Retin A


533 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 3/27/2015 4:55:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

I'm in the process of giving Retin A Micro a chance since this did not work for me. The difference between Retin A and Retin A Micro is that R.A.M is time released, vs traditional Retin A exfoliating upon impact/application. R.A.M is suggest for more sensitive skin, so keep an eye out for my review. Most people opt for Retin A instead because it is a lot cheaper than Retin A Micro. But for me...good skincare is something I'm definitely willing to splurge on.

Edited to add: Retin A Micro only comes in gel form.

Edited to add: Retin A comes in cream and gel forms. I have tried both. As an oily, acne prone girl I *much* preferred the gel as it fully dried matte. The cream formulation is meant to be more hydrating - so keep that in mind for your skintype.

Here are some tips to anyone looking to get good results with retin a:

-Sunscreen is very, very important. I don't care if the only sun you get is through sitting by a window or driving in your car - this is vital. Retin A chemically exfoliates the skin and leaves you very photosensitive. You can actually worsen the exact issues you are trying to undo by going sans sunscreen. Wrinkles, freckles, scars, sunspots... you better be using SPF. (Tip: If you hate oily sunscreens check out Biore Perfect Face Milk PA++++)

-Start with every three days until your skin adjusts. If you start off by using this every night, even with a small percentage, it's going to make your skin peel. Eventually your skin will be able to handle it & you'll be able to use it nightly.

-Which brings me to my next point - start with the lowest dosage on the market and work your way up. This gives your skin a better chance at easing into Retin A, reducing the potential bad side effects.

-If your skin starts to peel, moisturize. Do not attempt to rip parts off. Yeah the lizzard look is ugly, however, peeling skin off before it's ready will also undo any positive effects. Very similar to TCA acid peel healing.

-A lot of long time Retin A users still have to buffer with a moisturizer applied before hand in order to soften the blow.

-I'd recommend staying away from retin a if you have rosacea, are more prone to sun damage, are going to get IPL/laser treatments done within 6 months, or are on any other drugs that will leave you more photosensitive.

Now, here's my experience with retin a. I like it, because it is insanely effective. Retin A works better than AHAs because it penetrates a deeper layer of skin. That's how it works so good. However - I can not use it. I have very sensitive skin & rosacea. I am naturally very prone to sun damage. I gave it an honest, great shot before throwing in the towel. Even SPF 50 and a heavy moisturizer can't save me from the burning of this product. I will have to stick to a lower percentage, mild AHA toner. But for everyone else out there... this is worth a shot. The science does back up the claims.

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

on 3/27/2015 8:34:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

At 54, with fine wrinkles appearing (but not alot, I actually don't look 54, so my goal was to stay that way!), I thought I'd give Retin-A it a try. I have a very good dermatologist, who told me to do the following:
- start out at every other day for 2 weeks
- apply to face, neck, chest, and backs of hands
- only apply at night (his philosophy: repair in pm, restore in am)
- apply on skin that has been dry for 20 minutes--applying to moist skin increases burning. Wait 15 minutes and apply moisturizer (keep in mind that Retin-A has some moisturizing capabilities, so in a humid area, extra moisturizer might be an option).
- if all goes well, go on to do this every night.

I followed this regimen, and haven't looked back--it is *amazing*--and cheap! While I had to go through a getting-used-to process of slightly irritated skin on my throat and chest (some prescription cream in the morning for the irritations eased that), it was worth getting through that hump. My skin is so soft, and my throat and backs of hands, which is where the appearance of aging was occurring slightly more, is remarkably smooth looking. a prescription on my health care insurance, my co-pay is $7 a month. It can't get better than that. Coupled with my a.m. routine of alternating a DIY Vitamin C serum and Paula's Choice BHA (an a.m. treatment suggested by my derm), I've settled on an anti-aging skin-care regimen. If I find that the BHA gets too expensive, I can always just do the Retin-A/Vit C treatment for pennies. That's what I started with and it was great, so I'd be just as thrilled.

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

on 3/25/2015 5:33:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I wish I could use this, as it is the gold standard treatment for large pores and acne AND fine lines, but my poor skin can not take it. No matter how I space it out or apply it ( under or over lotion), my poor skin burns, flakes, peels and purges FOREVER.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

on 2/22/2015 10:36:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Gave it about a year and a half before I gave up on it. It did help with my cystic acne but the entire time I was red. Tomato red. I was probably 3-4 shades darker in the face vs my neck due to the redness. I tried to cut down to twice a week, still red. Buffered it by applying after moisturizer, no change. Waited an hour after washing before applying, still the same. I had no problems with flaking and peeling after the first few weeks. Nothing a washcloth couldn't remedy. It's the dark redness that I could not handle, the colouring of a chronic drunk. People with very sensitive and thin skin might not find this wonder cream that wondrous after all.

