March 1, 2015 | 1249 users online

Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(522 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 82% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.7
  • Price: $$$

  • Ingredients
Pin It

rated 5 of 5 on 10/26/2011 9:34:00 AM More reviews by tightkitty

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Grey

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.

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

outdoor use:

-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.

28 out of 29 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 3 of 5 on 10/7/2011 10:33:00 PM More reviews by dasanchez04

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

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.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 9/23/2011 9:24:00 AM More reviews by liziano

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

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.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 9/21/2011 2:09:00 AM More reviews by Senikxy

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Green

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.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 9/19/2011 5:52:00 PM More reviews by Schweet_One

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

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.

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 9/14/2011 12:42:00 AM More reviews by niclyf

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

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.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 9/14/2011 12:17:00 AM More reviews by jawsee

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

For as long as I can remember(since puberty), I have always had pimples. It got really bad at one point that I resorted to Accutane .Somehow, the pimples came back again, although not as dreadful before but still enough to make me cringe at my face every morning. Finally decided I had enough of bad and oily skin and searched the Internet high and low for the best products out there. Oh and by the way,I did try lots of products that claim to work wonders on acne but never seem to do me any good at all. Someone mentioned Retin A on one of messageboards and although I was initially scared of the purging and whatnots, I decided to give it a try. It was a really rough ride. Red,peely skin, pimply skin for the first 6 months and I felt like giving up but I AM GLAD i did not. Almost a year later, i really feel comfortable with the way I look. I rarely have pimples nowadays. My skin did not glow, unfortunately. However, it is still TONS better than it was before and I am just so very grateful. But do try to drink lotsa water, eat more vegetables and fiber. Constipation used to be my main problem besides acne and I guess it must be related in some ways. Main thing is to eat healthily but do indulge once in a while, drink lots of water and sleep well(still trying my best on this)

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 9/11/2011 11:52:00 AM More reviews by siddhantgautam86

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

i have been using this product for about 4 weeks now.. I use .25% cream every night... My face has become red and flaky..little dryness is also there.. Some new pimples are also noticeable... I'm very much confused whether to continue using retin-a or not.... Well after reading all the posts here i am thinking to continue it as it has done wonders for many people.. I'll continue it for a month more and will update the result then... Plz pray that it works for me...!!!

Is this review helpful? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 9/6/2011 9:28:00 PM More reviews by Beauty4Ashes

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm Hair: Brown, Relaxed, Fine Eyes: Brown


HG status for me. I'm an African American in my late 20s. I've had acne issues in varying degrees since puberty. Two years ago I began using Retin A and I've noticed such a difference. I rarely ever have a pimple anymore. An added bonus is that it fights wrinkles and fine lines, according to my dermatologist.

I use sunblock in the daytime and apply this every third night. This prescription is pricey- thank God for health insurance!

A good quick description of this product is that it is this product is microdermabrasion in a tube.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 9/6/2011 8:14:00 PM More reviews by izzster

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Hazel

First of all, I'm giving Retin-A five stars because it WORKS, not because it's easy.


For the first time since I hit puberty my skin has been perfectly clean for weeks on end. Retin-A has been instrumental in clearing up my moderate, occasionally cystic and necrotic acne, reducing the size of my pores, tightening my skin, and lightening my acne hyper-pigmentation scars to almost nothing (not to mention evening out and lightening my freckles and overall complexion). I wore nothing but tinted moisturizer for the first time the other day and attained a look that I formerly needed foundation, concealer, powder, and a good skin-day to achieve.

Getting to this point was, however, a bitch. It took my regimen at least five months to start working because I kept messing up in little ways; to get it to work for me I had to learn to stick to all of the following guidelines:

You will of course have an adjustment period of breakouts and irritation while your skin "purges" and acclimates to the medicine for a few weeks at the beginning. The breakouts are inevitable, BUT the irritation should be minimized to the best of your abilities. Dermatologists recommend starting your regimen with a small application once every other day or once every three days and working your way up. I can back this up from experience, along with my personal suggestion that you be patient! There's no rush to get up to using it every day, and you can lay off every now and then when you finally do start using it every day without any drawbacks. Retin-A is NOT meant to be used on raw skin, and if your skin is dry and irritated it can actually make your acne much worse for much longer. The worst breakouts of my life were on Retin-A before I managed to get my skin balanced out on it. Tough out the adjustment period at the beginning, and if after the first month or two you're still having dryness and irritation issues you likely need to adjust your regimen in one of the following ways:

* Don't apply too much or too little of the medication- if your skin isn't getting enough of the medication it won't work (personally I've found I need more than the recommended "pea-sized" amount), but if you use too much it'll dry you out, naturally making your acne worse.

* Don't leave it on too long. 7-9 hours TOPS is about all my skin can handle nightly. If I leave it on even a half hour longer than that my skin gets too dry, even flaky, and each successive application just makes the problem (and resulting breakouts) worse.

* Don't scrub too hard when you wash your face. You may need to LIGHTLY exfoliate with a washcloth once or twice a day, or not at all. I scrubbed way too hard for a long time at the beginning in desperation to get the dry skin flakes off, prolonging the adjustment period and making my skin worse. Be patient and listen to what your skin's telling you!

* Take a night or two off the regimen when, for whatever reason, your skin is getting too dry and/or aggravated. Apply a good moisturizer and let your skin heal.

When it comes right down to it, all Retin-A does is increase cell turnover; it's the equivalent of a constant, low-level, dermabrasion peel. It works by expelling and preventing whiteheads & blackheads, which are the precursors of all mild-to-moderate acne, and improving general skin quality. All it does is put you on the same level as someone whose genetic makeup doesn't suck quite so much- you still need to cleanse, disinfect, and practice good skin-hygiene just like everyone else. Even your friend with perfect skin probably uses Neutrogena or some equivalent daily. Personally I couldn't tell what worked and what didn't work for me before Retin-A because I was constantly breaking out ALL the time. Retin-A enabled me to tell which products I could get away with using on my skin, and which products caused breakouts and needed to be nixed. With Retin-A as your base, you still need to practice the following:

* Use in tandem with a GENTLE cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. (Or your dermatologist may prescribe a topical antibiotic cleanser and/or leave-on treatment.) While adjusting to Retin-A I found my Neutrogena wash with Benzoyl Peroxide was too harsh for my skin (even though it was helping out a lot before), so I switched over to their all natural version with Willow Bark extract (aka Salicylic Acid), and my skin got markedly better over the course of just a week.

* Try using a moisturizer, toner, or makeup base that controls acne during the day. I would keep getting zits and problem areas developing during the day between applications of Retin-A and my skin never fully cleared up until I started using Clean & Clear's Dual Action Moisturizer with a .5% salicylic acid component. (I also use this moisturizer overnight when I want to take a break from my regimen when my skin's getting a little too dry. It's usually moisturizing enough to heal minor damage while still keeping my acne under control for short periods.)

* Make sure you remember to use a GOOD moisturizer daily and as needed; you have to take extra care in keeping your skin nourished and hydrated on Retin-A.

* Use a broad-spectrum, SPF15+ sunscreen daily to protect your skin as it's more susceptible to damage on this medication.

* Make sure most/all of the products you use on your face are non-comedogenic (I find this is especially important for your moisturizer and sunscreen,) and don't contain any harsh chemicals that can interfere with the medication. A good thing to look for- and avoid- are products that advertise "anti-aging," "brightening/whitening," or long-term complexion-evening properties, since these often tend to have skin-peeling/exfoliating properties (something Retin-A already does.)

69 out of 71 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No