August 29, 2014 | 1810 users online

Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(512 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 83% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.7
  • Price: $$$

  • Ingredients
  • Write a Review
Pin It

rated 1 of 5 on 7/24/2012 12:35:00 PM More reviews by Pey8188

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I have to say that the past five months I have told myself I would never let the word Retin-A come out of my mouth but I feel that others should really listen to this. Many people I have tried to tell scoff at me but here is the absolute truth.

I first used Tretinoin gel, then Retin A Micro. One morning I noticed that I had extreme enlarged pores around my face. In tears, I went to my dermatologist who told me it was probably horomones and prescribed me Retin-A micro, telling me Retin-A actually "shrinks" pores, which I knew. Thinking that Retin-A would help me, I put some under my eye area as well since it is known to "boost collagen."

Well the next morning I woke up with enlarged pores IN MY UNDER EYE AREA. Mortified, I went straight to a plastic surgeon to talk to him. He told me this:

"Enlarged pores are absolutely a possible side effect of retin-a. I'm not sure why your dermatologist didn't go over that with you, but that's a whole other story. Dermatologists are trying to become something today that they aren't." He also said that like any drug, everything can have a negative effect and this is one of the possible ones.

He told me that sensitive skinned, fair people are more prone. I stopped using it on March 3rd. It has been five months and they are almost all gone. The surgeon told me it would take 6-9 months.

This has been an extremely traumatic experience. I have gorgeous skin and people always comment on it. I am not writing this review to hear attacks on how amazing retin-a is and how i used it improperly or any of that. I am just writing this to tell you that it is a POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECT. I am only doing this because if i had known that it would be a possibility, I would ahve had the chance to question whether or not I still wanted to try it.

I hope you consider this when you decide to try this. Also know that, retin-a is, in a sense, the surgeon told me, a chemical peel in a bottle. i

I will also say that for the first 6 months I used it, I was absolutely in LOVE with it. I never ever had a pimple, and my skin looked plumper. Then one day it turned on me very very very badly.

Word of Warning: **Be careful.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 7/19/2012 6:52:00 PM More reviews by MsPsylocke

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Green

I wanted to do a new review since I have been using this almost a year now over 6 months without a doubt and I at 33 have my skin back. My acne made me feel like crap I kept thinking in my 20's soon it would be gone but it wasn't. Sadly my skin was all scarred, Hyper pigmentation, it was rough you name it. Now the purging did sux I'm not going to lie and my face was red and peeling and just horrid. Now though I will get 1 tiny pimple around that time but hang with the purging because after 4 months I had good skin come six months and my Fam said what have you done you look 10 years younger.

I was like Retin A and I took this upon myself because my insurance does not cover it so I ordered it online. Luckily I have a good seller and get a good price because I will never go back to not using this. This is a HG and I only said that once before but this product gave me my life back! Now I don't feel like people are staring at my zits. I do have a regime I will share and I think unlike hair the skin should stick with what it likes. I only use moisturizer after an hour either Josie's Argan or Tony Molly and Baviphat Apple products one is a pack and the other is a moisturizer /pore reducer. In the day I use Baviphat's Peach waterfall cream. I also use MISSHA foaming face wash Green Tea during the day and the Chocolate at night. I'm american but swear by Asian products they have been amazing BB Cream as well. I just started to introduce the Argan oil so we'll see how that goes.

Also I do use a Mia and if you can afford it get it. It's not an exfoliater but it let's the medicine sink right in. I find the Mia to be key in keeping my skin clear with the RA. So my message is try this or if your on it hang with it because the results are amazing. I do recommend this to those who do need it and your Doc knows your using it. If you buy online or get an RX your Doc should know. I prefer to buy it because it's cheaper for me but that doesn't mean I don't have a Doc's supervision. I just want to make that clear to follow the directions and just hang and you will get the skin you deserve.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 7/18/2012 11:16:00 PM More reviews by UrbanObsession

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Blue

I made the terrible decision 2 years ago to stop using this product because my skin was clear and I figured I no longer needed an acne regiment. 2 months ago my acne was the worst it's ever been, I developed cystic bumps that were red and very swollen, mainly near my jawline and chin. In the past I've used Benzoyl peroxide, salacylic acid, and differin-they did nothing! This is the only thing that's worked for me, so I went to doctor and got prescription for the .1% gel. It has been 8 weeks and my skin has done a total transformation, I no longer get breakouts of more than one large pimple at a time. My skin is smoother, and this is because retin a exfoliates your skin and brings the gunk inside your pores to the surface. Main drawback is in the first 2 weeks I had tiny whiteheads all over my face, but from experience, this is totally normal and part of the acne healing process. Invest in a good moisturizer while using this because it causes dryness and redness which can be lessened by using it less often or applying as a mask once a week.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 7/16/2012 8:45:00 PM More reviews by MsVengeance

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown

I used the lowest strength differin gel for over 5 years before my dr switched me to retin a to see if it helped better with acne and scarring (I am happy to report that for me, it helps smooth scarring so much faster!). This was directly after I made a pathetic 3 month attempt at doing an accutane course, by the way (took such a long time to get the freaking stuff and then by the time I did I was already clear enough that it wasn't worth the side effects!). I started out using the .05% cream for about 6 months and then switched to the .01% gel a couple of months ago.


