I was given a sample of this two years ago from my dermatologist. It is potent stuff and really, really smooths fine lines. My best advice is to use this once a week to start with and literally the tiniest amount possible...the package instructions say to use a pea size amount for the entire face and that is accurate.
I have never built up to more than once per week and just in the last two months finally got brave enough to use it on my entire face(I started around the crows feet area because thats where my derm gently pointed out that I had fine lines! she's the sweetest:)
I top mine off with moisturizer on the advice of my derm and of course always wear my daily sun protection.
I purchase this directly from her office, no prescriptions. I used the sample tube and have only purchased one tube otherwise! It lasts forever! This is really a bargain then when you break down the costs..... A drugstore product or even a high end product would have been repurchased many times in the last two years, and I am certain I would not have produced the results I have had from refissa. Any leading skin care expert with tell you that you are wasting money on products if they aren't truly a retinol-the gold standard wrinkle treatment.
After years on Renova (currently only 0.02% tretenoin), I looked for generic alternatives (especially when my local pharmacy started charging $275 per tube, though it lasts nearly a year). Found Refissa for a lot less (about $68 for a tube that lasts about 3 - 4 months). It has more active ingredient (0.05%) in a more emollient base, good news for my super-dry skin. Rather than buying expensive creams with unproven ingredients, I prefer to buy inexpensive but rich creams for moisture (such as Nivea crème) and use my own anti-aging ingredients when I choose.
If you are looking for a less expensive alternative to Renova, Refissa is for you. It is FDA-approved, requires a prescription (just like Renova), comes in a sealed tube, has an expiry on the crimp of the tube, and is made by the same people who make CeraVe (marketed by Obagi).
I've used Retin A, Retin A Micro and Renova in the past. Nothing beats retinoids for fine wrinkles. Refissa is by far the best of those I have tried if you follow your dermatologist's directions perfectly. It does not have fragrance :-) I use a pea size for my entire face, every other night. I do not apply until at least 30 minutes after cleansing and toning my skin. My blackheads are gone, my skin is visibly more even toned and fine wrinkles lessened. Super important to wear sunscreen every day while using this product as your skin will be more sensitive. If you cannot tolerate every other night, go once every two to three nights until you find what works for you. I use Paula's Choice retinol serum on the nights I do not use Refissa. The results are fantastic!
I LOVE this stuff. I went to LA a few weeks ago and came home all broken out. My skin was an absolute mess. I had finished my sample of Jan Marini Bio Clear (wonderful stuff- look it up) so I pulled out a sample of refissa that my friend had given me. Off the bat I started using it about 4 times a week. I didn't know you're supposed to ease yourself into it. My skin is so clear and beautiful now!! Do I tingle? No. Do I peel? Well a few little minor spots I did. Nothing major. And I do love the emollient base, which is scary for someone like me who has combo skin (a little drier as I get older) but I wake up to soft, clear skin.
I'm religious about my BB Cream by Makeup Forever which has SPF 35, but I probably need to start wearing a hat when I run outside. Other than that this has made any adult acne I have disappear and made my skin glow. I had my dr. call in a Rx yesterday to Walgreens and it's going to be $100 WITH insurance. But you know what- I don't care because this stuff is so marvelous. I highly recommend it, esp if you have olive skin like mine because it can handle more than others.
My dermatologist perscribed Refissa to even out my skin tone. I began by using the product every other day which proved to be too aggressive. My skin turned a bright red and the texture had the appearance of poison ivy. In addition, my skin was flaking off in large clumps and itched like mad. I stopped using it for a week and started back slowing using it every three to four days which didn't help matters. I still had the same reaction. I am surprised to read the other reviews that indicate refissa didn't irritate the users skin.
Have used daily for almost a year. I have finally given up. There was no difference in wrinkles or lines......if anything.....it seemed to make it worse. I followed directions......really hoping this would work for the high price.
I have been using this for almost 4 months now and it has made a tremendous difference for me. I previously used Renova, but I always had peeling and irritation. I have had almost no irritation with Refissa and it has already noticeably improved the clarity and evenness of my skin. It is quite moisturizing on its own and I do not need an additional moisturizer after applying it at night. I would definitely recommend trying this if you are looking for a prescription strength retinoid.
I currently use this as a night cream before I go to bed, it tends to become hard to spread within SECONDS of placing it on your skin so I mix it with a little of my moisturizer. It is fantastic, it makes my skin feel so moisturized.
In comparison to Renova, Refissa does not have added fragrance (Renova has a white floral-type scent), Refissa has .05% tretinoin (Renova has .02%), and Refissa is highly emollient (Renova is more lotion-like, and often needs additional moisturizer layered on top). Having used both, I much prefer Refissa, because it seems to "plump" skin noticeably, and its softening, soothing properties last throughout the night. I believe Refissa was originally produced by Obagi, but it is now manufactured by Spear, which is a part of Coria Laboratories (the CeraVe manufacturers), which is a division of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in Aliso Viejo, CA. It appears Refissa has replaced the Renova with .05% tretinoin, at least on the US market. Refissa is an excellent product, but the price seems to go up every month. Refissa has .05% Tretinoin in an emollient base that applies like a very thick, heavy cream. It leaves a fine layer of product on my skin that absorbs slowly throughout the night. At first I was afraid Refissa was going to make my skin greasy, because it feels sticky after application, but my skin doesn't seem to be oilier. Refissa has the texture of diaper paste (think clear Desitin)) which makes it hard to spread over my face, and it feels heavy for about an hour. However, Refissa really softens my skin, and it definitely seems to smooth pores and fine lines. I use this nightly, immediately after washing (I've never waited 30 minutes because I'd already have oil) and I definitely use more than a "pea" size; probably about the size of 2 green peas (not the petite ones). I'm a small person, and I cannot imagine how a pea-sized amount of this could cover my whole face. Still, one tube lasts around 4 - 5 months. I've never had visible irritation with this, and I use it all over my face, around my eyes, and even on my upper neck. The only side effects I experience are when I'm in direct, hot sunlight (by the pool, gardening) my face sometimes tingles, and it never did before. Plus, if I'm not diligent about my spf30, my melasma blooms instantly. Even though my face now is always paler than the rest of me, my skin definitely seems healthy.
This is GREAT around the eyes! It has substantially reduced my fine lines. Lovin' it! Users please be aware that the "peeling" process is what it does: removing the outer layer of epidermis to reveal newer skin while heavily moisturizing. Good stuff!