Retin A Micro


220 reviews

78% 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 10/11/2015 1:35:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

I am no newbie to chemical exfoliators. They are possibly the best thing that's ever happened to my skin's texture. However after burning my face with Tazorac and then years later giving Retin A a shot - I swore off touching a tretinoin product again. My skin is just too thin, sensitive, and rosacea prone. randomly occurred to me that I had never given Retin A Micro a chance one night. After reading up on how it differs from typical Retin A, I ordered a tube. Afterall, my skin has changed over the years. I got rid of my acne & cut down on oil production (see my Spearmint Tea review). Additionally, I learned the importance of one's skin moisture barrier. So I incorporated a "snail slime" serum into my skincare routine. This alone was enough of a change to help my sensitive skin tolerate higher percentages of alpha hydroxy acids.

Then I moved onto Retin A Micro. I really appreciate how this comes in a gel formula rather than the Retin A cream I had experimented with. It dries down to a matte finish and doesn't feel tacky on my skin.

One giant pro of Retin A Micro is it's time released (Retin A is not). This means you don't have to wait to apply after most skincare products. The time releasing trait also helps sensitive skin a ton by not burning the second it reaches skin (also unlike Retin A). My face is currently very, very smooth. I LOVE glycolic acid toners but I can definitely see what people mean when noting that tretinoin goes deeper into skin.

I will repurchase. I've had WAY better luck with Retin A Micro than I did with Retin A.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 8/21/2015 1:59:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I used Retin A a couple years back when I was a teenager however I did not stick with it.I did not want to keep using Retin A because I broke out worse than I ever had. So I recently went to the dermatologist about 3 months ago because I had a bad break out mainly around my chin area. She prescribed me Retin A, Onexton, and Doxycline. I have been using Retin A for 10 weeks now and my skin has been through a lot of changes. Within week 1-4 my skin had completely stopped breaking out. I was so shocked because I thought I had skipped the purging period. Well I was wrong. Week 5-8 was my purging period. But it honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think this was due to the fact that I was taking antibiotics. I am now on week 10 and I can tell a difference in my skin. I get a pimple maybe once a month and it only last for a day or 2 then is gone. I still have some acne scars but they are fading away. Overall Retin A has worked for me and I cant wait to see more result the longer I use it.

on 8/17/2015 8:37:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I'm using a generic version of Retin-A .1% made by Spear pharmaceuticals. Prescribed by my dermatologist. When I went to pick up the prescription it was $346!! With my insurance the price went down to eight dollars. So including the co-pay for the dermatologist visit I spent $58. Which when compared to over-the-counter cosmetics is next to nothing.
DO NOT WAX WHEN USING THIS. I learned that lesson the hardest way.
Apart from that, it started out an unpleasant experience as far as redness and itching and irritation. That all fades as you build up tolerance. Coconut oil and CDLM mitigated most of the symptoms for me. I'm using it for anti-aging and it is working. I've only been using it a few months and I can already see results.
Tretinoin is an actual proven anti-ager. One of the very few, apart from sunscreen. In my opinion it is worth the investment and it is worth checking out regardless of your skin situation.
Be prepared to be diligent with SPF and moisturization. Until you have built up a tolerance do not use this around the corners of your mouth. It also cleared up some postpartum KP I had on my upper arms.

** If you do not have insurance the price is astronomical. However at many dermatology offices they sell their own compounded brand of tretinoin. In my experience these creams are around 75 to 100$.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 8/5/2015 10:34:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Other

I was super worried before I started using this product from the reviews I read that I would be a red, chemical burned, peeling mess! I have very oily skin with some acne and scarring. I have not experienced any of the redness or peeling. My skin is slightly drier in some spots, but that's about it. This has helped calm down my acne and even if I have a little bump form it makes it go away before it turns into a full-blown pimple. This is also helping my scarring and evening out my skin tone. The price is INSANE if your insurance doesn't cover it, and if you are paying out of pocket this cream is not worth it in my opinion! If you struggle with acne or scarring and you are getting a decent price, I would say try this, but I think it would be better suited for people with oily skin.

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 21/15 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!!

Oct 3/15 update: I'm still using the Retin-A regularly and have been prescribed BCP (Tri-Cyclen Lo) about 3 months ago to treat my hormonal acne. My acne is now gone and slowly my PIH (post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation) has been clearing up! The only thing I've noticed is that the fine lines around my mouth (smile lines/nasolabio lines) have been getting more prominent (I'm 25 years old) and I'm actually curious to see if the Retin-A will eventually help with that. Will update if it does...

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: Oily, Medium, Warm

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: *updated 8/28/15

-Cleanse w/ Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
-Apply vitamin C serum
-Apply a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 (SPF is a MUST!!!)

-Cleanse w/ Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser
-Apply vitamin C serum
-Apply moisturizer
*wait 10-15 mins
-Apply pea sized amount of Retin-A tretinoin gel

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.

UPDATE 8/28/15
Skin is still great, but I found that it made my skin oilier. I did suffer from oily skin prior to using this medication but it made it a tad worse. No dry skin here. Either way, my acne is still under control.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Popular Treatments (Face)

4% Hydroquinone
4% Hydroquinone
15 Reviews
Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice
401 Reviews
144 Reviews

Back to Top