Does it matter which Retin A (retinoid) I use for acne?

Hi Dr.Irwin! You've answered my question before and you are my skin guru! I just have one more question.I am in my early 40-s ,not too oily now but still acne prone.I'm using retin - a micro now but soon I will need a refill .Should I stick with it or switch to Renova?Also do you have an opinion regarding brand vs. Generic formulation Of tretinoids?Thanks a lot.Agata.

You are so welcome!  All the retinoids you mention will work about the same so it’s really about the base.  The Renova or Refissa will be the most moisturizing (for dryer skin), the Retin A – micro more for oilier skin types.  The generics really depend on the base the active is put in.  Generally, they are cheaper and in a mid-weight base or slightly drying. More on retinoids.

There are some non-prescription Retinols that are good quality, not quite as strong as the prescription versions and somewhat less irritating.

Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!