I wish this product had been properly explained to me by my derm and I'm sure it would have worked. I had been on differin for moderate acne for most of my 20's and had relatively flawless skin. I didn't even realize it was flawless because my skin never gave me issues so I didn't pay too close of attention to it, if that makes any sense. So fast forward to me running out of differin (a tube would last a year) and figuring that I had probably grown out of acne and didn't need it anymore. Wrong. I also didn't realize retinoids were good for aging/wrinkles, a fact I now know from struggling to regain control of my skin and researching. So my new derm wanted to try me on retin a micro, the 1% version. She just didn't prepare me for the side effects and was rather callous and cavalier about it. She just said use it at night after washing (along with acanya in the morning, but I could only tolerate it for a month then stopped). I gave retin a micro a year; a year of raw, painful, cracked, peeling, dry, and still breaking out skin. Maybe my derm assumed I would eventually just adjust to it? But I never did, I really wish I did. She just never offered any instruction or advice for my complaints about the irritation. Okay, enough complaining about a bad derm, I would strongly suggest easing into this product if you are reacting poorly to it, and use a good therapeutic moisturizer like cetaphil or cerave. I read things online like "this product works better if used alone, no moisturizer". That messed my skin up! I would rather have a relatively smooth, hydrated complexion that a rough, scaly, peely one. This product rocks if used properly so good luck to those of you just starting it!
I use this to combat congestion that I get in my t zone and with hopes it helps with the prevention of wrinkles (if there is such a product). I started out just a few times a week and worked my way up to every night and then back down to a 3 times a week. I don't use any moisturizer after this. I use my serums and moisturizers in the morning. I found to get better results that way. This has totally shrunk and cleared my pores. Seems to make me less oily. Fine line improvement...eh guess I need to use it for a while longer and be patient or stop being so self critical. A tiny amount is all that's needed for the whole face because this is stuff is stupidly expensive.
Let me start off with saying that I have hormonal acne, which mostly occurs only in the chin area. I know that a product is making me breakout if I have any new pimples on my forehead.
I had a really bad reaction to Maybelline's Dream Matte Mousse foundation and I broke out all over. My sister had sent me a tube of retin a micro a while ago, but I just got too lazy to apply it on, and have to wait.
Well I got really desperate because it seemed like my hormones were producing so much acne, I went into a depressed mode. So I forced myself to be consistent with using this. Instead of waiting for it to dry, then applying my moisturizer, I mixed a pea size amount in my moisturizer both day and night. (i make sure to wear sunscreen during the day) What a difference I tell you. If I breakout, it's a small whitehead that lasts a day. I don't know how this product works, but it is doing it's thing and that's all the matters.
This stuff saved my life! I used to have really, really, really, really bad cystic acne. I had tried Retin-a once before as well as pretty much every other acne treatment prescription and otherwise but nothing helped. Finally I tried Retin-A again and though it took a good six months, my skin has now been free of cystic acne for almost two years. I still get spots occasionally but they clear up quickly.
I use the gel version 0.04% (the second strongest version). One tube lasts 8 months! You only need a pea sized amount for your whole face and neck.
Something to discuss with your doctor is the starting dosage. My dr. started me on the lowest dosage cream because it helps alliviate the initial breakout stage that will happen for the first 1-3 months of usage. This happens when your face starts to heal and your skin is peeling, causing it to be dry, greasy, and have many more breakouts. The cream is a lot gentler than the gel so starting with it in some cases can help a lot! When I finished half of the tube of cream I went up to the 0.04% gel and I was supposed to go up again to the highest dosage (0.1% i believe) but I never felt like going back to the dr. and my face is clear enough so I've used almost two tubes of the 0.04% now.
If you don't have insurance and even if you do the cream can be super expensive. My copay is $25 but the tube does last about 8 months so it's definitely worth it. I personally would be willing to pay $100+ for this cream! It really is absolutely amazing and I don't know where my life would be if I was still suffering with cystic acne...I can't explain it but it was bad.
Oh, I make sure to use this every night before bed. If I skip a couple nights I will get spots on my chin. It was hard at first to remember but after a while it will just become routine.
This is very strong stuff. I used it and intitially my pores did get smaller but the price to be paid is too much. I tried this for 6 months, and my previously smooth skin was mottled with break outs and flakes. I now have red dots on my cheeks I never had before.
If you have sensitive skin do NOT use this.
I have been using the 0.1 for about 10 months.
