Press & Media

Non-Prescription SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES Delivers Comparable Results to Prescription Tretinoin in Two Clinical Studies

Carlsbad, CA – May 29, 2012 – SkinMedica Inc., recently named the fastest growing professional skin care brand for the sixth consecutive year, announced that two randomized, double-blind, controlled studies have demonstrated that SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES™ (containing tri-retinol 1.1% cream), a non-prescription gradual release retinol cosmetic product, performed comparably to topical prescription tretinoin in improving the appearance of subjects with facial photodamage. These high-quality head-to-head studies, conducted by The Johns Hopkins University and Colorado Springs Dermatology Clinic, are unusual for a non-prescription cosmetic product. There are many non-prescription retinol products on the market that claim to improve the appearance of photoaged skin; however, studies like these are rare and demonstrate that SkinMedica continues to raise the bar as a leader in the professional skin care market. 

Sewon Kang, MD, Noxell Professor and Chairman and Anna Chien, MD, Assistant Professor & Director of Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins University are leading experts on the use of retinoids in patients seeking to improve the appearance of photodamaged skin. Their data support results from the previous published study for both safety and efficacy. Clinical studies are needed by clinicians in assessing claims of anti-aging products on the market.

The results of a trial conducted at the Colorado Springs Dermatology Clinic were published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. In that study, 34 females with mild-to-moderate facial photodamage applied SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES or tretinoin 0.025% cream daily to the entire face for 12 weeks and were evaluated at baseline and after four, eight and 12 weeks.

  • Both products significantly improved the appearance of photodamage at four weeks, with benefits increasing progressively over the 12-week trial.
  • Subjects reported greater than 93% overall satisfaction at weeks eight and 12.
  • There were no statistically significant differences in effectiveness between the two products.

Data from a second study conducted at Johns Hopkins University were presented at the Society for Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting in May 2012. In that study, 24 subjects with moderate-to-severe facial photodamage applied SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES or prescription tretinoin 0.025% cream for six months.

  • Both treatment groups improved over time with respect to efficacy parameters and there were no statistical differences in degree of improvement or tolerability between the two.

SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES contains three forms of vitamin A, retinol, retinyl acetate and retinyl palmitate for 1.10% total retinoids, making it the highest concentration of retinoids available without a prescription. A patented MICROSPONGE® delivery system allows for gradual release over time, which is designed to reduce irritation that may occur with some topical retinoids.

SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex ES retails for $75 and is available through a network of licensed physicians and medically supervised spas; visit for locations.

About Retinoids
Retinoids are a form of Vitamin A and include retinoic acid, retinol and retinol esters, and play a very important role in the maintenance of skin structure and function during aging.  Clinical studies have shown that retinoids can enhance skin texture and create a more firm complexion. Additionally, retinoic acid, the active form of retinoid, has been proven to provide significant improvements in the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.


About SkinMedica

SkinMedica, Inc. is focused on developing, acquiring, and commercializing products that improve the appearance of skin. SkinMedica markets and sells to physicians, with a focus on aesthetics, both prescription and non-prescription skin care products. The company's full line of aesthetic skin care products includes the revolutionary TNS Essential Serum® and hallmark TNS Recovery Complex®. The formulations in SkinMedica’s clinical skin care collection enhance skin appearance, reduce signs of aging, and provide other skin care benefits. SkinMedica's primary prescription product, VANIQA® (eflornithine hydrochloride) Cream 13.9%, is the only FDA-approved prescription product for the reduction of unwanted facial hair in women. Colorescience Pro’s dermatologist recommended, high-performance cosmetics are formulated to remedy and camouflage specific skin concerns and protect skin from damaging effects of the sun and environment. Colorescience Pro’s luxury aesthetic makeup line is sold in the physician and medical spa channels.

TNS Recovery Complex®, VANIQA®, and SkinMedica®, are registered trademarks of SkinMedica, Inc and affiliates.