My experience seems to be the same as many others - Used this product years ago and could NOT stick with it. It was unbearable. I know, however, that if you can make this stuff work for you, it will produce benefits that no other product can. So I've begun using it once again, differently than before. I used to use it for one night then wait until the severe burning, redness and peeling died down to use it again, which ended up being once a week usage. I wasn't able to use it consistently enough to see real results. My skin just couldn't handle it. I should mention two important points - I have incredibly sensitive skin that reacts in a huge way to seemingly anything, and my goal in using this product is to decrease pigmentation/acne scarring, decrease breakouts/clogged pores, and smooth out my skin texture. Other info: I'm a 28 year old female, I'm using the .04% strength, my skin is very oily but still gets flaky really easily.
Here is what I'm doing: Every day during a span of time that I'm home alone and it's ok to be makeupless I wash my face and WAIT 30 minutes. I then apply a pea-sized amount (in actuality it's probably half that) to my whole face - dot it all around then smooth it out. I do not apply any more under any circumstance. In the beginning, I left it on for 1-2 hours. Sure enough I had peeling so I knew that was an appropriate amount of time to start with. After a few days of this, I increased to 2-3 hours. I'm currently using it for 3-4 hours, and I've been using it now for 3 weeks. I did try 5 hours one day and ended up with a chemical type burn, very painful. So I stopped for a few days. Even at this duration, I sometimes will skip a day or two here and there to let the reaction calm down. I must say tho, this is much more manageable doing it this way. I also use Paula's Choice BHA, ProActiv Glycolic Toner, and ProActiv Benzoyl Peroxide lotion every day (one layered over the other, at night/under makeup - Never in combo with the Retin A Micro). I exfoliate with a baby face cloth or the ProActiv cleanser, and I moisturize with a Paula's Choice gel moisturizer. Some days my makeup goes on ok, and some days it doesn't. But I'm willing to stick it out. If I have an important event and really want to make sure my makeup looks good, I will make sure to skip at least the day before so that I can minimize flaking as much as possible. Usually the day of is ok as long as the peeling is under control that day (peeling is usually delayed by a day or two).
What I'm noticing after 3 weeks, currently in week 4: My skin texture is becoming smoother.
I'm determined to keep using this so I can see full results. I will update in a few weeks or sooner if I notice any bigger changes.
Update: It's been one month, currently using it almost every day for about 4 hours each time, give or take a half hour. Today I used it for 5 hours. My skin looks the best it has looked in a long time. Old hyperpigmentation is fading. Texture is smoother and skin seems to be peeling less (although may take that comment back tomorrow haha). No active breakouts.
Update #2: It's now been just about 6 weeks. I'm noticing that my skin is thinning and I have to be more careful with it now. I can use the retin a micro for up to 8 hours at a time, with no crazy burning/major redness, just very dry peeling/flaky skin. For some reason it seems to depend on the day how well my skin will tolerate it/how much dryness and how long it lasts. My skin doesn't look as good as it did two weeks ago - my skin can literally look fairly good one day and pretty awful the next (blotchy, red, uneven, broken out) - For me it pretty much all depends on my hormones. That said, overall there is a *definite* improvement. I'm currently using it every second or third night (it's tough to use it more because I want my skin to look good in makeup...). I'm going to start every second night religiously and I'll update. It was a bit easier to use it daily for a shorter amount of time but I know the duration is important as this topical is time-released... To get the full benefit, you need to use it for more than a few hours. It's been a great way to ease into it tho and I don't think I could have done it otherwise! One thing I find is helping is to spray my face lightly after I've set my makeup with powder with a hydrating spray - The one I'm currently using is by Earth Science. I don't think it really matters what you use as long as it doesn't irritate your skin. It helps disguise the peeling. Some days it looks pretty great, other days it's quite noticeable. Random observance: My skin seems to feel more firm. Will update in a couple weeks. :)
I have suffered with acne since my early teens and Retin-A is one of the only products that has worked for me. It's not a quick fix and took over a month to show results, but over time it has really controlled my breakouts and helped to clear my skin. I started out using .04% a few times a week, but now my skin is no longer sensitive to the medication and I use it every night. Occasionally, I get a few dry spots but I put moisturizer on the dry area and have no further issues. It's been a lifesaver for me and really transformed my "problem skin' into 'great skin". I recommended Retin-A to a friend of mine who has cystic acne and it dramatically changed her skin as well after a few month. It's definitely worth a try!
I like this incredible well! It has transformed my skin!
This is the best skincare product I have ever used in my life, hands down.
I've had acne since I was a teenager (along with rosacea, but that's a separate issue), and nothing I ever tried REALLY stopped it. Not only did I have the horrible pimples popping up ALL the time, but on top of that, they left PIH marks on my very delicate skin, making it look like I'm constantly in the middle of a breakout all over my cheeks.