I have combo/oily skin that breaks out easily, with a few fine lines around the outside corners of my eyes.I also have some melasma on my forehead and cheeks/jawline.
This product actually works! It really does give results. However....like any love story, things are never perfect and compromises are required.
The first week or 2 were difficult and I am still prone to flakiness much more often than I would like. Grrr. :(
I use retin-a about 5 nights a week about 20 minutes after cleansing and moisturizing.
I also use glycolic acid about once a week (not on the same night), and find this helps with the flakiness a bit.
The fine lines around my eyes are less noticeable since I've been using this product. My skin springs back from expressions more youthfully than before and has a glow about it :) Awesome!!!
I also have less break outs. Yaaay!!
Maybe my melasma is slightly better, not sure.
If I stop using retin-a for a few weeks, my wrinkles deepen slightly, however they are still better than a year ago.
Please remember this treatment makes your skin very sun sensitive and a very good sunscreen and common sense are required to not end up worse off than before.
I think this product is value for money because it actually does do something.
25-11-10 After using this product under my moisturizer or alone without any moisturizer as suggested by another MUA member (thanks so much), I am experiencing much less flakiness and better results :)
AMAZING! I cannot live without this product. i never really had severe acne or anything but had a problem wih black heads and bumps on my skin. i began using this and saw results pretty fast. it does make ur skin peel so along with this at night i use philosophy when hope is not enough in the mornings. i wear absolutely no makeup to work. EVER. my skin looks amazing. everytime i eat eggs i have this wierd reaction! i get a pimple within 24 hours! i put this on and it goes away in 2-3 days i mean goes away as if it was never ever there. gone no bump no redness. i do not have to conceal anything! bu tjust remember u need a very nourashing moisturizer. this is a staple to my daily routine.
I have been using the pump in .04% for about 2 years. The first weeks were hell, I was peeling insanely and I went up to my pharmacist and asked what moisturizer to use, (she was kind of shocked at my face and the scaliness) and recommended cetaphil. I started applying cetaphil cream in the mornings but it made it hard for my makeup to stick, although it made the flakes less noticeable. It was about 6 months into the treatment that I had the "brilliant" idea of mixing the two at night. This is a mistake a lot of people on here are making! DON'T mix your creams/moisturizer with retin-a as it doesn't allow the product to sink into the skin. Also, don't wash your face and immediately apply retin-a, since the water is still sitting on your face (even though you may feel dry) and the product can't sink in.
**When I apply this medicine correctly I have beautiful glowing skin, I need far less makeup and I feel normal, self confident and so happy.
It controls the oiliness, to such an extent that I never have to touch up my makeup, which I never thought I would experience. I actually don't really need makeup, whereas before I couldn't leave the house without a full face.
I thought the medicine had stopped working when my cystic acne came back, along with blackheads, but it was my fault for mixing and not following the directions. The creams/moisturizers work by creating a barrier between your skin and the environment trapping moisture in between that barrier, this barrier doesn't allow the treatment to penetrate the skin, which is why my horrible acne came back.
So, if you're in the initial stages, stick it out, for me it was so well worth it, I mean I hid for a while, and avoided social situations but within a month and especially in the second month I had perfect skin, which is what we are all on here for!
derm perscribed this like they pretty much do for everyone but i hated how my skin became. since this dries out the skin my face over produced oil to compensate. i couldnt wear makeup without it dripping off of my face. i am much happier now using natural products and a more gentle facial regemine. my skin still isnt perfect but non of the 3 meds the derm gave me made my skin very good either. i have tried retin a as a teen and as an adult and i didnt like anything about it. professionals do say to have it in your skin care routine so i think a small amount in an over the counter product would be a better choice.
wow. im REALLY surprised to read so many negative comments on this product!
I began using this product when i was about 18 due to acne (now 21). After some time using this product, my skin was beautiful!!!
I have never in my life got so many comments about my skin. I work in retail and pratically every single day i would have atleast 2 people complement my skin.
Just like everyone else, my skin can get irrated from the product, however, i have learned not to apply the gel around sensitive areas such as the cornes of the nose and chin.
Also, im someone who NEVER reads instructions, so i would apply the gel after i cleansed and applied a night cream. I think the night cream helped protect my skin from becoming extremely dry or peeling.
plus if your skin is irrated from the product, give it a break! let it breath!
along with this advice, use some type of cream/ lotion on your face! dry skin is worse than acne prone skin! in the short and long run dry skin is a sign of damage.