Background info: I use Tretinoin (generic Retin-A) cream, 0.025%, and have been doing so for just shy of three months now. I use it every other night, 30 minutes after my shower so my face is totally dry. I use Cerave AM in the morning for the SPF content, and sometimes on the "off-nights" for the moisture.
This isn't an acne cure-all for me. I have a long history of acne and only internal measures banish it (that would be a whole other post). However, I LOVE Retin-A for what it does to my skin texture. It has practically erased my red hyperpigmentation (I'm very fair and it was bothering me), and it has made my skin dewy, soft, glowy and smooth. I also had clogged, sandpapery-feeling pores on my nose I couldn't get rid of...gone within two weeks of starting this stuff.
I didn't purge (probably because I'm taking my acne supplements; I do break out when I forget those), but I have sensitive skin and did flake a lot for the first month. I only wash my face with water, so during that month and maybe twice a week now I use a warm, wet washcloth to gently towel excess flaky skin off my face.
Long story short, I don't usually put much stock in skin care products due to my long history with skin troubles. They either never really did much or made things worse. This, however, is one product where I really see a positive difference. Seriously, I'm glowing, and my red pigmented splotches are nearly invisible; they will almost definitely be gone soon.
The supposed anti-aging benefit doesn't hurt anything. I'm still young, but I'd like to keep it (looking) that way! I can definitely see why this would be a good anti-age product...it's tightened up my skin so much already.
I like this stuff. A lot. Definitely going to keep it on hand.
I use the more advanced Tazorac 1%. Been using for over twenty years. I use bha and aha, also Duac, when I need it. All have been awesome. I was on Accutane 2x because my skin was so bad. This routine has cleared any signs of anything. But, the real key is zinc oxide, I have been using sunscreen all my life, everyday. I never thought the leathery tan look was sexy and any man I know doesn't think so either. I'm 43 have no wrinkles no line around my lips eyes even smile line do not exist,
I have been put on Retin A 1%, I'm close to finishing the tube. Can anyone advise me where to purchase it at a reasonable price? This stuff is the holy grail.
I have used retin-a cream (0.05%) for 1 week! No irritation, redness, mild purging only :)
I follow the directions of waiting 30 mins after washing my face before retin-a application. My routine is as follows:
Wash, Tone, Wait 30 Mins, Apply Retin-A, Apply Vitamin C serum, Apply Night Moisturizer.
Sometimes, I buffer retin-a with my serum. I use a pea-size amount to a bit more to cover my whole face. It has this weird glue smell.
Immediate effect: glowing skin :)
I will update this post how it will affect my skin in the next 3-4 months.
I could have listed the high end brands that I have used since I was 19, it was more like a hobby. I was not interested in makeup so I could't cover up, had to look for something that really made a difference.
I loved the smell and the luxury that came with those creams and serums but now I understand that Retin A and sunblock are the only two products that anyone would need when it comes to topical skin care routine and everything else depends on how well you take care of your skin internally .
There are so many reviews for Retin A and so many more for all the different retinol containing products. But the distinction between the two has not been made clear entirely. In my review I will try to resolve misunderstands and add something based on my extensive experience with both of these products.
You do NOT need to wait 30 minutes for your skin to dry before applying this. I apply right away and continue with other products immediately. But keep in mind that I use a gentle foaming cleanser that I rinse entirely and I a paper towel to pat my skin dry. You need to be gentle with your skin while using retinoids and you always need to make sure that you have applied a thin uniform layer of product. Then I follow with serum and night cream. Though it might be OK for some, I do not use my AHA on the nights when I apply tretinoin. I feel like it applies more uniformly directly on dry skin and it's also an excuse to cut off on the exfoliant. AHA/BHAs can easily be overdone.
Tretinoin should be used at night otherwise sunlight will deactivate it. There is no harmful reaction for your skin. It's just that you're basically wasting product and time. Retinol is less sensitive to light and helps prevent DNA damage. While the final side effects are similar, Tretinoin does not give the immediate sensations that you can get from high concentrations of retinol right after applied. Be extra careful with tretinoin! It will be too late when you realize you applied too much.
From trial and error I have found that the secret number with Retinoids and Retinol containing products is #3. You need about three days to experience all possible side effects and to give your skin the time to get ready, for another dose which will also last you three days. Unless the concentration is lower than what you can handle, I do not recommend using retinols or retinoids more than once in three days. Use the minimal amount necessary to cover any surface and apply a heavy moisturizer over it - even if you have oily skin. To minimize tretinoin induced dryness upgrade moisturizers to something more oily than you would use normally. While this is difficult for the daytime, do it at least at night before bedtime.
