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Treatments (Face) - Retin A

rated 4.1(512 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 4.1
  • 83% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.7
  • Price: $$$

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/6/2011 1:00:00 PM More reviews by Ayaneey

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Dark, Warm Hair: Black, Curly, Medium Eyes: Brown

I've been using Retin-A for about almost 3wks I got the generic kind 0.025. And it works great I honestly don't know why I didnt go to my dermatologist sooner. I've been dealing with acne for about one year off and on. So it was a struggle to be normal and have a normal skin. I've never had acne when I was in high school I had great skin! So it's a challenge dealing with painful acnes. I still have a few more left on my cheeks it won't go away! I've also had a down fall with it the first week I noticed some change, the second week I broke out crazy! and now on my third wk it's starting to decrease...has anyone experience this?

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/5/2011 6:00:00 PM More reviews by logicaldevices

Age: 36-43 Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I have been using it for almost 1 month every 3 days at night time. It works great! Exfoliates, peels skin bringing new skin to life. However, I don't think it helps with pore size or unclogging pores since mine still gets clogged. But it does make the skin smoother and more tight and definitely does lighten the skin. I get mine in generic form, Tretinoin, at the 0.1 strength from suppliers (no prescription needed!). I also use it to exfoliate skin on darker places, like upper inner thighs. For that I've only been using it for a week now but it peels the layers and when you see the peeled layers come off, you can see that it's darker than your normal skin color, so I think it's working!

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/4/2011 11:33:00 PM More reviews by BurberryBrit89

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have been using this for just over a year now. After finally losing the battle against the birth control pill in terms of acne, I finally sucked it up and made a derm appointment. Having been an oddity from the start (he couldn't believe I was breaking out from the pill lol) he gave me Retin A and benzoyl peroxide. (after some trial and error, we determined that salicylic acid actually breaks me out LOL). I was given Atralin and Acanya.

The first few months weren't fun, I won't lie. I had a lot of purging. (whether or not you believe that that exists) I had a lot of closed comedones, and these all had to come to a head, it was the only way to get rid of them. I also had a few pimples that appeared in weird places.

I stuck it out. Didn't really have too much flaking or peeling though. I was careful with moisturizer though.

I'm so glad I kept with it. Breaking out is so rare for me now, and anything that pops up goes away super quickly. Retin-A makes things feel 10 times faster than they normally would.

Oh, don't wax your face while using this. It WILL take off a layer of skin lmao.

Have patience. You have to get all the gunk out before you can really stop breaking out.

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rated 2 of 5 on 9/4/2011 11:00:00 PM More reviews by parisrose

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

I will continue buying it only because i put all my hope in it. I dont know if it is working. After 10 months on this (7 months without the help of antibiotics), my skin isn't improving. I have pimples/acnes/scar everywhere, my whole face is ruined. But still I continue using it because i have tried everything and I need some hope to continue this fight with the acne monster. Retin A sounds promising but i havent seen it work on me. Can someone tell me what have I done wrong? I use this on cleansed skin at night after waiting for it to dry for 10 minutes at least. I'm at a ripe old age of 25 and I have never enjoyed a day of clear skin since 12.

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rated 2 of 5 on 8/29/2011 11:10:00 AM More reviews by dominoe456

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

meh. more trouble than its worth imao.
my derm gave me this middle strenthg gel after clindamycin & mynocin (?) pills. wasn't really working. first week made my skin really sensitive. after that it sjust got worse. by weeks three and four my skin was a mess, big, hard soar cysts. i went back to the doctor and he told me to keep using it. i used it for like five months. my skin got a little better. instead of having like twenty zits i had like fifteen. but i also had a face that flaked and peeled, and not a lttle, big chunks. and burned wen i put anything on it. people dont nneed to make up fake reviews on this stuff and how it can make a mess of yourface that *#** is for real. none of my friends have been able to use this stuff either. zapzyt works 10 xs better.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/28/2011 9:14:00 PM More reviews by Gaeia

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

When I use Retin-A I can definitely see the difference from one day to the next, while non-prescription Retinol creams made little difference on my skin. I speak only for the anti-aging properties here only btw. Most of the retinol stuff from Laszlo to Roc, ended up in the "Huh, face products I might revisit someday or might use even on my body if I ever run out of body lotions haha" drawer which is really the drawer of "Empty promises, one step from the wastebasket." B/C what if I throw something out that I find out later is- argh! Denial, Denial, yes, I know!

