I tried a higher % of Tretinoin cream a few years ago, and it actually was the product that gave me lasting scars more than anything else. My skin became so red and painful in the middle of the break-out stage that I couldn't possibly continue using the product to heal the break-outs it caused. Not a fun time.
But I'm so glad I gave tretinoin a chance again, at a lower percentage. Ever since using this cream, my skin looks so smooth, and my scars are finally fading. I've tried so many other things for scars, from cheap Fair & Lovely cream, to lemon juice, to more expensive AHA/BHAs, and glycolic acid 5% and 10%. Even 15% TCA peels that leave you housebound for a week while the outer layer of your skin completely peels off. None of them made a visible difference, amazingly, and I view all of that as a waste of money.
I've been using Tretinoin 0.025% for about two months now. My skin was fine the first week, with some reduction in pores and a nicer skin tone. Then the purging started, which really only affected my chin (many whiteheads for about 2-2.5 weeks) and forehead (breakouts that lasted about a week). This past month, the only side effect I've had to deal with has been dryness and peeling. I had dry skin before using this, and even though my skin doesn't feel particularly dry, I still wake up to peeling around the chin and lip area. It's lessened a lot from the 2nd-3rd week, though.
The best thing about this cream might be that thanks to insurance, it costs about $1 for a month's supply.
I'll update if anything changes, but for now, this is easily HG. I can't possibly see any reason to waste money on anything else.
I randomly had an incredibly severe breakout. Not sure what caused it, no new products, my face just went nuts. I've never suffered from acne before, but suddenly had cystic acne everywhere. It was painful and I was embarrassed to go out without tons of makeup on.
I got a tube of the tretinoin cream to try to clear it up and from the day I started using it onwards, no more zits. My partner suffers from severe scarring acne and he uses the same cream in the same concentration and it has completely eliminated the problem. It hasn't helped the pitted scars much on him, but has made any red scars completely invisible.
I noticed that my skin where I was applying the cream was much nicer than the rest of my face. The pores were smaller, the fine lines were getting less visible, and the oil production was more balanced. I expanded the area I was applying it to anywhere with large pores or lines, skipping dry areas and areas without those issues.
It's only 2 weeks in but I think this is the best thing I've done for my skin in a long time. My pores are nearly invisible, which gives my skin an incredible looking texture and glow. The small fine lines are gone on my forehead and around my mouth. And of course, NO zits whatsoever.
I apply this by washing with my clarisonic and moisturizing well, then waiting about an hour and applying this immediately before going to bed. I have a little mirror and the tube on my bedside table and just put it on while I'm reading or watching Hulu. I am diligent about my SPF, which I think also helps. My day cream has SPF, my primer has SPF, my foundation has SPF, my powder has SPF, and in addition to it I put on an SPF 50 before applying makeup.
This stuff is great! I highly recommend trying it.
I have Retisol-A 0.025% which may be what it is sold as in Canada.
I was referred to a dermatologist for my acne and sebaceous hyperplasia. Fortunately, benzaclin prescribed by my GP cleared up the acne. My derm prescribed the retisol to reduce the oil on my face which is does but as bonuses, my skin is smoother, brighter, the acne scars are fading and a little goes a long way. It spreads very nicely. I take my pea-sized amount, dot it on my forehead, cheeks, nose, chin and temples and rub it in from those dots.
I have NOT had any redness or irritation from it possibly because it's only 0.025%. I have even used it twice a day with no negative effects. Currently, I cut back to once a day at night. It's getting a little complicated to schedule all the product. This is how I do it, at least this week. Day 1, Boots MicroDerm Exfoliator in the morning followed by lots of moisturizer, retisol-a in the evening. Day 2, Benzaclin in the morning, retisol-a in the evening. Seems to be working.
Ok, I think I waited long enough to write this review on the Retacnyl, beacuse I wanted to get the full effects of the product before reviewing it. I am using the Retacnyl .05 (generic Renova), not the milder .25. Just wanted to clarify that. I have been using this retinoid almost 5 months, and there is one thing I want to really be clear on, since alot of people dismiss using a retinoid after only 8 weeks or so. That is nothing, in the retinoid world! I broke out for a full 4 MONTHS! Please, if you start a retinoid, please stick with it for 6 months before making a judgement about it. I can't tell you how many times I almost threw in the towel on this! Now my skin is flawless and it took over 4 months to get to this point. I still have a few residual red marks on my chin from the breakouts, but those are fading at lightening speed. I also tried every combination known to man, in applying this..moisturizer first, moisturizer after, alone, every day, every other day, in combination with other products etc...
