This is my first review and I will be updating as I go along.
I have battled with my skin for numerous years and finally have it under control with a combination of the oil cleansing method, clarisonic and apple cider vinegar along with the BC Yasmin. It's taken a good, long time to get to this point but now I'm here I'm still not 100% happy, and that's where Retin A came along.
Now my skin is clear I have noticed not only do I have scarring but I also have extensive skin damage. There are numerous reasons how I got to this point, sunbeds, no sunscreen, taking accutane and not wearing sunscreen and generally not realising the consequence's of the above. So, I researched, researched and researched and Retin A seemed my saviour and I dove in. I all actuality I dove in way too deep to begin with, I ordered 0.1% off eBay and applied a liberal pea sized amount all over and hoped for the best, the next night I did the same and the same after that..... That's when things got bad! I woke up and my face was RED like redder than the sun and pieces of my skin were peeling off and although I'd researched and knew this was a normal reaction I panicked and then things got worse, for the next two weeks my face was raw and peeling and no amount of moisturiser could help. The side of my lips cracked, my actual lips, the crevice on either side of my nose and they wouldn't heal. I went back to just OCM and tried to be as gentle and use only natural products on my face and things got better, it took time but they got better.
But, what can I say other than I must be a glutton for punishment as the Retin A has lured me back and I'm ready to try again. This time I am going to edge my way in and use it only once a week, I have chosen Tuesday as my lathering up day and I took the plunge last night. I used half a pea sized amount all over my skin after OCM & ACV (I left at least an hour between applications) and today my skin feels tight but not uncomfortable so I'm hopeful that this may work for me and that over time it will, I realise it will be over many months and maybe even years but hopefully it will fade my sun damage, I'm only 27 so don't want old lady skin before my time just because my dermatologist was too lazy to really lay down the long term affects of the sun. continued >>
I have used Retin A for 22 years,mostly for undoing sun damage. My skin looks the best it has ever had. I recently changed from full strength to half and use it 3 times a week,I'm still reaping the benefits. It take awhile to get used to, but its well worth it for fighting the signs of aging.I buy it at Costco, where it's much cheaper than my Giant grocery store pharmacy.
I have been looking for something to improve my skin for the last few years, As I have gotten older, I've been developing lots of whiteheads the develop into spots on my chin and cheeks. My face was looking bumpy and pores were becoming very visible. I'd spent a small fortune on various cleansers, toners and potions over the last while and nothing was shifting the pores. Since I started using Retin A three weeks ago, I already see a great improvement in my skin with visibly fewer whiteheads and blackheads. I've been using 0.05% Retin A every second night after cleansing and toning. I also used a moisturizer, to help the dryness. I find that my skin looks best, the day after my free night as the peeling has subsided and my skin looks very smooth and fresh under my make up. I only wish I found this stuff years ago. I can't wait to see how much more my skin will improve! By the way, I use moisturizers with SPF Clinique Superdefense with SPF 25 and I recently started using an exfoliator from Lancome to help remove dead skin a few times a week.
I really wanted Retin-A to work for me, but it didn't.
Some reviewers have described that they got red, cystic acne pimples from using Retin-A, which is exactly what happened to me.
I got prescribed a very low dose of Retin-A. Initially I started using it every 3 days at bedtime. Almost immediately I broke out with large, inflamed cystic acne. The pimples were not concentrated to one area; I got them on my chin, cheeks, etc. They were very painful.
I thought that the cystic acne would be temporary while my skin adjusted to the medication. After a few days I increased my use of Retin-A to every 2 days, and eventually applied it daily. I used it for a total of 7 full weeks hoping that the medication would start to take effect, but it never did and I continued to get cystic acne the entire time.
During my time using Retin-A I stopped wearing makeup, and using face masks and serums. I really wanted to see if the medication would work, but it didn't.
I never got any flaking or peeling skin, or any positive results. All I got throughout the entire 7 weeks was red, inflamed cystic acne.
I know that Retin-A has worked wonders for many, many people, and I'm sure it can be a very effective medication for many others, but it did not agree with my skin. Although I do experience frequent acne, I seldom get cystic acne. Needless to say, I realized after 7 weeks that the medication was doing more harm than good, so I discontinued using the Retin-A. After a while, the cystic acne healed and has never returned.
Again, I know Retin-A can be very effective in treating acne, but I guess it's just not for everyone.
I'm 60 and I've been on Retin-a treatment (0.025%) for a bit more than a month. I think debdee gave the best advice. If your skin does not tolerate every-day application, DON'T apply every night. And make sure you start with the lowest grade. You'll spare yourself much grief and trouble. I have a love-hate relationship with this cream. Some days I like it, others I hate it. I'll try to be as objective as I can.
