I have been on Retin A for about 10 months. I have been extremely patient this this product, hoping it would take away my stubburn acne that i have been battling with for four years. My Doctor said i will see results within three months and AMAZING results within six months, i've seen absolutely no changes in my skin, it's quite depressing because i had such high hopes for this product.
I've had acne since I was 11, I'm now 20 and still dealing with it. Without any acne treatment, meaning if I stop preventing acne with some sort of medication, my acne is easily moderate to severe. I get very inflammed and sometimes painful acne. I've tried other retinoids such as tazorac, retin-a-micro, and differin. Retin-A is the most effective on my skin personally. I was using the .05% gel for the past 3 years to keep my skin clear and free of pimples, besides the 1 or 2 I would experience around my menstrual cycle. Then one day for some reason I decided that I would try the acne.org regimen. For those who don't know what that is, it's a regimen that features Benzoyl Peroxide. I used the regimen for exactly 2 months. And in that 2 months, it seemed like every pore on my jawline was clogged. They were tiny but could be seen in certain light. They soon kept traveled up my jawline to my temples and around my cheeks. Finally I decided it wasn't working for me and went back on Retin-A. I'm sincerely sorry that I ever stopped using it. I'm currently experiencing the worst purging I ever had, even worse than when I had first started it 3 years ago. When you're on Retin-A, everything under the skin is brought up to the surface. Literally a couple days after being back on it, all those little bumps and clogged pores on my face turned into bright red pustules and whiteheads. It was digusting. Now that half of the havoc the acne.org regimen had caused on my face has cleared up, it has smoothed out A LOT. I still have a couple of clusters on my cheeks but at least the jawline and temple area is significantly better. I'd say I'll be back to my former skin within another month or so. I'm writing this review to remind myself never to experiment with another regimen again when I already know what works for me. I've learned a couple of things through my experiences:
1. Never get off Retin-A if you've been on it for as long as I have been. You will regret it. It's like my skin stopped functioning without it. My pores were becoming clogged without the exfoliation with Retin-A.
2. Acne scars don't go away, but hyperpigmentation goes away very fast on Retin-A so don't worry if you see marks left behind after the pimple. As long as there's no indentation, you're fine.
3. Retin-A does not get rid of acne scaring, meaning ice pick scars, boxcar scars etc. I have a few and they only look smoother but do not go away. You need cosmetic surgery for such.
4. If you're purging or afraid of puring, use BP in the morning or sulfur. After the experience I've had with BP, I've opted for sulfur and it works very well at reducing the inflamation with the purging acne.
5. You need a lot of patience with this product. It will NOT work over night. With the amount of clogged pores on my face I think it would have taken significantly longer if I had not already been accustomed to this product.
I think this is a great product for acne/anti-aging. As long as you use it right, it should not give you any problems.
So since this review I've had clear skin. I was actually able to come off of retin-a pretty soon after getting on bcp and remained clear with a regimen of a toner with 1% salicylic acid, no moisturizer due to oily skin, and light make up. For the past couple of months I've started to break out once again. Probably due to a mix of things, like stress, change in diet and routine, and a change in bcp. I started adding BP again as usual. I really don't understand why I never learn. I should have reached for this treatment immediately. I've started using this again and I can already see my skin smoothing out. Yes, it's again brought all the gunk to the surface causing painful lesions but compared to the texture and breakouts that I've been getting for the past couple of months, it's definitely improving again. At this point I can already expect what's to happen when you restart this treatment. As another reviewer has stated, this is a life long treatment. My skin is acne prone, I'm almost 22 now and still getting acne. I will probably be using retin-a for the rest of my life. I'm glad at least something works for my skin every time.
I just recently started using this product again as part of my skin care regimen (not acne related). Originally it was prescribed to me for a bad bout of cystic acne I developed in my late twenties. Per my derma, I only used a pea sized amount or less on the affected area as needed, once a night. It worked great, no side affects, though I would only turn to it maybe a handful of times per month. My cystic acne faze did eventually pass on its own.
As you can see from other reviews, most, if not all, that try this find that if they don't buffer first, they cannot tolerate the product. Even then as many reviews attest, often the user still needs to use this in conjunction with a moisturizer to make it tolerable. I state that upfront as I was never given such advice when a derm prescribed this years back and so could not reap any real benefit, only suffered from the worst possible effects such as redness, peeling, burning, itching. I have read elsewhere that many people give up such products before ever seeing any positive effects they surely would have in time had they been able to stick with it.