I tried just about everything, and while some things were slightly more effective than others, none REALLY fixed my skin...until I finally got on Retin A Micro.
Prior to this, I did try regular Retin A (cream), but an ingredient in it caused me to break out. Still, I was having some good effects from the Retin A, so I decided to look into the Micro instead, and I'm SO glad I did.
I never experienced any sort of break in period with this, where my pimples got worse than before. They just...over time...vanished. I'm now in my third month of using this, and I don't have a single pimple on my face. Not ONE. Not only am I breakout free, but my pores are looking much smaller due to the fast turnover rate of my skin...and my undereye circles are less noticeable because the Retin A Micro is causing my skin to thicken and produce collagen (I do use eye cream before I apply, though, and let it dry for 30 minutes before applying the Retin A).
The only issue I've really had with it is that it can be VERY drying...but I'm using the .1%, which is the highest Retin A Micro goes. In order to deal with the flaking, I've started to put moisturizer on top of the Retin A Micro, about 30-40 minutes after. I also alternate nights with a glycolic acid creme, but I don't recommend this when you're beginning to use Tretinoin, because your skin is much thinner and more sensitive in the beginning. After a few months, you can try to patch test it to see if you skin can handle it. But for my skin, the combination works really well to keep me from getting too flaky.
I order this from http://www.inhousepharmacy.biz/ , where (as of my writing this review) you can buy three 20 gm tubes of Retin A Micro for $113...for reference, one 20 gm tube lasts me around five months, so that is over a years supply. If you break that down by month, it's not even 8 dollars a month for this miracle product...definitely worth it!
I HIGHLY recommend trying this product...I usually consider my skin extremely sensitive, but even I can make it work with little to no hassle. And when you try it, do try it for at least 12 weeks, to give it a fair shot. It takes a while to work it's magic, but it's SO worth it.
I have finally found my miracle cream! I highly recommend anyone with severe acne try this. I am a 24 year old female and have always had acne prone skin. I have experimented with many different products and nothing seemed to work. My acne became more severe when I turned 21 and that's when I began to get desperate. After numerous trips to the aestheticism, my doctor, and the dermatologist nothing was working I was starting to loose hope. My roommate then told me about RAM and insisted I try it. After about 4 weeks of horrible breakouts I began to see clearer skin. I am now in week 8 of using this and I haven't had a single breakout in 2 weeks.
I wash my face every night with my clarisonic and aveeno face wash. Then ill use CeravePM immediately after washing. I then wait about 15 minutes for the lotion to absorb and apply a very thin layer to my entire face. Once the RAM has dried I use a heavier lotion like Burt's Bees intense moisturizer. My face is a little dry when I wake up but nothing a little lotion doesn't take care of.
I order my retina a micro 0.1% from inhousepharmacy.biz and only pay $40 for a 20g tube. This cream has changed my life. Highly recommended!
I've struggled with mild acne since I was 16. A couple of years ago (in my early 20s) I went to the dermatologist who prescribed me Retina-A-Micro - my skin seriously has not been the same since.
First of all - I should point out that I'm also on birth control (which I think you have to be if you're female and using this product ...) which has greatly helped my skin (as most of my acne was hormonal) as well as Clindoxyl. However, I have noticed that since adding Retina-A-Micro to my routine about a year ago - the texture of my skin has changed immensely.
I gotta start out with the fact that I really didn't follow the doctor's instructions as to how to use the cream - I know you're supposed to apply all over your face ... but I cheated and only really applied to affected area. So basically my T-Zone. Since I also don't get acne on my forehead - I never really tried this up there either. I do however stick it right between my eyebrows when I get the occasional pimple.
What I've discovered is: yes, this cream dries out your skin tremendously. So to counter balance that - I've started using some pretty heavy duty moisturizers. I now use the Korres Wild Roses 24h Brightening cream for the day & a combination of the Origins Night-A-Min & Origins Drink It Up Intense Overnight Mask (2 nights a week or over spots where I'm extra dry) for the night & Hydraluron Moisture Booster from Indeed labs underneath during the winter anddddd my skin has never been happier.
I've found that my acne is not as severe as it used to be - spots (especially when I zap them at night with Retina-A) tend to go away in (sometimes) hours or 1/2 days. I don't get those deep spots that hurt like hell anymore. Old spots as well do not scar the way they used to & dark spots go away within a week. I do find however that at the end of the day - if I rub areas where I have been using the Retina-A cream (chin, inner cheeks near nose) .. concealer & dried skin comes off (usually during the winter - not really during the summer).
Regardless of the above - my skin has never looked brighter & better - so lovveeee it!!!
