There are so many reviews for Retin A and so many more for all the different retinol containing creams. But the distinction between the two has not been made clear entirely. In my review I will try to resolve misunderstands and add something based on my extensive experience with both of these.
You do NOT need to wait 30 minutes for your skin to dry before applying this. I apply right away and continue with other products immediately. I use a gentle foaming cleanser that I rinse entirely and I a paper towel to pat my skin dry. Then I follow with serum and night cream. Though it might be OK for some, I do not use my AHA on the nights when I apply tretinoin. I feel like it applies more uniformly directly on dry skin and it's also an excuse to cut off on exfoliating.
Tretinoin should be used at night otherwise sunlight will deactivate it. There is no harmful reaction for your skin. It's just that you're basically wasting product and time. Retinol is less sensitive to light and actually prevents DNA damage. While the final side effects are similar, Tretinoin does not give the immediate sensations that you can get from high concentrations of retinol right after applying. Be extra careful with tretinoin!
From trial and error I have found that the magic number with Retinoids and Retinol containing products is #3. You need three days to experience all possible side effects and to give your skin the time to get ready, for another dose which will also last you three days. Unless the concentration is lower than what you can handle, I do not recommend using retinols or retinoids more than once in three days. Use the minimal amount necessary to cover any surface and apply a heavy moisturizer over it - even if you have oily skin. To minimize tretinoin induced dryness upgrade moisturizers to something more oily than you would use normally. While this is difficult for the daytime, do it at least at night before bedtime.
I'm in my early 30s. I used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Night daily for several years until I switched to .05 Retin-A once in three days. 0.05 is my tolerance limit. The gels contain alcohol. I went for the cream. Compared to retinol, the effect is similar. Neutrogena is already cheap enough but Retin A saves me a lot of time, and some money. After all I am a male. I like things fast and easy, with no extra pampering.:)
NOTE: The few times I have experienced flaking it has between my eyebrows, beside my nostrils and on my chin. That seems to be a common thing. If your skin does't get used to it keep in mind that you can apply less or avoid applying Retin-A on those areas entirely. Different parts of the face have different levels of sensitivity.
I have waited almost a year before posting here. I spent many months pouring over reviews to reassure myself we had taken the right course. My son started breaking out horribly at 14-cysts and whiteheads. He began retin a and doxy last july. We started the doxy first and things started really clearing up. A week later we started tretinoin. Honestly there were late nights where i read this forum and cried thinking i had messed up. The worst of the cysts did clear, but he did break out still and the healing process was rough. We used a small pea sized amount three times a week. Usually on clean skin but sometimes sans shower. Really and truly that is all it takes. Be careful with this stuff. His face at first was more oily as it was summer and humid. In the winter we backed off to twice a week cause it caused dryness. Yes there was some redness as well. Around march he became pretty happy with things. Some scarring and Still pih that bugged him but the pih was fading. Breakouts were minimal and typically just a small whitehead here and there, though they seemed to leave pih more than normal. So he was heading to florida for spring break and we took him off the doxy and retin for fear of him forgetting sunscreen and hoped he was just ok at this point. A week after he came back he had a cyst and was breaking out again. So back on the meds we went. Cyst began healing quickly. It took about a month to a month and a half to get things back under control. Still occasional white heads but small and dont last long. Still pih, but honestly hes lived with it so long i think hes come to terms with it and is happy with where he is all things considered. Would i do it again? I dont know. Sometimes i wish i had skipped the retin a and just tried doxy for awhile. It was a rough year i wont lie. The constant worry about sunscreen is a pain. He uses elta md fyi as it doesnt cause him further breakouts, and also oxy face wash. If your acne isnt bad and just the normal stuff, please get over obsessing about perfect skin and get comfortable with who you are and skip serious meds. If however you have severe acne i would recommend this. Anything to stay off accutane. And fyi as a 38 yr old for my monthly breakouts and dark spots i began using otc aha 10% and has done wonders for me. Faded spots as long as i continue with sunscreen and what little acne i get heals quickly without marks. Again it takes very little.
I use a 0.25% tretinoin cream it's great for reducing large cystic acne deep underneath your skin. It is really strong and I've experienced extremely dry cracked sensitive skin, redness that looks like you've been sunburned and flaking that looks gross and can't be covered by makeup. I recommend using it sparingly and layer on a heavy duty moisturizer at night.
I am 26 years old and have had moderate acne throughout my 20's. I usually have 1-5+ blemishs at any given time, but my real problem is PIH (the red/purple marks which get left behind). I never tried to count, but i probably have hundreds of PIH marks and a single mark takes 3+ months to go away.
I got generic 0.05% tretinoin in the cream formulation. I went to CVS MinuteClinic and paid $80 for the appointment and $56 for the tretinoin (either ask the pharmacist for a discount coupon or get one from goodrx website). My GP actually refused to prescribe it to me, so I highly recommend the MinuteClinic because it's quite affordable even without insurance.
