I have been using Retin-A Micro %.4 for a few years. It is the ONLY product that controls my cystic acne, besides Accutane, which I've taken 3 times.
Retin-A users- 2 VERY important things to remember: *use a PEA-sized amount. Not a glob, not dime-sized or anything else overzealous.
*Make sure your face is not wet or even damp before applying, or will exaccerbate irritation.
Your skin will build up tolerance for this product, promise!
The genius of Retin-A? It's the ONLY prescription (or non-prescription) product currently available that actually diminishes lines/wrinkles (doesn't happen overnight though, you're got to be diligent and patient) AND prevent acne.
The best thing going.
horrible. red . flaking. made skin horrible.
started using this every other day since 4/15/2009 for cystic acne. the first week i got two pimples on my upper lip. last week it was HORRIBLE. two big cystic ones on my left cheek, one on my right cheek, two on my chin, my forehead...i was getting it in places i never had before! but i kept using it because of the "purge" that everyone was talking about. i didnt experience any burning until last night (and even then, only slight sting) and only just a tiny bit of flaking underneath my nose. i am using the .04% version. i woke up this morning and it finally looks like my pimples are flattening out and healing. i hope the worst is over because it is just seriously stupid to have a breakout like that. i was using the renova the first week until i did some googling and learned that renova was og invented for people with dry skin (thus the creme base), so i quickly switched to the gel. i will update since its only been two weeks. the rest of my skin seems to be smoother though...!
UPDATE 05/05/10: this stuff is WORKING! all my cystic acne has flattened out and are fading, if i have a tiny pimple, i dab a little on and it dries it out super quick and its already flaking the next day. i am no longer peeling and no stinging. i think my next step is going to be, using it EVERY day, waiting two weeks and then stepping it up to the .1% every other day. RETIN A MICRO is great!!! havent bought the full tube yet because im waiting to see which strength i will need (0.04 vs .1). i will update the pricing via insurance.
UPDATE 06/14/10: ok i cant live without this stuff. seriously, it has really helped the cystic bumps all along my hairline. although i still get one or two bumps on my forehead, its just that, one or two bumps. i tried to use it every day but it was just too strong. i am using .04 every other day and its just great. when i have a pimple though, i spot treat with the retin a micro every day until its gone. i purchased the pump but havent used it yet because i am still going through my samples. i e now know that it was the Renova that made me break out like horrible, so basically, i didnt have any purging with Retin A Micro. good stuff! it was $25.00 through insurance.
UPDATE 05/26/10: I only use my .04 once a week now, every sunday. i never needed to step up to .1 because this was strong enough! i had to back down from every other day because my skin was so dry it was flaking. i use it every sunday and its just right. i heard they came out with a lower dosage so im going to try that when i run out of the .04. has transformed my face and i love it :)
I use this for acne & this is a good product. It is by no means a quick fix and its going to make the acne (whiteheads, blackheads, cysts) even worse before it can make it better.Your skin will peel and flake like crazy, but be oily at the same time. It needs time to work. I used the .1% for two years, but I stopped using it about a year ago because it seemed to only be making my acne worse. However, DuAc stopped working and I had to go back to something, so my derm gave me the .04%. I've been using it everyday for 3 weeks now and its clearing up my acne. The whole process takes at least 8 weeks, so I'll update. Its really hard to find products that don't sting, but eventually the burning stops. If youre having problems finding products to use whiel dealing with the stinging, here's the best ive found:
Clinque Foaming Face Wash
Clinque's DDML (its not oil free and has no SPF, but it does feel help when the flaking is at its worst)
Purpose Lotion (has an SPF 15 and its oil free)
When I was first starting out with retinoids, I tried this, decided I didn't like it, and went to the generic gel. I thought it was too strong and irritating for my skin, but am now convinced that the issue was the chemical sunscreens I was trying to use. I went back to this about a year ago, and have been able to tolerate it well.
