So after using this for about 2 months and working up to using it 2 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 1 day off, repeat, I went in for a check up with my derm. My acne has improved and my scars are dissapearing, BUT my skin is not happy. It is angry and looks very fragile, like it could tear or rip any second. My face is blochy and red in places but not evenly. She said my skins reaction is very unusual and not the norm. She also determined that my skin is VERY VERY sensitive, something I have known for a while. She took me off the Veltin and told me to not use my other topical for about a week to let my skin recover. We are now exploring other options.
If my skin was not so sensitive, I would continue to use this gel. I like the results. My acne is clearing, my skin tone is more even and I think it may even be helping with my dark circles. I had even reached the point where the dryness and flaking was begining to be managable. Oh well, back to the drawing board :(
Went to my derm and she gave me Veltin. Its a 0.025% tretinoin and 1.2% clindamycin phosphate gel. It is applied at night only, and Im using it in combo with Aczone gel. My stress levels have been higher than normal and the Aczone wasnt doing the job by itself anymore.
First 3 nights in a row I applied the gel. After night one, my skin looked amazing. After night 2 it looked even better. After night 3 I had flaky patches around my mouth. I gave it a rest for a night, and the next morning I woke up ready to catch my 6am flight with BAD BAD BAD irritation all around my mouth. It was so bad it hurt to smile, laugh, or open my mouth at all. It was so dry and painful. I let my skin recover for about a week and did some thinking about my plan.
Turns out through some trial and error, the side effects and irritation take 1-2 days after application to show up. If I apply on Monday evening, the flaking and dryness will not show up in full effect untill Wednesday. This lag lead me to think my skin was ok with more frequent applications, when it really was not.
I started applying the gel every 4 nights for about a week. Moved on to every 3 days for about 2 weeks. Now Im up to every 2 to every other night depending on my skin.
BUFFER this stuff!!! I wash my face, dry it, apply Jojoba oil and wait a good 30min to an hour before I apply it. Helps reduce irritation and does not seem to affect the results at all.
Also, I avoid applying the stuff to the areas around my mouth and nose. Place your index fingers, one on each side of your nose right in the crease. Draw an immaginary line from there to the corners of your mouth. Now, draw another line from the corners of your mouth to the tip of your chin. The area inside this invisable dimond, and the skin just to the outside of it, AVOID APPLYING THE GEL LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!! It is just to sensitive for me and probably for others.
Oh, once you apply the gel DO NOT GET ANY WATER ON YOUR FACE. I would apply the gel and then brush my teeth. When I rinsed under the tap, a little water would get on the area surrounding my lips. No biggie, right? Wrong. Once I figured out this was causing the excess irritation, and changed my routine, the irritation went away almost compleatly.
Hope this helps. I'll update as I progress.
Some of the comments here are uninformed and quite honestly scary. I really hope most people are using this responsibly after educating themselves about the medication, and aren't using OTC/HE creams with vitamin A.
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. A good, photostable, preferably physical sunscreen is also required. Retin A (and all retinoids) drastically increase your photosensibility (so investing in a good pair of sunglasses is also a plus). Repeatedly burning yourself with sunlight or applying too much product and irritating your skin is detrimental and can lead you to have serious issues with your skin later on (everything from unwanted lightening/hyperpigmentation to skin cancer and megaloblastmas). Additionally, you will need a good moisturiser that works for your skin (not every ´comedogenic´ ingredient will break everyone out btw, so go with whatever your skin tolerates best). You are also not supposed to use any other acid (ie AHA/BHA, salicylic acid found in tons of cleansers and scrubs etc) because retinoids thin your skin out as they accelerate your cell's lifespan. Be gentle when exfoliating. You are also supposed to be careful when waxing - ANYWHERE, not just your face. If you do your eyebrows I recommend either threading or plucking. And just shave everything else. Waxing (with any product, at home or at a salon) will very probably rip off your hair along with the top layer of your epidermis, leaving a brown/purple burn/scab. Which hurts like a bitch, jsyk. Your skin is an organ and what you put on it is absorbed into your metabolism. Not only will your spots/face regenerate faster, ALL of your skin will do so as well. You might notice an increase in dead skin when you toweldry for example. That's why.
Also make sure you only use the smallest amount you need to see results. My dermatologist said I should use a grain or two of rice (size-wise) for my whole face. And I'm on the 0.025% dosage, which is the lowest one. Using a bunch of the product won't get you results faster. It'll get you angry, raw, peeling red skin. You can get 3rd degree burns from using too much product and then standing under sunlight. Yeah, it's a drag to have to wait for results, but this DOES work in the long run, and it's worth being patient for. Follow your doctor's advice, it'll really help.
Sorry to sound preachy, but I really hope that helps someone not get cancer or discolourations or premature wrinkles. If you're thinking of using Retin A (or any other retinoid) be sure to talk to a competent dermatologist first. Don't just browse beauty sites and go for it. And if you can't commit to sunscreen every single day (sometimes months after you quit the treatment), don't even try this.
That said, Retin A has worked miracles for me. It helped with my acne as a teen, and now helps me when I break out when I'm PMSing. It is also (slowly) helping me get rid of some hyperpigmentation that I have left over on my face.
I used retin-a the wrong way. I used it twice a week, and I was fine. But too early on I used it consecutively for two nights at a stretch and looked like a monster--red, scaly, peeling skin. My mistake! A new product in India--Nexret: tretinoin in microsphere to reduce irritation. I have moved here in India and tried it last night--keeping my fingers crossed. This is a patented formulation that control delivers tretinoin in non-porous microsphere that minimize irritation. I will update you ladies soon.
