Used this as a teenager. Adult acne is worse than teen acne. Never had cystic pimples until reaching my 30's. So I went back to what I know.....Retin A .05% cream. Please use this with caution and its Rx only! Strictly for night time use before bed. My new routine is working wonders. Skin has noticeably improved within two weeks! Products I use along with Retin A.....Burts Bee's Radiance Cleanser, Kiss my Face sunblock, Extra virgin Olive Oil (night time moisturizer) & witch hazel for toner. My pores are much smaller, no more cystic pimples popping up and acne scars are gradually fading! those who aren't oily be careful...this product will make you dry & flaky if you aren't careful. Also I put the Retin A cream on after I moisturize w/the Olive Oil. Allow 15 minutes after you've cleansed your skin to apply the Retin A. I haven't experienced any flaking or dry skin!
I have used Retin A on and off since my teens many years ago. Then it only came in a gel and I couldnt tolerate it.
I now use the cream, mix it with a bit of cold cream so it spreads easier. I've noticed finer pores, less discoloration, fewer fine lines and in general better skin. I alternate it every other night with Beyond Belief AHA/BHA cream.
There have been times that I've slacked off and my skin returns to it former state and then I go back on it. It is worth the results. Someone even asked me if I had microdermabrasion treatments (I havent).
I will continue using Retin A. It is expensive, but keep in mind if you are traveling, in many countries it can be bought over the counter. Also use of a highly effective sunscreen is a must year round, but in my opion, its worth it!
I started using Retin-A early in 2012 for general aging prevention/reversal, as I was starting to see my mom's skin in the mirror every day and I just wasn't ready for that.
I used it every other day, alternating first with petroleum jelly patted on over damp skin, and later with a salicylic acid moisturizer (I wanted to use AHA's, but after repeated tries I just couldn't make it work without irritation). I didn't experience purging but my skin did become dryer and more sensitive; I switched my cleanser from cold cream to a rinsable oil because early in my use of Retin-A I found I couldn't tolerate the daily wiping to remove the cold cream. I had to be very careful to use only extremely gentle cleansers. I did experience moderate flaking for some months, but once I was able to use a very gentle exfoliant cloth (wiping, not rubbing, with almost no pressure) it was a minimal problem.
Several months in I noticed that my enlarged pores were much less prominent. The texture of my skin became smoother and finer. In general, my skin looked good, and I was satisfied. What I was not prepared for was that suddenly, about a year after I started Retin-A, my skin started looking *gorgeous*. It seriously had an amazing glow to it that I almost couldn't believe and was so even and beautiful.
Shortly after the one-year mark I moved and the disruption was enough to throw me off my skin care routine for over a month. My skin quickly went back to looking ordinary and my enlarged pores became more prominent again. I really regret stopping the Retin-A and now I'm back on it, going through the initial dryness and slight flaking. I alternate every other night with Up&Up (Target brand) .5% salicylic acid and will work back up to Paula's Choice 2% cream which is very rich and moisturizing. Once a week I give my skin a break from actives and just moisturize with Vaseline on damp skin. I notice the texture of my skin starting to improve already. The only thing I wish Retin-A did better was reducing the visibility of the sebaceous filaments on my nose. It has not addressed those at all.
Price: Free with insurance
Rating: 5 Stars
I was prescribed Retin-A about five years ago, and have used it on-and-off since then. When I use it consistently, it takes my mild/moderate acne completely away. My problem is that I am not entirely consistent with my application. I want flawless skin by June 15th, and I know that I can have it with consistent use. Today is May 6, 2014.
I am using the Retin-A in combination with Obagi Blender and Proderma Light (for the body). I am planning on posting pictures of my progress once everything is complete.
Use Retin-A, just be consistent with your use. It works very well. Allows you to not wear makeup.
This stuff just makes me angry when I think about it. I used this for MONTHS and all it did was make me look like one of the before people on proactive commercials. To start I didn't have bad acne to begin with. About once a month I'd have one cyst on my chin/sides of my chin. I know it was hormonal and that's the only spot I'd get acne. People would still even compliment me on my skin, saying I had great skin, I just wanted to get rid of that monthly cyst.
I go to a healing spa at our local hospital and they really helped my brother with his dermatitis so they recommended I go on this to help with some rosacia I have on my upper cheeks and to kill off those pesky monthly cysts. I did my research beforehand and did everything that everyone else did who had great success with this product. I used the smallest pea size amount, waiting an hour after washing face, I started off slow only using this 3 times a week. I could never even use this product every other day, it was still way too harsh for me. After the 2nd day of using this stuff my chin broke out in like 5 mountainous cysts! OH MY GOD. My entire chin looked deformed. I had to keep crushed up asperin mask on them to even talk, that's how painful and swollen it was! These persisted for weeks and then MONTHS. I was extremely traumatized both physically and emotionally as I became depressed from my skin's condition and the shame I felt constantly. I eventually stopped this after I got a rash like reaction on my forehead (a place I almost every break out) and then large cysts on the side of my face (also never break out there - my skin was like porcelain there before retin a).
I am convinced I was NOT purging with retin a. My skin was BEGGING me to stop irritating it. After I did my face improved dramatically. There is NO way that I had all that acne under the surface of my skin. I think only people with the absolute worst cases of acne would purge like that, not me and certainly not for that long. My skin is just not compatible with this product and all it ever did was inflame and irritate my skin. Now I am left with sooo many red spots from the old acne and lots of pock marks on my chin :(
I also hate how you can't be outside at all with this stuff. I don't care about sun bathing but I do like to be active in the summer (I do wear sunscreen) I like biking and running outside but with this stuff you can't do any of that. It made me feel like a vampire having to avoid the sun all the time.