I'm using the .04% strength, and although I have been breaking out lately due to stopping birth control pills, this has allowed the zits I do have to clear pretty quickly. I think I'm rounding a corner on the hormonal craziness, as my skin has started to go back to normal. I like the way this makes my skin look, and I get mistaken for being younger than I actually am all the time (sunscreen helps too). Right now my insurance still covers it, and when it stops I still plan to keep using it.
i'm not currently on retin-a but i've been battling acne since i was 11 and i'm now 31. this is the only thing that has ever and i mean ever cleared up my face. yes, you purge and peel but the results are worth it. i use other products to keep my face under control (not clear though, i don't think i've seen totally clear skin since i was a baby!) but when i'm having a bad breakout and i can tell nothing will help, even splashing water on my face will a pimple, i know it's time for me to get some retin-a.
This product is supposed to make your skin peel and get flaky, but you should not let it peel off your skin's mantle -- the natural barrier of oils on your skin that prevents infection and keeps your skin thick/supple. I used this a few years ago but I made the mistake of using it everynight until my skin was raw, red, and in pain. I broke out miserably and really damaged my skin because the protective barrier was gone (not to mention, I was also using Proactive cleanser which is horrible for your skin. I switched to Dr. Hauschka to repair my skin which it did beautifully but then went off of it becauese it broke me out in the long-run).
Years later, I now have a lot of melasma and just got both bright red and brown scars from a Jessner's peel went bad. Nothing was working and Obagi was breaking me out so I started using this and after 2 weeks, I see a big difference in my scars/hypermigmentation. However, I use it until I start peeling and feel some slight stinging, then I immediately give my skin a break and use just Jurlique Balancing Face Oil which is incredible. Once my skin bounces back, I start using the RAM again. This is the only thing that works but I use it with mild natural cleanser and a strong, physical sunblock -- Sumbody Charcoal Cleanser and Mustela SPF 55. Both are clean, pretty natural products.
Sigh. I have lost another battle with acne. My derm prescribed this for my hormonal acne. I thought the product would help clear my skin as I didn't experience any peeling and only slight irritation. I could feel that skin on certain parts of my face were smooth, but what good is smooth skin when there are still breakouts in other places?
I used the prodcut for 3X a week for ten weeks. I was slightly irritated the first two weeks and had the initial breakout. A bad initial breakout. But I also saw smooth skin on my nose and cheeks. But the breakouts on my chin, around my mouth, and necck NEVER stopped. It seemed that each round of breakouts was more painful and red than the last round.
I finally stopped at the 12 week point and have not used the product since.
PROS: covered by insurance so affordable, smooth skin
CONS: initial breakout (or in my case, continuous breakout), never cleared acne
I really gave this a chance, but it didn't work for me. Although I used it consistently for nine weeks, the only thing that resulted was further breakouts and incredibly, agonizingly-painful, flaky, dry skin. Also, my face was red all the time. It actually hurt to move my face. I think this would work for people with less sensitive skin, but I just couldn't handle it, despite frequent exfoliation and moisturizing. I wanted it to work, but I noticed my acne flared up more, even though this is one of the side effects, it should not have lasted this long. My roommate said she noticed what it was doing to my skin and that it actually exacerbated the problem. Ultimately, I decided to go back to the basics. Since I have dry, sensitive skin, I washed it once a day with Dove. I exfoliated with a mixture of sugar and Cetaphil and did nightly facials with a mix of honey and tea leaves. My skin improved in less than a week, and now my skin is pretty clear. I'll keep the RAM on hand for spot-treatment if I get desperate, but I'm convinced this is not the stuff for me.
Ok~ this is not my full review yet since this is only my 2nd week of using RAM 0.04%.. so I'm giving it 3 lippies for the initial breakout stage and peeling... I have sufered from acne since 15 (im 21 right now) and I usually get the huge painful cystic acnes.. and my skin was getting clear for about 3 months. and all of a sudden I started getting horrible breakouts in places I never had acnes before, so I went to my doc and she prescribed me this, It costed me CAD~48 ish w/o insurance. First week was the worst.. I broke out more than ever.. and had horrible redness and peeling.. I didn't even want to go out anymore.. and now .. the 2nd week.. my peeling got ALOT better.. but still suffering from massive breakout especially on my chin and forhead. but I did notice that my pores were smaller than be4 i started using this and the acne-free part of my face looks glowy and brighter.