Update: after three months I have gone from every fourth night to every other night. I have been told the difference in my skin has been "drastic". It has controlled my oiliness beautifully, blackheads and bumpiness has been smoothed out--not completely but still remarkably. I have always had very heavily clogged pores and deeply embedded blackheads. The blackheads on my nose have been reduced by 70%. Another problem area for me has been skin tags and moles--and all of those have gone away. In fact moles and skin tags have bothered me as much as blackheads so I am pleased to not have to deal with them. Sometimes DH says that my skin looks like it has a burn and that is hyperpigmentation from all the irritation but I have been told by a derm that it will eventually go away. I notice a tightness in the texture but I know it takes a good 12 months before collagen deposition is enough to be noticeable. I do not have fine lines at 36 but am prone to something worse IMO: sagging and drooping--will have to wait and see if it will remedy that. BTW i use it on my neck too. Neck had the worst irritation initially but a few nights use of steroids took care of that. Will update later.
I like this a lot ^^ I got this on prescription from the doctor as part of an acne treatment regimen.
It is great for when I have a large spot. It makes it go away MUCH faster. For example, this made a spot that would normally stick around for at least 1 week go away in 2 days *^O^*
I also feel like it makes my skin feel very smooth. The purpose of this is to regenerate skin cells, so it's basically like an exfoliant. For that reason, it's a bad idea to use a strong product afterwards, like toner. (it will burn)
Also, it's not great to wear during the daytime. I've found that if you accidentally use too much, the product kind of bunches up in a gross kind of way. I havent had issues with drying, because my skin is very oily. I also didn't have any kind of "purge."
I will definitely purchase again ^^
I had a bad breakout about a year ago and went to the derm and was prescribed Tretinoin 0.025% after my acne cleared up with antibiotics. After using for about 6 months, I told her I don't really feel or see the difference, so the doc increased the strength to 0.05%. After another couple months of use, I still see no difference (since my face is still clear and all) so I stopped using it even though the derm insisted that I don't. So fast forward to 3-4 months later, I started having tiny bumps and whiteheads all over my face again. I put a lot of benzoyl peroxide hoping it will clear them up, but that by itself didn't help. Thinking that my face might need exfoliating, I used sugar and scrubbed away the flakes caused by bp. Still, the tiny bumps and whiteheads were still there. Then I decided to use the Tretinoin again, not really expecting it to help much... but when you're desperate, anything will do! So, after about 3 days of using it, the tiny bumps disappeared like it was never there! Now, a week later, my face is super smooth, no signs of new zits, acne, etc. And I know some people get purging the first few weeks of using this, but that never happened with me. Anyways, now I have so much faith in this product as it cleared away my bumps/whiteheads. I went to the derm recently to ask for more of it. I really recommend this.
The best advice i can give to anyone starting the retin a would be to invest in cera ve' facial moisturizer. to counteract the drying effect, use equal parts of moisturizer with retin a, your face will not dry and crack and be painful this way. the retin a is stull effective, believe me! prevent your skin from getting thirsty in teh first place :)
best of luck!
Hey Evryone. I started using (0,1%)about 3 weeks ago.. ive tried it already like a year ago for like 2 weeks (0,05%) but didnt see any results so quit it.
so this time i use it for like one week and then my skin started to dry and almost cracked when i didnt put on moist. so it was reall really dry. like 2 minutes after i washed my faced and tap it dry my skin was almost peeling of.. so i took a long hot bath and used a soft towel to get rid of the peeling skin. .my skin is still really dry though..so i would really recommened evryone to use a good moist. sometimes i cream my face 2 or 3 times during the day.. i use the treatment in the night without a moisturizer. but during the day i use reatin a cream and loads of moist .. a friend told me to not use moist during the night so the retin a can work better. in the 2nd week i had loads of breakouts .. i already wanted to quit the treatment but didnt. because i wanted to give it a try.. so right now.. i dont have any pimples left.and my acne scares are barely visible anymore..also i think my fine lines on my forehead are getting better. so i would totally recommend to use retin a but be sure you always have a moisturizer with you ..and you should always put on sunblocker with at least 30 ( i use spf 50)
I was perscribed for this for acne and it took like 2 weeks for my skin to get used to it because it can be drying. (I used too much in the beginning so that could be why) but I use it as a spot treatment at night and I swear 80% of the time the acne disappears over night or at least smoothes out. and I get the ocassional Mt. Everest pimples that have white heads and hurt.Same tube for 3 years still haven't ran out, you only need a dab so it will last FOREVER!
I just started a new blog about my retin-A treatment, because I am starting using it. I would be adding photos hopefully every week, so that we could see some improvement or difference. I have used it three times so far, and actually no peeling or itching occured (weird?). I will be updating every week, just now I posted photos from week one. (This is not an advert! I hope it could help a lot of people that want to start with retin-a as well) battle4perfectskin.blogspot.com
I've been prescribed this cream by my dermatologist to help clear up my acne scars and blemishes, and I have to say, my skin is a whole lot better appearance-wise! I used to have angry red spots where my acne used to be, and since I've started using this, the spots and redness aren't as noticeable as before. I mean, they're still visible, but when I wear foundation I don't need to use a green concealer to correct the redness.
One thing about this, though, you need to be VERY patient when using this cream, because the first few weeks (in my case, the first few MONTHS) will be flaking craziness and all your hidden/buried acne will come out. This can be very frustrating, but a good solution to this is exfoliating every day with a gentle scrub. I use either a homemade honey-olive oil-sugar scrub, or the St. Ives peach apricot scrub. If your skin isn't too sensitive, you can scrub twice a day if you want. Also, if your skin gets too dry, you can experiment on how many times a week you use the cream, I used to use this every three days because it dried me out so much, but now I've increased it to every other day.
Anyway, this product is really worth the few months of flaking because it really has cleared my skin up quite considerably.