We're fascinated by Hailey Bieber's anti-aging skincare routine—especially this prescription-based staple

Tretinoin just got the seal of approval from Hailey Bieber, but what is it *exactly* and how can we get our hands on it?

 Hailey Bieber attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City. / in a purple check template
(Image credit: Getty Images/Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Skincare queen, Hailey Bieber has dished on her anti-aging routine, citing one product, tretinoin, as one of the secrets to her famous glazed glow. But what is this prescription-based ingredient and how can we try it ourselves? 

While we're clued in on hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane, the Rhode Skin founder and glazed donut nail trendsetter has just added one more to the holy grail skincare list.

In an interview with Marie Claire, Hails said: "This year is the year I got serious about trying to incorporate tretinoin.  I'm now over 25—which I know is still very, very young—but that's a good age to start," before adding, "It keeps the texture of my skin looking even—it's good for glow, too. But the key is spacing out the application and layering it with calming things." 

Hailey explained that she approached her use of the ingredient as a form of 'skin cycling' and just looking at her flawless skin...we need to get debriefed on this tretinoin business, STAT...

What is Tretinoin?

So, first things first, what is tretinoin?

Dr. Catriona Maybury, consultant dermatologist at Dermatica, explains that tretinoin is, "a prescription-only topical medication with clinical evidence demonstrating its ability to reverse the signs of photodamage (damage from UVR) to the skin." And in case you were wondering if it's similar to retinol, Dr. Maybury adds: "Retinols are related, but weaker ingredients, which are found in non-prescribed skincare products available over-the-counter. 

"Although chemically related, Tretinoin is up to 20 times more potent and is more likely to have the desired effects on skin texture and appearance."

As for its uses, Dr. Maybury outlines: "Tretinoin is also the most widely studied active ingredient that can be used to reverse photoaging which is the damage that the UV rays from the sun cause. Tretinoin used alongside SPF is the best combination for anti-aging!"

Why and how should you use Tretinoin in your skincare routine?

"Topical retinoids (such as tretinoin)", Dr. Catriona Maybury explains: "can enhance the appearance of the skin in many ways; they improve texture by increasing cell turnover, reduce hyperpigmentation and smooth fine lines by reducing collagen breakdown."

"Certain skincare ingredients can help smoothen fine lines and shallow wrinkles. Retinoids are the hero ingredients here, such as tretinoin. They work to stimulate collagen production and increase skin cell turnover, allowing healthy new skin cells to be brought up to the surface. This can improve skin texture and reduce areas of ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced pigmentation. Tretinoin is the most widely studied ingredient in this category." 

In terms of application, Dermatica advises that tretinoin is best applied at night before you go to bed. You should first start your regime by cleansing your face, ensuring that all your makeup is off—but be gentle and avoid scrubbing or using exfoliators that will irritate your skin. 

Pat your skin dry and then allow your face to air dry completely for 20 to 30 minutes, following this Dermatica says to: "Apply your clindamycin/tretinoin in a thin layer to your entire face (avoiding eyes, lips and nostrils) and allow to absorb completely, which usually takes 15-20 minutes."

Once this is done, follow up by applying a thin layer of moisturizer—ideally a non-comedogenic one. Then, in the morning they say to again, gently wash your face before applying a moisturizer with SPF.

Hailey herself, shared a similar routine, explaining that she uses a 'baby percentage' of the ingredient and a 'skin sandwiching' method: "The best skin tip I ever learned was from Charlotte Palermino—and that's the concept of skin sandwiching. It's the only way I approach tretinoin. You put a layer of hydrating skincare on, then the retinol or tretinoin, and then another layer of hydration. It prevents the tretinoin uglies!"

How to buy Tretinoin?

As explained by Dr. Maybury, tretinoin is a prescription-based treatment, so you will need to get it prescribed to you by a dermatologist or doctor. 

You can, however also get it online, with places like Dermatica offering a consultation and monthly subscription where you are sent personalized formulas for your skin needs. Brands like Curology and Apostrophe offer similar monthly plans where you will be sent customized tretinoin treatments.


Dermatica's Tretinoin Consultation & Subscription

RRP: $24.99 (free trial available)

Dermatica offers Tretinoin formulations tailored to your skin needs. This ingredient works to reduce wrinkles and improve pigmentation, skin texture and smoothness.  They offer prescription strength products from 0.025% - 0.1%.


Wisp Firm Up! Wrinkle Cream (Tretinoin)

RRP: $25 for three month supply

Wisp offer a prescription Tretinoin Cream (0.04%) which works to smooth out wrinkles and firm your skin. Once your prescription is approved you can opt for either a one-off payment of $84 for a 3-month supply, or pay monthly for 3 months.


Curology Custom Formula Rx For Acne

RRP: $29.95 ($59.90 per 2-month subscription)

Like Dermatica, Curology offers a custom, personalized formula, proscribed to you by dermatology providers. Curology offers results in 90 days or your money back, as well as free online access to a derm and bi-monthly deliveries.

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.