RENOVA- tretinoin cream
Bausch Health US LLC



RENOVA® (tretinoin cream) 0.02% contains the active ingredient tretinoin in a cream base. Tretinoin is a yellow to light-orange crystalline powder having a characteristic floral odor. Tretinoin is soluble in dimethylsulfoxide, slightly soluble in polyethylene glycol 400, octanol, and 100% ethanol. It is practically insoluble in water and mineral oil, and it is insoluble in glycerin. The chemical name for tretinoin is (all-E)-3,7-dimethyl-9-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexen-1-yl)-2,4,6,8-nonatetraenoic acid. Tretinoin is also referred to as all-trans-retinoic acid and has a molecular weight of 300.44. The structural formula is represented below:

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Tretinoin is available as RENOVA at a concentration of 0.02% w/w in an oil-in-water emulsion formulation consisting of benzyl alcohol, butylated hydroxytoluene, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetyl alcohol, edetate disodium, methylparaben, propylparaben, purified water, stearic acid, stearyl alcohol, steareth 2, steareth 20, and xanthan gum.


Tretinoin is an endogenous retinoid metabolite of Vitamin A that binds to intracellular receptors in the cytosol and nucleus, but cutaneous levels of tretinoin in excess of physiologic concentrations occur following application of a tretinoin-containing topical drug product. Although tretinoin activates three members of the retinoic acid (RAR) nuclear receptors (RARα, RARβ, and RARγ) which may act to modify gene expression, subsequent protein synthesis, and epithelial cell growth and differentiation, it has not been established whether the clinical effects of tretinoin are mediated through activation of retinoic acid receptors, other mechanisms such as irritation, or both.

The effect of tretinoin on skin with chronic photodamage has not been evaluated in animal studies. When hairless albino mice were treated topically with tretinoin shortly after a period of UVB irradiation, new collagen formation was demonstrated only in photodamaged skin. However, in human skin treated topically, adequate data have not been provided to demonstrate any increase in desmosine, hydroxyproline, or elastin mRNA. Application of 0.1% tretinoin cream to photodamaged human forearm skin was associated with an increase in antibody staining for procollagen I propeptide. No correlation was made between procollagen I propeptide staining with collagen I levels or with observed clinical effects. Thus, the relationships between the increased collagen in rodents, increased procollagen I propeptide in humans, and the clinical effects of tretinoin have not yet been clearly defined.

Tretinoin was shown to enhance UV-stimulated melanogenesis in pigmented mice. Generalized amyloid deposition in the basal layer of tretinoin-treated skin was noted in a 2-year mouse study. In a different study, hyalinization at tretinoin-treated skin sites was noted at doses beginning at 0.25 mg/kg in CD-1 mice.

The transdermal absorption of tretinoin from various topical formulations ranged from 1% to 31% of applied dose, depending on whether it was applied to healthy skin or dermatitic skin. No percutaneous absorption study was conducted with RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% in human volunteers. When percutaneous absorption of the oil-in-water emulsion formulation at 0.05% concentration was assessed in healthy male subjects with radiolabeled cream after a single application (n=7), as well as after repeated daily applications (n=7) for 28 days, the absorption of tretinoin was less than 2% and the extent of bioavailability was less after repeated application. No significant difference in endogenous concentrations of tretinoin was observed between single and repeated daily applications.


(To understand fully the indication for this product, please read the entire INDICATIONS AND USAGE section of the labeling.)

RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% is indicated as an adjunctive agent (see second bullet point below) for use in the mitigation (palliation) of fine facial wrinkles in patients who use comprehensive skin care and sunlight avoidance programs. RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% DOES NOT ELIMINATE WRINKLES, REPAIR SUN-DAMAGED SKIN, REVERSE PHOTOAGING, or RESTORE MORE YOUTHFUL or YOUNGER SKIN. In double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical studies, many patients in the vehicle group achieved desired palliative effects on fine wrinkling of facial skin with the use of comprehensive skin care and sunlight avoidance programs including sunscreens, protective clothing, and non-prescription emollient creams.

RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% has NOT DEMONSTRATED A MITIGATING EFFECT on significant signs of chronic sunlight exposure such as coarse or deep wrinkling, tactile roughness, mottled hyperpigmentation, lentigines, telangiectasia, skin laxity, keratinocytic atypia, melanocytic atypia, or dermal elastosis.
RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% should be used under medical supervision as an adjunct to a comprehensive skin care and sunlight avoidance program that includes the use of effective sunscreens (minimum SPF of 15) and protective clothing.
Patients with visible actinic keratosis and patients with a history of skin cancer were excluded from clinical trials of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02%. Thus the effectiveness and safety of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% in these populations are not known at this time.
Neither the safety nor the effectiveness of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% for the prevention or treatment of actinic keratoses or skin neoplasms has been established.
Neither the safety nor the efficacy of using RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% daily for greater than 52 weeks has been established, and daily use beyond 52 weeks has not been systematically and histologically investigated in adequate and well-controlled trials (see WARNINGS).

Clinical Trials

Four adequate and well-controlled multi-center trials and one single-center randomized, controlled trial were conducted involving a total of 324 evaluable patients treated with RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% and 332 evaluable patients treated with the vehicle cream on the face for 24 weeks with a comprehensive skin care and sun avoidance program, to assess the effects on fine and coarse wrinkling, mottled hyperpigmentation, tactile skin roughness, and laxity. Patients were evaluated at baseline on a 10-unit scale and changes from that baseline rating were categorized as follows:


Increase of 1 unit or more.

No improvement:

No change.

Minimal improvement:

Reduction of 1 unit.

Mild improvement:

Reduction of 2 units.

Moderate improvement:

Reduction of 3 units or more.

In these trials, the fine and coarse wrinkling, mottled hyperpigmentation, tactile roughness, and laxity of the facial skin were thought to be caused by multiple factors which included intrinsic aging or environmental factors, such as chronic sunlight exposure.

Two of the five trials provided adequate demonstration of efficacy for mitigation of fine facial wrinkling. No two of the five trials adequately demonstrated efficacy for mitigation of coarse wrinkling, mottled hyperpigmentation, tactile skin roughness, and laxity. Data for fine wrinkling (the indication for which RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% demonstrated efficacy) from all five trials (four studies in lightly pigmented subjects with Fitzpatrick Skin Types I-III and one study in darkly pigmented subjects with Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV-VI) is provided below:

Subjects UsingRENOVA(tretinoin cream)0.02% + CSP* (N=279)Vehicle + CSP* (N=280)
A single-center study (N=107) in darkly pigmented, mostly African-American, subjects with Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV-VI demonstrated minimal or mild improvement in fine facial wrinkling in 43% of patients using Vehicle + CSP compared to 29% of subjects using RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% + CSP*. Although fewer darkly pigmented subjects improved with RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% than with vehicle, these findings may reflect the small size of this study.
* CSP – Comprehensive skin protection and sunlight avoidance programs including use of sunscreens, protective clothing, and non-prescription emollient creams.




No Change



Minimal Improvement



Mild Improvement



Moderate Improvement



Self-assessment of fine wrinkles after 24 weeks of treatment with either RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% or Vehicle from the four studies in lightly pigmented patients showed the following:

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No studies have been conducted comparing the facial irritation or efficacy of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% to RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.05% (older marketed formulation).

Patients may lose some of the mitigating effects of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% after 12 weeks of discontinuation of RENOVA (tretinoin cream) 0.02% from their comprehensive skin care and sunlight avoidance program.

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