Skin Cream – Retinol Products


Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and has been used on the skin since the 1960’s. Initially it was used in the treatment of acne, but doctors soon found that their acne patients’ wrinkles were disappearing. This led the medical community to study whether or not retinol skin cream could help to treat wrinkles.

Not only did they find that the skin cream successfully treated wrinkles, but they also found that it helped with exfoliation and minor discolorations.

In South Africa we have two main types of retinol skin cream –

Retin-A skin cream made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Retacnyl skin cream made by Galderma. There are various concentrations in both brands – the two main types are 0.025% and 0.05%. If you have a sensitive skin type I would suggest going for the 0.025%  skin cream first and then work your way up to the 0.05% skin cream. They are also found in either a gel or cream form. For most patients I would suggest getting the cream form as it has less of a chance of drying out your skin. If a product drys or irritates your skin you will be less likely to use it!

Retinol Skin Cream

Retinol Skin Cream
Retinol Skin Cream
Retin A
The Retin-A brand is sold in a 20 gram tube whereas the Retacnyl brand is sold in a 30 gram tube – which is more convenient as you have to make less visits to the pharmacy.

Each skin cream tube lasts around 6 to 8 weeks – only a small amount of the substance is used. Initially I tell clients to use it only 3 times a week at night. Application involves using a small pea sized amount of skin cream on the forehead, each cheek and each side of the neck. Gently rub the skin cream to cover the whole face. Your night serum or moisturizer can then be applied over this. If your skin becomes irritated then step down to twice a week – but if this doesn’t occur you can step up treatment to as many days a week that you like.

Results take a few weeks to kick in – and treatment can be continued for life unless you fall pregnant – Retinol based skin creams cannot be used in pregnancy.

All of these products require a doctors prescription in order to purchase them. You will find that many over the counter anti-wrinkle skin creams have retinol in them. The reason you don’t need a prescription for those is that the concentration is much less – they may sometimes work but it will usually be an expensive and lengthy process.

Here is a great video explaining exactly how to use these skin creams:


– Dr Wade

Our Doctors

Dr Wade is a medical doctor with a special interest in aesthetic and anti-ageing medicine, he has been administering and injecting Botox and Dysport for over 5 years at his practices in Green Point & Somerset West. Dr Wade is also qualified with a 2-year Advanced Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine.

De Melinda Dommisse

Dr Melinda Dommisse is a qualified medical doctor who qualified from Stellenbosch University. She moved to London where she did her aesthetic training and worked as a GP with a special interest in aesthetic and anti-aging medicine. Prior to returning to South Africa she worked at 2 well-known clinics in Harley Street, London

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021 433 0967

173 Main Road
(Corner of Main and Clyde Road)
Green Point, Cape Town
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021 433 0967

Corner of the R44 & De Beers Avenue
(Inside of the Paardevlei Complex)
Paardevlei Rising 1 (Building name)
*We are opposite the Cheetah Sanctuary
1st Floor, Unit 102, Paardevlei, Somerset West
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