I was prescribed this after a brief but for me, devastating bout with acne. The derm never told me to wear sunscreen every day either when using this, taking for granted everyone does. While I did then and still do, all year no matter the weather, my face was so raw at the time from the product I could not tolerate any sunscreens I knew of. My take away advice from this is to go as slowly as possible, proceed with caution, buffer, buffer, buffer and even then mix with a cream or lotion you can tolerate, don't use daily unless and until you are certain you can handle it. I said yes I'd re-purchase because I would like to give this a go for now as I get older, but just as I buffered and waded slowly into using Avene Eluage around my eyes, will do the same with this.
Retin-A is the ONLY product that is proven to fight wrinkles,troublesome skin and the lines, discoloration, etc. that come from getting older. This works for acne,rosacea,acne scars,surgical scars and sun-damage. Retin-A increases the collagen production and repair sun damaged skin. It also shrinks oil glands and make cells less sticky,avoiding plugging of pores for the treatment of acne. I just can't see wasting money on products that can't possibly live up to the promises. I believe Retin-A is the gold standard in anti-aging skin care. Most problems from using this product are from not allowing your skin to build up a tolerance. Gel formulas can be very irritating but may work best for younger, very oily skin. I prefer the cream. I use the Retin-A .05 on my face, neck and chest. I plan on purchasing the gel for summer months.
It is best to start with a low dose and apply every other day or even every third to test the product's effect on your particular skin and move up/down in strength if needed. BE SURE TO WAIT AT LEAST 30 MINUTES (longer is better) AFTER CLEANSING BEFORE APPLYING PRODUCT! Did I stress that enough? You are asking for super irritation trouble if you don't do that.
First off, do not ever put this on during the day. This is meant for nighttime, and you're supposed to wash your face the morning after.
After about three weeks, you may see some flaking and purging (pores becoming unclogged)--but follow the directions and *keep going*; this is a normal reaction and so many people do not give the medicine time to change your skin. When the peeling begins, *don't be aggressive removing the flakes* because then you will be irritated-just deal with it and add a bit of moisturizer--they go away quickly enough. I sometimes just rub what I can off with my fingers, and then maybe wipe with a soft washcloth. Flaking from time to time reveals new, fresh and clearer skin. If you become really irritated, though, it's time to skip nights or change formulas. No one should have red, cracked, and super peely skin-that's just not right! The most visible benefits of Retin-A are related to faster cell renewal: clearer skin, smaller-looking pores, fading of discoloration, reduction in fine lines, and smoother texture. It may take several months of faithful use to see dramatic improvement, but I would say it's more than worth waiting for.
Yes, your skin will flake from time to time (especially around the mouth and nose), you may need to change your makeup/moisturizer, and you *will* have to go through the painstaking process of finding a sunscreen that works for you. I use Olay complete all day uv-sensitive skin and has not caused breakouts. Research now strongly suggests that long-term use of Retin-A helps maintain and build new collagen. I think all women (who can tolerate it) should use Retin-A from their teens or twenties onward, and that it's probably the best thing you can do for your skin after protecting it daily with an antioxidant serum and broad-spectrum sunscreen. (I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that you must wear daily SPF while using Retin-A, or you're doing yourself more harm than good.)
Last, you probably will have to change your cleansing routine (no harsh cleansers/scrubs). Your cleansing routine does not have to cost a fortune! You may find yourself using moisturizer, so find a gentle one-I use Cetaphil lotion sparingly. Save your cash for a great suncreen: so many irritate or cause breakouts. Just try to introduce one product at a time to see what works on your skin. Sorry for the long review, but I assure you that what you get in return is smoother blemish-free skin that will look better and better. One bit of advice for the flakies is to *very lightly* exfoliate with a *very soft cloth* and cool water. Any hard rubbing is going to give you red, raw skin that no makeup will cover.
THIS IS SOME INFO ON MY PAPERWORK FROM MY DERMATOLOGIST
1. After washing,wait AT LEAST twenty minutes before applying topical renoid
2. Apply retinoid one hour before retiring to bed for the evening
3. Retinoid should be used every other night for the first 3 wks and then each night thereafter if tolerated. If the skin becomes very irritated,cut back to every other night. Another schedule to use is application on Monday-Friday evenings for 2-3 wks, eventually working up to nightly use. If skin gets to irritated,cut back to MWF use or M-F again.
4.DO NOT apply near eyelid margins
5. Use moisturizer with sunscreen for dryness.
6.Use a mild soap for washing your face such as Dove soap,Cetaphil, or Cera Ve
7.retnoids should be discontinued 5-7 days prior to any waxing to avoid shearing of the skin
8.Some recommended brands of daily moisturizers with SPF:
-Oil of Olay Complete SPF 30 Defense Daily UV Moisterizer
-Oil of Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer- Sensitive skin- SPF 15
-Cetaphil daily facial moisturizer- SPF 15
-La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX-SPF 15
-neutrogena Pure and Free Baby-SPF 60
I started using Differin in 03/11 and now Im being bumped up to the lowest concetration of the Retin-A cream since I needed to move on to something stronger and so far I'm loving it! Will update if I find out anything new or problems arise.
