How long does it take to see results from Renova and other “vitamin A cousins?”

Hi Dr. Irwin, Can you please tell me how long it actually takes to see results after starting Renova? I know that it helps with cell turnover which has an impact on wrinkles, but does Renova itself help with acne prone skin as well? I am 44 years old and have noticed a considerable change in my body and skin, presumably because I am getting closer to menopause, but I am wondering if I should switch from Renova to Retin-A for the acne breakouts as well as for wrinkles. I have been using Renova for two months now and haven't really noticed a difference. Your thoughts?

Thank you for asking this because I think a lot of people are confused on this one.   ALL skin care products are better for preventing future problems than they are at fixing existing problems.   Sometimes I think it’s a problem of expectations:

Here’s what Renova/tretinoin  (and other retinoids) can do:

  • Give skin a little more glow (cell turnover rate)
  • Make very fine, early wrinkles look better (usually)
  • Help prevent wrinkles later
  • Help prevent skin cancers and precancerous spots (actiinic keratoses)
  • Keep pores unplugged and with more superficial types of acne (not deeper cysts) 

Generally, you may need to see your dermatologist because menopausal acne is often small, deeper cysts especially around the chin and jawline and doesn’t respond all that well to Renova and other topicals.   The Renova/tretinoin is good for the other reasons though.  You may need a different treatment plan.

If you’ve never used retinoids before, have senstitive skin, or are outdoors a lot, start with a retinoid that’s more gentle like the SkinMedica Retinol.    Once you tolerate that well, try going up to this SkinCeuticals Retinol product (stronger) and ………..then move up to the prescription strength.  

Hope this helps,  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!