natural health of the skin while adding the benefits of glycerin moisturizing.


  • Safe formula ideal to keep as an extra remedy for Retin-A treatments
  • Affordable for most people


  • None found

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Cream

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30 | 3 Ounce | Daily Face Moisturizer with SPF | Fragrance Free
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This is an excellent choice if you want an alternative from day cream moisturizers to help aid the treatment of Retin-A overnight. The CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Cream is a simple formula that works while you are catching some beauty ’Zs.

Why is it Good and What are its Effects?

This product is ideal for night application. It is applicable for many skin conditions and promises to be friendly to Retinoid-treated skin. It not only moisturizes, but also rebuilds the skin’s natural defenses.


  • Perfect to use as a night cream alternative
  • Safe to use on sensitive skin or skin affected by dermatitis


  • No superior benefits

Differin Oil-Absorbing Moisturizer with SPF-30

Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer with Sunscreen- Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30, 1 pack, 4oz
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This is a safe formula that both moisturizes your skin and adds a layer of superior skin protection. It keeps your Retinoid-treated skin from the harsh exposure of sunlight. Differin’s formula comes probably most recommended.

Why is it Good and What are its Effects?

It contains micro pearl technology that absorbs all the excess oil in the skin to give the best matte finish while hydrating the skin. The formula is hypoallergenic and gentle, meaning that it does not contain irritants that will affect the Retin-A treatment. The sun protection formula also includes hydrants like glycerin, for better hydration of the skin.


  • The best formula for added sun protection
  • Safe and gentle formula good for all skin types and friendly on Retin-A treated skin


  • Is best paired with Differin products, like their Adapalene Gel Acne Treatment
Acne Treatment Differin Gel, Acne Spot Treatment for Face w/ Adapalene, 15g, 30 Day Supply, 0.5 Ounce
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How to Moisturize With Retin-A Treatments

Be careful; most patients will have sensitive reactions to Tretinoin, and it can be hard to tolerate. A small percentage are known to have severe reactions, but there are no known health risks involved.

Only pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are advised to completely avoid the use of retinoids. Note that the moisturizer should always be applied after the Retin-A treatment.

Are There Moisturizers That Include Retin-A in Their Formula?

With modern cosmetics advancing at a healthy rate. It is most likely that you will find products that contain a mix of Retin-A and moisturizing ingredients to naturally combat the side effects.

It is risky though to use the two together, as exfoliating deep in the skin can cause irritation. The formulations used in such products would be formulated for the safest results. There are many products to try, with plenty of variations available for every skin type.