5 Benefits Aklief Can Have On Your Skin

If you have been struggling with acne-prone skin for a while now or you can't get rid of those stubborn little forehead spots, you should think about making Aklief the next product on your to-try list.


Aklief is a retinoid cream that is designed to help reduce acne in areas like your face and chest. FDA-approved in October 2019, it is currently only available via prescription because it's such a potent acne treatment. Though it isn't marketed as a retinoid, double board-certified dermatologist Brendan Camp told Byrdie that trifarotene, the main active ingredient, is classed as a retinoid. Plus, Aklief could start to make visible changes within at little as two weeks, a major improvement on other retinoids that usually take a while to kick in. Impressively, it's also the first topical retinoid cream approved by the FDA in terms of treating acne, and it has been tested on the face, shoulders, back, and chest.


If you're intrigued and want to find out whether Aklief is the right product for you, here are all the benefits you could gain from trying it out.

Get ready for fresh, glowy skin

First and foremost, Aklief will encourage skin cell turnover. "As an approved acne medication, Aklief can help normalize skin cell turnover to prevent the formation of blocked pores, which can lead to the formulation of acne," Camp told Byrdie. In general, retinoids help to increase skin turnover time — a typical skin cycle is 28 days, but retinoids can reduce this to just 14 days, promoting smoother skin.


However, there's one major mistake you should avoid when using a retinoid like Aklief, and that's not adapting your skincare routine to fit your retinoid. If you aren't prepared for the redness and flakiness retinoids often cause, you could find yourself damaging your skin in the long run. This is especially prevalent with Aklief, which can potentially cause issues like redness, burning, and scaly skin. However, these issues don't usually last past a month, and after this, you should begin to see more positive results.

The cream has the potential to banish bacne

Self-conscious about wearing backless or low-cut tops? You could have truncal acne. If you have never heard of truncal acne before, it's a type of acne that affects the chest, back, and shoulders, though not necessarily all three or at the same time. Truncal acne is extremely common in those who suffer from acne in general. Luckily, Aklief is thought to help with truncal acne, too.


Speaking to Byrdie, board-certified dermatologist Lauren Penzi shared, "Aklief is great for those with comedonal and inflammatory acne, both of the face and trunk. It increases cell turnover, decreases inflammation, decreases sebum production, and keeps debris and dead skin cells out of pores. Multi-center studies with randomized vehicle vs. product trials have shown a decrease of inflammatory acne lesions of 54 to 66% (two studies) at the 12-week mark." 

Basically, you can use Aklief on areas other than your face — in fact, you might want to try using the cream on areas that are usually more hidden to get an idea of how your skin will react.

Not only will Aklief help reduce acne, but it will help soothe your sore skin too

If you have ever experienced inflamed skin, you'll know how painful it can be. Even if your acne itself doesn't look bad, inflamed skin can make everything appear 10 times worse, not to mention how difficult it can be to apply makeup and other skincare products. Aklief is purported to have a soothing effect on the skin and help calm down inflammation and irritation.


As dermatologist Julie C. Harper told Practical Dermatology, "The clinical trial results showed that Aklief Cream significantly reduces inflammatory lesions as early as two weeks on the face and four weeks on the back, shoulders and chest." Not only does Aklief help to reduce inflammatory lesions, but there's evidence it will also help get rid of blackheads and whiteheads as a result of calming this inflammation — goodbye, annoying little bumps that never seem to disappear. 

If you're looking to stimulate collagen production, Aklief could be for you

Retinoids have long been hailed as one of the best products for reducing wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. They do so by increasing the production of collagen, something which naturally decreases as we age. How much collagen you lose will depend on external factors and your individual skin, but everyone will begin to lose a little more collagen each year after approximately age 30. Aklief contains retinoid molecules, so it makes sense that it would have a similar anti-aging effect (though note that it has only been approved by the FDA for treating acne and not as an anti-aging product).


"This is due to the fact that (the) gamma retinoic acid receptor that Aklief specifically targets is responsible for regulating the genes that increase collagen production and decrease collagen breakdown. Trifarotene down-regulates matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which act as proteolytic enzymes on elastin and collagen, thus improving skin texture," Penzi told Byrdie.

Hyperpigmentation can be made less obvious with the use of a retinoid

Hyperpigmentation is common if you suffer from deep acne or inflammatory acne, though you can have hyperpigmentation separately from acne. Hyperpigmentation will look different on each individual, but it usually shows up as darker patches on your skin. Depending on your skin tone, these patches could look red, pink, gray, brown, or black. Pigmentation isn't dangerous, but it can make you feel self-conscious, particularly if the patches are larger.


2021 study showed that the use of retinoids like Aklief has the ability to improve hyperpigmentation, though the study did also mention that other treatments may be required to clear hyperpigmentation. Aklief could also be a good option if you have post-inflammatory pigmentation, due to the more frequent skin turnovers retinoids encourage.

Overall, the potential benefits Aklief offers are extremely impressive. Plus, as Penzi shared with Byrdie, "Unlike other generic retinoids, Aklief is better tolerated due to its specificity for the gamma RAR," making it slightly more friendly for sensitive skin. However, as with any new product, especially one with potent ingredients like Aklief, start slow and build your way up so you don't damage your skin long-term.