Of course I had to share this stuff with my husband who was startled to also wake-up with noticeably smoother skin- if a little pinker- the next day! That said, Retin-A is very dear: I was shocked at the price (as I can't be bothered to pay $600 a month to a middleman insurance company so they can dole out my doctor's care, decide which of his prescriptions is appropriate, or tell me I can only see a Dr. of their choice, harrumph. This is why medical care is so expensive right?!) Anyway enuff about that: after I tried the tiny tube my doc gave me I became willing to fork over that amount of cash. I would wait 'till after you are 30, also- truly- as I imagine it would be more irritating than visibly effective. In any case I use it @ once a week, always with a hydrating cream on top. I use Kiel's avocado eye cream which does not migrate to block the retin a from my eyes which are v. easily irritated. Oh, and the pump on the first bottle did not work and I had to exchange it- so make sure to keep the box!! just in case this happens to you.

In addition, I am huge on glycolic/ lactic/ salicylic acip peels that I discovered through this board- THANK YOU!!! It's made everything else pale in comparison, really (weird that estee, ysl, lancome, sisley etc don't incorporate aha/ bha's- I'd buy!) OK, so, that said, after a pedicure 2 yrs ago I developed a thickening of the skin on the sole of one of my feet (Why? Why? Oh, Why?!!!! I only go for polish changes now, sigh). Horrified, I asked my dr for help: she prescribed a salicylic acid cream. OMG love that stuff too Overnight my face & body (and feet!) are smooth- and because it's essentially "aspirin mask cream-" it's very inexpensive. I like both- so I incorporate the retinA and the other cream Saltop into my beauty ritual @ once a week.

OK, now, I must say this because of what sort of cream this is: for the record, I do not envy the owner of this site her task- trying to decide which reviews are genuine, and which are not (& this may be the wrong place to address this but.... since this product comes in both cosmetic and pharmaceutical strength/ grade, perhaps it IS the right place...as it's harder than usual to see through that marketing...) OK, here goes: I am lucky to speak three languages and understand several more: I worked with and am very adept at parsing language, and the past year has been a banner year for "fake reviews" on sites like this one and for "fake comments" by special interests on news sites. As an aside, I can guarantee you that some company reps are parked on the boards here. It's a delicate rope the owner must walk, and it's a lot of work, I'm sure. Just know this: the cosmetic & drug company PR flacks will continue to post- and I see more than just a few below, so be JUDICIOUS fellow MUA'ers- and be GOOD the rest of you- and use this board as a barometer rather than for misrepresentation.) -G

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rated 1 of 5 on 8/27/2011 11:14:00 PM More reviews by samantha6

Age: 36-43 Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

8 months of acne, redness, dryness, scaliness, broken capillaries, swelling even. Wanted to be a perfectionist, heading off aging before it started. People actually asked me what was wrong with my face.

Stopped using it (the lowest strength cream) and face is back to normal.

After my experience, I read the reviews for it here, b/c I wanted to know how this stuff got a 4 rating overall when I experienced such horrible agony. So I started with the lowest rated reviews first, the 1 lippies...

From 1 lippie all the way up to 5 lippies, mostly everyone has the same complaints - nasty acne, redness, scaling, flaking, swelling, acne, broken capillaries. I would have thought that the high ratings wouldn't have anything bad to say, but that's not the case.

Even reviewers that gave medium to high ratings said that Retin-A caused embarrassing or undesirable side effects, for long periods of time. I must have been an idiot to use this stuff.

Yes, some people EVENTUALLY got good results, but after months of suffering. For others, it NEVER got better. I'm off this stuff and skin is back to normal, pale, acne free, and not swollen.

