I`m writing this review as a warning, because I think sometimes we all get a bit carried away in the pursuit for perfection and don`t do it as carefully as we should.
DON`T prescribe yourself Retin-A. Yes, you can get it online without a prescription, yes, it does wonders for a lot of people. But it`s prescription for a reason: because only a doctor can determine if it`s right for you or not.
I prescribed this for myself, stupidly, and bought it online. I had blotchy pink skin and acne, with the beginning of wrinkles, and after a LOT of research thought: Retin-A seems like what I need. Smooth out skin tone, get rid of pink scarring, sort out spots.
I used it sensibly: once every two or three days for about six weeks. Yes, my skin went red, yes my skin was peeling, but not unbearably. I was patiently waiting for the side effects to die down. But they didn`t, and my face got blotchier and blotchier, and angrier, and hotter: to the point where I was icing myself in a restaurant with cubes from my drink.
It was only then that I started researching Rosacea, and sure enough: rosacea was what I have. I went to a dermatologist, and I`d totally screwed my skin up: it`s two weeks after last applying Retin-A and my skin is still bright red. Far, far worse than it was before I started.
THe thing is: the things a lot of us turn to Retin-A for are often symptoms of other conditions. My acne "scars" weren`t scars: they were broken blood vessels below the skin, and they are now significantly worse. My uneven skin tone was because of inflamed skin. The "acne" on my cheeks was rosacea pustules, (although sadly I also have proper acne on my forehead and chin so it was confusing). And my prescribing myself Retin-A without having the education to understand what was actually wrong with my skin, I`ve damaged it and now have to get laser surgery to undo it.
Retin-A is GREAT for a lot of people, but please: go to a dermatologist and DON`T play doctor yourself. That hundred dollars to see a professional is much much cheaper than the money you`ll have to pay if you damage your face.
I had an extremely adverse reaction to Retin-a, even though my skin isn't particularly sensitive and I haven't had an allergic reaction before. My whole face broke out into hives, I lost several layers of skin, and there are dark scabs on my chin and cheeks. Beware, this product is NOT for everyone!
BTW, I used 0.05, and only ONE time
I'm giving Retin-A another try. I've tried it twice in the past but gave up due to the initial redness, peeling and breaking out. I'm not clear yet, but I'm getting better. I still break out, so it's not a miracle product, especially if your pores block up as easily as mine do.
My routine is to use a gentle cleanser at night, let the skin dry and apply RA and nothing else. In the morning, I use 2.5% benzoyl peroxide gel from acne.org, followed by a gentle moisturizer and foundation.
I do get flaky and just use my fingers in the shower to buff off the dead skin cells. Sometimes I use a gentle washcloth, but I only use a scrubbing exfoliating wash maybe 2x a month since that aggravates my skin.
RA makes your skin peel and does make acne go down much faster. However, it also peels off the top layers and exposes any buildup underneath. The BP in the morning, however, helps keep the bacteria at bay as its being brought to the surface. Don't use BP and RA at the same time, though, as BP reduces the effectiveness of RA when used at the same time. I just use RA at night and a thin layer of BP in the morning.
My skin is supersensitive and very fair (redhead skin), and there hasn`t been a day in the last 12 years when I haven`t had spots. I`d sort of given up and have been relying on make-up, but now wrinkles are starting to form and I thought: goddammit, I`m going to do whatever I can to try and stop them BOTH for just a couple of years (and if it works: great, continue forever).
I have scars from years and years of spots: not deep (not textural), but pink discolouration. I also have a deep(ish - I`m only 29) line between my eyebrows from frowning at a computer screen. I want clear skin: less wrinkles, no need for makeup!
Day 1-4 Surprised that Retin-A 0.025% doesn`t burn on application, as almost everything does. Little bit of pinkness, little bit of dryness. Put it round eyes and it REALLY hurts. Swollen and lined and dry: look like I`ve been crying for years. Using it every night as no noticeable reaction.