The best way for me was directly on dry skin, nothing under it. I also made a crucial mistake in the beginning by putting it on every night. I did use the pea size amount, but I started out too fast. This could be why I broke out bad, but I'm not sure. I also broke out mainly on my chin, but i did have other breakouts on my face, just not as bad as the chin area. I also had NO acne beforehand, so I was quite suprised that I broke out like this. I actually love the Retacnyl, as it is emolient and I think not quite as harsh as the cream retin a. Another mistake I made is not moisturizing after the retinoid, because I assumed since it was so emoilient, it wasn't drying me, but it was a little, and I now realize that you have to put moisture back in your skin.. Now, I have my routine perfected, and it is very simple!
Morning..cleanse, Glycolix Elite SPF 30, makeup
Night......cleanse, Vanicream skin moisturizing cream around mouth area, Retacnyl, then before bed, Vanicream all over face. That's it!
One more thing regarding Renova vs Retacnyl, I think the Renova is only in .02 now, not .05. It also has fragrance in it unlike the Retacnyl. I don't do fragrances! The Retacnyl is a fabulous retinoid, and if you're considering using one with less drying effects, I would highly suggest this. If you want to know where to get it besides Medsmex, just email me. Hope this helps someone, and the main point I want to make is that you have to go longer than 4-5 months to see the results with a retinoid, even though some lucky people see results within 2 months.
I do use it every night!
EDIT: Just wanted to update and add a few things. I have been on tretinoin 9 months now and my skin has really improved drastically! I did switch up things a bit. I am now alternating between the Retacnyl and .05 Retin A. I just wanted to see if there is a difference between the emollient version of tretinoin and Retin A and I see no difference using the two different forms. Another thing that made a drastic difference with me was using my Vanicream moisturizer BEFORE the tretinoin. I slather a large amount of Vanicream on right after washing my face and then before bed, put on the tretinoin. This really helped with the drying effects of tretinoin, and it still works this way, so just wanted to let people know, that if you're having problems with the tretinoin, moisturize first.
EDIT #2: I am just updating so people can read my experience with retinoids. I am now using just the Retin a .05 and now putting directly on skin instead of buffering. I waited 14 months before trying this because I was scared my skin couldn't handle it, but to my suprise, it is working well, because I heavily moisturize! After putting on the Retin A I wait about 5 mintues and then slather Argan Oil and then the Vanicream Moisturizer and this seems to work really well for me. Awhile back I started upping my "pea size" of retin a to disastrous results, so when they say a pea size, they mean it. Don;t use any more than that! I got so dry, thats when I added the Argan oil and I stuck with that along with my moisturizer. It really healed my skin fast. I've learned alot with retin a, and I guess the main thing I think that is soooo important is to really moisturize well!
I am now approaching the 2 year mark and my skin has really improved in many ways. The texture is even, no breakouts whatsoever and smaller pores. As you can read from my review I have tried every combination known with this and the best way for me seems to be slathering on my Vanicream moisturizer (love) right after I cleanse. This is such a wonderful inert moisturizer with no actives. Then I just put my Retin A on before bedtime. I was at one point putting the Retin A on after cleansing and that worked, however, I would later peel a little around the mouth so that little bit of drying wasn't worth it. I just now put the Vanicream on first. I literally went through you know what with this my first 6 months, but i can honestly say it was all worth it in the end. Patience is key, and I read about those that stop at month 3 and i just want to scream at them. I really think anyone can use Retin A if they just use it right which means slooooow! If you jump in too fast like me there is trouble in the beginning
I am at the 2 1/2 year mark with tretinoin and just giving another update. Just using the .05 retin a and loving it. I did switch up the way I moisturize though. I am now using Coconut Oil! It is really amazing for your skin. After I wash my face I slather on the oil and then I still use a little of the Vanicream under my eyes over the oil. Before bed, the retin a. It's a little tricky to use the oil during the day though. I just use my sunscreen. Every so often I'll read some of the retin a reviews and I realize that a lot of the problems people are having are starting to fast with it and not moisturizing enough. So please remember to moisturize!.