In the months leading up to starting tretinoin, I started with a good skincare routine. This means gentle cleanser and moisturizer (CeraVe) and incorporating BHA and AHA products slowly. When I started the tretinoin, I gave up using BHA and AHA. I would wash my face at night, apply a very small amount of moisturizer, wait 30 minutes, apply a pea sized amount of the tretinoin, wait 30 mintues, then apply moisturizer. In the morning I wash with water, apply moisturizer and then apply sunscreen. Do not forget the sunscreen or you will damage your skin!
I started by applying tretinoin every third night. I only experienced a few days of flaking. I did not experience purging at all. Now I use it every other night.
After 3 months I do see fewer blemishes, but honestly the improvement is not that drastic. I know it is still early in the treatment and I intend to update this review in a few months. My PIH is fading and my skin is looking more even and smooth. I will keep using this because there is scientific proof that tretinoin does great things for your skin. I spent nearly 5 months researching and reading everything I could about tretinoin before starting it and I encourage you to do the same in order to have a good experience.
I am 28 years old and love the product. It helps with breakout while combating wrinkles. I have been using for a little under a year and plan to use the product for the rest of my life. I did have to get a prescription for this but it was well worth the visit to the dermatologist. I rarely break out now, pores are smaller and skin is allover smoother. Very happy I started using this product!
If you are over forty or close to this product when used properly can be a godsend. I have been using it approximately four years now and am still using it carefully. I do notice if I don't use it. The benefits are of course short term and must be kept up.
I am to the point where it is no longer irritating but still drying/dehydrating so I have a very specific way I use it. I view this as the breaking down process and therefore follow with a skin nourishing process---food for my fresher skin so to speak. The nourishment I give my skin after I use this is all natural and consists of my favorite oils in rotation. Doing it this way, I feel that my skin is not thinning out too much which was initially a worry of mine.
I am also careful to apply only in the areas needed as the years go on. There is such a thing as overdoing it in my opinion in regards to one's delicate face. I apply more liberally to neck and chest area.
If there were more natural products available that produce the same results I would try them but being this is the only synthetic product I use and that it works so well I stick to it. I do rotate with an AHA product about once a week in the winter and more frequently in the summer do to more frequent sun exposure.
Sorry, was meant to post where you can get it (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=321367160553&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT)
Started using it on the advice of YouTube beauty queens Tootsie Time and ItsMyRayeRaye
After a month: acne - gone. Small wrinkles around my eyes - almost gone. I'm in love!!!!!!!
So I'm currently 24, I've been battling acne scne 17! Cyctic acne that is for sure hormonal a year ago it got to the point where I would wana cry when I look in the mirror because I would see a new cyct every day! Nightmare! So I used Retin A 0.025 at night and clindoxyl get in the am. My skin got worse in the begining, it was red, it was peeling, but than it got better after 3 months and after 6 I would say I was acne free! It was amazing, however than Retin A was out of stock for couple of months and I got my acne back! Now I bought it againg, but I have to start the whole prosses againg waiting for my skin to get better. At this point I'm willing to because Retin A is the only thing that helps me. I like thia product, you need to mistrise a lot and use lots of sunscreen and BE PATIENT because every skin problem takes awhile to be fixed so dont give up, dermatologist promis a flawless skin after 6 months of using it! Good luck!
This is a serious beauty product; there's a reason you need a prescription. If you use it inappropriately or without the proper combination of other skincare products, it will be terrible for your skin. However, with the right regimen it is a godsend. First of all, go very, very slowly when beginning to use it or your skin could have a bad reaction (irritation, peeling, severe dryness). Only use a tiny amount mixed with your moisturizer a couple times a week (at night). You can slowly up this amount as your skin gets used to it, but don't exceed once a night. I highly recommend not using any other medicated acne products while you're using this. Also, make sure you are using some serious moisturizer and maybe a serum. This stuff will clear up your skin and practically erase fine lines on your face. I would recommend using it from a fairly young age (20's) so that you're preventing wrinkles and acne scars. I plan to keep using this indefinitely.
This is one of, if not the best, products out there that fades hyper pigmentation, and rids acne. There are a lot of negative reviews, but I believe it is due to not using the medication correctly. Keyword being medication. You cannot use this cream like a regular moisturizer. A lot of irritation can be reduced if it is used correctly. It took me a while to get the correct routine, but I finally got it right. A lot of the irritation I got was because I was using it infrequently and also because I used it with the wrong moisturizer. I normally have oily skin but my skin has now normalized. I use Cerave Foaming Cleanser because it does not have sulphates like Cetaphil. I then wait 30 mins and then apply a pea sized amount of retin a. I then wait an hour after retin-a and rub a pea sized amount of aquaphor in between my fingertips, and apply it by gently pressing it onto my skin. When I wake up in the morning my face is not greasy nor dry, and I no longer have redness. The best part is I can now use retin a everyday while only getting the benefits- no irritation! Hope this helps :)