Retin A Micro


216 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$


Retin-A Micro (tretinoin gel) microsphere, 0.1% and 0.04% w/w purified water, carbomer 974P (0.04% formulation), carbomer 934P (0.1% formulation), glycerin, disodium EDTA, propylene glycol, sorbic acid, PPG-20 methyl glucose ether distearate, cyclomethicone and dimethicone copolyol, benzyl alcohol, trolamine, and butylated hydroxytoluene.

on 2/18/2015 7:26:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Recently upped my Retin-A percentage from 0.025 to 0.04% w/w. I can already notice my face looking so much better. I did have some dry spells but I used my CeraVe diligently and havent noticed any flaking or redness yet. I'm mainly using this to see if I can get rid of my acne hyper pigmentation. I'll be updating this review as my progress continues and I'll let you guys know if it does the job. I have red and purple marks all over my cheeks with some ice pick scars (not very noticeable) and dents. I dont expect miracles, but I do hope the redness/PIH goes away! I started treatment in January and will update on my progress.

May 21 update: I have been still getting pimples here and there, no more cysts though. I recently added green tea to my diet and started taking omega 3 supplements and vitamins C, E, D and Biotin. I haven't had a pimple in a few days. Will update if anything changes!!

July 2 update: Unfortunately these didn't work, and I'm trying out spearmint tea now. Will update if anything changes. If you're interested to see how spearmint tea works (by reducing androgens) for hormonal acne, then head on over to the page here on makeupalley. I'll be doing a long term review, and plan on updating frequently (weekly basis).

on 2/13/2015 4:28:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Major dermatitis outbreak. The rash would form on a delayed timeline so I never correlated the RAM to the dermatitis rash. After a couple months of minor red rash on cheeks I went to derm and she told me it was retinoid dermatitis.

Also, it was just so strong. Even with major buffering I would peel for days. No bueno.

I am going clean turkey on retinoids for a month than back to differin.

on 2/7/2015 5:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I have been using the 0.04% for about a month now and my face has finally stopped purging. I have cystic acne on my temples, forehead, and chin plus oily skin. After 3 weeks of using this product daily, I have noticed healing and softer skin. Now on week 5 everything is healing up and i haven't really gotten any new breakouts. I am hoping in a few more weeks everything will be cleared up. Also my oiliness has reduced.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/12/2014 8:00:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Other


As implied, I have dealt with acne since early high school, and I am now in my fourth year of university. Yup, great timing eh? I have tried everything under the sun, and intense stress this past year threw me into a severe acne breakout on both my cheeks.

I went to the doc, and was prescribed retin a. At first I was quite skeptical and put off using it thinking it wasn't gonna work like all the other products/antibiotics (which btw are a terrible idea- your body is not supposed to be on antibiotics for a long time) etc... and I also didn't like the idea of having to wear sunscreen everyday (I figured the sunscreen would just make me look more greasy and break me out).

Anyways, I decided against accutane due to side effects by telling myself I should at least give this ago before doing "the hammer".

Boy am I glad I did. This stuff works amazing. it's exactly what my skin needed, clearly. After all these years, I have never seen results like I do with retin a. I have been using it for 3 months to this very day, 0.025 percent (I have fair, sensitive skin). Few pimples still coming up here and there, but my skin is almost completely clear, compared to earlier this year. Very weird though, retin a normally makes people very dry, but I got the opposite effect: my skin was greasy greasy for the first two months (4 blot sheets a day). It's better now, but still using 2 blot sheets a day. For me, the pimples only show up mainly around my period now, whereas before it was unpredictable... like 2/3 new ones everyday.


(Night) Manuka Honey +16 mask for 2 hours
rinse in warm water, pat face 80 percent dry
pat pea size of cetaphil lotion onto face
wait 45, apply dime size of retin a to entire face, patting it in

(morning) Wash my face using the Sukin all natural exfoliant
pat face 80 percent dry, pat pea size of cetaphil lotion onto face

This seems to work super well for my skin. The manuka honey has been amazing at keeping my skin redness free and blotchiness free while on retin a, and moisturizes so well.

Also, I never use sunscreen. Probably not good since it is recommended, but my skin tone seems to be fine and I haven't noticed any "sunburns" or whatever. I heard something about the sun diminishing retin a effects though but whatever I hate the feel of sunscreen.

EDIT **** After 5 months I have discontinued. Worked well, but didn't reduce breakouts very much in the end. Was better for scarring. Made my skin oily and orange-tinted and uneven. nothing compares to Neostrata... SEE MY NEOSTRATA GLYCOL RENEWAL REVIEW. Incredible. Retin A was good, but Neostrata is INSANE.

on 11/11/2014 6:51:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I've used this product for 10 months! TEN WHOLE MONTHS. I am impressed with the results it gave me. Before, I was riddled with acne. Small dots and zits all on my forehead and cheeks. It was horribly stressful. I've tried everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Anti-biotics, gels, creams, anything they can write a prescription for. Retin-A must have been my favourite. It's a sloooow process. I didn't see full results until around 3 months- and it did get quite puffy and inflamed before it got better. After 3 months... my skin improved drastically. I was not completely clear though. I stopped using Retin-A a 6 days ago because I am going on Accutane. I mean- I still have acne and Retin-A really really helped- but I'm looking for something to completely get rid of my acne. Thanks Retin-A! but It's time to bring in the big guns (Accutane)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Using this product is like taking a detour through hell to get to heaven. Seriously. I've suffered from acne ever since I graduated high school in '09. It's been 5 years of constant battle. My acne has gotten worse year after year. So painful and unbearable, to the point where I don't even go out with friends because I'm embarrassed. I use the, "I don't like going out" excuse. Anyways, I went to a dermatologist for the 1st time on September with hopes of obtaining Accutane. I was bummed when she told me I had to try Retin-A tretinoin 0.04% gel first alongside antibacterial pills. My insurance covered it and it was less than $30. I began using the gel every single night religiously. My skin became so irritable, sensitive, itchy and painful. My skin began to purge like HELL alongside my cheeks and jaw line. Painful, cystic acne began to emerge out of the nowhere. Yes, it deteriorated my self esteem. I began wearing my hair down at work to help conceal all of the bumps I had. This went on for the first 5 weeks. I am now on my 6th week and I am beginning to see some improvement in the texture of my skin. A lot of the acne on my cheeks has subsided and my skin is very smooth. Scars, so it seems, are beginning to fade away. I am still purging along my jawline but I'm sure it will subside soon. My makeup goes on smoother and I couldn't be any more content. I will give it a few more weeks and hope that one day I can go makeup free. Please, please, do not feel discouraged if your acne becomes unbearable and painful in the beginning; this is how the gel works. Give it some time. It will get worse before it gets better. It will work! Xo