Day 5. Noticeable reaction. Skin is pink, raw and the faint pink discolouration/spots under my skin have become bright red. Dryness, although little peeling. Eyes - really bad. Stopped using it under eyes after two times, but still look swollen up and wrinkled. Am leaving that area alone until I`m used to Retin. Quite embarrassing: my colleague told me "I look really ill". On the upside: bumps under skin are reducing significantly.
Day 7. Gave it a break for a couple of days, and skin healed quickly. Little bit pink, pretty crusty and dry but treating it gently and not scrubbing away as tempted to do. Already starting to see potential: bumps are clearing, peeled skin feels softer.
Day 9. Using every other day and trying to suppress intense excitement. Apart from a couple of humdinger zits, my skin is looking clearer and softer than it has in.... a decade. No redness/very little peeling. HG? God, I hope so.
Day 11. Skin peeling like whatnot, and redness going in and out: very strange. sometimes pink, sometimes not. Leaving skin alone, though, because scrubbing the hell out of it just seems to be hurting it. Reckon it'll stop cracking up when it's good and ready. Going to up this to four stars already, because my skin - the bits that aren't cracking - is soft soft soft and my spots are disappearing completely. :)
2 weeks. Went REALLY red all of a sudden, so stopped using it for a few days. skin normal colour now and very soft/clear(ish: still marks from previous spots). nasal-labio folds have gone suddenly much deeper though, so think it must be drying them out. will leave RA off them for another day or two.
Nearly 3 weeks: My skin is getting used to it, I can tell. No longer tingles on application, no longer redness the morning after. Have been using it every other day but may start upping to every day with breaks if there is dryness/redness. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. No dryness anymore at all: baby soft skin. seems to be controlling my greasiness too. had a reaction to new suncream yesterday, and last night RA went to action on the little red spots: this morning, seriously reduced. starting to feel - and i can`t believe i`m saying this - SOOTHING. upping to five lippies because my skin is so soft and zits reducing.
Just started to use this cream. I use 0.025 strength. So far I like it. I don't have any excessive peeling. My skin love it! I got prescription strength from my dermatologist, I have 2 sun spots (from pregnancy I think) and I hope to get rid of them. Will be updating...
I initially used Retin-A in middle school when I began to experience mild acne. At this time it proved to harsh, and I had to discontinue its use.
I started using Retin-A again at 30 years of age when I began to experience cystic hormonal acne. I was prescribed 0.025% of the cream from my doctor, which left my face feeling very greasy. I now alternate nightly between 0.025% and 0.05% of the gel-cream from ADC, and I have had amazing results.
My acne has completely cleared up, with the exception of an occasional blemish. My pores are very clear and almost invisible. I have noticed that my fine lines around my eye area are almost diminished. My skin has a healthy glow, and my skin looks much younger than most people my age, which is 32.
My only complaint is that I now experience dryness, especially around my mouth and on my chin.
This is EXTREMELY strong!
Now I have been used this gel-version with 0,025%, for 4 weeks.
I actually never could use it even every other day, cause of the dryness it occurs...nor every third day. This "killed" my skin, and maybe some of the acne also...but the worst thing of all is that my face looks HORRIBLE 1-2 days after I've used it (mostly during night). It's all red, itching, I can't smile (!!), the face is like "schrinked"....the skin is SOO dehydrated that it hurts!! It's all "orange"/red and the skin is "cracked"...horrible... the feeling of SOO dry skin is horrible when you need to work and meet people, and be active... :(
Takes me 4 days to "repair" the skin after one nights use...
I don't know what to say about this product. I have tried everything under the sun for my acne, during the last 15 years. But this is one of the harder products (I was on Accutane 3 times when I was younger) that i've tried....it is MUCH stronger than azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide, they can not even be compared!
I don't know if I'll go on with this...I can't use it more than every 3-4 day (first week I tried every other day with skin burn as result) My skin is very sensitive, and a lot of BP has some effect on my acne...I don't know if I should stick to the BP...and maybe try to combine it with glycolic acid or something else...But this is killing the skin more than the acne...
