Acne Treatment, Tretinoin

How is tretinoin different from Retin-A?


Clear Skin Concierge is here to tell you the simpler way skin care actually works. Tretinoin is just the generic form of a topical cream that is sold under the brand name Retin-A™.You know about aspirin – the generic stuff that Walgreens sells – and you know about Bayer, or Anacin. At some point in your life you decide you actually know they are the same thing and you buy the generic stuff.

If you’re here, we think you’ve already read articles about tretinoin like this and this.


What’s the difference between tretinoin for acne and for anti-aging?

It’s the same. You use the same baby aspirin for a headache and for heart health, right? It’s the same drug. The main difference is that when you use tretinoin for acne, insurance will cover it. When you use it for anti-aging, they won’t. This is why Clear Skin Concierge gives you a path for tretinoin for acne where we’ll fight to get it covered with your insurance company. If you use it for anti-aging, our PremiumVerified option makes great tretinoin available for $50 a tube, including delivery to your home! You can check all our amazing prices here.


For anti-aging, since I’m paying out of pocket, what’s the difference between the generic tretinoin and PremiumVerified’s?

If you’re on a tight budget, the generic $30 stuff works just fine. I think the PremiumVerified product goes on like a $300 specialty brand for only $50. They also have a version with hydroquinone (a mild whitening cream) and hydrocortisone (to reduce irritation). You can see all our drug prices here.

To be honest, I love PremiumVerified product showing up at my door. You can’t pay me enough to find parking for a Walgreen’s in San Francisco.

You can also buy Retin-A™ from Johnson and Johnson. It’s fine stuff and probably in quality somewhere in between the two I just mentioned, but probably goes for $100 or more.


Wait, I have acne. $50 for a generic tretinoin is less than my insurance co-pay for the same drug…why is that?

Yes, drug prices are nuts. Private equity companies have decided buying generic drugs and exploding their prices is a strategy that works. At the same time, insurance companies have decided increasing deductibles and co-pays is a strategy that works. So using your insurance helps some patients, but actually can hurt others.


Should I pay Clear Skin Concierge $29 for a prescription for my tretinoin?

Probably. We’re cheaper than our respected competitors and willing to give you unvarnished straight talk like this by email. We have a few dedicated doctors that inspect all your photos and medical history, to make sure this is a good medication for you.