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is adapalene or tretinoin better

Adapalene vs. Tretinoin

What’s Working Best this Year?

Most of us can admit to dealing with acne at some point in our lives.

Unfortunately, some people are forced to deal with it far more frequently than others. This can range from the regular appearance of small pimples to frequently suffering from severe breakouts.

Retinoids are a class of medications primarily used to treat such breakouts.

Most retinoids work in a similar fashion. Their goal is to help regulate cell growth and turnover. This regulation reduces clogged pores and prevents acne breakouts.

Retinoids can also greatly reduce inflammation, swelling, and discoloration.

All of which are symptoms associated with acne. While retinoids work best to prevent future acne, they can be used to treat some of the symptoms of existing breakouts.

When it comes to adapalene and tretinoin, both can be great for different skin issues. Adapalene is probably the most popular acne treatment on the planet right now and for good reason – it works!

Tretinoin, on the other hand, is a popular option for anti-aging.

So, when it comes to picking between the two, you will want to decide what your overall goal is. Once you have that figured out, the choice between adapalene or tretinoin becomes a lot easier!

  • Want the Best Acne Fighter? Our Choice is Adapalene
  • Looking for an Anti-Aging Serum? Tretinoin Tops the List

1. Adapalene – Our Top-Rated Acne Fighter

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Adapalene is a newer, third generation retinoid.

It was mostly discovered by Galderma Laboratories in France. In 1996, the FDA approved adapalene for the treatment of acne.

There are three different preparations of the ingredient sold in America all by the same brand, Differin.

Strength Options

Those preparations are a 0.1 percent cream, a 0.1 percent gel, and a 0.3 percent gel. There is also a gel version combined with benzoyl peroxide, another acne fighting chemical, but is sold by a different brand.

Key Differences

a woman showers after using a retinoid to treat her acne

Another major difference is that adapalene can inhibit differentiation of keratinocyte. This allows creams with adapalene to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties as well as exfoliating properties.

In many ways, that makes adapalene a slightly better skin care product and is likely one of the reasons that it is quickly growing in popularity.

A third difference is that there have been no reported problems relating adapalene to pregnancy complications. Meanwhile, tretinoin is considered unsafe to use if you are pregnant.

That said, you should still talk with your doctor before using any type of medication, especially if you’re pregnant and/or nursing.

The final major difference between the two is the severity of skin irritation. Tretinoin is known for causing severe burning, itching, and even swelling of the skin.

Using tretinoin to treat acne can be an overall unpleasant experience. Many people stop using it before it has had time to make a difference.

Adapalene can cause some of the same side effects, but they are milder. Less than 10 percent of patients reported experiencing uncomfortable side effects like burning or itching. And in most of those cases, the side effects would go away after four weeks.

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Most people are more willing to deal with the side effects of adapalene compared to tretinoin, thus causing it to rise in popularity.

What’s the Best Adapalene Treatment?

Want to put the best OTC Adapalene treatment to work for you?

Then we recommend checking out Proactiv MD’s 3-Step skincare system.

It’s their latest and best formula ever, and it has been proven to help people with a variety of skin issues, including acne!

Right now is a great time to try it out!

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2. Tretinoin – Better for Anti-Aging?

murads tretinoin treatment

Tretinoin was patented more than 60 years ago in the late 1950’s. It wasn’t until 1962 that it was finally approved for use in medicine.

It has since been added to the List of Essential Medicines that is maintained by the World Health Organization(WHO).

The two primary uses of tretinoin are the topical treatment of acne and the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

The major difference is that it is taken as a pill for leukemia, but applied topically and in smaller amounts when treating acne.

Despite being an effective tool for fighting leukemia, the retinoid sees far more use with acne patients. What is most interesting is that the mechanism of action is not entirely understood.

How it Works

It is believed that one of the primary reasons it is so effective is that it prevents certain cells from sticking together, thus leading to fewer blackheads.

a woman has a tretinoin facial

It also causes those same cells to divide more quickly, which pushes out existing blackheads.

Other Uses

The retinoid is constantly being studied and tested for new uses. It is believed that it can be used to reduce the visibility of scarring and stretch mark.

There are also new studies underway testing whether tretinoin could be used to reverse hair loss. For now, it remains a powerful acne treatment that is available only with a prescription.

What are Retinoids?

Acne-fighting meds…it’s almost as simple as that.

There are three different retinoids prescribed by doctors to treat acne:

They are:

  1. Adapalene
  2. Tretinoin
  3. Tazarotene

Tretinoin and adapalene are the most commonly prescribed of the three.

Tretinoin is older and somewhat more effective than adapalene but leads to more severe skin irritation. Adapalene also happens to be the only retinoid for acne that can be purchased over-the-counter.

Occur Naturally

All retinoids are naturally a chemical component of vitamin A. They actually fill many significant roles within the human body. Aside from regulating cell growth, they also active genes that suppress tumors, improve vision and regulate bone tissue growth.

But it’s only for that first role that they are used primarily in medications designed to treat acne.

Retinoids are divided into three generations. Tretinoin is from the first generation. Adapalene and tazarotene are both from the third generation.

Can You Get Them Over-the-Counter (without a Prescription)?

proactiv acne treatment

Perhaps the main reason that adapalene is rising to the top of the retinoid charts is that it’s now available over-the-counter.

It’s the first and only retinoid for acne to be sold without a prescription. It is available in a 0.1 percent cream by the Differin brand.

Now that more people have access to retinoids and the price is much lower than a prescription, undoubtedly it will become a lot more popular.

The rise in popularity means we’ll likely see multiple studies appearing over the next few decades. These studies will test the efficiency of adapalene and will help improve the medications that use it.

The end result is that customers in the future will have access to even better acne treatments than we have now.

Final Thoughts

Until then, any acne treatment with adapalene is a great option. It’s easier to use than tretinoin and it’s gentle on the skin. And you don’t need to worry about being approved for a prescription if you want to try it for yourself.

The Best Acne Fighter?

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Adapalene gels, like Proactiv MD, are known to have a more stable chemical structure than tretinoin. For this reason, it can be applied with benzoyl peroxide without losing its efficiency.

Tretinoin, on the other hand, cannot. That is one of the few major differences between the two retinoids.

Because of that, Adapalene is our preferred method for treating acne.

Of the best Adapalene treatments out there, Proactiv MD is our favorite.

That’s because, it:

  • Works
  • Is Available without a Prescription
  • Is Affordable

Right now is a great time to try Proactiv with Adapalene!

It’s normally $39.95 for the full treatment, but right now you can get it for just $29.95 with the discount, plus get a FREE gift!

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