Top 5 Actives That You Can Combine With Tretinoin

You may have come across every DIY trick, product, and beauty secret in the skincare world by now.

Tretinoin, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid… the list is very long. These effective ingredients work exceptionally great on their own, but how do they do when you mix them together?

The answer is simple. Magic!

But how do you mix these powerful ingredients? Refer to our detailed guide to understand what these powerful ingredients do for your skin and how to choose one to pair with tretinoin.

Let’s get to it!

Table Of Content

  • What Is Tretinoin?
  • What Are Actives?
  • Top 5 Actives Tretinoin Combinations
  • Can You Mix Tretinoin With Actives?
  • How To Choose The Best Combination
  • Bottomline

What Is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin, like retino a 0.025 cream, is a topical prescription medication most commonly used to treat acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

It belongs to a class of drugs known as retinoids, which work by increasing cell turnover and promoting collagen production.

Some people get  tretinoin cream and even use tretinoin gel products to treat hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin.

What Are Actives?

Active ingredients are molecules that have a specific effect on the skin, such as smoothing wrinkles or brightening the complexion. They’re commonly used in skincare products because they can help improve the appearance of your skin – whether you’re looking to reduce the signs of aging, minimize breakouts, or even just brighten your complexion.

There are lots of different types of actives. For example, antioxidants help protect your skin from environmental damage and free radicals, while peptides can boost collagen production and offer anti-aging benefits.

Why do we need to know about them?

Actives are a great addition to any skincare routine, as they can help improve the look and feel of your skin in many different ways. Significantly.

Top 5 Actives Tretinoin Combinations

Skincare actives are ingredients that have a specific function in improving the appearance and health of the skin. Think glycolic acid for exfoliating, retinol for anti-aging, or hyaluronic acid for hydration.

These powerhouse ingredients can truly transform your complexion when incorporated into a skincare routine. Some skincare experts recommend mixing tretinoin with a peptide serum or hyaluronic acid for added anti-aging benefits.

However, you need to choose a combination based on your skin concern and not because someone says so!


It’s important to do a patch test before fully incorporating these products into your routine and to always follow the directions on the packaging.

Rule of thumb, stick to one potent chemical in your skin routine and apply a lower dosage of other gentle on-skin products. As always, consult with a dermatologist before making any major changes to your skincare routine to be extra sure.

So, here are the top 5 skincare actives that you should definitely have in your routine?

  1. Vitamin C – This antioxidant brightens and evens out skin tone while also protecting against environmental damage. Tretinoin and actives become a powerhouse duo, able to tackle even the most stubborn skin concerns. If you mix tretinoin with vitamin C, the layering effect could be a boon for your skin.

Tretinoin boosts cell turnover for smoother, brighter skin, and vitamin C brightens and decreases inflammation for a plump, dewy complexion.

2. Peptides

Peptides are a group of molecules, made up of amino acids, that can be found in all living things, including the human body. They help to play an important role in building and maintaining skin tissues, as well as ensuring that the skin remains healthy, firm, and wrinkle-free.

Peptides have been shown to be effective when used with tretinoin, as they usually are good with other forms of tretinoin. But to help prevent any skin damage from exposure to UV rays, use this combination at night.

  1. Glycolic Acid – Glycolic acid is a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates the skin, reducing the appearance of pores and smoothing out any roughness.

Glycolic acid and tretinoin are two skincare ingredients that are commonly used to address a variety of common issues, from acne to signs of aging.

  1. Hyaluronic Acid – A hydrating hero, this ingredient helps your skin retain moisture for a plump, dewy complexion.
  2. Niacinamide – Also known as vitamin B3, this multitasker helps with uneven skin tone and fine lines and strengthens the skin barrier.

Can You Mix Tretinoin With Actives?

It’s a common question that comes up when using tretinoin: can you mix it with other skincare products?


You can mix tretinoin with other skincare products. However, it’s important to pay attention to the order in which you apply your products.

Typically, it’s recommended to apply tretinoin first and allow it to fully absorb into the skin before layering on other products. This is because tretinoin can make the skin more sensitive and prone to irritation. Applying it first gives it time to sink in before adding potentially irritating ingredients on top.

How To Choose The Best Combination

Don’t let the promise of glowing skin fool you, tretinoin mixed with actives could be harsh on your skin if not used properly. Keep these potential risks in mind next time you reach for that tretinoin-active combo:

Start by using them at alternate times of the day (for example, retinol at night and vitamin C in the morning).

Remember to always patch test before incorporating a new active into your routine and to wear SPF during the day to protect your newly transformed complexion.

So, while you can mix tretinoin with other skincare products, it’s best to use it in conjunction with a limited number of other actives.

If you notice anything unusual or witness any side effects after using tretinoin with other skincare products, consult with your dermatologist for personalized advice.


The gold standard for anti-aging, tretinoin boosts collagen production to reduce fine lines and improve skin texture. You can buy tretinoin online easily and try the magical treatment for yourself.

Actives, such as retinol or AHAs, can help exfoliate the skin and reduce signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. Other actives, such as peptides and hyaluronic acid, can help keep the skin hydrated and looking youthful.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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