UPDATE 20/1 - 2011: My skin is not that red anymore! It has got used to the retin-a, it does almost not react negative at all! During the last week it has got better and better, now I can use it every second or third night, and the skin has got a beautiful lustre.... I can't belive that the horrible dryness is gone!!! :D The trick is to take it easy and listen to the skin; If it has been overdried, I have used moisturizer only - not to hurry on with the retin-a..... AND the best of all is that it keeps the blemishes away! I really hope that it will go on with that, really, really....This is better in controlling acne than the BP! With the BP I always still had many small blackheads, and acne. But this also minimizes the amount of blackheads!! :D
I still don't dear to hope that this will keep on going this good... And I haven't found the "perfect" balance between ("normal") dryness and moisture cause I have to change my facewash to a milder one and find a moisturizer with a spf... But right now I'm just so happy that I haven't had to fight with the zits and blackheads fore a week!!!!!!!!!!!
Back with the lippies!!! :D
Just got this stuff for about 2 weeks. I bought generic brand called vitacid because it's so dirt cheap with same ingredients in 0,025%. I have bad acne, it's all over my face and even worse on my period. I use clindalimyn gel in the morning and retinoic acid cream at night. I'm in a stage that I don't know what to do anymore. So I think I'm gonna use this with cetaphil cleanser for couple or month, please wish me luck. So I'm gonna write my testimonials for view months.
Week 1: purging just a little....
Week 2: surprisingly calm down my acne, I really glad bout it.
Week 3: suddenly my face purge badly, I'm shocked my self esteem decreased. Bumps everywhere specially on my forehead OMG I need strength, it better work soon....or...I don't know @.@
Week4: Still purging and drying, switch my cleanser to cetaphil gentle cleanser and I thing it really help with the dryness, so my routine now are cetaphil+Clindamycin+light make up at morning, cetaphil+retinoic acid cream at night, I also use Avene cleanance K every once in a week just to get rid of my dead skin layer. Plus I use konjac sponge and rub it to my face every night after cleanse my face....my friends said my face got better just a little bit so Imma continuing this. Does anybody know side effect of retinoic acid? Add one more lippie ;P
week5: less purging, gets the bumps dry and my face is flaky everywhere. But I think we really going somewhere here. still have most bumps around my hairline, and the most noticeable are my acne scar now. Will continue because I heard it also fading scars.... add one more lippie. ;) feelin good
week 6: still purging...have big bumps around my forehead and bumps da bump da bump around my cheek and chin...
week7: bump on my forehead only..... huuuuuuuuuuuu so many
week8: still on my forehead and on :(
week9: the same
decides to change to retin A after I finished my old tretinoin cream
week10:changed n still purging n gettin dry n dry
week12: still :(
week13: my bumps calm down a bit, hope it's not gonna purge anymore. still have my marks n redness all ova my face. witch hazel toner really help.
It took me almost 4 months to see the results. I had no purging since I didn't have cystic acne. I had problem with clogged pores. No purging, but my skin did flake. It wasn't constant flaking. It would severely flake for one day a week for about 4 weeks for me. I find that retin-a cream is quite emollient. I started seeing better result when I starting incorporating AHA into my routine. I like DDF 10% glycolic toner. It allows retin-a to penetrate better (according to MUA skincare board). I'm on the mildest dosage (0.025%) and intend to keep it that way since i'm only 26. I will increase the dosage to fight wrinkles when I'm older. Now my skin is just GLOWING and I've gotten compliments on my skin. It's still not perfect but i can't complain. I will update once my skin becomes flawless.
UPDATE: (May 2011) I now have the best skin I've had since my teenage years. I'm 27 now. All my pores are unplugged. I use Peter Thomas Roth AHA BHA Acne Gel in the morning and Retin-A 0.025% at night. Very effective regimen for clogged skin.
Well, obviously I have an amazing product on my skin. Blackheads were climbin in my pores, snatchin my beauty up, tryna rape it. I took my makeup off and was like you better hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo husb. I started using Retin A .025% 2 months ago every night, and my skin is better than it has been in my whole life. Acne, you are so dumb, you are really dumb, fo real. Run n tell that