Retin-A did nothing good to my skin. I used it few times for couple of months. It always broke me out my skin was extra dry. It was really difficult to apply make up. I will never use this again.
UPDATE: Retin-A cream contains a highly comedogenic ingredient called Isopropyl Myristate. Yet, dermatologists routinely prescribe it for people with acne prone skin. (Internet search)
Plenty has been said about this but I thought I'd try and offer something a little different having read quite a few reviews.
Many have said they can't tolerate it, they've tried it at 0.025% etc, 0.05% and it's too much. I use 0.01% and I can use this every single day. That's enough, you just want to gently exfoliate the top layer. If you've had problems try the lower strength. I tried 0.025% and I couldn't use it every day (generally could use it 3-4 times a week). Doctor prescribed 0.01% to see if that made a difference. My skin is a lot better now because it's not irritated, I can use it everyday, it's clearer and there are far fewer hormonal spots than there were on 0.025%. I had used Avene diacneal for a few years before and I don't have sensitive skin, it's quite tolerant. So if you're using it and it's too much, perhaps switch to a lower strength, as you can see from the reviews on here it's helped many people, so don't give up :-)
Secondly I think the lower strength is also very good for anti-aging. It can't be good long term to be irritating your skin. Not to mention when you irritate it you add more products like moisturisers which can cause congestion.
Skincare products that I've found work well with retin-a
I use a microfibre cloth (gently) and water with these two products.
Dr Nick Lowe purifying foam cleanser - I use this first, removes make-up, isn't harsh and is amazing for clearing up spots. I would really recommend this to anyone with spots. Get it from Boots in the UK plus from Dr Nick Lowes websites. Boots often has offers on the range.
I then follow with Garniers Simply essentials comforting cleansing milk for sensitive skin. Incredibly cheap, wasn't expecting much but this is amazing. Removes that last bit of makeup. Gently rinse off with the microfibre cloth, no film, but left with soft skin.
I take a night off about once a week and use a clay mask followed by a moisturising mask.
I recommend Good Things 5 minute facial - clay based but gentle.
Boots No7 Heavenly Hydration or cheaper and just as effective but cheaper Boots traditional cold cream cleanser, use as a mask and follow with cleanser. Mineral oil is not a pore clogger, it's not just me saying that, it's got the lowest possible pore clogging rating an ingredient can have yet it's also one of the most emollient.
Ren also has a sulphur mask which is very gentle and many skins respond well to sulphur so it's worth considering. I use sulphur soap on my body and it works.
Day time - Dr Nick Lowe's oil control day cream - no SPF unfortunately so I ensure my foundation has it. Really does help with the oilies.
Night time - at the moment Vichy's aqualia for dry skin in a jar. Makes my skin shiny within minutes so not an attractive look but it does moisturise decently and doesn't clog at all. Not sure if I will repurchase. Have some other moisturisers to try first.
Serum - M&S ceramide collagen serum - doesn't clog like the No7 serum, moisturises unlike the No7 serum. Tried the Vichy aqualia serum before that, waste of money. The M&S is a good make-up base too. No idea if it's doing anything anti-aging wise though. For reviews of it see the M&S site.
Also I find Bourgois Healthy Mix and No17 (boots) BB cream are light foundations that also do not clog pores. Healthy mix doesn't have SPF though. No17 has SPF25.
None of the above have clogged pores at all, if you're like me then you have tonnes of skincare + make-up items which has cost you a fortune and say non-comdegenic yet do clog or don't suit your skin I hope it's of use to some people.
Sorry it's a long one, but as you can see retin-a has helped so many people hopefully some of the info above will help make it work for you.
When this product was first prescribed to me I was reluctant to try it because I really didnt want to wait 3 months to see results, however on my 18th birthday I felt so miserable about my skin that I decided to give it a try,and Im really glad I did! the first few weeks were HORRIBLE however I knew that good things would come, my skin became soo sensitive, red, peely, irritated and all the usual symptoms. However with maintenance and time the acne and redness and peeling really decreased. the only side effect that is long lasting would be the sensitivity my skin has towards waxing or anything hot, and also sensitivity to cold weather...I really think everyone should give retin A a chance because it could really change the quality of your skin
hope this helps!
Update: After three months on Retin-A, my skin has completely adjusted. No redness, no flakes, etc. That said, my tube is over half gone and I'm moving up to the .1% with my next tube, so I imagine I'll go through some more adjustment to this strength.
I don't have acne, but started Retin A as part of a new anti-aging skin regimen. I've been using the product for approximately 2 months.
I'm on .05%, and decided to go ahead and use it every day, but back off if I had problems. At night I wash my face with a mild cleanser, and then let it dry for 20 minutes. I then use a pea size amount of Retin A over my face and another pea size on my neck and chest. After waiting about another 10 minutes. Until my skin adjusted, which took about a month, I had to slather on a LOT of moisturizer.
My skin was unchanged for about two days. Then it became slightly red I had some flaking around my mouth. I continued to apply every night, although one one night I did apply it only to the spots on my face that were not so irritated.
I had maybe three days of irritation, and then my skin looked amazing - for about a day :) Then my skin continued with the flaking. A few weeks into use, my skin suddenly got very red. It didn't hurt, but looked horrible. I've uploaded a couple pictures of my irritated skin. I laid off the Retin-A, and used Neova Night Therapy, which contains wound healing copper peptides. This cleared the redness up after about two days, but it did look really bad. Even now that my skin has adjusted, I still have flaking. I found that using a buff puff twice a day when I wash my face helps a lot with the flaking.
