I love this stuff. And no, I have no relationship with the company whatsoever. I use it for the anti-wrinkle properties, not for acne.
If they ever stop making it I don't know what I'll do. I have very few wrinkles and I'm 53. I had more when I started using the stuff - about 5 years ago. People routinely mistake me for 10 years younger, or more.
Tips: 1)Start with Level 3 (the weakest) and move up, slowly, slowly, slowly. If your skin gets irritated, back off for a day or two. It took me a year to work up to Level 9.
2) Use a BHA product to keep your pores cleared out- for some reason GC aggravates my adult acne if I do not use BHA (I use Paula's Choice 2% BHA) BHA in the day, GC at night.
3)Keep using sunscreen! No reason to ruin the good that GC does.
I came upon Green Cream while in desperate need of some serious measures for my very acne prone, oily skin. I read many great reviews about the wonders it was doing for people's acne. I've found that the product works "ok". I do not like the fact that it contains alcohol and a dye to give it the green tint. It is a very strong retinol so if you have sensitive skin I would use no more than every other night. I experience flakiness if I try to use every night. I think that this product has moderately helped my acne, but not enough to continue using.
I started on 0.6%. I have been using this product for about 6 weeks. It is quite aggravating; I have experienced redness and burning. However, when my skin is not aggravated I can see that it is clear and has an even tone. I should state here, however, that I have also been using Philosophy's vitamin c powder, so this is probably contributing to the improvement in my skin as well.
I've been using this product (level 9) for months and haven't noticed any major difference in my skin.
Actually I have a question as well as comments. I bought the trial sample size tube of level 9 and it was a medium pea green color - definitely more colorful than your typical face cream. I liked it so I ordered a full ounce bottle, theoretically also Level 9. But the full size is a light mint green. I guess it's silly to equate color to strength, but did anyone else have this experience - and did you find the products to be, in fact, the same? If you are using level 9, what color is it?
As far as how it's working ... I think it's doing exactly what it's supposed to do at first; my skin is a little reddened and peeling. The first peel made my skin look gorgeous, but at the moment it seems thin, almost shiny, which paradoxically makes it look older but makeup sits better on it. I am hoping for an eventual thickening effect. Must be honest, I am a "picker" and at this point I wouldn't dare pick, I'd look like raw hamburger. This is probably a good thing!
I like the packaging, it's a pump
First let me say that I am a very strong believer in OTC Retinol products used in the PM and Vitamin C serums used in the AM. This combination does work, not overnight, but after 30-60 days you will begin to see a difference!!!! [depending of course on how much sun damage your skin has].
I began using OTC Retinol's about 4 years ago, starting with AfirmX cream, and this product is excellent! I began with Afirm's 1X moving to 2X and finally to the 3X [strongest] over a period of months. I did have to return to the 2X after a few weeks of using 3X as it was too strong for my fairly sensitive skin.
Then at the beginning of 2011, I discovered Green Cream. Again I started with the lowest dosage [Level 3] and progressed to Level 6 [ tried a sample size of the Level 9 but it was like Afirms 3X, just too strong for my skin] so I stayed with Level 6 which is equivalent in strength to Afirm's "too strong for me" 3X cream. After doing some research, I discovered that the reason my skin would tolerate GC's Level 6 but not Afirm's 3X was that the Green Cream is formulated so that those of us with fairly sensitive skin can use a stronger dosage without the ugly flaky side affects found with using stronger levels Retinols. It is for this reason only that I switched from Afirm to GC and why I stay with the GC. Both are great products.
If you have never used a Retinol product I would encourage you to begin with the lowest level and if that is tolerated well then advance to the next level. Please don't "jump" into the strongest level of either of these Retinol products in the beginning, do play it safe!
I used Level 6. This did not work for me at all. After 3 months of diligent use, my skin is rougher, my acne worse and of a more severe kind, and no effect on my fine lines at all. The packaging is good, but it would help if the contents were worth the price!
I really do like this product and feel as if it is working. Not as much refinement of my fine-medium lines as I had hoped but otherwise the condition of my skin is the best it has ever been (well at least in the last 10 years)....the only thing that I would say is that you NEED a really good sunscreen that will not wear off if you use this product because it REALLY makes you prone to sun damage. In my case, I take a medication that tells you to stay out of the sun and in combination with the Green Cream, I've noticed that I tend to get dark patches with an inferior sunscreen if I am in the sun for ANY extended period of time. Once I get off the medication, I think that this will not be an issue. But I just wanted to warn others in similar situations....
I actually used Level 6 for some years on the area around my eyes, because although it contained alcohol and sometimes irritated the hell out of my skin, I still liked the tightening and smoothing effect it had on my eye area. I have meanwhile discovered a much more effective product, namely Skinceuticals 1.0 retinol cream, which although stronger than Level 6 is far less irritating and also has much better results in terms of plumping up and smoothing skin. Level 6 used to cause a wierd darkening of the skin around my eyes, like really bad eye circles. I think that was the irritation from the alcohol, because I am not getting that anymore since I've started using Skinceuticals. It is certainly very important to use a retinol product, but there are far better products out there, without irritating ingredients, that are worth the investment.
I had fine lines around my eyes and lips, some breakouts, lots of bumps and blackheads and discoloration due to sun exposure. I have been using GC Level 6 nightly for about a month and love it. My skin is clear! No bumps, no blackheads, no breakouts. It's too soon to tell about the fine lines.
As others have reported this leaves your skin moist but not oily. I apply it every night and have had only very minor peeling on the tip of my nose.