Per my derm's advice, I started using this every two nights for two weeks. Then every other night for another two weeks. Now I'm going to start using it every night. Even this low grade has dried up my oily skin quite a bit. Also, I must be very careful to apply the barest minimal on my chin and around my mouth or it's red/peeling skin central. I don't apply it around my eyes. My under-eye skin just can't take it. I would also suggest using a very mild cleanser. I use DHC's Mild Soap and it works beautifully. Cleans my skin thoroughly but does not over dry it.
Another thing I do is make sure I use a strong moisturizer w/SPF every day. I have a tube of the sadly-discontinued Kinerase Daily Defense Lotion SPF 30. It was ridiculously priced at $135, but I got it as gratis when I worked at Sephora, so I didn't pay for it. It's very emollient, but non-comendogenic. It never broke me out. My alternatives to this are Mario Badescu's Collagen Moisturizer SPF 15 (that may not be high enough, but sunscreen usually break me out, so I'm very wary of them), and Bliss' Fabulous Face Lotion SPF 15. Not exactly dirt cheap, either of them, but since I already had them ...
Fortunately for me, this treatment did not make my skin "purge." That could also be because I clean my skin uber-thoroughly every night, so maybe there was nothing to purge. I had two small but stubborn pimples and this cream cleared those w/o bringing them to a head, for which I am most grateful.
As for the rejuvenating benefits, no, I don't look 12 yet, and I have enough common sense to know I never will, but this has made my skin more even-textured and I haven't had a single break-out since I started using it, in spite of the emollient moisturizers and wearing MU. Foundation goes on and looks so much better on now.
When I finish my prescribed time, I intend to use this like debdee does, as necessary. I hope this helps ladies my age.
I know that retinoids are a product that require quite a bit of time to take full effect, and I plan on updating my review, but I wanted to throw in my two cents on how things have been going for me.
Background: I've had oily, acne-prone skin since puberty but it was nothing that couldn't be managed with a consistent skincare routine for a long time. That all changed when I turned 20 and started getting cystic acne. It still wasn't horrific - 3-4 cysts a year - but incredibly annoying. I still avoided prescription medication, and managed with my Olay spinbrush. My skin changed again a few years later, due to the stresses of grad school. This time, I had cystic acne all over my cheeks (~15-20 lesions), and some sprouted on my forehead - I hadn't had acne on my forehead since my teenage years. I was battling extremely clogged pores, persistent PIH, and skin that overall looked and felt crappy. Enter Retin-A...
I use the generic tretinoin .025% cream. I started off very slowly - a dab the size of a grain of rice every third night. I've now upped it to every other night. I always buffer with CeraVe moisturizer, wait 30 minutes, then apply the cream and go to bed. I gently wash my face in the morning (no scrubbing!), apply sunscreen, and am out the door.
So far my irritation has been kept at a minimum. A few red pustules popped up but they went away within a day. I've had some light flaking, but nothing that can't be combatted with some gentle manual exfoliation and moisturizer. My skin is much, much smoother than it was before and the persistent PIH I've had is slowly fading. I'll update in another few weeks to see how I'm progressing - so far, so good!
This is by far the one product I've seen most results from. I've been on it for 3 months now and am really seeing good results. First month wasn't easy, but do yourself a favor and stick with it! I found that using the clarisonic brush was an excellent way to get rid of flakes every morning. I really recommend it vs scrubbing since it's not as tough on your already irritated skin (from the Retin A). I use the .05% strength, started everyother day and by week 2 increased to every night. The flaking ended at 4 weeks. Then it was all improvement from then. My pores look smaller and black heads are down by at least 50% (this was my biggest problem). My skin looks better than ever. I really recommend using the clarisonic brush every morning too. It really does get rid of any left dead skin and leaves your face feeling super fresh and new every morning. It works REALLY well with the Retin A every night. Also, I go to Mexico often, they sell prescription strnght Retin A down there at any pharmacy, like a third the price, exact same product, no prescription needed.... Just a tip, if you're ever south of the border... :)
My entire life I have had very good skin. I only had a few times in high school where I had acne outbreaks, but that was usually on my forehead and cleared up in a few months. Other than that I only had some minor occasional breakouts. In the summer of 2010 I was put on Seasonique and almost had an emotional breakdown from it. I stopped taking any form of bc to get myself back to normal. That's when my skin changed drastically. What started out as a cluster on my cheek soon spread all o er my face. I had whiteheads, cystic acne, and "strawberry nose". I also suffer from hyper pigmentation and scarring. I went to a dermatologist who did not really look at me and prescribed me antibiotics and a few different topical creams which made my face even worse. I found a tube of the Mexican brand of the retin A in my moms drawer and started applying it every other night as a last ditch effort... All I can say is stick with it. It is winter here and my skin is dry and sensitive. I did not notice it irritating it any further than a few flaky places and a stinging feeling when I cleanse with my cetaphil. The first few weeks I did not notice much of a difference. The second month in I bumped it up to every night and a few nights ago I am finally seeing results! My skin is a lot smoother, all my active acne seems to be quickly diminishing, and what blackheads haven't gone away on their own are very easily extracted. Every day I wake up with a slightly better complexion. It is definitely worth every penny just STICK WITH IT.
