Doctor's Answers (1)
It is important to distinguish between Retinol (commercially available) and Retinoic acid (prescription medication e.g. retin-A).
Retinol is a natural form of vitamin A. It's found in many skin care treatments and beauty products. Upon application, enzymes within the skin convert retinol into retinoic acid. It's only when it is converted to retinoic acid that it becomes effective. Retinol is safe to use during pregnancy.
Retinoic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin A. The oral form is absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy as it will cause birth defects. The topical form should also be avoided in pregnancy due to undetermined potential risk of birth defects as advised by the drug company. You can safely use topical Retinoic acid until you are pregnant but stop immediately once you are confirmed to be pregnant.
Hope this helps!