Retin A


522 reviews

82% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.7

Price: $$$


Retin A Cream Each g of cream contains: tretinoin 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.05% or 0.1% in a bland, hydrophilic base. Nonmedicinal ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, isopropyl myristate, polyoxyl (40) stearate, purified water, sorbic acid, stearic acid, stearyl alcohol and xanthan gum. Retin A Gel Each g of gel contains: tretinoin 0.01% or 0.025%. Nonmedicinal ingredients: butylated hydroxytoluene, ethanol undenatured and hydroxypropyl cellulose. Retin-A Liquid (0.05% Tretinoin w/w) polyethylene glycol 400, butylated hydroxytoluene and alcohol (denatured with tert-butyl alcohol and brucine sulfate) 55%

on 8/21/2011 5:34:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I think this stuff works good...I'm using it for evening out my skin tone and making my skin look more youthful than dull due to stress...NIGHT: Because I have dry skin, I wash my face with Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Fresh (pink bottle), and then take a pea size of Retin A, dot it all over my face, and then rub/smear it in..MORNING: wash my face again and I use Cetaphil Cream as eye cream and only apply where my face is dry...I only apply Retin A every other day because it is pretty drying..I did notice that Retin A made me break out a little bit for about a week when i first started using it, but it wasn't so bad and it's gone..Overall, I think this is something people should just try out for whatever reaon, and I'm using it to take care of my skin because i heard it's something good to start using in your 20's..

on 8/8/2011 5:26:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

from a teenager(15)s perspective retin a is pretty godly. it sucks because your face cant get tan because its constantly being shed and renewed because thats what retina does. however it really helps clear your acne up so its worth it. i still get a lot of acne around my period but not nearly as much as i used to without it. whatever you do make sure you get PRESCRIBED retina because i tried to use it without a dermatologist and it just made my skin get worse. please go to a dermi

on 8/4/2011 11:59:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This is probably one of the best acne treatments I have used. It only took 1 night for me to see a difference. I could only really see a difference on my forehead, but about 20% of acne was gone. I will keep using this!

on 8/3/2011 7:17:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I've waited for a little over a year to review this product, which I don't really do very often. This one product I really wanted to experience before I reviewed. I can now officially say that this is the best stuff I've ever used on my skin, although times haven't always been awesome. I had no idea how much stronger RA would be than my old Differin so I totally slathered it on when I first got it and even used my good old BHA the morning after. PEEL AND BURN CITY. I am an avid sunscreen wearer so luckily my head didn't explode from sunburns at the same time (wear your SS when you use this product, oh lordy!). After that I went a little easier, but unfortunately I still peel (some people say they stop peeling after however many months, but this hasn't happened for me unfortunately). Using a cloth to wipe off peelies in the morning is helpful.

Anyway, how does RA work on acne? AMAZING. Breakouts will be decimated overnight (with the 1% which is the strongest formulation, at least). I love waking up the day after I use RA to see anything that had popped up being 90% healed. In the year I've been using it I've had some periods of disuse, and I've always broken out during them. This really keeps my intensely breakout-prone skin as clear as I believe it can possibly be. A+++++ for acne.

How does it work for anti-aging? Not so sure. I know my skin looks clearer and tighter when I wake up in the morning, but I don't have much in the way of wrinkles to test on. BUT, I can definitely tell that if I keep using this my skin will look better in a few years than if I had never used it, for sure.

I've tried using RA at the same time as some other actives to help heal any breakouts I've gotten along the way, but I have a penchant for overdoing it and I've finally realized that with RA, less really can be more. Nowadays I use RA as my only active every other day with perhaps a 3 day break with a peel of some sort in the middle every now and then. This is how my derm told me to apply, and it's helped reduce peeling and irritation a lot:

Apply a 1/3rd of a pea sized amount of RA to the tip of one of your fingers, dot it on to the rest of the tips of your fingers, lightly tap it all over your face, then rub in. I find that when I do it this way it still works on my clogged pores and acne but I'm usually able to wipe off all my peelies in the shower, whereas before I would think I had wiped them off in the shower, put on my makeup, go to work, and find that all the parts I didn't get with the washcloth were newly freed and peeling off in huge chunks D: Not a good look!

Anyway, I would recommend this to everyone on earth, but please start slow and wear sunscreen!

11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

on 8/2/2011 8:38:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Have been using for about ten years. Helps with acne. Can't say for fine lines. HOWEVER, and this is a HUGE however - you do not want to stop using it...and I mean, like EVER. I stopped for a year or so. Skin was abhorrant. Face became covered in a hard, scaly, thick layer, & it was red, dry, fine lines around the eyes, acne...on top of it. A MESS. No scrub, no toner, no washcloth could cut through this unusually hard, 'scaly', almost 'fish like' layer on my skin. The dermatologist said that since Retin-A speeds up cell turnover, your skin - after becoming used to Retin-A for years - could become VERY, VERY LAZY, if you ever stop using it, and could exfoliate and renew itself even slower, than if never having used Retin-A at all. Her advice to me...go back on it, and never get off it. She asked me if I planned on having children, I said no (can't use this stuff while pregnant or breast feeding) and then said, "It's not like your ever going to have children and it's not like you're ever going to be stranded on a tropical island and won't be able to have access to the drug". I quickly went back on it, feeling kind of bummed that at this point, I really had no choice, and wishing that someone would have told me this before I ever started on it. My face turned around after a few months. I am still on it, and am happy. My skin is smooth and acne free again. And yes, broken capillaries do abound, and I yes, I do constantly flake and peel, but at least I don't look like a LIZARD or a FISH. A great product, just a heads up to those that are considering it.