I experienced no breakouts and no flaking, but I am of mixed ethnicity (half asian) and never seem to get flaky skin. Instead, the retin a cream just made my skin look perpetually irritated and inflamed for pretty much the entire time I used it. My doctor kept telling me to use it every night but I swear to god i couldnt....the cream always made every single shallow acne scar and minor imperfection I ever had look about a billion times worse and my pores sometimes looked like they were becoming craters.


It was scary and annoying b/c my crappy skin texture was the whole reason I was using it and suddenly I looked like I had "orange peel" skin... I think a big part of the perpetual irritation was from my use of vitamin c serums in addition to retin a. I never used them at the same time, but retin a just seems to make my skin overly sensitive to certain things, and vitamin c is one of them (it's an acid too so no wonder my skin burned all day, even when I skipped using the retin).


Another thing is, my dr advised me not to use a moisturizer or if I did, to only use it afterwards. This was TERRIBLE advice on her part. My skin always seemed so dehydrated and almost leathery despite the fact that i was using the cream version, so I would sometimes apply moisturizer (cetaphil) on top of it b/c I just couldn't bare having dry skin. Too bad my dr neglected to specify that if you apply a moisturizer you should wait a full hour before doing so, otherwise it's like applying the retin to a wet face (makes it really harsh). Then again, waiting a full hour to moisturize or trying to use it as a buffer doesn't seem to make much difference for me with the cream (it irritates my skin no matter what; maybe this is because instead of actually penetrating it just sits on top of my skin and eats away at it?).


Anyways, the only reason I kept using it was b/c sometimes I would skip using it for a few days and be able to see that my skin was getting smoother (faster than with the differin). But hooman, when i switched to the gel the improvement was immediately apparent b/c my face stopped looking all inflamed and suddenly appeared normal---no giant pores and dent-like imperfections, in fact, all the acne scars I had been obsessing about were WAY shallower (some of them even disappeared). It kind of pisses me off though...I mean, did my dr just assume that it was normal for me to look like absolute sh*t all the time? I guess so...


I find the gel to be WAY less harsh than the cream; i barely need any and it's so much easier for me to control and spread. I only use the gel every other night and i moisturize with Cerave pm lotion or Estée Lauder serum 1/2 hour BEFORE I apply the retin.

Oh yeah, one really important thing: do not use this stuff unless you're willing to use an SPF of at least 30 every day, otherwise it'll just end up doing you more harm than good (trust me, even if you're not prone to sunburn, you are prone to sun damage and you will be even moreso with this stuff and who knows how long it'll take to become apparent?).

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 7/13/2012 9:46:00 AM More reviews by jsk10

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I started using Retin A, tretinoin .05% about 15 weeks ago. I've never had sensitive skin but I started to peel like crazy. The tricky thing when you begin is that it takes about 3 days to see the effect of the first usage, so I was using it nightly, saw no effect, no effect, and then suddenly my skin was so red and irritated! I backed off to every other night, sometimes skipping an extra night, and my skin still peeled like crazy but it wasn't red and irritated anymore.

I knew it needed to peel. I didn't purge with acne or anything but I haven't had acne in years. I wanted more to deal with pigmentation and old acne scars. I could tell quite quickly that my skin was getting better because in the morning, after I'd sloughed off the layers with my Clarisonic Mia, my skin looked great but unfortunately, no one else could see how great my skin looked because within an hour, I'd be shedding again. I just dealt with it, esp. because I read other reviews and knew that most people had the peeling stop.

Well, by week 12, I was still peeling like crazy and my skin was amazing underneath the peeling, but I still looked insane, so I was starting to wonder how I'd deal with this long-term. I mean, what's the point of having great skin if it's covered by layers of peeling skin every day? But then in week 13, from one day to the next, the peeling totally stopped! Hallelujah! It just stopped. It had been peeling like crazy and then it stopped. I didn't do anything different and my skin looks AMAZING. Really. So youthful, fine and smooth. My skin has never looked this good as an adult. The pigment spots and scars are either gone or greatly reduced, and the overall texture of my skin is much finer and smoother. I never thought I would be saying this about my skin.