This is the only product that has reduced my blackheads/whiteheads. Various products, Epiduo, Ancaya gel have gotten rid of my inflamed acne, but only Retin A Micro has worked on the closed comedones. I am very happy with the results. Additionally, I have experienced an overall refreshening of the skin. I would say it has taken off a good ten years; I am 42. I do not have wrinkles but RAM has improved the tone and overall clarity. What I really want to explain is how I was able to avoid an initial breakout and severe peeling stage. I started off for about 6 months on the Skincueticals retinol 1%. That sort of prepped my skin for the main event. I still get dry on occasion, but nothing that can't be solved by a little Argan or jojoba oil. Seriously, ladies don't spend your hard-earned $$ on department store miracle creams...they don't make a significant difference!! Go for it!
One of the best topical cream ive used... Yes, you'll break out fort the first month because it penetrates deep inside the skin... And brings out all the dirt and bacteria( maybe) inside that causes new pimple to form... For me it dries my pimple really fast then peel the dead skin that is on top of my face and brings out the new one, you'll see that even the dark spots are becoming less visible in the long run. I will buy this product again... 2 thumbs up for this product
Retin A has saved my skin and now that RAM is generic I got this right away. For me this works the best with less irritation then the cream and less dryness then the gel. I have this in the 0.1% because now since I have been using these products for over 2 years my skin is finally clear and able to handle a higher dose. Let me tell you as others have said it does get worse before it gets better. I swear it really does. If you use it minimally at night and moisturize the redness and flaking will be minimal compared to if you use to much. I learned that the hard way and was red and really dry for days. I now use this for its anti aging properties but apply like I would if I still had acne.
I wash with a milk or creme cleanser I do apply my toner and eye cream. I consider the eye cream area the place I don't want to put this product. Or by your nose it will make it super tender. Once my skin is dry about 20 minutes. I do apply a slight bit above my lip but a pin drop. The generic I have has a small tube opening so you don't waste product it's awesome! Any way I work from my forehead down skipping the areas that I don't need it. For me I apply CeravePM almost right after and have had no bad results. I have been doing it for years and it works for me. With this I am seeing more results and less irritation which, I am stoked about. My forehead lines and old scar is so minimal and my acne scars are almost gone. If I do get a monthly spot this product decimates it.
About an hour after the Cerave if I'm still feeling a little dry I'll use KORRES Yogurt Sleeping Mask. I also use Aha's and Mandelic Acid specifically to keep breakouts at bay and give my skin a rest from the RAM. I also got this for 20$ something on MyLashes4Less figure I say that for those who can't afford the co pay or like me my insurance won't cover it. I got it in 2 days and it's a 20gram tube which lasts me about a year the way I use it. So those of you with breakouts or if you're trying to fight time like me I can attest going on 3 years this product works! The only time I had an ill effect is when I put on too much. So stick with it if you're hating it because soon you will love it. I never thought I would love this stuff and I hated my bearded dragon look but all that goes away in time reveling awesome skin.:)
I used Retin A (not micro) years ago, and had terrible problems with flaking but had improved texture. Over time, I gave up on it, in particular when I had my two children since RAM is not recommended during pregnancy. I have been struggling for the past 10 years with clogged pores and lots of under skin bumps, along with general mild acne. I finally got it together and went to the derm and asked for Retin A. He prescribed the low-dose gel, RAM .04%. I started slowly and worked up to almost every night over a couple of months. The improvement in texture and clarity is dramatic on my chin and cheeks.
However the forehead, which is a real trouble area for me with lots of clogged pores and bumps under the skin, improved a bit -- but not enough to make me feel happy. I noticed that a reviewer here had recommended increasing the dose when you are acclimated to the low-strength version, so on a 6-month follow up with my derm, I requested RAM .1%. He advised me to use RAM .1% only on the areas where I felt it was needed and to stick with the lower strength for the cheeks and chin, which I am doing. In the evening, after cleansing, I put a small amount of RAM .1% on my forehead and down my nose. Then I use a small amount of RAM .04% on the rest of my face. So far so good, there is some smoothing and some evening of texture in my problem areas. I have only been on the RAM .1% for a couple of weeks, so I am hoping that over the next 5 months I will have better improvement on the forehead.
The great news is that RAM is now available in generic! So, while my original RAM .04% prescription cost a $40 co-pay (after I fought to have it covered at all) back in May 2013, the new prescription for RAM .1% cost only $10 co-pay in November 2013! Now that I am on RAM, I think I will keep using it forever.
The bottom line is that RAM is a godsend for those of us with slow cell turnover and clogged pores. Folks, give it a try (for at least 6 months) to see if it can help you. If you use it slowly and consistently and work up to the full dose, I bet you will be happy with the results!
UPDATE 3/10/14: I found some good benefit from the RAM, but a follow up visit to the dermatologist revealed that some of the bumps weren't responding because they aren't comedones, they are sebaceous hyperplasia. That's a huge bummer because that is a very difficult condition to treat. I have started adding Paula's Choice Resist BHA 9, and so far have had some improvement. I am going to review the PC BHA 9 separately. I hope this new regimin works and will update my review over time.