16 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

on 7/24/2011 11:40:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

OK people if u wanna talk about holy grail, then this is it! i will give more info further into this review but first i have to just rave. my skin is sooooooo smooooooottttthhhhhh. like beyond babys bottom, every morning and night when i wash my face it feel like my fingers are running along a mirror. it still shocks me because b4 retin-a my face was rough and bumby felling. it was awful. ok getting into backround: i started breaking out when i turned 25, i dont know if it was hormones or what but it was bad! my forhead and cheeks were terrible. covered in hundreads of small bumps, with a few large ones in between. yuck! so after trying everthing at the drug store and spa (dermalogica) nothing worked. i was getting so depressed! so i went to my family doc and he gave me retin-a in 0.01 and 0.025. i started with the lower strength for about a month then tried to bumb up but found the 0.025 too harsh so now im sticking with the mild one. i never got an initial breakout and i think its because i started slowly. so i just had regular zits nothing crazy. but they eventually have all worked their way out. ive been on retin-a for 2 months, and i cant wait to see my results in the future :)

routine: am
*cleanse with spectro jel mild cleanser(has no med. ing.)
*pat dry then moisturize lightly in my dryer areas first.
*every second day i gently exfoliate with a muslin cloth (i cannot stress how important this is)
*apply spf 45 neutrogena ultra sheer (if im going outside)
*then makeup (if im going outside lol)

*cleanse with spectro jel
*pat dry
*apply eye cream on eye area and around mouth
*wait 30 min
*apply retin-a jel to rest of face avoiding areas with cream

1. u must exfoliate every other day to remove the dead skin that the retin-a has sloghed off (muslin cloth is gentle yet effective)
2. u must use a moisturizer to protect n hydrate the baby sensitive skin u have left on your face
3. u must wear sun protection DAILY minimum spf 30
4. u must wait at least 1-1.5 months to see any good results
5. use the product sparingly
6. if you have the gel formula it will feel like a tight helmet on your face, after a few days you will get used to it, dont put cream over it.

Good luck and all the best to you. please try it!
My skin is the best its ever looked. i have moved up to the 0.025. i can actually go out with no makeup, and tinted moisturizer gives me a foundation look! im so happy, my skin is acne-free, clean, smooth and radiant!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

on 7/14/2011 3:33:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

Update: I want to have the spectacular results others have had with this, but it's not happening. I use it every other night. I moisturize either an hour after or in this morning. My skin is still breaking out (not cystic though--so that's definitely an improvement) and it is dry now and still looks older. I'm not giving up though almost a year into this because the clinical studies show this one of the few things that helps the skin repair collagen. I'm using a heavier night cream now so we'll see if that helps.

Update: I've been using retin for about 8 months now. My skin never seemed to get over the purging/flaking period and it looks a lot more aged (I'm in my late 20s!). This could be due to the fact that I hadn't been using much moisturizer for fear of breaking out again--which very likely backfired, causing more noticeable wrinkles, dry skin, and break outs. Now I'm doing Mary Kay C+ serum *before* I use the retin at night and that has helped 100% with the dryness.

I was nervous about the "purging" that I heard about over and over again, but man was it worth it.

Went to the dermatologist last week for the first because I was fed up with adult onset acne issues. She prescribed Retin A .05% for night use and Clindamycin lotion for the morning.

First two days: the pimples I'd been try to keep at bay came out, but subsided within 2 days.

Day three: by day three my skin was starting to look great though I had very minimal dry/flaky patches around nose--nothing horrible.

Day 7: My skin hasn't looked this good for 2 years (when the acne started) and probably looks better now than it ever has. Glowing, clear, tight, amazing. Skin tone is evening out and even the lines that had begun showing around the nasolabial area are disappearing. Still have a few dry patches where acne was--but that is fading.

I will use this stuff for as long as it's available.