WISH I WOULD HAVE READ THE REVIEWS, BEFORE I EVER EVEN TRIED THIS STUFF.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/24/2011 11:16:00 AM More reviews by welfaresteak

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I am almost 27 and at the age of 26 the acne that I had as a teenager came back largely due to stress. I had been on a prescription of BP for awhile, but like with most medications, after years and years of taking it, it just stopped being affective on my skin. My doctor saw my skin and gave me a prescription for Retin A ($10 at Kaiser with my plan).

For the first month of using it, I did see an improvement with my skin however I went through something embarrassing which I hear is common when starting Retin A- the skin peeling off. I would wash my face well in the morning with my Clarisonic, apply an oil free moisturizer, and then put on my makeup. Within a couple of hours, you would see a ton of dry skin hang off of my face (usually my chin and above my mouth). Super embarrassing!

While the first month was torture, afterward the dry skin got minimal. I found also that not using it everyday helps.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 8/24/2011 10:51:00 AM More reviews by LizWords

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

Update 8/14/2012: I said I would update a year later in my initial review and so I am. I am still faithfully using retin a and I do say that I am now a lifer. It has done wonders on scars and marks, I now wear the least amount of makeup than I have in about a decade. I also, at 31, started to be asked if I'm 25 A LOT (it will be so sad when this stops happening, i can't look 25 forever :(). I now apply .05 to my temple area only, the rest of my face gets .025. I started doing this because I wanted better results on the lines in between my brows and it has worked VERY well. The lines around my mouth are basically gone now, I used to see makeup setting in them but not anymore. I'm bumping this up to 5 lippies and recommending to all ladies. Just make sure you start on a very low strength and ramp up and you will not regret it.


I've had an interesting year with Retin A. I

decided I wanted to try it shortly after the new year but I had no intention of paying hundreds of dollars for it so I ordered some of the .1% gel from ADC. I tried to make the gel work for about a month, but it gave me the worst breakouts of my life and left my skin red and flaky and burnt looking even when i buffered it down with regular moisturizer and applied it twice a week. I went off of it after about a month and let my skin recover for a bit.

When my skin was looking relatively normal again I started using Retinol Resq nightly to prime my skin for starting retin-a again. I had no adverse reaction to this, in fact i still use it a couple times a month when i'm taking a night off of the retin-a. I did this for a month and then started using the .025% cream. This made all the difference. I really think it was the alcohol in the gel that made my skin freak out so badly, because I barely got any initial reaction from the weaker cream version and I was slathering ample amounts of it on everyday. Now I've been using the cream for about 5 months. I use it every night, ample amounts of it as it's usually my only moisturizer at night (at least in the summer), and I exfoliate every day with my nutrasonic. I also started using Paula's Choice toners and moisturizers and the occasional bha/aha. I'm proud to say my skin looks pretty dang good right now. I still get the occasional zit during my monthly, but it goes away quickly and it's never very large. I do use some mild BP products when i get my period, i use it in conjunction with the RA and it seems to work just fine, preventing hormonal breakouts.

I've noticed the fine lines between my eyes have diminished significantly. I turned 30 last spring and was starting to notice my makeup falling into those creases, that isn't happening anymore. YAY

My skin is still not perfect, i can still see some shadows from the scars my first round with RA gave me, but they faded really fast. My skin is very smooth and more even-toned that its ever been. Do I got to work without makeup now? No, it didn't perfect my skin, but it did make it better. I'd like to try bumping it up to the .05% cream this Fall. I'm in the sun A LOT in the summer and didn't notice any additional irritation this year, although i always wear sunscreen. I did tan as well, even wearing sunscreen every time i'm in the sun does not keep me from tanning, i'm just in the water so much. At any rate, my face did match my body half way through the summer, the retin-a didn't keep me from getting a tan, but i have to say that the tan fades faster on my face now. Oh well, nothing a little makeup can't fix.

