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.
Wow, it's amazing how much relief I feel right now since I just decided tonight to stop using this product and let my skin recover. I started using .1% 10 months ago. My skin has always been oily, acne prone, large pores, and occasional breakouts even though I am now 44. My derm prescribed this last year when I expressed concerns about aging and still breaking out. I started out using 3x per week and had the same side effects that most did; redness, peeling, dryness. The dry skin was a new one for me, since I knew how to treat oily skin, but not what to do about dry. The peeling and redness I just felt I had to deal with until it subsided, which I heard it would. Well it never really did. About a month ago, I stepped up my treatment from 3x per week to every night and my skin retaliated in a major way. My skin was dry..I mean parched...to the point of where I had to go to Ulta at lunch and buy a facial hydrating spray to get some relief. The redness was ridiculous. I mean the point of using this is to look younger and fresh, and I just looked old and pruny. The young gals in my office would stare..I would catch them looking but they would look away. I was so self conscious. Well I immediately cut back to the 3x per week again, but my skin has not been the same. The redness has gone away for the most part but now I am dealing with the same very dried out skin, but my surface is super oily, like greasy. So I have been searching high and low trying out every foundation that I can think of to help . But when I go to the makeup counter to ask for a foundation for dry skin, they tell me that I am not dry..I am oily because my skin looks oily. So they apply a foundation geared for oily skin and it just sucks my skin even more dry. And the peeling is still there, not really obvious, but enough so that I can no longer wear my favorite liquid foundation, Exuviance Skin Caring foundation, and my fav powder foundation, Jane Iredale Pure Pressed base, due to them emphasizing the dry areas. So tonight I decided to stop the madness and put this on a shelf for now. I want to let my skin heal by using my fav Cerave products and nothing else, and then I can resume using either of my favorite foundations. Once everything heals, I can look for a milder retinol product. I just think this was too strong for my skin. For those that use it with great results, good for you!! But those who are just starting out, please use caution because your skin will change, but sometimes not for the better!!
This review is for the Ortho-Neutrogena brand of RAM 0.04% (trentinion gel, microsphere). I'm light olive in complexion, multi-ethnic and acne sensitive, meaning there is a lot going on with my skin, good and bad. RAM is not a joke - it's not a beauty product but a medication and should be used exactly according to directions. I learned this the hard way when I mixed it with moisturizer and then got frustrated when I didnt see the results I wanted. Don't do what I did!
I wash my face with a gentle cleanser. Pat dry. Pump or squeeze 1 pea-sized drop of product into your palm. dip my finger into the RAM and dot my forehead, your cheeks, your nose and chin. Using both hands smooth the product into my skin. I make sure to use a good good moisturizer with SPF that will not clog your pores. (I like Sage products, which are aloe based) I see results in less than a week, but the full regimen requires at least 12 weeks.
I use this with my Clarisonic Pro machine and Aveeno cleanser. This combination keeps the flakes at bay (imo) speeds up the results you see with the RAM because the CP is sweeping all that flaky skin away so that it does not interfere with my foundation application. I check my pores everyday (like a crazy person, I know) and they are clean, clean, clean with this regimen. I could not be happier - now that I'm using it properly.
Notes: Using the RAM can be irritating after a few days. I feel it most on the sides of my nose. Then switch off and let my skin just "be" for a few days. Then I start using it again. IMO this is better than cutting the product with moisturizer which messes up the delivery system. I'm so much happier with my skin now - finally.