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.
I have been on Retin A for about a month now, and so far everything is dreamy and perfect!
I was really worried about the initial skin peeling and breakout that many MakeupAlley users have reported. BUT, I also have a very excellent, top-notch dermatologist on New York's upper east side who is a complete pro. I asked her about the peeling and initial purging and she said that this happens when people use Retin-A incorrectly, freaking out their skin by doing the following:
a) They use too much product
b) They use too strong a product
c) They use the product too often
d) They don't wait at least 20 minutes between washing/application.
e) They don't use enough regular moisturizer
She says she has many "tricks" she's developed over the years to ensure that Retin-A doesn't cause peeling or a huge initial purge. Here is what she has me doing:
a) I'm on .025%
b) I use a pea-sized amount. I squeeze the pea-sized amount onto my index finger, then touch all my fingertips so a tiny amount is on each finger, then gently dot my entire face -- keeping away from the eyes.
c) I use a simple moisturizer both day and night, as well as a 30+ SPF sunscreen during the day.
d) Only use at night, wash it off in the morning.
And rather than skip a night or two if my face feels too tight, she recommended more moisturizer.
She also has me on a Sodium Sulfacetamide wash which I use both in the morning and night.
My skin is clear, tight, and the red marks from old acne are really fading fast. I've been on Retin-A for a month now and have only had one tiny pimple on my cheek in an unusual spot. And of course, the red mark from that blemish is fading super fast now. I usually breakout around my period and while on this regimen, I did not breakout at all this month.
So far, I think Retin-A is pretty amazing and I look forward to waking up every morning and checking how clear and smooth my skin is. I will update again after six months, but I am truly amazed -- and hope many MUA users can take my derm's advice to have a smooth, breakout-free beginning to Retin-A usage. continued >>
I promised myself if there ever came a day where my skin was relatively clear the first thing I would do was go online and share my routine because I know how often I turned to forums and sites such as MUA for advice to clear myself of that wretched thing called acne. Thank God I've finally come to a point where I can say that my acne is so much better and no longer ravaging my face. Retin A was essential in the process. I was put on Retin A at night and Dalacin T during the day. When I first started putting it on my face at night my skin started to peal like crazy (I likened it to dandruff on the face) but at the same time I saw that new clearer skin was revealing itself after the old scarred skin shed. It was a long process that left my skin dry for nearly two months. I used cliniderm lotion to combat the dryness. But to be honest nothing really helped my skin just soaked it up and continued to peal. When I washed my face I could feel layers of old dead skin on my finger tips. I was told to stay on it until I was completely cleared. There finally came a day thank God that my skin no longer broke out. I was absolutely ecstatic with the results. The dermatologist recommend I use a light cleanser thats main purpose was to simply clean my skin and not clear my acne (that was the medications job) he recommended Spectro jel. I use that to wash my face day and night. It doesnt take off makeup well. So I decided to invest in a makeup remover. I use bioderma to clean my makeup first and then this cleanser afterwards and that does the job. If anyone is suffering from acne, the last part essential to my regime was drinking two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (braggs with mother) in a large glass of water, morning and night. It cleanses the system. Also, I was put on antibiotics for six weeks it was called erythromycin. I did two courses. I hope this helps someone suffering from bad breakouts.. I know how hurtful they can be physically and mentally.
I used Retin A in my forties and liked the way it evened out my skintone. After awhile, I stopped using it for a number of years. At sixty-three, my wrinkles had started becoming more pronounced although I've always had pretty good skin. So, I decided to try Retin A again. In three short weeks of four times a week at nights, I've already noticed a BIG difference and so have others. "Your skin looks wonderful! Did you have something done?" a friend remarked. No, it wasn't catty. She just wanted to know so she could follow suit.
During this time, I also gave myself a weekly glycolic acid treatment (after stopping Retin A for two days). Murad makes an excellent product.
The combination of Retin A and occasional glycolic acid has made a really remarkable transformation in a short period of time. Follow up with a good night time moisturizer. I still recommend Nivea Visage Co Q-10 products which are more difficult to find but available online and less expensive than the other Biersdorf line - La Prairie - which is very pricey. It's not necessary unless you like throwing money away.
Nobody believes I am my age, and most of the time, I hear "OMG - you look like you're in your forties!". Well, you can look like your forties to. Don't stop caring about your appearance. You're only as old as you feel, and when you look your best, you'll feel younger. I promise.;-)