Ok I first started using the 0.025 strength and the first week my skin was glowing but that's all it did. I received compliments on its glow! However, It did not take the little bumps that are visible in the sunlight away or did not form any pimples. I decided to bump it up to the 0.05 strength. The first week nothing happened just peeling. The second week I began to purge. I am currently on my fourth week and the pimples that I had from the purging are scabs and hard pimples. Some parts of my forehead look smooth. My nose is clear very few blackheads but not very noticeable. The purging I was getting was/is horrible ( don't know if the purging is over) but I was getting bumps overlapping bumps. Pretty painful and embarrassing. I still do not want to go out for fear of someone looking. Also the pimples that I do have are peeling. At night, as soon as I am done taking a shower, I put oil of olay fluid and wait one hour and then I add retin a. I'll keep an update by the end of this month.
Ive decided I would discontinue using retin a. The pimples I got were hard and just hurt they would not turn into a white head. If this was considered purging i'd rather not. My face was so horrible and embarrassing. What I did like about it though was the peeling. Visited my dr she gave me differin gel 0.1 and an antibiotic we will see how this works out.
I was prescribed the 0.025% gel by the doctor when I asked him for Roacctane for my ridiculously oily skin (before I changed birth control my skin would literally almost drip after just a couple of hours, it was horrendous). My mum has the same problem and the oil has done permanent damage to her skin, thickening the skin around the pores and giving her skin a really bumpy appearance. So I was worried about having the same outcome. The doctor refused to give me Roaccutane but said to try this gel because it would apparently stop the oil damaging my pores.
After 6 months of everynight use my skin has been absolutely transformed. I never even really realised how rough and dull my skin used to look before. Not only has it stopped further damage, the constant microdermabrasion effect has smoothed out my skin incredibly. All my pores are now bright and clean and although they're still visible, they look a lot better without grey grime in them. I put this on everynight before bed and after a witch hazel facial wash. When I get up, I use Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser. When I rub the cream into my skin, I get rolls of dead skin coming off, it actually looks a bit grim but then I exfoliate it all away with a muslin cloth and beautiful fresh skin is revealed every morning. For something to make my skin shed a whole layer every day is pretty impressive. I have reasonably severe pitted scarring from acne in my early teens and over 6 months this has been smoothed out significantly. I'm hoping that the scarring will continue to improve with prolonged use of the retin-a. My skin tone is also really even now, looking more like it used to after a light layer of foundation. I am 25 and was starting to notice nose-to-mouth lines and lines on my forehead. These have now virtually disappeared and my skin looks the same as it did when I was a teenager - wrinkles wise.
I have had the normal side-effects of peeling, but since I've been using the Liz Earle in conjuction, all the flakes are removed in the morning. It seems to be a perfect combination, the Liz Earle also is not drying and the exfoliation doesn't seem to exacerbate the oiliness in the same way other exfoliators have in the past. I have noticed my skin is slightly pinker on my face now than my neck and I attribute this to the retin-a but it's really not something anyone else can notice and with a bit of MAC studio fix powder (really great for oily skin like mine) it's fine. I don't ofter bother with moisturiser because my skin doesn't take it in at all and it makes the oiliness worse, but I think anyone with halfway normal skin would have to whilst using the retin-a as it is drying. Just don't use it at the same time.
I've been using the 0.05% as an anti-ageing cream. Been using 17 months and although it's a good exfoliator it has done nothing for my fine lines.. More just appear and the cream does nothing.. I keep using in the hope of it helping my skin.. I use between 3-5 times a week and stop using for a day or 2 when I notice skin peeling. I will keep using it I guess.
I have used this for about 5 years now . I am 23 and have used this for acne. It will make u raw and peely for the first few months, but if you stick with it you will not regret it.
Completely unimpressed with Retin-A .... I've tried the regular and the Retin-A Micro, and neither of them lived up to the claims for improving skin texture, turnover, etc., I've tried both variations, multiple times and have been patient through the skin havoc waiting to see results that rendered it worth the pricetag and the initial drying hoping to see outstanding results. Nada .. multiple tries, different strength, variance in application to see if that would bring about results, and no matter what I did, all this product did was leave my skin irritated, dry and actually worsened my complexion each time. A complete waste of money. I"ve used $5 drugstore products that performed better than this. Definitely not something I will ever again subject my skin to.