I'm in my early 30s. I used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night daily for several years until I switched to .05 Retin-A once in three days. 0.05 is my tolerance limit. The gels contain alcohol. I went for the cream. Compared to retinol, the effect is similar. Neutrogena is already cheap enough but Retin A saves me a lot of time, and some money. After all I am a male. I like things fast and easy, with no extra pampering.:)
The few times I have experienced flaking it has between my eyebrows, beside my nostrils and on my chin. That seems to be a common thing for other people. If your skin does't acclimate with time, keep in mind that you can apply less or avoid entirely applying Retin-A on those areas. That way you avoid side effects entirely while benefiting maximally from Retin-A.
When I do a weekly exfoliation with a stronger AHA, I make sure it is a day after and not a day before Retin-A. The glycolic might enhance the penetration of tretinoin a bit too much.
I have waited almost a year before posting here. I spent many months pouring over reviews to reassure myself we had taken the right course. My son started breaking out horribly at 14-cysts and whiteheads. He began retin a and doxy last july. We started the doxy first and things started really clearing up. A week later we started tretinoin. Honestly there were late nights where i read this forum and cried thinking i had messed up. The worst of the cysts did clear, but he did break out still and the healing process was rough. We used a small pea sized amount three times a week. Usually on clean skin but sometimes sans shower. Really and truly that is all it takes. Be careful with this stuff. His face at first was more oily as it was summer and humid. In the winter we backed off to twice a week cause it caused dryness. Yes there was some redness as well. Around march he became pretty happy with things. Some scarring and Still pih that bugged him but the pih was fading. Breakouts were minimal and typically just a small whitehead here and there, though they seemed to leave pih more than normal. So he was heading to florida for spring break and we took him off the doxy and retin for fear of him forgetting sunscreen and hoped he was just ok at this point. A week after he came back he had a cyst and was breaking out again. So back on the meds we went. Cyst began healing quickly. It took about a month to a month and a half to get things back under control. Still occasional white heads but small and dont last long. Still pih, but honestly hes lived with it so long i think hes come to terms with it and is happy with where he is all things considered. Would i do it again? I dont know. Sometimes i wish i had skipped the retin a and just tried doxy for awhile. It was a rough year i wont lie. The constant worry about sunscreen is a pain. He uses elta md fyi as it doesnt cause him further breakouts, and also oxy face wash. If your acne isnt bad and just the normal stuff, please get over obsessing about perfect skin and get comfortable with who you are and skip serious meds. If however you have severe acne i would recommend this. Anything to stay off accutane. And fyi as a 38 yr old for my monthly breakouts and dark spots i began using otc aha 10% and has done wonders for me. Faded spots as long as i continue with sunscreen and what little acne i get heals quickly without marks. Again it takes very little.
I use a 0.25% tretinoin cream it's great for reducing large cystic acne deep underneath your skin. It is really strong and I've experienced extremely dry cracked sensitive skin, redness that looks like you've been sunburned and flaking that looks gross and can't be covered by makeup. I recommend using it sparingly and layer on a heavy duty moisturizer at night.
I am 26 years old and have had moderate acne throughout my 20's. I usually have 1-5+ blemishs at any given time, but my real problem is PIH (the red/purple marks which get left behind). I never tried to count, but i probably have hundreds of PIH marks and a single mark takes 3+ months to go away.
I got generic 0.05% tretinoin in the cream formulation. I went to CVS MinuteClinic and paid $80 for the appointment and $56 for the tretinoin (either ask the pharmacist for a discount coupon or get one from goodrx website). My GP actually refused to prescribe it to me, so I highly recommend the MinuteClinic because it's quite affordable even without insurance.
In the months leading up to starting tretinoin, I started with a good skincare routine. This means gentle cleanser and moisturizer (CeraVe) and incorporating BHA and AHA products slowly. When I started the tretinoin, I gave up using BHA and AHA. I would wash my face at night, apply a very small amount of moisturizer, wait 30 minutes, apply a pea sized amount of the tretinoin, wait 30 mintues, then apply moisturizer. In the morning I wash with water, apply moisturizer and then apply sunscreen. Do not forget the sunscreen or you will damage your skin!
I started by applying tretinoin every third night. I only experienced a few days of flaking. I did not experience purging at all. Now I use it every other night.
After 3 months I do see fewer blemishes, but honestly the improvement is not that drastic. I know it is still early in the treatment and I intend to update this review in a few months. My PIH is fading and my skin is looking more even and smooth. I will keep using this because there is scientific proof that tretinoin does great things for your skin. I spent nearly 5 months researching and reading everything I could about tretinoin before starting it and I encourage you to do the same in order to have a good experience.
I am 28 years old and love the product. It helps with breakout while combating wrinkles. I have been using for a little under a year and plan to use the product for the rest of my life. I did have to get a prescription for this but it was well worth the visit to the dermatologist. I rarely break out now, pores are smaller and skin is allover smoother. Very happy I started using this product!