I will update again at the 1 year mark. Right now I'm planning on starting the high dose around the beginning of October. Good luck everyone.

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rated 4 of 5 on 8/21/2011 6:21:00 PM More reviews by Varuca

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Blue

Gets a "4" from me since it has been such a challenge to find one that works for me, but overall, I'm a huge fan.
1996: I started back then because I had an intense bout of cystic acne. Tetracycline didn't help. Doxacycline didn't help. Benzoil Peroxide and Salasylic Acid didn't help!! My dermatologist put me on Retin-A + Accutane, and frankly, IT DIDN'T HELP. He doubled my dose of Accutane, told me to stop the Retin-A, and finally it stopped. Whew!
Fast-forward to 2006: I start breaking out because of stress in grad school. NOOOOOOOO! A friend told me to get Retin-A Micro 0.1% gel, so I did. I figured, "It'll help with the new tiny lines and other aging stuff, too, right?" OMG, what a nightmare! I spent 6 weeks "adjusting" to it while my face burned, turned red, flaked CONSTANTLY, and I was miserable. It hurt to smile because my face would crack. I always looked like I had face dandruff. I hated it! Just when my skin began to adjust, I developed a nasty allergy to it, and had to quit. Every time I got Retin-A Micro anywhere near my face I broke out in a red, bumpy, itchy rash.
Fast-forward to 2011: I had a series of RF facials @ a laser center for "skin rejuvenation" and one of the things that was "rejuvenated" was my breakouts. AWESOME. I asked my doctor to let me try Retin-A cream again, and WOAH--IT WORKED! I had to adjust again, but this time it only took a few weeks. I did get stupid and ask for an 0.05% script b/c I thought I could handle it, but it just made me burn again, and the rashes came back. FAIL. I went back down to 0.025%, and I'm doing great. I even use this around my eyes (indeed, my acne was bad enough that I had big zits on my upper and lower lids!). I usually use a moisturizer on my lids, top & bottom, to cut the power down, but it has been helping firm up the crepey skin and it has also been fading the small wrinkles I have under each eye and shrinking 2 small skin tags I have on my left lid. My face looks brighter, my skin is firmer & clear, and I feel great. I am to the point now (after 8 weeks) where I am able to use it every night, and I can use my Clarisonic every day again.
If you choose to try Retin-A, be aware of your skin's sensitivity level. If you want to try Retin-A Micro, remember that more sensitive skin will have a WORSE reaction to this stuff as it continuously distributes the active ingredient instead of allowing your skin to rest. ONLY apply at night, and never overdo it thinking "more will help faster." If your face struggles with the adjustment period for a few weeks (burning, flaking, even breakouts), then just keep using it until you adjust because you will. Never assume a stronger prescription is going to work better because that could just tear your face up. This is a wonderful product for acne and anti-aging, as well as reversing sun damage. They prescribe this to people who are high risk for skin cancer. I feel like a million dollars because of it, and I am on the lowest dose. After 15 years of trial & failure, I finally found my happy medium with Retin-A, and it was worth revisiting multiple times! I love how it helps revitalize & tighten my skin, flushes out blackheads, and keeps pimples at bey. I also love that I can tell all the lines on my face are slowly but surely diminishing, as are the couple of age spots and freckles that I find so annoying.
This is not a medication you can review after using once--it takes a minimum of 4 weeks for a full cellular turnover of our skin, so no one will see a real difference overnight. Since there is an adjustment period, it is easy to decide it is a horrible product if you quit before adjusting. I'd suggest taking it slow, follow the instructions, and give it at least a month to 6 weeks before reviewing or quitting. Always remember that there are many different vehicles (gel, liquid, cream, and micro gel) for this medication, and at least 3 different powers (0.025%, 0.05%, & 0.1%), so if one doesn't work, maybe you just need an adjustment. If you're like me and discover you are allergic, check the power--I cannot use anything stronger than 0.025%, but the cool part is: I CAN use 0.025%! This is going to be more effective than any other retinol/retinoid product available OTC, & I really love it, in spite of my trials in the past.

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