on 7/10/2011 2:22:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

If there was one single product in my skin care regime that was essential it would be this. It changed my skin entirely. I cannot express how much difference it has made in my skin texture, look and feel. In Canada you need a prescription for true Retin A. Everything that you can buy on the shelf (like ROC brands etc) doesn't even contain enough of the active vitamin A to make a difference on your skin. The good thing about needing a prescription is that the doctor will prescribe a safe dose/level and instruct you on exactly how to use it so you are less likely to get burned or irritated from it. I went to a local dermatologist regarding my mild rosacea and constantly clogged skin. I have odd skin: it's olive toned oily/combo skin that is extremely sensitive and mildy rosacea-ish across my nose and cheeks. So my battle is having tiny little bumps on my face (not big pimples, just clogged up little white bumps) and redness that really bothers me. He prescribed Retisol-A 0.01% to start, and then after 6 months I moved up to 0.025% which is where I'll probably stay for awhile now. My particular cream has SPF 15 in it, so I CAN (and do) use it in the day. I followed the direction precisely and started slow. I've never had a problem with burning, excessive peeling or sun sensitivity. I use a Tarte mineral bronzing powder with some additional SPF on top. I add Elta MD Clear SPF 46 in the summer months. I have been on Retisol-A for over a year now, and it changed my skin to near perfect. I get compliments on it all the time (something that NEVER happened before). I rarely break out, maybe only once in a awhile when I get my period. But other than that, I have smooth, clear and even skin every day. I make sure to use a good moisturizer at night. In Canada you will have to pay for whatever the prescription costs, or your medical plan doesn't cover etc. It's still WAY cheaper than using any kind of high end luxury product like Darphin, La Mer, Cellcosmet, La Prairie etc., and believe me, I tried them ALL. I recommend this to every single woman I know, and those who comment on my skin. If there was one product I could not live without it would be this. It is also the one product I will NEVER EVER stop using or stray from. My skin care routine is basically: Day - Cleanse, Retisol-A, eye cream, additional sunscreen if needed. Night - Cleanse, Reversa moisturizer. That's it. I may do a mask once a month. If I need extra exfoliation I use the Reversa Solution once in awhile. I would highly recommend this to every single woman/man. Not only will it make a huge difference immediately, but years down the road when your "aging'. My derm said if you could twin yourself and one use Retinol-A and the other not, the one who uses would look 10+ years younger when you're both 50.

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

on 7/10/2011 1:36:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I will use this product forever. It's amazing. I wanted to write this review for anybody that may be struggling with acne and thinking about using this product. Or perhaps struggling with this product. Although I use this to treat acne/oily skin, I use the 0.05% Cream, as opposed to the gel. I tried the gel when I was in high school and my skin could not handle it. The cream has been a much more soothing alternative, and my initial breakout (yes, I had an initial breakout) was so much easier to deal with using the cream. I'm on my 4th month of treatment and my skin looks amazing! I had a horrible case of cystic acne when I was about 16 - 18. After that I would get the occasional cyst once a month, but my scars weren't fading. I looked like I was constantly having a breakout because of the awful red marks all over my cheeks. Now at 24, my red marks are 95% gone, and if I do get a pimple, it's usually very tiny and only lasts about 48 hours max. My skin *glows*! People think I'm 5 years younger than I actually am, and at 24, that's a pretty good start. :)
Okay so let's get down to how to use this product with minimal side-effects....FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Seriously. If you slather it on and actually have the nerve to complain about redness and peeling, you had it coming. This is a strong prescription. A pea-size dot at NIGHT for the whole face is more than enough. On the first weeks of treatment, only use it every third night or every other night. Wash off in the morning and moisturize. SPF is a must during the day, and only use gentle, non-medicated cleansers (Cetaphil, CeraVe, Purpose, Aveeno, etc) to wash your face. Also, you must make sure you only apply this at night when you face has been cleansed and is completely dry.
Some other helpful info about my experience. I had minimal peeling and pretty much zero redness because I started soooo slow. I wouldn't exfoliate, but in hot showers sometimes you can rub the flakes off with your fingers once a week. This made it possible for me to wear my normal makeup when I went out, without flaking (but for the most part I only wore makeup when I had to). Yes, I had an initial breakout. Was it HORRIBLE? No. Was it annoying and discouraging? Yes. It was about twice as bad as my usual PMS breakout. It included 4 new cysts, and all the lovely redness that comes with them. This breakout occured for me at 5 weeks into treatment. Keep it up the routine even if it seems hopeless. By 7 weeks the breakout had subsided. By 9 weeks I started recieving compliments on my skin. Now at the 12 week mark, my skin is so even and zit-free. The new marks from my initial breakout are fading *fast* This product is a miracle if you are able to commit. Also works wonders for sun damaged skin/photo-aging. Good luck!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

on 7/4/2011 9:50:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

This is for the exact one, shown pictured, purchased at For this purpose, I'm referring only to how this has helped with my keratosis pilaris (KP), which I have had since I was a teenager (I'm now 42), on my upper arms and forearms. The tube I have is about 6 months past its expiration date and I don't like to waste product, if I can help it and if it doesn't appear to be expired (rancid, change of color, etc.). So, I began using it all over my arms where the KP is. This has truly been the first product/treatment that has vitually made my KP disappear, and I am beyond thrilled with the results! (I have used Amlactin with minimal results.) I apply the cream about an hour after I've showered. Right after my shower, while my skin is still damp, I moisterize with Alba Botanika unscented body lotion mixed about 50/50 with extra version olive oil (love this, too!). It seems greasy at first but it sinks in beautifully with no residue. I use about a four inch line on each part of my arms (right and left forearms and right and left upper arms), and simply rub it all in. I have not experienced any uncomfortable irritation or redness (yet, anyway). I have a few tubes of Retin A Micro (I always seem to over-order to ADC and, which I will use when the Tretinoin runs out. This is fabulous for KP!!! Please give it a try!!

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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