Without makeup, my skin looks the way it used to look after makeup and if I put on foundation and powder now, my skin looks completely perfect and dewy. I didn't have a lot of wrinkles, only a few fine lines and I don't see them anymore. Without makeup my skin still isn't completely perfect but I've only been using this for 15 weeks.

Was definitely worth the weeks of peeling. Some people asked me if I had dry skin but really, most didn't really pay attention and if they did, they'll soon forget. Now I already have people telling me how amazing my skin looks. So yay!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 7/7/2012 3:59:00 PM More reviews by rubie93

Age: 19-24 Skin: Very Dry, Medium, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Hazel

I tried this stuff just to smooth out my face and get rid of some little bumps, I don't really have acne. I had heard it would cause your skin to peel a little, but first day after I used it my skin was peeling like CRAZY. But I figured, ok, so that means its working, right? The next morning when I woke up my skin was literally on fire. My whole face was bright red and covered in hives and it hurt SOO bad. It felt like hives combined with the worlds worst sunburn. I stopped using it immediately, but it took 2 or 3 weeks for the damage to completely go away. I assume that I was allergic to it? Because if that's what it is supposed to do I doubt ANYONE would willingly go through all that. 

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 on 6/24/2012 12:17:00 PM More reviews by silencia

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Black

I've been using this for about 3 years. The first few weeks I had flare-ups, but a few months later my skin looked tight and smooth. However, after 1.5 years I started noticing not ever having that smooth, tight skin anymore. At the 3 year mark, I noticed large pores, think skin, smile lines, skin that is far from plump, dehydration, dryness (this one was always present on and off). I didn't apply this to my undereyes but it probably seeped up there and now it's really wrinkly.
I believe I've grown accustomed to the product and no longer benefit from it

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/21/2012 10:12:00 PM More reviews by DrZoidberg

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

This is a prescription-only product here in Australia. I use 0.05% Tretinoin, brand name Retrieve. The base is very nice - not greasy, sort of like a gel-creme. I have been using it for approximately 6 months and this keeps the cystic acne on my chin completely under control as long as I also keep taking my birth control pill. I apply Retrieve every night after I cleanse. My skin is fairly resilient so I'm able to use it without buffering. Making sure skin is free of moisture before I apply is key, as I will experience flaking otherwise. It took me approximately 2 months for my skin to get used to the product and then another month after that to really start clearing my skin. I buy this quite cheaply in Australia - about $40 for a decent sized tube, which will likely last me a year or more. In fact I'm pretty sure it will expire before I finish it! After seeing such great results on my acne, I've begun applying it to my sunspots, but I can't report any progress there yet. Retrieve/Retin A is now a staple in my skincare routine and I will definitely be sticking with it.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/21/2012 7:38:00 PM More reviews by trace517

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

I have been trying to use Retin-a for about a year with horrible side effects. I would get really dry and red, even if i used it every other day with the lowest strengh. I recently over the past couple months started mixing equal amouts of retin-a and paula's choice hydrating treatment cream. I am completely amazed. My skin has never looked this good. No breakouts!!!!! I started using it for aging purposes. I would recommend this to anyone that wants clear beautiful skin. Don't be affraid to mix with moisurizer. This is what my derm. told me to try..

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 6/14/2012 1:44:00 PM More reviews by Spamstuff

Age: 36-43 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Hazel

My review is for the Retin A Micro gel pump, it runs me $85 as Blue Cross Blue Shield thinks that a 40 year old woman is only using it for wrinkles.

*If you have tried retin A cream or the generic equivalent and had a bad experience, try the Micro gel! It is a cushioned product, it slowly administers the product across your skin over time instead of blasting it. Don't let anyone tell you that the cream and Micro gel are the same, they are not!! The cream can be harsh.

I had cystic acne in high school, I literally had road-rash-face, starting at 13.. My doctor refused to give me Retin'A and said I'd have to go see a derm, but we didn't have insurance for that and I didn't want to ask my dad to pay for it when he was already trying to pay for two kids he could barely afford. I endured torturous bullying over my acne, it was disfiguring and at times I looked like I had horns coming out of my forehead or chin or cheek. I would lay my face down on the hard tile floor of our kitchan and push until the cysts broke inside, that was the only way I knew how to deal with them. Fast forward 25 years and my skin is amazing, thanks to the Retin-A Micro, and Finacea! You wouldn't look at my skin and think I'm 40. And unless I don't have makeup on, you'd think I have mostly perfect skin!

Yes it has a 'purge' phase when you first use it. But that won't last long, and you'll never have zits like that again. But start off slowly! It can make you feel like you have a chemical burn! I started with the weakest RetinA and it still burned my face, but now I use the full strength twice a day and no problems. Just clear smooth skin!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No