I am a 27 year old with oily, acne prone skin, and I have been using this product on-again/off-again for years. Honestly, even though I am not breaking out as much as I used to, this is a miracle worker. While it does dry out my skin, it has help a lot with my acne scars and any small pimples i sometimes get. I had horrible acne during high school, and have had bouts of bad acne since then when I've gone off my birth control. This has left me with a ton of red scars on my cheeks that never seem to go away. Retin A has really helped with that. I have also started using it on find wrinkles that I've noticed (wasn't very good with the sunscreen when I was younger) and it has helped with that too. Overall, a great product and I'd recommend it to anyone.
natural skin type is sensitive acne prone oily. Issues were a couple sun damage forehead lines, wanting to even tone and texture and acne. im in mid 20s.
I started off with a retinol cream just on forehead lines about 4 months ago. then i started using this cream on whole face too. the cream wasnt doing much except clogging pores so i picked up some 0.1% a ret and dilute by half along with using cerave pm underneath. been using this 3x per week for about a month or 2. i think im almost done with the uglies i was experiencing (dry skin, flaky patchiness, sensitivity, a couple new breakouts). Overall tone is much glowier, my pores seem to have emptied themselves. Most notably on the sides of cheeks/nose, which i was not expecting, especially since just a week ago they had plugs and were very oily. My forehead lines have unmistakably reduced by half. The bumpyish texture on cheeks and cheekbones is almost gone, i guess this was clogged pores too.
Im still having issues, mostly nasolabial folds and eyes, which get dry flaky and look wrinklier. i only started using it on them specifically around a month or 2 ago, so im hoping they just need a lil time to catch up and get through this stage. it's v scary to see sudden wrinkles around the eyes, but with enough moisture they go away.
I had a lot of issues finding moisturisers that didnt sting or irritate, hada labo super HA moisturising lotion, followed by cerave pm and then olay sensitive beauty fluid it working for me now.
it's dirt cheap off the net. im giving it a 4 for now, since there is quite a lot of irritation and im not over the uglies yet... my forehead looks 5 years younger and my eyes look 5 years older.
EDIT: Holy guacamole!!! My face looks awesome today, sorry i doubted you retin a!!+
I was having issues with the few wrinkles around my eyes looking worse for the past few weeks. I been hydrating v well but still doubtful, thought there was a possibility i'd ruined some parts of my skin and prematurely aged myself. Kinda avoided paying attention and stressing about it since then, holding out hope and what not.
Anyway i did my routine and just put on my m/u for the day and frikk, i look like a teenager again around the nasolabial and forehead area. the eye lines are back to how deep they were when i first started.
for ref im only mid 20s and damage was sun induced and a genetic predisposition to sagging muzzle look. so looking like a teen again isnt that far away for me... but holy frikk, glowing almost lineless firm skin. been using 0.01-0.05 for 2/3 months every other night and used retinol for 2 months beforehand. using cerave pm also.
i used around the eye and got burning, puffiness and raw peeling skin there. my skin gets pretty dehydrated and lines looked worse (presumably because the top layer of skin has been exfoliated and the area dried out). had to change up all my previous sensitive skin products because even they stung my skin. played around with 0.05 but it was just too strong and unnecessary from my research. had muddy looking skin from purging, wasnt too bad, just looked like i was run down for a few weeks but now all my pores are empty, any seb filaments wash away with my cleanser like poof! texture of skin is much smoother and softer now. Almost 0 hormonal jawline acne anymore. any jaw/mouth area slackness is almost fully gone. soft nasolabial lines that i had are now just subtle indents.
found a comfortable level with a 0.25 application every other night and using what film is left on my fingers to press under the eye instead of straight applying there. still get minor peeling even with following 'rules' regarding timing and moisturiser application.
SORRY FOR THE NOVEL THIS STUFF NEEDS EXPLAINING!