I think you should only try this if you're older for wrinkles or have extremely bad skin to begin with and there's nothing to lose. After stopping this treatment I tried Dermadoctor's Ain't Misbehaving AHA BHA cleanser and their acne serum. I saw results within a day seriously! Right now I've been on it about a week and everything from my mouth upwards looks like porcelain again!! I still have redness on my chin and a small purge as I looked super congested there before I even began this new cleanser. BUT I can tell this is an actual purge instead of my skin begging me to stop. This purge is more typical spots, smaller red pimples that come to a whitehead quickly and then disappear. I can tell the cleanser is pushing out the oils and bacteria I had congested in there. That's also proof that retin a does not prevent future break outs, if it had I wouldn't of had congestion there even after months of use ffs. If your skin immediately reacts with violent cysts I would stop this stuff immediately. Paula's Choice has a nice write up about what is a purge, breakout and irritation or allergy. Reading that has helped me so much and also helped me stop using retin a. I'd suggest dermadoctor's line if you had occasional cysts like I did but don't want something as hardcore as retin a.
I have fine lines, overall redness and acne and wanted something to help. I did a lot of research and decided to change my entire skin routine.
I've been using Retin A 0.05% at night for 8 months with some breaks for IPL photofacials, so 6 months in total. I have also been using niacinamide 5% gel, which also reduces fine lines and acne according to the literature. Niacinamide isn't as effective as Retin A but it doesn't break down in daylight so I use that in the morning and at night.
I am finally started to see improvements in the fine lines, some have almost disappeared and the deep ones are noticeably shallower now. I am delighted. This seemed to happen quite suddenly at around the six months mark. I am really looking forward to the next six months!
Retin A and niacinamide seemed to help within two weeks for acne and continued to improve it for two months. I still get some spots but they are small and easily disguised with makeup.
My skin is still quite ruddy, so I'm getting IPL treatments for that and they are working slowly but surely.
Lately I've been getting a lot more compliments for my appearance and when I went out with no makeup at all recently, I got more attention then I ever have before. It seems I'm on the way to finally having nice skin :) Sometimes I think I'm only imagining the improvement, or I think I was imagining the problem in the first place and my skin was always nice!
My advice to anyone using this is to stick with it because it works slowly and moisturise more than you think you need to. Drink plenty of water. I use loads of silcocks base or shea butter before bed. They would be too greasy for the daytime. My day moisturiser isn't rich but it has spf 30. I oil cleanse at night and use a sulfate free foaming cleanser in the shower in the morning. I also got a very silky pillow case to reduce irritation to my skin. My skin seems more sensitive to heat now so I dress warm and keep my bedroom cool instead.
It is the only thing that actually keeps me away from breaking out while giving me a lovely skin texture! I have used it on and off ~3 years and I am pretty sure I will use it for another 30 or more years!
1) Clears skin.
2) Gives lovely skin texture.
3) Reduces wrinkles.
1) Comes only with prescription.
2) Not that available to get.
3) Makes skin super sensitive to sun.
4) If over-using, leaves skin flaky.
I had been using the generic tretinoin cream in .025% for approximately 4 months when I decided to up the strength. My skin's reaction was virtually identical to when I first began using tretinoin - peeling, dryness, a brief increase in blemishes and ruddiness. Now my skin has finally settled a bit and has adjusted to the product - I still have to be very careful, and can't use more than a dab (less than pea-sized) every night. I always buffer with jojoba oil (still can't apply it to neat skin), and wash with a gel cleanser in the morning + microfiber cloth to remove any new flakies.
My skin has never been happier! I've gone from having skin riddled with cystic acne and scarring to mostly smooth, clear skin with the occasional (rather than frequent) blemish.
I got this from my derm for hyperpigmentation from acne. Whenever I would get a breakout, it would leave a dark brown mark. My derm originally gave me the 0.025% one, and after one year it didn't work. He moved me up to the 0.05% and after 8 months, my skin looks absolutely amazing. I still get breakouts from time to time, but not as bad as before never any dark marks! It does make you peel for some time, as it takes some time to getting used to. I used really basic, non-medicated soaps to prevent more drying. I also moisturized with cetaphil cream to help it work too. This is my HG product!!!
I've been using it for 3 months. It got rid of sun damage on my forehead, I mean completely got rid of it.
BE CAREFUL that you only use a small amount, the size of a pea for your whole face, as others have said, it is very drying.
And if you get accelerated aging around your eyes, don't worry, it's not permanent. That happened to me, my eyes creped up, looked like I had aged ten years overnight, I was horrified, but it's because of the initial reaction of retin a with no moisturizer, and most people tend to overdo the retin a at first. It goes away, do not panic! Just stop using the retin a around your eyes for a week or two, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
If you want to avoid this wrinkly eye phase altogether, you can mix the retin a into your face with another oil. I like to apply the retin a very lightly after I've applied a moisturizer or moisturizing oil.
I started using Bio Oil a month ago and that's had really good results with my skin tone too. For me, these two products really complement each other.
Not sure if I would go any higher than .05% - that's strong enough for me. My face would really peel off if I upped the dosage. Not very expensive either, one tube is only $20 and lasts about 6 months.