Unveiling the Viral Tik Tok Craze: Can Tretinoin Give You Glass Skin?

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Tik Tok is known for catapulting videos to viral success when the creator least expects it. Along with providing comedic relief, fashion inspiration, and an endless well of facts and information, Tik Tok has become the go-to destination for health and beauty tips and tricks. One of the many terms coined by these online beauty gurus is “glass skin”. Glass skin is skin that is so lustrous, smooth, even-toned, flawless, and clear that it resembles the appearance of squeaky-clean glass. But when it comes to achieving this perfect complexion, is there a magic potion that these influencers are not telling us about? More and more individuals on Tik Tok are suggesting that Tretinoin may be the answer we all are looking for, but does it really work for achieving glass skin?

What Is Tretinoin?

Tretinoin is a prescription topical retinoid cream or gel. Retinoids are a group of compounds derived from vitamin A. Tretinoin treats skin conditions by promoting rapid exfoliation and stimulation of collagen and elastin growth. These effects lead to smoother-looking skin. Tretinoin is similar to Retinol but differs in some crucial ways. Retinol is a milder, natural form of vitamin A and is a common ingredient in over-the-counter skin care. Tretinoin, on the other hand, is a synthetic version of vitamin A that is stronger than retinol and is only available with a prescription. Because Tretinoin is more aggressive than retinol, it may not be well-tolerated by sensitive skin types. This is the reason for its prescription-only status. If used incorrectly, Tretinoin can lead to worsened skin conditions rather than the glass skin appearance you are trying to achieve.

What Is Tretinoin Used For?

Tretinoin is used for the treatment of the following skin conditions:

  • Mild to moderate acne
  • Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Uneven skin texture and tone
  • Age spots and dark spots

What are the Do’s and Don’ts of Tretinoin?

While Tretinoin can be an incredibly effective way to achieve smoother skin, it can also cause damage when not used properly. Your dermatologist will give you specific instructions on how to best use Tretinoin for your personal goals, skin type, and condition, but most providers agree on the following do’s and don’ts of Tretinoin use.


  • Use daily sun protection of SPF30+.
  • Wear hats and clothing that protect you from sun exposure.
  • Apply at nighttime.
  • Use only a pea-sized amount for the full face.
  • Use only a few times a week then gradually work up to nightly use.
  • Moisturize to mitigate dryness.


  • Wax or laser the face while using tretinoin as this could result in painful, open wounds.
  • Use during pregnancy.
  • Combine with other topical retinoids.
  • Use if you are taking Isotretinoin (Accutane).

Schedule a Consultation

When used according to your provider’s instructions Tretinoin can give you incredible results and make you look younger. Better skin yes, glass skin probably no. Tretinoin is not right for everyone though. To learn if you are a candidate for Tretinoin use, schedule a consultation at HMGS Dermatology, by filling out an online contact form.