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

on 2/21/2015 1:40:00 AM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I got a prescription for this acne cream from my normal pediatrician (I am 16) in the highest dosage, along with a gel for the morning. She recommended I start using every night, but if it is too strong, do every other night. Being a self-conscious teen I wanted my acne gone right away so I used it every night. The first week was the worst week of my entire life, my skin burned, peeled and felt the worst it has every felt BUT since then I have noticed great leaps in my skin. Many old scars are gone and my acne overall have gotten much more under control. I live in Minnesota and during the winter, it gets extremely dry and cold and it doesn't help how retin A already makes my skin peel. My skin is a struggle to keep moisturized and exfoliated but as soon as it warms up this problem is gone. Another thing I notice it that retin A will not prevent or help my stress breakouts what so ever.

Overall, I really really like retin A, it cleared up my skin quickly and nicely. Its side effects are a pain in the butt to deal with but I get lots of compliments on my skin now and definitely feel better about it. I have had friends try this product and have the complete opposite affect so it really depends on the person.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 2/17/2015 4:43:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This stuff made my face bleed! I tried using it every other night, every 3 nights, etc....but my face looked like it had been burned. It was so painful. Went back to dermatologist and got switched to Adapalene and its working wonders and not pain like Retin A did.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

It has been a few days since I have been using a proper tretinoin (Airol 0.05 cream) but I had been using some other daily retinoids before for quite some time (BabyFace 0.02 tretinoin / 4% hydroquinone in alcohol) and before that, BASF RetiStar 1% in a cream base. In total, I have been using retinoids / retinols for about 4 months. I put them on at night before other moisturizers.

The first thing I noticed when I applied Airol was how non-burning it was. Transitioning from using something with alcohol to using something alcohol-free was well worth the price. I paid $12 for a 20gm tube of Airol (a Greek brand) including shipping. I did not peel, I did not flake as I did when I started BabyFace, which is intended to be a peel.

Ever since beginning retinols and retinoids, I noticed that a wrinkle in the side of my nose, as well as a laugh line, nasolabial fold has disappeared. My pimples have "flattened" and become less red, although I still get them, when I made the leap from retinol to tretinoin. They are like pyramids without the capstone.

My pores first got big and weird, and the skin on my forehead began to grey out and get a coarse texture. I was afraid but persisted through the "dark night". Eventually the coarse skin went away especially when I did salicylic acid. Although I don't have pure "baby skin" since I didn't peel in sheets, tretinoin has "calmed down" my skin a lot and I feel that I now have more of a clean slate.

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 12/30/2014 3:17:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am 67 and been using retin a since I was 47. Back than I had noticed a couple of wrinkles on my face so my dermatologist prescribed retin a . I used it for a couple of months and the wrinkles actually disappeared. I have been using it occasionally ever since when I remember to apply it and have really smooth skin. I have noticed a few fine lines around my mouth so I am again going to Start applying it more frequently now to stop or hopefully get rid of those lines. My only problem with it is when I start using it more frequently I start breaking out and have to get past all the blind pimples surfacing. It does work ,I see other people my age and there skin looks like wrinkled leather. I have med skin and never used sunscreen and for years used sun reflectors to get a tan ,but because of retin a my skin looks great.

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

on 12/1/2014 11:13:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Other

Eyes: Brown

I used the lowest strength retin-a for 7 months. I had a very bad reaction to it at first and later my skin kind of got used to it. Then i suddenly realized that my skin was worse before I started. My face looked like it was made of wax, it was 10 shades lighter then my neck, and my skin was very thin, and less plump. I had no acne problem prior to starting this, just had very slight laugh lines. Now I have deep laugh lines, forehead wrinkles and my cheeks look saggy. Before I started using this God Forsaken cream I used to look much younger. I often got confused for a high school student, now I look 10-15 years older then my age. My eyes also look sunken in, and have very visible under eye bags. I did not use this cream under my eyes ever, by the way. I deeply regret using retin-A, I am very depressed about how my skin looks, to the point of being suicidal sometimes. It has destroyed my self confidence. I have been off it for 3 months and there has been no improvement. I'm afraid the damage it's done to my skin is irreversible. If anyone has gone through this and their skin improved, please send me a message and let me know what you did and how long it took for your skin to recover.

16 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

on 11/30/2014 8:02:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This product saved my skin after 10 years of battling with acne. Just wrote a review of this on my blog -

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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