So maybe I can't write the BEST review yet, but i'd still like to share with everyone with acne-prone skin how this product has worked for me thus far. I just finished my 8th week on the tretinoin 0.025% cream and i've been using it every other night consistently. I would describe my acne as being mild to sometimes moderate? It has its days when it just freaks out and days when it looks totally normal. Literally as soon as I turned 20 I started to get the occasional under the skin red, hard pimple that doesn't seem to surface, but is totally painful for a couple of days. It was when they started occurring more frequently that I started freaking out! I was introduced to clarasonic, the "cleansing system" and for the first six months of its use, my skin seriously changed for the better. I wasn't getting the usual breakouts anymore and it became almost perfect again, with the very small hint of HP left behind. However, I developed these really tiny, hard pimples on my forehead that just WOULD NOT go away! I even switched my cleanser, but they persisted. They didn't look "bad" but in certain lighting they looked absolutely gross! Around this time my right cheek also broke out with a couple of really painful/hard pimples. So i ran to the derm and asked him about retin a. He seemed a little skeptical, but he prescribed it to me nonetheless. However, he made the MISTAKE of giving me the 0.05% strength. I have NO IDEA why he would think to start me on the medium strength. So for three days of using this product nightly, my skin was peeing in sheets. ugh. Not only that, but it was painful and sore to the touch so much so that it hurt to apply moisturizer. I knew I had to get the lower strength. So after a couple of calls to the derm and the pharmacy I got started on my retinoid journey. I automatically noticed a couple of new ugly additions to my face, but I reassured myself that it was the just the initial breakout. It was very mild and within days I noticed a clarity to my face. The hard/small pimples on my forehead were GONE and it was finally smooth! Previous scars began to fade and face took on almost a "porcelin-like" appearance. I did notice an increase in oil production. So after eight weeks, I can say that I still get breakouts, but they've become more minimal in size and they clear up faster. The downfall with this product is the HP that results after even the smallest of pimples and I know this is only because the skin becomes considerably thin. In addition, since I've been using it every other night, I feel as though I've avoided majority of the initial breakout. I did notice the few days in a row when I applied the cream, I had a new pimple the next day to deal with. So my message to the rest of the retin a world is to TOTALLY use this product (because it's amazing and makes you look fab) minimally. Every other day is perfect for me. I also feel as though the retinoid needs a couple of days to really kick in anyway. My skin always peels the second day after applications, never really the first, make of it what you will. I can't wait to hit the three month mark with this product. I look forward to seeing if my breakouts with subside completely or not. Btw, don't get me wrong, my skin is totally fine. It takes a few of dabs of concealer to perfectly hide a couple of the HP marks. I'm just paranoid and hate the thought of marks on my face, the same way we're all OBSESSED with our faces. I wish you all luck on this journey!
My derm. had initially wanted to prescribed me with Stieva-A, but later changed her mind and gave me Retacnyl instead as she said this is better. I have not heard of this product prior to using it. I use it only on my T-Zone as the skin on my cheeks are too sensitive for it. I would say it works better compared to Differin Gel (which I rated two lippies). My problems for T-Zone are- lots of small blemishes on forehead, alot of blackheads on the nose, and cluster of white heads on the chin. I have used Retacnyl for 10 weeks now and I can say the blemishes on my forehead are lesser and smaller, the blackheads on my nose still appear, but since using this, they are easier to squeeze out, and the white heads on my chin are a little less prominent. However, the results are not consistent, one week my T-Zone could look clearer, and the next week it could act up again. Method of usage- I apply nightly, waiting at least half hour for the skin to dry before application. I use it consecutively for a few days, and then let my skin take a break for another few days before I repeat the cycle so the skin doesn't get too dry and becoming too red. One point to note is I suspect Retacnyl is cheaper than Stieva-A. I paid USD11 for Retacnyl. I used Stieva-A a few years back and can't recall how much I paid, but I think it should be around USD18.