Of course I haven't seen any reductions in fine lines yet, which I am hoping for. However, one thing that has amazed me is that ALL of the blackheads on my nose are completely gone. I can't believe it, as I've had a nose covered in blackheads since middle school, I've tried tons of products for it, and the only thing that has made my nose look as good as it does after Retin A was immediately after a facial with extractions.
I also notice that my freckles have lightened and my skin tone seems a little bit more even, and that my cheeks have a bit of a dewy appearance.
I have high hopes that over the next couple of months I'll continue to see improvements in my skin. Once my tube of .05% is gone, I plan to bump it up to .1%
Check out the pictures I added. Two are of my irritated skin and one is a recent pic after two months of use.
This is a miracle!!! I have been using now for a year. I was on accutane TWICE but both times the acne came back with a vengeance about 2 years after each treatment. So I was about to give up when I re-discovered Retin-A. (I had used it about 10 years ago and all I remember is severe redness.) But now, I dunno, it's weird, my skin really likes it and it's the ONLY thing that clears my pimples. Now I rarely get pimples. I realize I will probably be using this cream for the rest of my life, and I'm not sure how safe that is, but oh well. At least I won't have pimples, and maybe I will be preventing some wrinkles while I'm at it! Also, one more thing is that I had a few "pits" in my skin (not bad ones, just barely) that are really getting smoothed out by the Retin-A. And also my scars are fading! Love it!
A word of advice for those who get red/peely and hate this product:
First of all, give it a few months. Second of all, do not use this everyday! I use it everyday UNTIL my skin just starts to peel. Then I don't use it until the peeling goes away, which is usually 2 to 3 days later. Then I use it again. The cycle continues. Also, sometimes I use it all over my face for maintenance, but usually I just load up the problem areas. Some areas can take more Retin-A than others. Like my forehead. I can glob it on everyday and no peeling or anything, but around my nose gets peely very quickly. And if you want to dilute it a little, put moisturizer on first and then the Retin-A. Also, if you live in a sunny area, use sunscreen or you WILL burn! Other than that, it's a miracle!
And one more thing... please do not use it for a month and say you hate it!! It takes UP TO SIX MONTHS to get full results. It took me about 8 months to get my skin where I want it. Please be patient. This DOES work.
I get the ADC version of this in .05 strength in the cream base. It is only about $3.00/tube and it works amazingly. I think it may be more gentle than the US version as the bases are different. However, because I use this for anti-aging vs. acne and I have dry, delicate skin, this formula is perfect for me. I use it every other night, even up to around my eyes (though I buffer w/moisturizer there immediately after application). I've never had any irritation from this and I've gotten many compliments on my skin since using this. I used to have very bad melasma and uneven skin-tone, and after treating the melasma w/Tri-Luma I use this to maintain my results, and works amazingly! It also really does seem to prevent fine lines (not cure deep wrinkles mind you) as I've gotten no new ones since I started using this 2 years ago. Really one of the few miracle product for anti-aging that exists!
I buy this from magicpharma.com. Gets shipped from India, flat rate shipping is $5. I have used them multiple times and never had any problems with my CC, and I never get my email spammed.
Yes, there are side effects but if you use it as suggested, those can be manageable. All in all it has cleared my skin, which nothing else managed to do for years - deep, painful cystic acne. I will never be without!
It is a good choice if your skin isn't sensitive, But it made my skin very dry and flaky that I couldn't go out directly under the sun. I wont buy it again because it made my skin super sensitive .
This product along with a meticulous skin care routine has saved my skin. After moving to a very humid climate, my usually clear skin broke out in cystic acne. It was painful, humiliating, and very gross. I had about twelve cysts on each cheek. After battling the acne with every over the counter treatment I could find without results, I went to the doctor. He gave me a years supply of this wonderful creation. Thankfully my insurance covered it because I know this stuff is not cheap. I've been using it faithfully for about five months and I'm very happy to say the terrible cysts that once plagued my face are gone. It took a very long time for them to disappear, and I have a lot of hyperpigmentation in the spots that they used to be, but the acne itself is gone and I am so happy for that. The dark spots will fade with time, I'm not too worried about them because my MAC Studio Fix powder covers them pretty well. The trick to get this stuff to work is to just stay consistent with it. It may take you months to see results, but they will happen eventually. You have to be patient. My nightly routine is to cleanse my face with LUSH's Herbalism, tone with LUSH's Tea Tree Water, moisturize with LUSH's Vanishing Cream, and wait about a half an hour before I apply my Retin-a all over my face and neck. If you suffer from severe acne like I did there is hope! I had almost given up and was just going to accept the fact that I was going to have to live the rest of my adult life with cystic acne, and I am so glad I went to my doctor and talked to him about it. Don't accept your acne! Don't settle with so-so cleansers that don't get the job done! You deserve clear skin and confidence. Do yourself a favor and ask about this medication. It could change your life!
How to use: Use this on a clean face after you have exfoliated. Wait at least an hour before applying any other facial product such as lotions or makeup so that the ingredients have time to sink into your face.
Tip1: Do not go directly into the sun while using this product especially tanning beds because your face will burn and peel.
Tip2: This product will dry your skin out for the first 2 weeks of usage.
Tip3: Be consistant with the use or it will be ineffective.
Usage: This product is not a spot treatment for acne, it will attempt to clean and purify infected pores but it will not automatically fix sever cystic acne, it is more geared for long term use.
Usage: In the long run if used as directed everyday this product will make your pores smaller, skin smoother, and it will prevent and smooth out wrinkles.