My daily regimen is as follows:

-Cleanse w/ Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
-Apply Hyaluronic Acid all over face (about 4 drops)*
-Apply a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 (SPF is a MUST!!!)

-Cleanse w/ Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
-Wait 15 mins
-Apply pea sized amount of Retin-A tretinoin gel
-Apply Hyaluronic Acid all over face (4 drops)
-Apply Cetaphil lotion

Hope it helps!

UPDATE 12/25/14
Ladies and gentlemen, I have zero breakouts. ZERO BREAKOUTS at this very moment. Even after I threaded the sides of my face. (I was terrified of threading since it caused breakouts before. I found that using alcohol wipes on the area prior to threading AND after, prevents your skin from breaking out). I honestly cannot believe it. My skin is as smooth as a baby's bottom. 3 months of hell were so worth it! I am now left with a ton of scarring, so I purchased rose hip oil. I apply 3 drops all over my face after applying retin-a. I hope it works!

UPDATE 4/20/15
STILL ACNE FREE!!! 1 pimple a month. I'll take that any day.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 10/16/2014 6:12:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

Considerably reduced the whiteheads in my T-zone but left my skin reddish, blotchy and very dry after a few weeks. Too bad as it made my face look fresh and younger looking at first. Even tried skipping a day with no better results. Harsh in Canadian winter even for my oily skin. Mine was .04% retinol and my insurance covered it. However, after reading other posts on this site, I'll give it another shot. I want to look young and be whiteheads-free for once in my life. It would be a miracle if this happened.

An alternative I've found while off RAM are honey masks. I've been trying this twice daily in the last two weeks and whiteheads are almost gone but not the wrinkles. Honey makes your skin marvellously soft and non greasy.

Edit Oct. 23, 2014: Thanks to some of your tips, I've been reusing RAM but only after my skin is done flaking from the previous application, which is 2-3 days. My skin already looks more luminous and fresh. I use a very hydrating face cream the day after to avoid the dry feel on my skin as well as reduce the flakiness.

on 8/20/2014 5:23:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I'd been using Neutrogena healthy skin night cream and Dennis Gross alpha beta pads for years, but finally decided it was time to step up my anti-aging efforts. Thankfully, I don't have major skin problems or wrinkles. Just want to keep my skin looking good. I avoided retin-a cream due to acne triggering ingredients, and instead opted for the micro formulation. Some points about the micro:
1) It can be used right after cleansing with no need to wait;
2) Do not buffer it with any other creams as that will render the product ineffective;
3) Do not apply anything over it if possible;
4) Remember to wear sunscreen and/or stay out of the sun
5) Be nice to your face. Use a gentle cleanser and don't scrub it.

I started off with the 0.04% strength, using just less than a pea-sized amount (less is best!) every 2 days. On off days, I applied a small amount of cerave at night to help with minor flakes that went away within a week. After 2 months, I added 2% bha on the off-mornings, while still keeping RAM application to every 2 days (no need to change frequency). So far it has been ~6 months and my skin looks great. I don't get flakes or peeling, but once in a while my face can feel a little dry and tight. Those days I skip the RAM and just apply cerave. So does it work? Well, I regularly get told how great my skin is and how even and natural my face looks (psssst....I normally go bare faced!)

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 5/30/2014 1:23:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I just start using it last May 20 so I'm still experiencing breakouts so I'm just gonna use it for 8 weeks since that was my dr said and so scared about all the breakouts I'm 40 yrs old and scred that I'm might have more acne.. If somebody could advice me with this product I'll appreciate it. I was prescribe to use it 2x a day. Need help and advice Thanks a lot

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

In my teens, i had horrible oily skin, large pores, whiteheads, always had at least 2 or 3 cystics pimples, and acne scars. I was so self conscious of my skin that I never socialized with anyone nor did I join any high school activites or sports, it was that bad. I discovered retin-a and chemical peels at a dermatologist visit back in 2003. I did strong peels once a month and used the retina-a nightly religiously. After a year passed and I stopped getting chemical peels, my skin has never been better although not perfect. Im now 26 years old and still use retina-a to upkeep my skin, i only use it twice a week though because I do have to admit, it makes your skin very thin and sensitive. I was first prescribed the cream years ago but something in that made my face greasy, so the micro gel works the best for me. I can tell i will not have any wrinkles as well anytime soon because of the retin-a, my skin is super smooth. Just a note: never wax any part of your face if on retin-a, parts of your skin WILL rip off! And when applying retin-a at night, make sure your skin is completely dry and use a pea sized amount, pat it onto your skin DO NOT rub it in. Also, your skin will become dry so use a nourishing moisturizer even if you have oily skin. Trust me, those little tips make a huge difference in preventing irritation.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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